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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bookmooch

Do you know about Bookmooch? If you have too many books cluttering your home or office, but also (and paradoxically) have a wishlist of books, then you might want to consider joining Bookmooch. I joined about 5 months ago and have now sent and received 17 books -- in transactions involving more than 30 people.

Two years ago, I blogged about Zunafish, which is an on-line book, CD and DVD trading site. Zunafish is OK, but members have to agree to a trade with another member, book-for-book or CD-for-CD. Frequently, one has to settle for books or CDs in trade that are not really desired by one party to the transaction. The site only allows paperback trading and all trading costs $1 per transaction.

On Bookmooch, by contrast, members list any books (including hardbacks) and send them away to anyone who makes a specific request. Bookmooch doesn't charge anything for making trades possible and apparently survives because some site visitors click through to Amazon links and buy the books they seek. The site has very good software for creating and maintaining wishlists and "save-for-later" lists. For every 10 books listed (at 0.1 points each), members can request a book from someone else (at a cost of 1.0). For each book sent, members receive a point that can be used to acquire another book. Additional points are earned or spent for mooches outside one's own country. Members also receive 0.1 points for acknowledging receipt of a book.

Points are earned and spent as currency, which means that it is much easier to acquire books on Bookmooch that are really desired. I've not had any difficulty finding books I want to read -- and others have wanted the books I list.

According to the official BookMooch Blog, membership and use is up significantly in 2008 -- 48% more unique visits in the first five months of 2008.


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