BookMooch

This is off-topic, but interesting enough. Reading is one of my passions outside board games. My tastes can be a bit difficult: many of the books I’d like to read are not translated (or are translated with quite a delay) and the availability of English books in libraries is pretty weak here. Buying all the books I’d like to read isn’t an option either, particularly as selling the books after I’ve read them isn’t really an option.

I’ve found a solution: BookMooch is a book trade web site, where books are traded for points. You get points when you send a book to someone and can then use the points to get new books. The concept is very simple and easy to use. Sender pays the shipping costs, so there’s no need to move money around.

The selection is pretty good (about 100 000 books right now) and for me, the price of the books I’ve got has been less than two euros each. Not bad. The system works really well. There are occasional inactive users who simply won’t respond to your requests, but it’s easy to cancel and request the book from someone else. Not every book is available, but I haven’t had any problems filling up my wishlists with interesting books.

If you’re interested, getting started is easy. Just join and list the books you’re ready to send — you’ll get 0.1 points for each book, so you can make your first requests soon. The more books you list, the more likely it is that someone will mooch your books. If anybody wants my books (lots of Iain M. Banks, Marian Keyes, Neal Stephenson, the Thurn & Taxis inspired The Crying of Lot 49, and many others), I’d be more than happy to send them anywhere in the world for free!

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