Bookmooch ‘Meet and Mooch’ 04 December

John Buckman and some young enthusiasts

On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to attend a ‘Meet and Mooch’ event very kindly hosted by John Buckman, the founder of Bookmooch.  BookMooch is an online bookswapping community, and is a Very Good Thing in my opinion.

John said that he regarded BookMooch as a Wikipedia for dead trees, and that he was presently working 60 hours a week on enhancing it.  At the moment, it was experiencing a plateau in its expansion.  He was keen to encourage the faster circulation of in-demand books.  I felt it was important to keep it simple, and also not put too many demands on users (or else they would just leave).

I would certainly encourage my readers to have a go on BookMooch if they feel at all interested–it’s really not at all frightening.  I think I’d give the following pieces of advice:

i)  don’t put too many books on at once (or you could be overwhelmed);

ii)  start off with ‘ask me first’ for sending overseas–you can always change it depending on how things pan out;

iii)  if something goes wrong (like sending the wrong book to the wrong person–I’ve done that)  it can normally be sorted out with a bit of communication and goodwill;

iv)  it’s much nicer if you add a message instead of just pressing the ‘mooch this book’ button;

v)  it’s a good idea to get into the habit of adding a few phrases to describe the condition of every book you list–another good reason for not adding too many at once;

vi)  I think the easiest way of dealing with the postage is to use the Royal Mail online service.  I personally started off by using the sub-post-office near my home and gradually worked my way up to the main Post Office off Trafalgar Square before deciding this was the best option;

vii)  it’s best to use padded envelopes for sending books out–they don’t have to be new padded envelopes of course;

viii)  if (as very occasionally happens) you have a bad experience with a discourteous or unhelpful person, don’t take it to heart and just walk away–it’s really not worth obsessing about!

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One Response to “Bookmooch ‘Meet and Mooch’ 04 December”

  1. susanne Says:

    thanks for that. Have fallen into the first trap: too many books!

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