Rejecting a mooch

February 7, 2008

I wanted to bring up a topic for conversation with my fellow Moochers, as I’m not sure how to proceed.

Namely, what are reasonably grounds for rejecting a mooch request?

I’ve seen two extremes on this topic, from quite reasonable, to downright nasty.

Two nasty examples that have been brought to my attention (these are real):

  • I refuse to send a book to Switzerland, because your country stood by while the Jews were killed in the holocaust
  • I refuse to send you a book, because you have Ann Coulter (a right-wing author) books on your wishlist

    On the other hand, today I saw a blog entry that brought this topic into the foreground, namely:

  • I am an author, sending out new copies of my own books out, and I don’t want to send multiple copies of my book to the same person, because I think they’re just selling them

    In discussion with the volunteer admins, we decided some time ago we didn’t want BookMooch to be anyone’s political platform, and rejecting mooches because you don’t like Switzerland, or another person’s book tastes wasn’t what we wanted on BookMooch.

    On the other hand, we did think that someone’s behavior on BookMooch was perhaps fair ground for rejecting a mooch, such as if they a requester had many books “lost in the mail” when sent to them.

    I didn’t want BookMooch to become a free-for-all, where anyone could make up any personal reasons for accepting or rejecting a mooch. That could get nasty.

    Furthermore, I’ve come out on my blog and other places pretty strongly in support of allowing bookstores, if they want to, to participate in BookMooch. The reason, simply, is that bookstores need to send out books other moochers want in order to earn their points, so they’re “playing fair”. And besides, I like small independent used book stores, and want them to survive.

    So, we (the admins and I) came up with a very short list of acceptable reasons for rejecting mooches. You can’t reject a mooch because someone might sell the book you’re sending them, or because you don’t like their political views or their country. You can reject them because they behave badly on BookMooch, or because the postage costs would be too high.

    But, are these hard-and-fast rules serving the BookMooch community best?

    What do you think? How would you handle the case of the upset author?


  • 164 Responses to “Rejecting a mooch”

    1. I also posted this question on the discussion forum, so you can follow a separate discussion here:


    2. Zain said

      I agree with you that it is a nasty reason (not liking Switzerland) but I don’t think you can say people are not allowed to reject requests for whatever reason. After all, it is their book and they shouldn’t feel obliged to send it to someone they don’t want to send it to, even if they are bigoted or whatever. It’s individual people giving books/ swapping with each other, not a bookstore.

    3. Laura said

      In the case of the author giving away books…let’s say the author has five copies to give away and one person mooches them all. The author should have a right to reject four requests. After all, the point of giving away freebies is to reach more readers. If they like your book, they might buy the second book.

      You’re not stocking the shelves of a bookstore; you’re trying to obtain a fan base.

      So by saying authors can’t reject requests, it’s interferring with their livelihood.

    4. Shannon said

      I have very rarely gotten rejected on BookMooch, and most times, a reasonable reason why has been provided (such as they can’t find the book). I did get a rejection last week with no explanation, but that’s the exception, rather than the rule, and it didn’t bother me that much. For the most part, I have found BookMooch to be a very friendly community and I have enjoyed my interactions with other Moochers. I have also enjoyed the freedom of not having too many rules.

      So while I agree that the occasional nasty rejection is regrettable, I would prefer that the option for rejecting someone’s request be kept as is in the spirit of maintaining a friendly, open, non-bureaucratic community. I like that both the giver and the receiver have the option of determining how to conduct the transaction, without too much interference from the system. And as the commenter above says, it is our book that we are giving away (and paying the postage on sending out), so shouldn’t we have the option to reject if we want to?

    5. Jo said

      I only joined at the end of last year,so I haven’t had very much experience of a book request of mine being rejected, in fact I have only had one rejected.
      I haven’t rejected any of the requests I have been sent, I feel if you post the book then you have already given it away, you just don’t know who or where it is going, if there is a chance that you are going to reject a request, then, you shouldn’t post the book in your inventory.
      I certainly think it is wrong to reject a request because of what books they have on their list or where they live.
      Surely if they have requested a book from you then they have a similiar taste in books to you?
      I also agree that if there is something suspicious about someone always having books lost in the post, then maybe they should be avoided.

    6. Ellen said

      I agree with the person who says ultimately, it’s up to the giver to decide whether or not to send a book. I don’t think it should be impossible to reject a request for personal reasons, but I do think people should be encouraged to accept all requests they reasonably can — maybe we could be required to select a reason to reject a request, with a drop-down menu for reasons, but including “Other” (and possibly a space for explanation).

