I recently joined this outfit called Title Trader and was going to tell you (or, as they say in these parts, yous guys) about it just because it's kind of cool. Here's how it works: you list books, CDs, and DVDs that you're willing to part with. Other members can request them and you mail them out. Then you get credits for the stuff you've traded out and can request items from other members (whoever offers the item pays the postage). I know there are other online swap groups like this, but I like this one because it's not limited to books and gives me a chance to get rid of all the unacceptable media that come into the house in the form of presents. It's worth it to me just to get rid of the stuff because I hate having anything contribute to the unconquerable mess that pervades our lives. But with this I can even get something back for my rejects rather than just hauling bags to Goodwill every month, and of course you break even on shipping. The babies are going to have a nicer Christmas than I expected.
Now, I'm pretty particular and consider most of the available trades junk, but I keep an eye on the new additions on the odd chance that something good should come up (you can also make up a wish list, and if anything you have on it gets offered you're notified). And I've learned something interesting: there's a whole subset of romance novels whose central plot is not (just?) the hot times with the hot dude, but some kind of baby love interest. Here are some titles: A Baby On the Way, The Trouble With Twins (cover art is a fetching fellow in an apron apparently making cookies with matching little girls--and wasn't there a Babysitters Club book with this title?), and Merry Christmas, Babies (four babies in Santa suits under the tree). Apparently Harlequin has a whole line devoted to this: Harlequin Superromance. Who knew? Maybe we should be writing these? We've certainly done the research.