BookMooch is a gift economy website that helps people give and receive books. I’ve been a member since 2007.
Here’s how BookMooch works:
I set up an inventory of books I want to give away. Most books are already in the BookMooch database and are easy to add to the inventory. I earn 1/10 of a point for each book I add. I can take a book out of my inventory at any time, for any reason, but when I do, 1/10 of a point is deducted from my point total.
BookMooch members can see my inventory. If any member wants a book in my inventory, s/he can mooch it from me. I’m sent an email notice that someone wants one of my books. I respond to that notice by accepting or rejecting the request. It’s in my best interest to accept the request because I get a point each time I accept a request. (I only send books within the United States, so I get one point per book. Books sent internationally earn 3 points.) I then send the book to the person who asked for it. I pay postage for books I send.
Once I acquire points, I can choose books that I want to mooch from the inventories of other members. When I ask for a book, BookMooch sends a message to the book owner asking if s/he is willing to send it. The sender pays the postage on books sent to me. I use one point for each book I mooch within the United States. I never mooch books from folks in other countries, but I could if I wanted to. Books mooched internationally cost 3 points.
Folks have to send out one book for every two received. If a member doesn’t keep up the 2:1 ration of received to sent, s/he is not allowed to mooch any more books (even if s/he still has points) until s/he improves that ratio.
In seven years, I’ve given away 282 books and received 192 books.
The condition of listed books varies widely. Members can add condition notes when they list their books. I try to describe my books accurately, although a couple of times I’ve been in a hurry and left out information and the receiver of the book has complained. Some people are looking for a specific edition of a book or specifically want hardcover. Also, people with allergies might not want books that have been in the same room as cigarette smoke or pet fur. I just want to read whatever book I am mooching, so I’m not usually picky about the condition of the books I receive.
Some books listed are old and seemingly unpopular, but I have found many relevant books to read on BookMooch. This is not a website where people are just trying to get rid of their junk.
Go here: http://bookmooch.com/ to learn more about and/or sign up for BookMooch.