Adventures in Reading

May 21, 2008, 9:12 am
Filed under: thoughtful | Tags: , ,

I shipped my first book for Bookmooch, a copy of The Kite Runner, which I never read and it was looking doubtful under a quarter inch of dust that I ever would read it. If you are not familiar with Bookmooch, it is a website that allows you to list books you want to swap and to acquire new books through a point system. Roughly, you get a point for sending a book and spend a point by requesting a book. The only monetary cost is the shipping fee you pay to send a book.

I love the concept and after about ten minutes of exploring the Bookmooch website, it is easy to use. The only downside for me: what is and what is not available through Bookmooch. Listing what books are most available brings up hundreds of copies of Patterson, Grisham, and Crichton. Not exactly my cup of tea and none of the books I considered requesting at the time appeared. My fingers remain crossed though that with patience and a little more use I may become an avid Bookmoocher.



You can also make good use of bookmooch’s “wishlist” function. You can search for books you’d like to add, and even if nobody on the site is currently offering them, you can add them to your wishlist. Once they’re on the wishlist, you’ll get an email if a copy becomes available. I’ve had good success with this method.

Comment by Christine

I love bookmooch and have received a lot of wonderful books from that site. What I do is put all the books I want into my wishlist (it’s HUGE now) and when they are available, I get an email right away. If I am quick, I can get to them before the dozens of other people that have wishlisted the same book get to them… it’s fun and a great way to get rid of some books you don’t love but know that others will.

Comment by Heather

Yes, wishlists are very important. Make sure you list all the different editions, too, that helps. My wishlist is over 650 books (but not quit that many titles). The most interesting books are mooched very quickly, so wishlisting is the only way to have a chance to get them, you don’t find them just waiting for a moocher. Almost everything I list is mooched within hours.

BookMooch is very good for some books, but not very good for hunting a particular book- it’s very unpredictable what you find and what you don’t. I’ve had great success mooching several books from Neal Stephenson, Ursula Le Guin, Jeff Noon (I got Vurt from BookMooch!), Stephen Baxter, Guy Gavriel Kay, Frank Herbert, Steve Erickson, Thomas Pynchon… Very useful.

Then again, I haven’t seen a single copy of Lies of Locke Lamora or The Blade Itself, to name some fairly new books I’ve wishlisted and hope to mooch one day.

Since buying penny books from Amazon isn’t an option for me thanks to the high shipping costs, BookMooch is hands down the cheapest option to get books (excluding the public library, of course, but BookMooch has much wider selection).

Do give us a link to your inventory, I’d like to take a look. Also, the BookMooch badge you have on your sidebar has a broken link.

Comment by Mikko

Christine, Heather, and Mikko: First thank you for the comments and I am thrilled to find out I am surrounded by other Bookmoochers. I am beginning to realize just how important the wishlist feature is and I’ve definitely been going through old lists of “ought to reads” and expanding my list. The only problem for me: with no Internet connection at home there are few books I’ll be fast enough to catch before others. But still, Bookmooch is a worthy and amazing system. I am glad that I have found it.

Comment by bookchronicle

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