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Mooching books

One of the ways I aquire books is by trading them for other books, but many trading websites either cost money to use (meaning I could just as well go and buy the books) or are restricted to one country or continent. The one I have been using, TitleTrader, is international, well designed and easy to use, but there are not many traders there who trade to Europe. Most of the users are Americans who only trade within the USA, and if they trade abroad, it is usually only to Canada. The result is that it can take months before I find a book I want.

Now I have discovered BookMooch. Not only does it have loads of European traders, but it has a system that is designed to encourage traders to trade outside their country and continent: you get 3 trading points for sending to another country (only 1 if you trade within your own country), but you only have to pay 2 trading points to request (or mooch) a book from abroad (1 point for local books), meaning that a free trading point is generated every time you trade abroad. Furthermore, you are encouraged to list books by generating 1/10 of a point for each book you list.

The downside is that the website is not as well designed as the TitleTrader site and it can be hard to find things. For example, if you want to know if anyone has wishlisted a particular book, the only way of finding out is to browse through all the wishlists or actually list the book (edit: see comment by John). However, TitleTrader would do well to imitate some of BookMooch's features, such as the Save-for-later list, the ability to see a list of books and traders by country and the ability to gift trading points, not only to other members but also to charities (we have been asking for the last two for months on TitleTrader).

You do need to keep up a good trade-to-mooch balance: for every 5 books you mooch, you must trade 1, meaning you can not just list hundreds of books no-one wants, accumulate the points and then go on mooching without ever sending out a book.

If you are interested in trading with me, you can register for free at BookMooch. My member name is Netla.

Here is my current inventory.


Unknown said…
For example, if you want to know if anyone has wishlisted a particular book, the only way of finding out is to browse through all the wishlists or actually list the book.

On BookMooch, if you pull up the detail page on a book, it will tell you what wishlists it's on. Also, when you add a book to your inventory (to give away) it tells you if anyone had that book on their inventory.

What's still to be added is a full text search of just wishlist books. That's coming.

-John (who runs BookMooch)
Bibliophile said…
Thanks for the information, John.

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