    7. Tea Lind said

      I agree with Jo that the basic rule should be that once you post the book as up for grabs you should honour that commitment and send it to whomever requests it. However, after an very unpleasant experience, with a fellow moocher engaging in, to my mind, completely unacceptable conduct, I realized that if that person were to mooch a book from me I would have to honour that request even if I could never expect anything (least of all civility) from the other person.

      I therefore added a condition in my status message saying that I reserve the right to reject requests from people from whom I in turn couldn’t mooch. There’s also a comment saying I’m open for negotiation, which to my mind makes it fair. The point isn’t to exclude someone who desperately wants a book I have but who can’t afford to send abroad, I just want to exclude the possibility of having to send a potentially very expensive book to someone who, to my mind, is abusing the bookmooch system.

      This has worked for me and I haven’t so far had any complaints. And since it’s clearly noted in the status message anyone seeking to mooch can be aware of this before they request a book. I accept most reasonable reasons (Switzerland isn’t one of them – though ad absurdum: you could for political reasons refuse to send to any country, seeing as how there is no country on earth where the government hasn’t engaged in dubious practices one time or the other) for rejecting a request, but I do think they need to be noted in the status message. It’s unnecessary to waste someone else’s time and get the all excited over a book and then reject the request for some obscure secret reason.

      As for the author: again, put a note in your status message saying you allow only one mooch of your book per moocher. Then again, even if the person who mooches all of them does so only to sell them, if someone actually buys them your book is still reaching eager readers.

      Thanks for raising the topic, John, I think it’s a very interesting question.

    8. britne said

      since i’m the person who upset the author, i thought i’d chime in. i’ve already send an email to the author explaining this as well.

      this author /used/ to be one of my favorite authors. i’ve bought several of her books over the years. i /used/ to read her blog daily and follow her on twitter, too. i found her on bookmooch a few months ago, and picked up a couple of her books she was giving away – my lucky day, i thought – a great author i already know and love giving me some more of her great books for “free”!

      about a week ago, the author was offering more copies of the same books. since i liked them so much, i wanted copies to give to other people. (that’s why she’s on bookmooch, right? to get her books out to a wider audience?) specifically, there was a book about wordpress that i used to start my own blog, and then wanted to give a copy to a friend who is also starting a blog. the other was about excel spreadsheets – my mom uses excel at work a lot, and i thought she’d get some use out of it.

      since my mom or my friend don’t use bookmooch, i didn’t think i was out of line mooching these books to give to them as gifts. but the author rejected the mooches.

      i didn’t think too much of it, but then i read her blog entry, and i was crushed. here i am, a huge fan of her work, trying to pass her books around to people who wouldn’t have read them otherwise, and she not only reports me to abuse but accuses me of selling her books for profit?

      honestly, i cried. i didn’t ever expect an encounter with a favorite author to end up like this. my husband has met one of his favorite authors, and was ecstatic. i “met” a favorite author of mine online, and she was downright nasty.

      so i’ve told her, i won’t be buying any more of her books. the books i have, i’m donating to the library or something… although i may as well just toss them in the recycling bin, so no one else can read and enjoy this author’s books, just to end up having an experience like this.

      this also makes me have a lot of mixed feelings about bookmooch… while i’m glad that the abuse team agrees that a person wanting another copy of the same book is no grounds for a rejection, i’m really hesitant to tell others about bookmooch, because just like in this case, some angry moocher could make someone really upset for no reason.

      thanks, john, for bringing this topic out in the open.

    9. Britne: my gut reaction when I first read the author’s blog, is that instead of the author assuming you were selling the books, she should have emailed you, asking “why do you want another copy?” If she’d done that, neither you nor the author would be upset now, and this would have been avoided.


    10. britne said

      john: possibly… but in my feedback to her, i told her i wanted the extra copies for friends, and she still wrote that blog post, accusing me of selling them. i’m not sure i could have convinced her…

    11. alisonk said

      hey…first time writing to yuz….just want to say how much I am enjoying bookmooch, I have had a few rejected mooches,all very friendly.I agree that what you give or why is your choice but I must say that coming from a small country and agreeing to send worldwide I am getting very frustrated by the number of people that will not send out of their country…(is there any way that you could not notify me if they wont send?

      ..the author should have given the multiple mooch if it is only a few…it may be a book reading group or something and anyway it is getting the book out and about, I thought that was the point anyway!

    12. Sue Mosher said

      I posted my response on my blog as well, at

      In short, I’m in favor of guidance, not rules, and I think Ellen is on the right track with her suggestion of a drop-down list of rejection reasons.

