Reading for dear life

October 6, 2007

I received this lovely, touching email this morning, and had to share it.


In case you sometimes wonder why you work so hard on this website let me tell you how much it means to me. I have always been an avid reader, the kind of person who is never without a book and will read the back of the cereal box if nothing else is available.

When I was working, my husband and I had a budget and within that budget we had a personal allowance to spend on whatever we wanted and I spent all my allowance on books and I still did not get all the books I wanted. All my birthday and christmas presents were always books or gift certificates to book stores and I was so happy to get them.

But about 7 years ago, I came down with one of those crappy diseases that will one day most likely kill me, but I try to make the best of it. Unfortunately one of the results of the disease is I am mostly housebound because my immune system is so compromised that I can not go around strange people or places.

So, my books have gone from being my hobby to being my lifeline. Also, along with my sickness comes the loss of my income which makes it harder to buy those things not deemed neccessary to live and although books are on my list of nessicities, they are not on the rest of my families list.

So, BookMooch has been like a godsend to me. Truly, a blessing. I “shop” on Amazon for the books I want to read and then go to BookMooch to see if they are available and if not I add them to my wishlist and wait. While I used to have 2 or maybe 3 books waiting to be read, I now have THREE shelves full of books waiting to be read.

Only another book lover could know how happy that makes me.

I told my husband recently that I need to quit mooching books because I am afraid I will not live long enough to read the ones I have now and that will really piss me off to leave books unread.

I average 2-3 books a week, and the only bad thing is making a deicsion of what to read next. Sometimes I have 2 or 3 false starts before I decide on my next book, isn’t that wonderful?

So, just wanted to let you know how much your site means to me and even though “thank you” would never be enough to say, it’s all I’ve got, so Thank You…….

23 Responses to “Reading for dear life”

  1. Heather said

    Awww! That is so sweet! Wow. Very touching. I’m so glad she found BM, and that it’s helping her so much. That is so wonderful.

  2. Delania said

    Wow! That brought tears to my eyes. I understand the love of books, small income, and the pure joy of finding BookMooch. This site has not only brought me tons of books to read but i have found some incredible people on here who i am proud to call my friends. Thank you John!!!!

  3. Michelle (AU) said

    I too, am passionate about books. I can truly understand how much others love them. It so wonderful that ones old books are going to someone else who WANTS them, rather than say, sitting around in a thrift store.
    Covet thy books, then let someone else covet them too! YAY for the day to BookMooch!!

  4. Denise said

    How can I smooch this woman???

    Denise W

  5. bibliophile7 said

    that was heavy for a saturday morning. but it was very sweet. I now have almost two shelves of “TBR” books. this is definitely a book lover on a budget’s dream. thanx john…

  6. Raych101 said

    How touching! Im so glad she found Bookmooch! I know exactly how she feels about her books! I too have 3 shelves crammed with books in my living room, and I couldnt bear to part with any of them unread! I simply have to get through them all!
    Its great to see books making such a difference in someones life, and not just being sold on to people for profit.


    x x x

  7. cyn maurer said

    That was was wonderful to read. Sad that the woman has a life threatening disease but her love of books is great. I also understand the excitement of finding or getting a new or used book that I haven’t yet read. I rarely watch tv because I have no interest and it would cut into my reading time. With four kids I don’t have much me time…lol. I always carry a book in my car and purse so I can read as much as possible. It’s one of my greatest pleasures. Thank you so much for this site and the chance to meet other book lovers…xoxoo cyn

  8. Kevin said

    That is really cool. 2-3 books is a pace I would love to get up to. Thanks for sharing!

  9. dew said

    Wow, I could have written this myself, right down to the three shelves of books and the comment to her husband about them. The only difference is that I’m still working full time, though my days being able to do that are numbered (already last year I spent 1/4 of the year on medical leave). I wonder how many more of us there are for whom bookmooch is this important. Thanks, John.

  10. Jennie said

    I too would like to send a smooch to her! I have an entire bookshelf of books that need to be read. Bless her for understanding how wonderful reading others’ thoughts are.

