Their tag line is “Give books away. Get books you want.” which sums it up very nicely in just seven words! Based on a points system, BookMooch let’s you ’sell’ your unwanted books for points, and spend those points to ‘mooch’ (request) books from other users:
- Listing a book to give away = +0.1 points
- Sending a book to someone in your country = +1 point
- Sending a book to someone internationally = +3 points
- ‘Mooching’ a book from someone in your country = -1 point
- ‘Mooching’ a book from someone internationally = -2 points
- Confirming that you have received a book safe & sound = +0.1 points
Why use BookMooch?
There is nothing worse in a book lover’s house than an unwanted book sitting in your shelf, when it could be sold or given away to make room for a book that you will love, and read over and over.
Of course, it’s easy to say that - but the fact is selling books online is a pain. Not to mention that once you’ve gone through the hassle of listing a book, taking photos, posting it, paying ebay/amazon fees & postage costs.. you probably don’t actually make enough profit to buy another book. Plus, you are almost guaranteed to spend more time trying to sell unwanted books than reading the books you actually want to read!
You can also give your books away to charity shops, which is always a kind & generous thing to do - but I always have this vision of the books you see at charity shops that have clearly been sitting on the shelves for months, unbought, unread, unloved. The closest thing to BookMooch that I have come across online before is freecycle, which is a wonderful online community dedicated to recycling unwanted belongings - but you can’t be sure that the ‘bag of mixed books’ that you are giving away are going to do more than just sit unread on someone else’s shelves.
My BookMooch experience so far.
Since I joined BookMooch 10 days ago, I have sent 10 books to other users, and have already received 6 books, with another 8 books on their way soon - plus I have a batch of 125 bookmarks to give out to family & friends to spread the book love!
Everyone I have spoken to on BookMooch has been polite, kind & very helpful. Experienced users have been nice enough to explain things to me when I’ve been confused, and everyone who has noticed that I am a newbie has welcomed me to the community.
The only negative things I have to say about BookMooch is that there are a few hiccups with the design of the site - I was flipped to the Portuguese version once by clicking a link on one of their emails, and would very much like to see a better forum in place for users to chat about the service.
ETA: I emailed the founder of BookMooch to let him know about my review, and he replied letting me know that he’s working on the user chat/forum system. Yay!