Oh, I want to love BookMooch so much. What a fabulous concept, people sharing books across the country! I will nobly give a home to your orphan books, and you take in my unwanted books. Sadly, it hasn’t worked into the feel-good thing I thought it would be.
Here’s how BookMooch works: You create an account, where you list the books you want to give away (or find homes for, if you’re feeling sentimental). You also list the books you are looking for. BookMooch uses Amazon’s database, and you can search by ISBN as well as title and author.
Other BookMooch users can browse your listings, and request books they want to mooch. BookMooch assigns each transaction a point value – send a book, get a point; mooch a book, spend a point. You can see other moochers’ point balance, and see very quickly if they are more of a giver than a taker. But a moocher does have to give away a book before mooching their first book.
When my sixth mooch request came in, and I’d already been to the post office 3 times, mailed 5 packages, and spent over $12.00, that I started to question this BookMooch thing. And then one of the moochers wanted to know what condition my book was in. I thought, “What? Don’t you want to just read it?” But I suspect that moocher was a reseller, taking my book that may have been worth more than free, and making a profit.
So I have soured on BookMooch, and that’s a sad thing. But when giving my books away is costing me money, I had to stop and think. If my object is to have others READ the books I give away, I would do much better by donating them to my library, who operates a sale table as a fundraiser. Or I could just do what I’ve been doing all along.
Hey, have you read this book? No? Take it, read it, pass it on!