  11. Eric said

    I would really love to give her a point or two of mine. Her story touched me. Is that possible?

  12. Spring said

    Thanks John for sharing that letter. Let us know if we can smooch or mooch! This is one of those wordless moments of happy gratitude and an awareness of the goodness of this site.

  13. gemmas said

    Awesome – but that’s what Bookmooch is. how did I ever live without it before…

  14. re: giving this woman points

    If you’d like to help people like her, give a charitable donation to the “BookMooch Charitable Fund” at as this allows me to give points to people like her (as well as to her)

    As to sending points directly to her, I’d rather keep her identity confidential.


  15. James said

    I used to buy almost exclusively from Amazon’s clearance pages. Even then, my partner would comment on our need for me to stop spending so much on books. At 42 I’m a full-time student again so we’re down to one income and a monthly mortgage payment that fluctuates according to the whim of the Bank of England’s interest rate.

    Like your grateful correspondent, I have BookMooch to thank for opening up the possibility of continuing to get ‘new’ books to read for the price of a bit of postage and the joy of providing someone else’s book desires. I think of it as Biblio-Karma. :o)

  16. Katie said

    John, I think it’s wonderful that she’s using BookMooch and that all of the people here are interested in contributing points for her. Another thing you might want to do, since you are in contact with her, and since she indicated that her illness is debilitating and progressive [it’s going to be terminal one day], is to let her know about the lending library’s mail out programs for both hardcopy and audio books. When my father was bedridden, they send tape players, catalogues, and the tapes he ordered, including the packaging and postage for their return, as well as large print books. This was a God-send. It’s wonderful for her to be able to interact with BookMooch, but she might also like the audio system as well, and since I’m sure that she and her husband paid ample taxes, she should have no qualms in taking the services now when she needs them. Any person in her situation qualifies for those library services. Thanks.

  17. June said

    What a heartrending story. I always said to my husband, “at 74 how much time have I left to read all the books I’d like”. We just never know. Thanks to Bookmooch I’m getting more books all the time, and I too go through 2-3 a week. Audio books are a boon too for sleepless nights, besides some who are losing sight. Not too many on Bookmooch yet though.I’ve made so many friends through the site and reccommend it to anyone I meet. Being from the UK and now living in France it’s a great way to get all the books I need. Many thanks to all at Bookmooch, or is it just John? Thanks.

  18. Leigh said

    I’d also love to know how to smooch this lady!!!

    God bless her.


  19. Rhonda (duh) said

    Wow! That is a great letter! I feel for her also.
    Bookmooch is awesome! I was going to TRY to sell my books at my nest garage sale, but I’d much rather send them to another book lover-who I know will appreciate them. Plus, bonus, I can get more books from others! I love this site, John! Keep up the good work!!!!
    Read on!

  20. Michael SilverWolf said

    Wow! Being a New member, What an amazing find Book mooch is. You people should be proud of your Loving hearts and John from what I have read, you should be nominated for the Noble Prize for caring.

  21. jerry321 said

    A heartwarming response from your members to a lovely thank-you letter. I just read about the website in this morning’s N Y Times and promptly joined. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to send my books to someone who has an express interest in them, as well as occasionally getting a book I haven’t yet read. Although I said in my public bio “ask and ye shall receive,” I was thinking in terms mostly of sending books out, and then it occurred to me that I’d love to re-read “The Horsemen” by Joseph Kessel, a book about Afghanistan that I used to own and enjoyed when it was published in 1968. When I went to my shelves and found that it has gone the way of a lot of my books over the years – lent to someone now forgotten and not returned – I didn’t find it in all the libraries available to me locally. So both going and coming , Booksmooch bids fair to be a resource I’ll use often. You are to be commended and thanked for what must be a very time-consuming effort! – Jerry

  22. Kathryn said

    That’s a lovely story.

    I have to say bookmooch has made me love books even more. I can pass on the ones I know I will read only once to someone who appreciates it and I can get books back in return, saving me loads!! Thanks for the site John, it’s a real treasure.

  23. Margot said

    What a wonderful letter and what a wonderful thing you do, John. She expresses so well what so many of us feel about BookMooch.

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