      Here is what I originally posted:
      John, BookMooch *is* a free-for-all, whether you want it to be or not, and that’s what makes it so lovable. One of its most appealing features is that it is a simple concept that requires very few rules because of its overall transparency. The offer of a book and the acceptance of a mooch take place in an environment where both sender and moocher can see each other’s transaction history. A sender who engages in a lot of unexplained rejections (or rejections for purely personal reasons) is eventually going to find that they’re no longer getting mooches. I believe that the values embodied in the principle of free exchange of ideas will win out over those of repression, without the need to impose any detailed code of conduct.

      That said, I would like to offer two action items for you to consider. There’s no reason not to try to guide people toward the type of behavior that will further the free exchange of books. Therefore, I like the suggestion that another person made to add a drop-down list of rejection reasons, just as we have a simple drop-down list of ratings for a mooch. The rejection drop-down could include:

      I can’t afford to pay to ship that book to you
      I can no longer locate that book (which should automatically remove it from inventory)
      The Other choice should have a box for entering an explanation, and the explanation should be required. That would end the issue of unexplained rejections.

      I would not put “bad behavior” on the drop-down list, because that’s a subjective judgment by one person of another. It deserves more of an explanation than a drop-down list choice would allow.

      The second action item would be for you to consider publishing synopses of any instances in which a BookMooch member’s account was terminated. The Terms of Service already allow you to do this with or without cause. If you want to highlight what abuse looks like in an objective fashion, providing information on these (hopefully rare) cases, would be one way to do that.

    13. Margriet Maas said

      A reason for me to rejecting a bookmooch request, happened when I had in my profile: I want so send books everywhere, but email me first. What happened was, that some people indeed sent me an email first, but there were also people who bookmooched me immediately. For one book I received an email, say at 6 p.m. and a bookmooch the same evening at 9.30 p.m. IN that case I decided to give the book to the person who sent the email (earlier) than the bookmooch. I felt very ackward to reject a request, but in my perception, first come first serve. So I think that this is also a good reason (as was confirmed by a kind reaction of John himself), but I now miss this reason in the reason for rejecting a bookmooch.
      My solution has been to change my profile into: I will send books everywhere, but in fact I do not think that is the best solution.

    14. Laura said

      britne: Wow, I’m sorry that happened to you. If you said the books were for friends/family and the author still didn’t believe you, seems like a reasonable thing to do would be to request the addresses of the friends and family to mail to them directly. Not reject the request and blast you in her blog.

    15. Erin C said

      I find your points of rejection to be fair.
      I have not had any negative problems with rejections myself though. I do believe that if you post a book here it means you WANT to pass it along to anyone… for requesting more then one, you should ask in an e-mail before hand. I myself would have a hard time rejecting anyone (with the exception of a abuser), right now I am having a hard time rejecting someone over seas who wants to mooch a bunch of books yet I can’t afford to send them to her.

      As for this topic also being in the forums. I have a heck of a time logging into them! It is so slow sometimes it ‘times out’ on me so lately I have been avoiding the forum. This topic was often discussed there though.

    16. Cheryl said

      There is also the issue of “somebody else emailed me like they were supposed to to ask about sending this book first, but you just mooched it without asking.” I hope that would be a valid reason for rejection–that someone tried to jump the line so to speak.

      There’s difference between the system enforcing a certain point of view, and expressing that point of view, such as is done in feedback. In part it’s a central vs distributed model.

      I think that people should have a reason to reject a mooch, but I don’t want the system to enforce what are “correct” reasons. I think that’s what feedback is for. If I someone rejects my mooch for what seems like a bogus reason to me, I give them negative feedback.

      Maybe people like the one who rejected a mooch to Switzerland for political reasons would still find a community that would interact with him/her. Maybe that user would suddenly find his/herself shunned. Communities can effectively self-police if allowed. I’d think twice if it were me.

      One example comes to mind in which I mooched a book within only a couple of hours of its being posted, then was rejected because the owner had “given it to someone else.” I assume this was because she posted it on another site at the same time, and gave it away there first. My point of view is that books should only be on one site at a time, unless they are languishing or there are already 20 copies or something similar. Cross-posting books that are in demand or are unique/unusual is a sure-fire way to create a problem. While I fully understand I may be in the minority on this view, people can ignore my negative feedback if they disagree. It’s that simple. That is how I treat feedback sometimes when I read it; I consider who said it and what the involved parties have to say about the dispute, not just the raw number.

      I can read the feedback of people I might want to mooch from; I can decide if I like their policies and interactions. I can decide if I want to take a chance on someone who may not be acting in what I would consider a good moochy way. We are all intelligent and can apply our own filters.

