Check out BookMooch!

Within the next few days I shall be returning to bloglandia (more my speed than the blogosphere, I confess)… but, in the meantime, my friend Gretchen just told me about a totally cool website for swapping books.

You can find the site at:

OVERVIEW (from the website)
BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books. BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want.

Give & receive: Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you’ve read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish.

No cost: there is no cost to join or use this web site: your only cost is mailing your books to others.

Points for entering books: you receive a tenth-of-a-point for every book you type into our system, and one point each time you give a book away. In order to keep receiving books, you need to give away at least one book for every five you receive.

Help charities: you can also give your points to charities we work with, such as children’s hospitals (so a sick kid can get a free book delivered to their bed), Library fund, African literacy, or to us to thank us for running this web site .

World wide: You can request books from other countries, in other languages. You receive 3 points when you send a book out of your country, to help compensate you for the greater mailing cost, but it only costs the moocher 2 points to get the book. John Buckman, who runs BookMooch, has lived in California, England, France and Germany, and was frustrated by the vast number of books that were printed in just one country and not available in the other countries (for example, many books are published in Britain and never made available in America).

Wishlist: you can keep a “book wish list” that will automatically arrive to you when you have the points and/or the book becomes available in our catalog.

Feedback score: each time you receive a book, you can leave feedback with the sender, just like how eBay does it. If you keep your feedback score up, people are most likely to help you out when you ask for a book.

How we pay our bills: We tap into Amazon’s book database, and if you follow an Amazon link from our web site, we receive a commission from Amazon if you buy that book instead of getting it free from BookMooch.

Why “Mooch”?: defines “mooch” as: “to obtain something without paying for it, or to borrow something without intending to return it” as in “You’re old enough to get a job and stop mooching off your family.” And so, the word fits this probject: BookMooch is a way to get books without paying, and without any intention of returning the book. This is the American definition of “mooch” and one of two British definitions. The other British definition is “to walk or act slowly and without much purpose” as in “Stop mooching about in your room and do something useful!” which isn’t an entirely appropriate definition for this web site, but it is funny so we’ll just live with it.

Why create this?: if you’re passionate about books, you know how emotionally difficult it is to throw a book away, even if you will never read it again. You want to find a good home for your books, have them find someone who appreciates them. Also, you may be interested in trying a lot of books out, and keep the ones that are great. It’s a great crime to have a book disappear, out of print, for none to read. BookMooch keeps books in circulation, and finds new readers for them. If you’re interested in getting free books, you can donate to charities, the points you gain by giving your books away.

Who are we? BookMooch is conceived, designed, written and administered by John Buckman. John also runs the online record label Magnatune as well as several other web sites with his wife Jan. The graphic identity of the site is by Claudy Niesen, and the illustration is by Andrice Arp.

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