I heard about Bookmooch on episode 33 of Inside the Net and was intrigued. It’s basically a network of people ‘paying it forward’ with their unwanted books.

I have a load of books that I’ve never read and am not likely to, or have read and am not likely to read again. I did at one time sell such books on eBay, but it was a hassle and I didn’t made much on them. So the idea of ‘mooching’ books seemed to make sense to me. It’s better than giving them to a charity, because only a person who really wants what you have will ask for it.

It works on a points system. You get points (or fractions of points) for listing books that you’re willing to send to other moochers. You get more points for sending books. And then you spend points asking for books. It couldn’t really be more simple. You can set in your profile which region you are willing to ship to. I chose Worldwide – it can be expensive sending books from Europe to the Americas, but I think it’s worth it.

The engine for listing books is really good and well thought out; it basically hooks into Amazon and you can add books simply by entering the ISBN and it grabs the cover art and synopsis from Amazon.

So far I’ve sent out two books – one to Chicago and one to Germany.

I suppose for really expensive books (such as the Archaeology text books I just bought – yikes!) I would probably still use eBay, but for paperback novels, Bookmooch is great! I haven’t yet ‘mooched’ a book, but that’s pretty much because I haven’t the time to read for pleasure these days (sad but true) and most of my book consumption is in the form of audio books in the car.

If you’re interested, listen to the podcast linked above and maybe I’ll see you on!