I love my moochers!

June 20, 2007


I just got back from 9 weeks of lots of traveling, most recently from Croatia and am now back in my Berkeley, California house and going through my mail, including a pile of mooches.

Leala, a BookMooch member that I mooched a book from, very kindly included this wonderful drawing and note on the outside of the package. I *love* it! The thing is, about 1/3rd of the time when I mooch a book, someone includes a nice hand-written note. I’ve asked others, and apparently I’m not alone, lots of nice notes are included with books.

This makes me happy, because my inspiration for BookMooch was visiting a Norwich, UK community center, as I said in this interview:

The idea for BookMooch came when I was in Norwich, UK, at a local community center, and they had a “leave a book, take a book” area with bookshelves and couches. The shelves were filled and people were chatting about the books, asking for advice, flirting as well as reading. It was a healthy and natural thing. Reading books can be a very social act, but someone has to provide the meeting place.

I saw this great book-share spot in the UK, and thought “this could be done on the Internet”, and it shocked me that no-one had done it yet, at least not in the way I thought it should.

and when I get notes like this with my mooched books, I hope that maybe I’ve achieved something of that wonderful feeling I felt in Norwich.

Thanks again to Leala and to all the wonderful moochers!

On another topic, I know that BookMooch has been slow lately, and I now have a big chunk of time to work on that. I think it’s because the catalog is getting so big (800,000 books in wishlists+listed books). If you’re finding it slow, trying using BookMooch at a different time.

Here’s a chart showing how busy the BookMooch server is over a one week period. The taller the line, the slower the server is to respond. You can see that the past two days have been really busy, but also that there are lots of times when the server is really fast. In a few weeks, I hope to have it fast all the time again.

33 Responses to “I love my moochers!”

  1. Amanda said

    I just started mooching a couple of months ago and I LOVE it! I haven’t gotten any handwritten notes in with my books but I often get lovely comments via email. I’ve also discovered some moochers’ blogs that offer book reviews & recommendations. Bookmooch was a great idea. Thanks!

  2. Phyllis said

    Wow! I can’t begin to compare BookMooch to anything else – because there is NOTHING else like it. It’s better than sliced bread, indoor plumbing, and the 5 cent candy bar (just a few of my favorites from history) I have met some wonderful people on line, read some incredible books and mooched for my church, staff and students at the elementary school where I work, family and friends, in addition to myself. Thank you so much. I hope to mention it in our school newsletter and website this coming year. Thank you so much!!!

  3. Jenny said

    I have only started bookmooching a couple of months ago and it is just amazing. It is such a friendly community and I have been coming across a lot of bookmooch/bookcrossers and meet the same people regularly at both sites. Thankyou for making all of this possible and I will be restumping my house soon under the weight of all these mooches!!!

  4. MOLOKO said

    well, there is something else like it: readitswapit.co.uk but they don’t have a points system like bookmooch does – so you always have to do a direct swap. this can be annoying if you don’t want any of the other person’s books.

  5. Sylvia said

    I have gotten 1 personal note and it was a good feeling, and the good responses to my mooches are great, too. This site is wonderful! I have found books I have wanted for a long time and been able to get them with books I am done with and make friends at the same time. Thank you!!

  6. Darkcloak said

    I have never meet so many wonderful people. It IS trully amazing. There is no way I can thank it’s creator(s) or participants more. And all it costs is postage, time and love of books. I hope it never changes, just gets better and better. Our community is one to be admired.

  7. Joy said

    I’ve just begun Bookmooch a week or so ago and haven’t receive a book as yet. I’ve mailed out 4 without notes but after reading this I’m inspired to always include a little message. This looks like a great place to spend time.

  8. Michelle said

    I tell everyone about BookMooch. Why buy books when you can just read ’em and send ’em. My 8 year old was mad when I wouldn’t buy him a brand new book he wanted in Barnes and Noble until I checked with BookMooch. Guess what, it was there and it came within the week. Only thing is he won’t let me mooch away his books… LOL.
    Thanks to all the members!

  9. Meagan said


    Just wanted to let you know that along with personalised notes, I have recieved comic strips and draings in some of my mooches, gives such a great feeling of community!

    Thanks for setting it up, it is so awesome!

  10. Brenda D. said

    Bookmooch has been a lifesaver for me! As a homeschooling mom of 3 boys, we can’t afford to buy new books, but with Bookmooch, I am able to get TERRIFIC books for my family. I have even gotten many different kinds of textbooks and all for FREE. Plus, I love passing on the books we no longer need and knowing that someone else will treasure them.

  11. You know what I like about Bookmooch? It’s an act of trust and optimism about human kind in an age of rampant pessimism. When I send off books, it’s an act of faith in men, that other will likewise send books to me. It’s a sharing of knowledge, stories, fun. It’s voluntary interactions at a time when so many of our actions are done under threat of force.

  12. elly morgan said

    Yes Bookmooch is about the willingness to give and to share with trust and respect.I love it and feel I have made friends across the globe who often thoughtfully slip notes into books or send emails.The world needs more ideas like this.Well done and long may it continue!

