Hey there, mooched any good books lately? What’s that? Mooching is selfish and irresponsible, and you’ve never mooched a book in your life? Well, it’s time you started! Hie thee to BookMooch, a sort of online book swap meet. No money changes hands, just books (senders are responsible for the postage.) You get points for the books you give away, and can spend those points to request books from others. You get a 1/10th point credit for every book you list as available for mooching, so list 10 books you’re willing to ship off and never see again, and they’ll let you request a book from someone else!
It’s got the best elements of Amazon (you can make a wishlist, and BookMooch will notify you when a book you want becomes available) and eBay (a feedback system by which you can rate the Moochers you do business with.) All that, and FREE BOOKS, too! And if you’re like me (and you’re here, so you probably are), the real benefit of BookMooch is the market of eager Moochers it presents, all ready to take your unwanted books off your hands and off your shelves!
It’s only been around for a few months, but there are thousands of people enrolled, all over the world (Bearby in London, there are lots of U.K. users, so get in there and get trading!) Not that you have to trade only in-country: it costs more (point-wise) to mooch a book from outside your country, and you have to make sure in advance that the moochee is willing to ship to you before requesting their book, but don’t let that stop you! Lots of Moochers are willing to ship internationally, because BookMooch offsets the extra cost of international postage by awarding more points when you send a book out of country.
There’s even a function whereby you can donate points you’ve built up to a variety of worthy causes: schools, public libraries, prisons–you can even tip your BookMooch hosts, to thank them for dreaming up this marvelous service. They’re giving mooching a good name!