      I have only positive feedback (so far, knock wood!! :)…and it’s not because I’m perfect. It’s because I communicate. I tell people what I expect and what I will do in my bio and status message. I communicate via email if something is non-standard or if I made an error in my condition notes, or even just because. Communication is the key. And maybe some humility and reasonableness. 🙂

      I want the ability to reject a mooch if someone looks like they are abusing the system. I have already used it so on occasion. It’s the converse side of deciding who I’m willing to mooch from. I’m pretty liberal in giving people second or even fifth chances if they communicate and explain circumstances, but I think having the enforcement of abuse distributed among users is much more efficient and effective. Wouldn’t you rather have thousands of people policing abuse at a low level rather than having to centrally arbitrate all disputes?

      Besides, having approved reasons to reject will in the end just cause people to lie. “I can’t find the book” might become the universal reason for rejection. And that would be sad, because we will loose access to information about what really happened and the ability to ignore it if it is irrelevant.

      I will follow this topic with interest.

    17. Maggie said

      As a practical matter, if you only allow people to select from a menu, those rejecting for disallowed reason will lie. I was rejected (after being accepted) by someone who claimed they had already promised the book to another moocher. (But, I e-mailed, isn’t that impossible since a mooched book is not available for mooching?) Looking further, it turned out he gave the book to a library charity that mooched the entire set of 10 he had posted. He lied to me about the reason. The outcome resulted in net benefit to two moochers. While I didn’t benefit, I wasn’t harmed. I figured the charity wouldn’t really have much use for a partial set and the owner preferred to ship all to one moocher, saving postage and moving the whole set. Looking at the transaction dates, clearly he got “buyer’s remorse” on my mooch when he got a better offer. If he had explained that and asked nicely, I would probably have canceled my request. So, I’m mainly pissed about being lied to.

      I’ve also been rejected with “loaned to my neighbor who didn’t give back” and “my Mom took to Good Will without asking.” These are obviously folks who are not keeping their inventories up-to-date. With some inventories running to hundreds of books I don’t know how someone can keep them up-to-date. I didn’t like being rejected but couldn’t really fault someone who maybe actually has a real life for not making their bookmooch account a top priority. Labeling these unacceptable reasons to reject seems like it’s taking this whole bookmooch thing way too seriously. I think there are a number of acceptable reasons to reject beyond the very short list compiled. But just expanding the list may be futile as no list covers all eventualities. Life is complicated. And, hey, folks, they’re just used books. Let’s keep this in perspective.

      An alternative to rulemaking would be community censure (old fashion shunning, worked for the pilgrims). That’s what feedback is intended to accomplish, right. Is there a strong sense that feedback is not accomplishing its intended purpose? Takes a little time as feedback is cumulative and each new member has to learn the system. Do people have “zero tolerance” on bad rejection reasons? Expecting each and every transaction to be perfect? Maybe that’s unrealistic. Perhaps some tweaking to the feedback system to better capture issues with bad rejections would accomplish your goal without more rules. Is this really a wide-spread problem or are there a few bad apples? (I’ve only had one bad rejection. In this vein, I would like a way to tag members I never want to mooch with; people like the one who got “buyer’s remorse.” Something like the existing Friends but not viewable by other members.)

      I also second the point made previously that, even after I post a book, I still own the book until I give it away. And I can do whatever I want with my own book. Posting is an offer to give; an offer I can withdraw. Expectations clearly differ on what conditions can be placed on that offer, or even if any conditions are acceptable. Personally, I don’t place conditions but I respect the right of other book owners to place whatever conditions they want (even when I think they’re stupid conditions). I may not give them great feedback, but I respect their right to do what they want with their books.

      While I strongly support everyone doing all the many things that make good moocher (and try to do them myself), I’m not comfortable with lots of rules. I would really prefer to keep this simple with minimal easy to understand rules and some reasonably guidelines on appropriate behavior. I think things are just about right the way they are.

      Remember, there are jerks everywhere you go (even here on bookmooch). You can’t make fences of rules to keep them all out and no amount of rulemaking can ensure good manners. But on the plus side, even jerks can sometimes learn to act better.

      (And I agree with the author who wants to give books to readers but not to seller. But couldn’t this be handled by direct communication between the author and moocher? Or maybe bookmooch isn’t really the best venue for this offer.)

    18. Greg said

      In my opinion if you have the book in your possession (read: not lost), it is listed in your inventory, and the person appears to be a good bookmoocher with decent feedback, then there is no excuse for rejecting them. Period.