  13. Lisa Carol said

    Mooching is a huge help in replacing lost library books and as important, getting those books for young adults that we don’t have funds for in our tiny little budget. The bookmooching community is awesome. Lisa

  14. Dee said

    Just a note about including notes in books. The USPS will not allow you to include any communication in a package tht goes media mail. I think there would be a lot more friendly notes if it were allowed in media mail. But the post office has a right to open a media mail package and inspect it and it cannot have any correspondence/communication in it besides the recipients name and addie in case the book gets seperated from its package.
    Just thought I would let you all know.

  15. Sara.May said

    Nearly ALL my books have come with a liittle hand written note or else the mochers/mocchees & I swap chat about books online. Bookmoch is just the best thing; as I live on a remote Greek Island & lke literature NOT pulp. I actually found bookmooch from a hand written note from a swapper on a UK based book swap site. Readers of the world ARE united! Sx

  16. Myrna said

    I have been mooching for awhile now, and think this is a great site. So nice to have a way to pass on the books I have read and do not have room to keep anymore. I have found several that I wanted to read that are not easy to find as they are older. What a great service, and yes, I have had fun seeing the different parts of the country my books are going to.

  17. Lisa Sherack said

    I am fairly new to and just love bookmooch. I have been trying to spread the site to as many family & friends as possible. I haven’t read this much in years. I love the idea of sharing books with so many people. Thanks for all you do to bring us all together.

  18. Evelyn said

    I just signe up with bookmooch and I am really looking forward to receiving my first request. I will let all my friends know about this site.

  19. Dianne DeSha said

    I’ve gotten a few notes, and I try to remember to toss a few of the business cards in each one.

    But what I’ve just made a habit of doing from the start is going to the local drugstore and picking up a handful of picture postcards of my area. Then, every time I do an international mooch, I enclose a postcard with a little note scribbled on the back so they can see exactly where it’s coming from.

  20. erica6375 said

    Bookmooch is awesome. I am on a limited budget and I love being able to swap out my books. This was an awesome idea.

  21. Rebecca said

    I’m still scared to use this webiste because of posting my address on here I don’t like doing that it’s very scary. I know I can trust some people some I don’t know if I can trust

  22. Eve Bennett (thunderevie) said

    Just another “love note” for our bookmooch community. I like the idea of sending along local postcards and will start doing it right away. Thanks for the idea. I usually doodle a bookmooch drawing on the back of my packages and figure they get a smile. My personal thinking is that in these terribly chaotic, disturbing and soul- shaking times, the good messages and books exchanged around the planet serve as positive and connecting energy between us, and who knows, just might be helpfully counteractive to the hard stuff out there.

  23. Lexie said

    I LOVE the postcard idea! I live in Vegas so they are everywhere…and who does not want a picture of a giant freakin’ pyramid? Thanks for the great idea!

  24. Susan said

    I just watched a review on the brain. Summing it up : Use it or lose it ” Seems those that read are of a higher intelligience :p
    So hellooooo!!!!!

  25. belfast_boy said

    I’ve been on Bookmooch for about 6 months now.
    I’d consider myself a low-medium user, but i’m amazed at what a positive experience it is using the website.
    The speed at which books are dispatched and the friendly response from other users is fanntastic.
    At a time when we’re constantly on guard from the threats of the internet my faith’s been well and truly restored in how beneficial it can be when shared by responsible, positive minded and helpful people.
    I’m glad to see the number of books in the UK directory steadily increase, and i hope some of the people i recommend BookMooch to have taken up the offer and are enjoying it as much as i am.
    I’m also looking forward to including postcards of where i live in books in the future.
    Long may Mooch continue.
    Hope to deal with some of you soon.

  26. Emma said

    I just now became a BookMoocher and I can’t wait to get started! This is such a positive thing, thank you for getting this started!

  27. Leslie said

    I always send packages via Media Mail because it’s cheaper, and like Dee said up-thread, they don’t allow notes. I try to get around not being able to include personal notes by adding stickers or other decorations to my packages. I love the idea of being able to share books and possibly brighten up someone’s day a little bit. I wish package decoration was a bit more widespread.

    Bookmooch has been a very positive thing for me.

  28. rockie said

    I am just getting started…just sent out and recieved my first 2 books………I love the postcard I idea……..I am really looking forward to getting and sending books out all over the world….Thank you for getting this up and running…what a great idea ..I don’t think you can ever have to many friends in the world….Happy reading everyone !!!

  29. Little Spirit Feathers said

    Bookmooch is the best site I found for mooching and for sending books to great new homes. I love it! In fact, I told my sister about it and now she is hooked. I have recieved a few little notes tucked in my books and it is a nice little surprise. I have now begun tucking little surprises in the books I send. Gotta love Bookmooch!

  30. Thank you thank you thank you for the BookMooch service. I enjoy it so much and find it’s a wonderful way to recycle books. I have been passing out the business cards and telling everyone I know. My six year old now reads a book and says “Did you mooch this one?”!!

    Thank you again for all of your hard work!

  31. shaylan said

    i started book mooch about 2 months ago. i think it’s one the greatest websites ever! i’ve gotten 1 note in my books. i always put a note into the books i send away. 🙂

  32. Katherine said

    I love Bookmooch. One time I posted a stack of philly books, and unbelievably within 1 day, it was gone! 🙂

    I haven’t recieved a note, but I got a bookmooch business sized card! 🙂 That was a nice surprise. Quite honestly, what kind of notes do you guys receieve? I mean I can’t really imagine writing a note to a perfect stranger ya know? What do you say?

  33. Becky said

    Thank you so much for this great service!!

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