This post is completely random. In fact, sidebar, several weeks back I was bestowed the wonderful honor of “Most Versatile Blogger” award (one of several–I won’t get cocky) by my friend Kristin. I was quite flattered, but never got around to returning the favor and choosing my own favorite versatile bloggers. But it did remind me of one of my most random posts ever, and also the one that gets the most googled–the anatomy of a perfect dish brush.

So this post, neither here nor there, not about children or current events or adoption or parenting, just something in my life that’s pleasantly meeting (perhaps exceeding) my expectations.

See, we live in a medium-sized town adjacent to a larger town/city. We do pretty much everything within the city limits of the OTHER town, but enjoy where we live. However, when I went to get a library card at the only big library in the area, I was told that I could not have a normal library card, b/c I don’t pay taxes in THAT city. Out of the kindness of their hearts, they would allow me to check out ONE book at a time, or pay $75 a year to have a regular library card. The really good (and truly kind) caveat to the rule is that kids can check out 20 books at a time. When I got Sydney’s card a few months ago, the librarian told me very sternly to remember that the day she turns 19 she will only be able to check out one book at a time. I stifled a laugh and assured her that I understood.

So after that disappointing news, I got into a terrible habit of buying paperbacks every time I was at Costco to feed my reading habit. It was breaking the bank and even I could see it was not smart. But what is a crazy reader to do? I needed access to books!

Then I read about a website called Paperback Swap. Basically, it’s an online group of people who want to trade books. You post a list of books that you own and would be willing to mail if someone requested one of them. Each time that happens and you mail it (usually it’s about $2.75 media mail) you get one credit. Everyone who joins starts out with 2 credits automatically. One option they have that I love is that you can print out an address label WITH postage for about 50 cents extra–saving me a trip to the post office, b/c I can just drop it in the nearest mailbox.

Of course, the more popular/desirable your books are, the more likely it is that someone will request them and you will get a credit. I’ve seen lots of completely obscure books posted and wonder if anyone will ever give that poor person a credit. But this has worked in my favor, b/c I tend to like to read novels that are either classics or popular in the last few years. After I read them, I post them on the site again for someone else to request. Since I’ve joined (over a year) I’ve mailed about 15 books and received about 10. I’ve never run out of credits. They don’t always have books that are at the height of popularity (Hunger Games) but you can create a wishlist and receive an email when a member posts the book you’ve been looking for.

In summary: this is one of my favorite things: If you’ve got a recommendation for a good book, send it my way! I’ve got 5 credits to work with!