      We’re here to trade books, not put them on display. We’re not haggling. Bookmooch is as simple as it gets. If you can’t handle someone that’s different than you receiving one of your books, then you shouldn’t be on here. If it repulses you that someone might handle the book in any way but reading it in precisely the manner that you would, don’t list it.

      It goes back to a very simple truth: if you don’t like the way something is done, feel free to create your own way. But here, on bookmooch, we trade books for points based on nothing more than good faith in each other. I don’t think the author in this case seems like the type of person we want on bookmooch anyway, as she was not participating in the process in good faith so much as self-promotion. And when the site would not work in precisely the way she wanted, she threw a hissy fit and posted a bitter tirade.

      Well, get over yourself. We trade books here based on a specific set of rules revolving around good faith in each other. We do NOT trade books based on YOUR rules. My mother to this day makes me take my shoes off at the door because she doesn’t like it when people wear shoes inside. I think it’s silly, but it’s her house. When she’s in my house, it’s my rules.

      This is not your house, Maria Langer. I, for one, see no validity in your argument whatsoever. I just see sour grapes. If you want to sell your books, then sell them. If you want to pick and choose your readers, by all means please do so. Hand-pick who your books go through and under what conditions. Good luck with that. But you can’t do it here because this isn’t your house and that’s simply not the way things work around here. Sorry.

      All that being said, I wish luck to the author — even though I do think her behavior is incredibly sad on many levels.

    19. Daniel said

      I keep my bookmooch books in boxes stored in the attic. They are dry and reasonably safe. I have never had to reject anyone’s request for a book. The only reason I would ever reject anyone would be if I found the book in an unacceptable manner…mold, water damage or such. I always inspect the book before I accept the mooch. I did wonder why the reject button was available on the “pending” page. I thank you for bringing up this topic as it answers a lot of my questions about the reject button and other users reasons for using it.

      There are so many people out there who join to enjoy the many books that are listed on Bookmooch and then there are some people who simply want to find a way to force their politcal or biased opinions on others. I do think that a simple drop down menu would be best for the reject button and another button for simple explanations. Such as: I no longer have the book, The book is damaged, I am unable to pay shipping costs to your country, or I can only send one copy to your address. I don’t think I would even allow any personal message from the sender as it opens up a forum for their beliefs. There is always, “email” button for them if they absolutely have to say something to the moocher or give a further explanation for rejection.

      As for the author who rejected the requests for many copies of the same book, I am sorry, but Bookmooch is a free for all. If you list the book, you can expect it to get mooched. I would not have rejected the request, but that is just me. Bookmooch is not a place to hurt someone’s feelings or to state political beliefs or be rude.

      I think that Bookmooch is doing a wonderful service to avid readers and I do think it is a shame that someone would use it as a political fighting ground. I enjoy Bookmooch and I do recommend it to just about everyone I know. Please, let us keep it a safe and friendly place to trade books.

    20. I understand where the author is coming from: he’s not making any money from the book he sends out to others, and for someone else to profit from his book is potentially an area for the lawyers but is definitely not fair and unethical.

      One thing I’ve learned through BookCrossing is that once a book leaves your hands, you have no say in what happens to it. It’s a bit of a struggle, but eventually, you learn to be okay with it.

      Maybe putting a moratorium on multiple copies is in order — with a caveat: if a moocher is looking to help get books in the hands of her/his book club. Of course, though, people lie…

      I think, ultimately, that the author needs to understand that this is the price she/he needs to pay for helping build buzz about his/her book. The author needs to decide if the potential gains in audience outweigh the smaller sales numbers.

    21. Nicole said

      I think those rules are fair. If authors feel that way then they shouldn’t be listing their books.

    22. Mirka said

      I agree with Greg’s observations regarding the author’s use of Bookmooch. She was using Bookmooch for self promotion which is certainly not against the rules. She was giving away books that she presumably received free from her publisher and getting points in return. On her blog she claims her “charity” was being abused. I don’t understand how she considers posting her own books “charity” since this is a book swap site. Does she feel the books she wrote are so amazing that they are worth more than other books written by someone else? As I understand this swap system, every book is worth exactly one book in return.

