Random Rants and Rambling| My Honest Thoughts on Book for Trade


Hey Hey! Welcome to another Random Rants and Rambling; a discussion feature dedicated to all topics but generally book related
For a full list of topics, visit the archive. If you have a topic for discussion let me know!

*This post is in no way to shame those that love this, and use it on a regular basis. This post is an HONEST expression of my own personal thoughts. 

Ah, the infamous #BooksforTrade. If you’re new to the community, this is a way for us readers to trade books to read, and for some to finish their collections of out of print, hard to find, ARCs etc. of specific titles. Quite honestly, I had a love/hate opinion on this tag when it started, and the many others that have branched off of it, but it seems like the more these “programs” come about, the more… dislike I have for them.

I no longer trade, but when I did, I had a mental list of what to look for, and who to/not to trade with. I had maybe…. two good experiences. TWO. Do good trades happen? Of COURSE they do. But, from my personal experience, and from what I’ve seen on the tags & heard even more from people privately.. IDK. I don’t see it?

**I will edit to add that one of my friends said that we don’t usually hear about good trades because they do the trade and go about their business. Which I don’t disagree with. My thoughts are still the same.

Anyway, here are my thoughts:

the “I’ll be picky” & demand

I see this more often than not, “I will be picky for x title”

This REEKS of entitlement, and an undertone of, “I’m better than you.” The fact that you are looking for something VERY RARE is your problem. Don’t dismiss the people who genuinely want to read the book you are trying to “trade”, or want to finish their own collections. Have you heard of PAY IT FORWARD?

Look, if you were getting rid of the book anyway, why are you putting stipulations on WHO gets it, stating you will be picky, and not just TRADE THE BOOK? 

asking for new/VERY old titles 

Sorry Susan, no one wants your copy of… let’s say, a not so anticipated YA contemp, for HARRY FREAKING POTTER. Are you serious? Those HP collectors ARE PICKY! (lol 🤣)

Again, looking for hard to find books or demand is, your problem. Be realistic on what you are offering to trade.

admitting you have a title but not willing to trade

This is cruel. My friend was looking for a very very old title to finish her collection. And someone came forward that they had it, but wasn’t willing to trade or give it away. Then, why are you here? GTFO.

trading ARCs for Finished Copies

This is just gross in my opinion. Trading FC/ARC for FC/ARC is not being picky. It’s LOGICAL. Oh, and asking for eARCs?? We all do know that this is unethical, yes?

Now, on to #bookishwish

I love the idea behind this tag. GIVING someone a book they’ve wanted just because, is just awesome right? Especially when money may be a concern. Well, my experience says otherwise.

When I posted pics of at least 60 books to share, my DMs flooded. There were plenty that from our conversation and exchange, were really excited for the book/s they asked for. Which is awesome, and this part of my post doesn’t reflect on them at all.

What bothered me, was that if a title was no longer available, they kept asking for other books. And asking and asking and asking. So I did some snooping. These individuals had plenty of books, and access to books. SO why are you asking me for it? This all just really, REALLY rubbed me the wrong way.

I assumed the tag was to give books to those that were more in need, not just to get a book for free?

Fast forward to when most of the books were claimed, and it was time to ship. I was very open that I would do waves of ships. Even at only $2.50-$3.00 a pop, multiply that by 45-60 and it’s EXPENSIVE for a single mom.

Most, were very accommodating. Quite a few, were not. Multiple DMs asking when I was shipping, for a tracking number, etc. And then when it was their turn to receive them, no response. No, “I GOT IT!” No, “thank you!” 

Just…. sorry I am not doing that ever again like that. I do browse the tag to see if there are people that want a book that I have, because to me that is what the tag is for. But I no longer post ANYTHING on there. And seeing their Wish-lists? Hard Pass. Greedy people are gross.

Honest thoughts on the trading tags. Spoiler: Unpopular Opinion Click To Tweet

The Gist

I just, don’t like the tags. LOL YES, I’m aware I sound kind of snobby, and you may feel that my thoughts are negative, and our community doesn’t need more “negativity” which, is your prerogative. But, lemme tell you. My thoughts are not singular. I’ve had many MANY discussions behind closed doors about these tags, and I GUARANTEE YOU that I am not the only one that feels this way. They aren’t negative.

They’re honest. 

Let’s Chat

  • What are your experiences with the trading tags? Good, bad? Share in the comments!
  • Agree or disagree with any of my thoughts? Let’s discuss that, too!

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15 thoughts on “Random Rants and Rambling| My Honest Thoughts on Book for Trade

  1. Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

    So I’m totally Twitter illiterate, so I have never heard of these tags. They don’t sound like something I would particularly enjoy participating in. A long time ago I belonged to a site called Paperback Swap. Not sure if it still exists. I enjoyed that. I got a lot of books that way and it was easy to send the ones I had. Sorry to hear you had such bad experiences with these tags!
    Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict recently posted…Review ~ Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost @JeanieneFrostMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I think I did something like that too, years ago, and that was run much better. The tags aren’t policed, and there’s no policies or guidelines, so it runs rampant.

  2. Irena BookDustMagic

    Hi, I never use those tags since I am an international blogger, and I don’t think people want to trade with someone from Europe. I like the idea of books for trade, but I also noticed that people offer average books/arcs and are looking for unicorns.
    There were also many bad experiences people had and were loud about it.
    I understand the frustrations behind not getting the notice when books you sent arrived.
    I do giveaways regularly, and I always ask my winners to let me know when they receive the prize, but they almost never do.
    Irena BookDustMagic recently posted…Monthly Reading Wrap Up: January 2019 #bookbloggers #booklovers #Reading #JanuaryMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I think there might be one for international traders? I don’t know. It does get expensive shopping over seas for US bloggers.

