Saturday, October 07, 2006
While updating my catalog of books on LibraryThing the other day, I discovered Bookmooch, a website for cheap book lovers everywhere. (Ok, that was poorly worded. Not inexpensive books, but miserly readers.)
The concept is simple. You get points for listing books that you want to get rid of. Other people list books they want, and if there's a match they can mooch them off of you. You ship them at the amazingly cheap Media Mail rate, and you get more points. You then use those acquired points to mooch books off of others.
The service is fairly new, in internet terms. They are just at 10,000 members. So at the moment there are lots of books on wish lists, but none of the books I put on my list were immediately available for mooching. Besides, I didn't have the points yet.
The hard part for me is going to be continually selecting books I'm willing to give away. Obviously, there are some I'll never get rid of. In fact, I rarely give away a book. Invariably I miss it somewhere down the road. I haven't read The Tommyknockers in years, but I just know that someday I'm going to have time to kill, and the desire to re-enter works from King's 'addicted' stage will come over me. (That's what that book is really about, by the way. It might be full of alien artifacts and strange mind powers, but it's really about all the crap King was shiving into his system (mostly through his nose) at the time.) But I've found five or six in my pile so far that I'm willing to be seperated from.
The fun part for me is going through the local Borders, seeing a book I like, firing up Bookmooch on my PDA and entering the ISBN into my wish list. Somewhere I gave away my copy of Wicked, and there's no way I'm going to by another. But I'll gladly mooch it from someone!