      I like that there is not a drop down window for rejecting a mooch and that a reason also is not required. The less rules the better as far as I am concerned. I hope that members would have the courtesy to explain why they have to reject a mooch, and I hope the rejection is not spiteful or political but I don’t think more rules is the answer or regimentation is the solution. The occasional bad user is acceptable to me as long as this site remains so easy and pleasurable to use. Another swap site I used was so regimented with so many boxes to click to post a book or to add a book to my wishlist I wanted to scream at times. When I discovered Bookmooch early last month I almost wept with joy. I’m not kidding. I love the international aspect, I love that I don’t get 30 emails regarding every transaction reminding me to ship, reminding me to post received, asking me to fill out a questionnaire every time I mark a book received. Bookmooch is WONDERFUL and a few people abusing the system should not create new rules for everyone else that acts in good faith and uses the site in a considerate and adult manner.

      I think once you list a book in your inventory it is up for grabs. I don’t review someone’s feedback before accepting their mooch. Maybe I should to make sure they don’t have a history of spiteful rejections or lost books, but for now I feel if they have the points to mooch a book, than they are still a member in good standing.

    23. Karen H said

      I once got a rejection because the person had posted a book that was popular, and I was excited, but the person didn’t have the book, she had given it to someone who was on vacation, and that person gave it to someone else. I think this was very rude, to post a book and use my point and not have the book in her posession.

      Overall, I’ve been very happy with the people who I have met here, and the many books I have recieved. I enjoy sending books out becasue I know they make others happy also. Thanks for all the hard work, keeping the site up. Karen

    24. Danielle said

      I’m new here so this might be an uninformed question, but if your profile says “I will mail a book anywhere in the US” why on earth would I have to email you first in order to mooch a book?

      My first mooch had 3 people listed, 2 that said “email me first” I went with the one that didn’t say that and they got the points for sending me their book.

      I agree there is almost no reason why I would not mooch a book to someone. Even if some book damage had occurred I would email them and see if they still wanted it.

    25. Leslie said

      overall I like this site (and I’m on 3) and am lucky that I have not had many rejects or had to reject anyone. The one time I had to reject someone I was able to find the book at a UBS and let her know I had it for her to mooch again. She was in Japan and I wanted to find the book because I find it neat to mail books all over the world, but have to limit it to paperbacks because of the cost.

      I would like to see points not be available for someone to use either until the book is mailed, or even received. I never received some books from one person and she has a LOT of “lost” books. makes me wonder if she ever sent them out. They haven’t made it back to her inventory list so who knows.

    26. Danielle said

      I’m new here so this might be an uninformed question, but if your profile says “I will mail a book anywhere in the US” why on earth would I have to email you first in order to mooch a book?

      My first (and only) mooch had 3 people listed with my book, 2 that said “email me first” I went with the one that didn’t say that and they got the points for sending me their book.

      I agree there is almost no reason why I would not mooch a book I had listed to someone. Even if some minor book damage had occurred I would email them and see if they still wanted it.

      I see from the posts here that avoiding rejection of books if at all possible is the way to go. I also see some of the very valid reasons why someone would reject a mooch request, so thanks for pointing those out. Maybe I won’t feel so bad if I am rejected 😉

    27. Danielle said

      Sorry there was an error on the page when I sent the first blog comment, so I did some editing and sent again.

    28. Carrie said

      I don’t reject any mooches, unless I lost the book (Twice) or if the moocher asks me to (in case of misrepresented book condition which I emailed the moocher and said I would cancel if they didn’t want the book) or its an international mooch that I’m not willing to send (I’m set to ask first). I will never reject a request to someone I suspect of scamming the system. I’ll report the person to the abuse team, and delay the request until I hear back from the team. No need to reject.

      I should be able to cancel any book I want for whatever reason, because they are MY books, but I won’t, because I value this community, and because of the transparency built into the system. Those who truly abuse the system won’t last long.

    29. Joanna Collie said

      Interesting topic. I’m worried that so many people want to have a go at the author – ranting on a blog rather than emailing the person to find out why they wanted multiple copies was a bad move, but hardly an unusual thing in this day and age. And given that there’s been quite a bit of unease about the possibility of abuse by bookstores joining, it’s even understandable. Having listed multiple copies of a book I edited on bookmooch, I have to say that I would also have been a bit unhappy about them all heading to one person (although I hope I would have emailed them first, rather than ranting elsewhere). It’s really nice to think of the copies ending up in so many different places. Why is that wrong?

      I’ve not rejected a mooch yet, although I have cancelled two. I really don’t like the idea though that I can’t have any say over who I pay postage to send my book to. Or that I have to answer publicly for my preferences.

      It all comes back to the original intention of bookmooch: good faith. And good manners. Shunning isn’t the answer, any more than ranting on a blog. This is a community. Lets not turn it into a series of enclaves.

    30. britne said

      greg: thank you for your comments. you said exactly what i was feeling, but more eloquently. 🙂

      alisonk, laura, maggie, and everyone else: thanks for the kind words. i’m very glad to be part of such a great community like bookmooch.

