We've blogged a bit about book sharing here at Re-nest before. But, up until a few months ago, we'd never tried a book sharing service. So, just before the holidays, we joined BookMooch.com. We'd changed jobs and started taking public transportation—so we suddenly needed a constant stream of paperbacks.
Signing up for and using BookMooch is simple. Register on the site (for free) and start adding titles of books from your bookshelf that you'd be willing to share.
Once you've uploaded 10 titles to your "inventory" you're eligible to request a book. Every time you send a book out you receive a credit to receive a book. It's painless.
To request a book, you can search through the BookMooch database for titles you're interested in ... or follow their twitter feed and stay up to date on all the books that are being added. If the book you want isn't available, you can add it to a wish list and you'll receive an email as soon as someone adds the book to their inventory.
Suddenly you have a huge world of books to choose from. But don't think you can join and suddenly every book you want to read will arrive like magic in your mailbox. It can be difficult to find specific titles. If you're a big fan of popular fiction (think John Grisham, Stephen King) you'll have endless titles to choose from. If your tastes are a bit more obscure, it might not be so easy.
And then there's the line at the post office. Sometimes sending books to your fellow Moochers can be a pain. But it's worth it. Especially when you receive a book in the mail with a cute handwritten note. Or you find a novel you've been dying to read via the twitter feed.
It's not a perfect service. But it's fun and we've been quite happy with it. If you plow through fiction the way we do, it's a great way to recycle books.
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(Image: Flickr member SarahInDisguise licensed for use under Creative Commons)