Friday, April 11, 2008

The instant karma of bookmooching

Bookmooch is a simple to use book swapping site. You register and give away books and in exchange mooch books from other people. You only pay for the price of shipping a book when you send one, which is how you collect points. In this way, receiving a book you’ve chosen is free.

I’ve commented before that books deserve a better life than to live on a cold shelf. Most of us read a book once, and then abandon it. In this way, a book fulfills its destiny: it’s held, appreciated and read by one, then passed on to be held and read again, indefinitely.

Sharing books also saves resources. Why buy a new book when what you want is lying around somewhere, unused?

I can’t promise I’ll never visit another bookstore, but I’ll definitely go less often now that I can mooch.


Anonymous said...

In theory it's a good idea, but authors who live by copyright and royalties will hate you for this.
What happened to the Renaissance and Victorian notions of "building a great personal library"?

Miguel Cane said...

This is sooo cool, Dushka!

It's like a huge used bookstore!

I am definitely joining.

And, begging to differ, speaking as an author that gets royalties (although in no way do I live from them), I can say that I get my royalty for the book being sold first. But not from secondhand selling. And this project is more or less like secondhand books -- they come lovingly read, but not brand-new. So no royalty is pilfered.

I have a modest personal library, of books that I love, cherish, re-read and that mean something for me.

But even as much as I wish I could, I cannot keep all the books I have. Some of them I just read once. So, I think this is a marvelous idea.

Much love!

Miguel Cane said...


I joined. I mooched and sent. It feels great!

I can hardly wait for the book I mooched to arrive on the mail. And I sent two books out today.

And you know what, Dushka?

I felt GREAT!

It's like doing a good deed! Done dirt cheap too!

Much love to you and Luca!

Dushka said...

Miguel, YEAH! that's right! It's why I called this entry "instant karma". You mail something to someone, and somebody else sends you books you requested. It's a beautiful thing. You feel virtuous AND get books for free.

By the way, did you channel AC/DC with "deeds done dirt cheap"? They are one of my favorite groups ever.

Miguel Cane said...

But obviously, my dear!

Much love

(WHEN are you coming?! I am flying to Mexico on Monday!)