    31. I agree that guidelines would be better than rules in this situation. However, while you have the right to give (or not give) your books to whomever you like, if you’re going to be unfairly selective in whom you give your books to, then BookMooch is not the place for you to list them.

      “Valid” reasons for rejecting a request could be placed in a dropdown list, with different actions based on what the selection is. For example:

      1) I cannot find the book. Action: Book removed from inventory, note on confirmation page saying that, if the member does find the book, they should offer it first to the person they rejected.

      2) I no longer have the book. Action: Book removed from inventory, note on confirmation page reminding member that listing books they do not have/do not intend to send is a violation of BookMooch policy. (If it isn’t, it should be.)

      3) I discovered that the book was damaged/the edition was different than listed. Action: Book remains in inventory, member must add condition note to book on confirmation page.

      4) I suspect the requester is using BookMooch for a commercial purpose/I had a concern about the requester’s BookMooch history/feedback. Action: Book remains in inventory, member must explain concerns in a note on confirmation page to be sent to Abuse Team for possible follow-up.

      5) Member is in another country and did not e-mail me first/another member had already e-mailed me about this book. Action: No special action required.

      6) I cannot afford to ship this book to your country. Action: No special action required.

      7) I cannot afford to ship any books at this time. Action: Suggestion to member to put inventory “on vacation” or use “delay” feature.

      8) Other. Action: Member must explain reason, sent to Abuse Team for potential follow-up/counseling about alternatives.

      When you list a book on BookMooch, you are agreeing to send it when requested, subject to certain limitations (e.g. setting profile to “my country only/e-mail me first”, using condition notes/status message to indicate reasonable limitations on sending certain books/types of books). While we all make mistakes sometimes with losing books we’ve listed/not keeping inventory up to date, frequent rejection of books or rejecting a request based solely on personal ideology should not be allowed on this site. Honestly (though this would get VERY complicated), I think that if you reject a request for an invalid reason, you should lose the .1 you got for listing that book. If you weren’t going to send it when asked, you shouldn’t get the credit for it.

    32. Carol said

      I only joined the site the end of last month so am still very much learning. A drop down box sounds in one way a good idea but what would I choose as the reason I have rejected a swap. The case as follows

      I was asked for a book, on looking at the member details they have no books listed.
      OK so like me a new member, the only ‘transaction’ on their details is one they rejected with the reason ‘my mother selled it’

      That I take no notice of as the address is Mexico and I don’t assume everyone speaks perfect English.

      Their points are at -1.9 but their joining date is 2006, by this time I just feel uncomfortable at the idea of dealing with them so I rejected the swap.

      So again what would be my reason, I am happy to and have sent anywhere in the world, so far USA, France, Germany, Ireland and UK.

      I do ask if more than one book is mooched to email first and have sent 3 to USA.

      I don’t have any political belief nor care about anyone elses. I want to give and receive books, that’s it.

      I actually put (yes really lame I know) ‘Do not feel able to send, no books listed’

      Is there a way to report such things? I thought you had to have points before you could mooch anyway.

    33. I have been delighted with my Bookmooch experience and have exchanged about 40 books so far without any need to reject anyone. I have had several requests for overseas, sent as emails, not formal mooches. In two cases I said yes and in one case I said no. It depends on the weight of the book.

      I think a person with multiple copies can legitimately limit to one copy per mooch, but that should be clearly stated.

    34. amber said

      I’ve gotten several rejections over the past year with garbage like “I can’t find it,” “My sister borrowed it and didn’t give it back,” “I already gave it to someone on another site,” “I already promised it to another moocher,” and even one “My dog ate it” (seriously!). While it occasionally happens, I often get the impression that these people are listing books they either don’t have or never intended to give away solely to get the 1/10 point for listing the thing (especially when I get “I can’t find it” only a few hours after they’ve listed the book, but then they put it back in inventory, which has happened more than once).

      I never leave negative feedback for rejections, but I’m getting to that “ARGH” fed-up point where I might start. It’s all situational, but really, keep better track… especially if you only have 10-15 books in your inventory to begin with.

      **climbs off soapbox**

    35. Mitzy said

      “There is also the issue of “somebody else emailed me like they were supposed to to ask about sending this book first, but you just mooched it without asking.””

      I also feel it’s a little misleading to have books up to be mooched that are unobtainable, and very unfair to crush hopes by slapping a rejection in the moochers face. I think that when people make book “deals” through email, it is a bogus reason to cancel a mooch. There is far too much wiggle room for abuse, and enables people to decline mooches for any reason while hiding behind smoke screen reasons.

