What is wilson silverleaf? We're organitarians; it's best for our bodies and the planet. We cloth diapered Nina for the same reason. We drive a hybrid car & wish we could afford solar panels on our house. I'm a strong advocate for homebirth, full-time mom, & also a movie junkie. We don't have a tv though; we watch dvds on our computer. We love contradancing. I garden & knit; Larry's a puzzle lover & plays fantasy football.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The economy of paperbackswap.com

I just joined paperbackswap.com. You post books you own that you're willing to send out and can have other people send you their books. I wanted to do it to get some use out of some old books we've had sitting around the house.

The economy of the web page is interesting. When you join and post 10 books, you are given two credits. For every book swap, the requester is charged 1 credit and the sender receives 1 credit. So, the economy activity of the web site generates no wealth; all transactions are even. The only way wealth is created is when a new person joins. I never took even one economics course, but that sounds like trouble to me.

The obvious first fear is hoarders. It would be simple for lots of the credits to pile up with people who aren't requesting books, maybe because they just don't use the site anymore. That drains the money supply. A tight money supply makes people less willing to spend money (here, request books). So, you'd see very little swapping.

I'm planning to check out the forums and see if people are discussing the economy and if there are any signs that the tight monetary policy is having a negative effect.

By the way, I posted 16 pretty random books and I've already had 6 requests. So, my anecdotal evidence is that the economy hasn't stagnated. My current fear is that there is some reason to make a bunch of requests of newcomers.


Daisy said...

I love paperbackswap! I swap books for myself and books for my classroom (4th grade) and audio books for my blind teenager. We've had great success is finding what we need and finding new homes for our lightly used books.

Anonymous said...

cool blog........................................

Larry said...

Actually, I'm turning into a hoarder myself. I got a bunch of credits because people wanted the books I posted, but I really only had one book I wanted to get. I've put some books on my wish list which aren't being offered and once I finish the book I already got I'll figure out what to ask for next.

denise said...

oooh...let me know how this goes! i have so many books i should pass on and just can't let go of but if it were a swap...i have also considered bookcrossing.com where you register and then follow your books...lose them somewhere for someone to find...i figure if someone is seeking my book i'll know it is in good hands...looking forward to following your experience...oh, and making book club one of these days!