      Yeah it bugs me!! A quick, “hey got it thanks!” Is all

  3. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    I am over here slow clapping 😂 I have had some good trades/bookwish interactions, but for the most part? YEP exactly what you’re describing. The whole “I am entitled to this book you have” kills me. I still do it every so often because I am a masochist apparently, but yeah. I have been scammed several times, and the bad behavior in general is rampant. A friend of mine was trying to find a certain book, and someone had it. She offered a TON of stuff, and the person wanted her to give them multiple books (when she had very comparable trades). It’s just like… so gross and greedy. If I wanted to deal with greed, I’d be using some other platform, ugh. (Oh- and while I granted far fewer book wishes than you, I had the exact same experience- only one person even thanked me!)
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…Reviews in a Minute: The Early Februaries (Round Two)My Profile

    1. tonyalee


      I look too, and there a few books I want really bad. But I don’t think I could handle the drama? I wouldn’t be quiet about it and tell that person where to shove it. It’s best I keep to myself 😂

      I wish bookishwish wasn’t used an a tool to get multiple free books, but as a way to get something you genuinely want. I will grant some if it’s something I have but as for asking? I have very good access to books, so I’d never go asking personally. Lol

      Thanks for adding your thoughts!

  4. Holly J

    I HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS. omg I wish I could stop trading, but there are still some ARCs I’d like to get for my collections, so alas. See, I don’t mind the people who are picky, because at least they’re upfront about it in the beginning? But what I really dislike is the greed and ambition. I’ve offered people books ON THEIR WISHLISTS and been told no because it wasn’t enough. (Shannon’s friend is me. I’ve also had people want multiple. And like, I wouldn’t necessarily mind it because I have to get rid of *a lot* of books at some point. But I don’t like the greediness and refuse to participate in that. I was patient and got what I wanted later for a lot less hassle). And you just have to laugh at the people who have ridiculous wishlists for the books they’re offering.

    I really liked the #bookishwish tag and helped quite a few people out but then it got… bad. I think everyone thanked me? I can’t even remember, but I had someone unfollow after it took me a long time to send. LOL I love the pay-it-forward attitude, though. I wish more people were that kind. I’ve had people be super great to me over the years I’ve traded (and I try to be the same because I get when you’re hoping to complete a collection but can’t get your unicorn for asinine reasons), but I’ve also had shitty experiences. The good outweighed the bad for sure, but I hate the tag and can’t wait until I don’t need to use it anymore. Haha.
    Holly J recently posted…Cover Reveal Roundup #5My Profile

    1. Holly J

      OH. the other thing that really gets to me is the “I’m trying to see who has the better offer” attitude. Like, I’m not just going to sit around and wait for you to find that better offer. Nah, thanks. I’ll just try to trade with someone who isn’t going to look at books from their wishlist and still think it’s not enough.

    2. tonyalee

      I’m trying to get a few ARCs as well. So I know what you mean.

      As for the “picky” I see it two ways; if you’re giving away the book anyway, why be picky? Pay it forward. The other, is that I can understand wanting something of similar pub date, rareness or whatever. Maybe it’s the wording?

      How… wasn’t it enough?! Lol that I don’t understand. I might see the multiple trade option. I’d rather trade a unicorn for multiple books I want instead of putting limitations and being picky on who’d I trade with.

      I liked it when it came about, too. Like I said, I still look at the tag to see if I have something someone really wants.

      1. Holly J

        I don’t see a problem if people are upfront about wanting multiples (or about trading multiples, of which I am not unless I’m desperate for the book, so I’ve started to say that when I tweet). I just don’t like how it seems to be a thing for people to be greedy.

  5. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I’ve only done Books for Trade once (or maybe twice?) for the exact reasons you state—it just feels like most people want you to jump through all these hoops to trade with them and the whole picky thing gets frustrating. I get why someone might not want to accept some random book they’re not really interested in for a “unicorn” that lots of people want desperately, but it starts to edge toward selling when you make all these crazy high demands for an ARC you want to give away.
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Bite-Sized Reviews of A Curse So Dark and Lonely, The Simple Art of Flying, and The Language InsideMy Profile

  6. Elley @ Elley the Book Otter

    I don’t really get physical ARCs, so I haven’t participated in the books for trade tags, but just glancing at them a little bit it seems like people have stacks and stacks of stuff that seems pretty old and are looking for stuff that’s new and probably not very common. I’m also apparently not terribly sentimental and don’t understand the desire to collect ARCs, though – once I’m done with it I pass it on to a librarian friend or another blogger to review, or it goes in the recycling bin and if I loved the book and am going to want to reread it I buy a finished copy to come live on my shelves.
    Elley @ Elley the Book Otter recently posted…Monthly Wrap Up: February 2019My Profile

  7. Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    Since I’m an international blogger, I never joined the #booksfortrade tag. However, I’ve taken a look at it and some trades just don’t seem reasonable. When the #bookishwish tag started, I felt it was such a great idea – a good way of giving books to people who don’t have access to them. However, I fast realized that many people who were asking for books actually had access to them – they could buy them or go to a library. Some readers just took the chance to add more books to their growing collection and didn’t understand the reason why this tag was created.

    Happy readings! 😉
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret recently posted…Falling In Love. Swoony Romance TropesMy Profile

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