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May 07, 2008


I'm not entierly sure how I've managed to go this long without writing about Bookmooch considering the fact that I've used it every single day for the last couple of months obsessively. It's officially become my favorite new thing to play with because a) it allows me to get rid of the excess books that have been haunting my house for years, b) I get new books that I actually want, c) I get mail, which is fun, and d) I get to use my Stamps.com shipping program and paraphernalia.

Assuming one isn't familiar with Bookmooch, it's a simple website where you can trade in your current books for points. Your points can then be exchanged for books other users have that you would like. Easy peasy! Typically books are worth one point each as you send and receive from one person to another within the same country. Books "mooched" to and from foreign countries can cost 2 - 3 points.

At last check I have sent out 39 books and received 13 (which sounds bad, but really, I've been wanting to get rid of a lot of crap). I'm waiting on 5 more to arrive and have one book to send out currently. I have 25.1 points currently. Books that you want to give away are kept in an inventory that is browsable by other members. Books that you would like to receive are added to a "wishlist." Every time a book on your wishlist becomes available you are sent an e-mail. You can also get an RSS feed of the wishlist if you prefer.

The best part of Bookmooch is the cost. It's completely FREE. The only cost associated with trading books is the shipping cost. But since books are bound, printed matter, they can ship as media mail. This can take longer to ship but typically costs very little. Most books cost between $2 - $3 to ship. Considering the average cost of a paperback can be $12 - $14 and a harcover can be as much as $30 this is really quite a deal!

Bookmooch has a blog and has recently been writing about some very cool stuff. Making books and bookmooching more green has been a big topic as of late. Things like reusing packaging and making sure that you can order the reused packaging right on the website. They also have started working with publishers to have books available directly.

Being a voracious reader, Bookmooch and Paperspine are exactly the type of things that I've been looking for. While the library is great, the fact that there are fees (I recently racked up $50 in fines at the Tacoma Public Library for the five books I had out) keep me from going back. I can find more recent titles, keep them as long as I want (own them if it's Bookmooch), and not have to worry about returning them to anyone. What's not to love?

Posted by Ensie at May 7, 2008 01:29 AM

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