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Mutual Mooching

Swap Your Old Books for Ones You Don't Have

— December 29, 2008 — Eco
If you have a hard time getting rid of books you’ve read because you just can’t stand the idea that they’ll end up in the landfill, or if you feel as if you are abandoning a friend when you toss your book into the donation bin at the local charity, take heart. John Buckman founded BookMooch just for you.

There is no cost to join. Once you sign up, you post a list of your books in need of good homes, or at least another good read. You also post a list of books you’d like to have. Others do the same. When you fill someone’s book order, you receive a Moocher’s point. The points can be redeemed for books.

You must give away at least one book for every three books you receive. If you ship to another country, you receive three points. If you receive from another country you’ll spend two points. This is to help offset the additional shipping cost you’ll incur. About 100,000 people are signed up on the site and some half-million books are listed. There’s also a feedback system like eBay’s so you can help keep bad moochers away.

If you want to send your books to others, but don’t need books yourself, you can donate your points to one of the charities listed on the site. They include public libraries, prisons, children, new mothers, schools, and a number of causes under the BookMooch Charitable Fund.