Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BLOG ENTRY: Wonderful World of BookMooch!

Leave it to this Gruwell girl to arrive late again for this technology party. I recently discovered the world of online book swapping @ last week. I never knew anything like this existed but apparently, the heyday of this site was back in ’09-’10 (according to this article). So, I guess better late than never!

I’ve only been on this site a week but already have sent out 28 books as of this blog entry and have somewhere around 21 incoming to me. So heyday in the past or not, it’s still a thriving world. I’ve been building up my wishlist, posting books I no longer want or will not read again (those shelves are getting a cleaning!), and just generally enjoying this new world.

I’ve also got to give a shout out to the incredible community of people that inhabit this site. Like most everything in my life, I’ve bulldozed ahead like a Tasmanian devil in an antique shop and made some fundamental mistakes along the way. The incredible people who have mooched from me have been outstanding in their patience and their helpful hints. I don’t think I would be enjoying this site as much without their friendly support and general advice on mooching and shipping.

And OMG, shipping…. Before getting involved with this site, the last time I’d shipped anything was a decade ago. I mean back in the foggy annals of prehistory. Now, after shipping abroad and domestically, I’m getting a quick refresher on customs forms, book/media rates, shipping via USPS or UPS, needing to reinforce the mailing sleeves with packing tape, what boxes to use, and the crazy rates for shipping out country.

I love the idea of this being an international thing, too. I’ve personally shipped to the UK and Greece so far. And I’ve requested books from countries all over the world. Who would think that a book I might possibly get would be coming from so different a part of the world from my native US? The idea of book lovers congregating on one site, communicating and swapping books over vast oceans makes me feel more like a global community than ever before. While shipping costs makes me limit how much I send now, I still will in future and mean to enjoy it.

I know there are other online book swapping sites out there, like PaperBackSwap and Bookcrossing. I’d like to try them someday. But for now, I’m going to be sticking with the Bookmooch world. It seems to be a pretty lively place still with nice people and not a bad range of selection (though more unique historical fiction selections would be nice). I’m looking forward to mooching more titles and giving the books I’m finished with to a good home I know they’ll be appreciated at.

The corner of my closet which has become Mooch Grand Central Station! LOL

What are your thoughts? Do you utilize any of these sites? Prefer in-person book swapping to online? What’s your take on this whole international thing? I’d love to hear your opinions and suggestions. J

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