    36. Nathaniel Eliot said

      There’s nothing I can see to prevent people from lying about why they’re rejecting the mooch. This doesn’t actually do anything to prevent bad behavior, it simply masks it.

    37. haydesc said

      Is the following an acceptable rejection explanation?

      “I would like to get 2 points for this one since its a new release and its hardcover…”

      I don’t know how to get 2 points for a mooch unless you send to an international address. This moocher is configured to not accept international mooch requests.

      I do not want to leave negative feedback if this is an OK rejection.

      Please advise.

    38. LizA said

      Mitzy, I think those email deals only apply if you put “email me before you mooch” in your status. If I say I will send everywhere in the world, I would expect my mooch to be honoured. However, if I state ask before you mooch, I do not want to penalize the people who actually do ask! That would be unfair, wouldn’t it? And i really prefer people to email me before mooching so I can figure out the postage and everything. And because they asked, if I tell them to go ahead and mooch, they get priority….

    39. Greg said

      Actually I just thought of a decent way to discourage bad moochers who reject often. In addition to the bad feedback they’ll get from making rejections, why not dock users at least 1/10th of a point for any negative feedback? Including negative feedback left from rejections?

    40. Zillah said

      I’m personally annoyed that the author is out there spreading bad publicity about my favourite website because of a single transaction out of 119 that she found unsatisfactory. A post titled ‘BookMooch Now on my Sh*tlist’ and statements like “…think twice about using BookMooch if you’re interested in sharing books with readers” is ridiculous and unnecessary.

    41. chunnie said

      I’ve had a jolly old scoot around bookmooch and nowhere do I see anything that implies that bookmooch is primarily a site for authors to publicise their work, nor does it state anywhere that us mere common moochers are limited to a number of duplicates we can mooch from one author.

      From all the responses it would seem to me that the author has inadvertently kicked her/himself in the leg. Seems to be quite a lot of bad press about the individual on bookmooch now wot! Perhaps its a lesson learned.

      Chin up Britne, these author types can be a funny bunch- they get a sniff at a bit of fame and and they get a chip on their shoulder, think they bally well own the place. And they’re not worth the tears you’re wasting on them so buck up and share a smile with a whole bunch of happy moochers who would let you mooch as many duplicates as you want if they had them. As for the rest of us, lets put our pitchforks away and play nice- while we’re all busy having a right old rant, some jolly old chap or chappess is busy snapping up those books from our bookmooch wishlists- by heck, we can’t be having that!

      Happen if things start getting messy, John can remind us all what bookmooch is all about, and mayhap he’ll show us where the emergency exits are in case of a fire 😀

    42. chunnie said

      I’m a big culprit for the “email me before mooching” thing. The reason for this is I have often have over 100 books in my inventory (at the moment I’m reshuffling so I have about 10), when I’m adding loads of books to my inventory at once I don’t have time to write condition notes on them all, so I use my status to describe all my books as second hand with wear and tear etc, and I ask people to email me if they have want to know more about the condition of a specific book. Obviously some people prefer to know exactly what they are mooching, and if I am the only person who has a copy of that book people are eager to mooch then ask questions. This isn’t normally a problem until a moocher decides the book condition isn’t quite what they want so they cancel a mooch- this isn’t a problem either. The problem is that the cancelled book disappears from my inventory and I have to go through the process of relisting it again. Obviously if one person asks a question and another person mooches, you get caught up in this “who do I give it too” scenario and somebody looses out which isn’t fair for either moocher. For me, if a cancelled mooch automatically returned to my inventory without me having to lift a finger, this would solve my problem and I wouldn’t feel the need to ask members to “email me with questions before mooching”. Alternatively has an option to deactivate individual books. The book (with all its condition notes) is still in your inventory but other members can’t see it so therefore it is not available to swap unless the owner reactivates it. Perhaps something like that could work for bookmooch?

    43. William said

      Not a bad idea – deduct 1/10 point for negative feedback, such as that left after an unwarranted rejection. Or after getting a mildewed book, or one in terrible condition with no Condition listed. That would get people to list Condition! 1/10 point deduction for negative feedback.

      I agree a drop-down menu for rejections should be developed… there are valid reasons for rejections, such as cost, on hold for someone who emailed earlier, etc. Maria Langer’s behavior and rejection of multiple copies of her book, and her badmouthing BookMooch on her blog was totally out of line. I’m glad she’s no longer participating and has -1.1 Points, but I’d like to see the mlanger member removed from out community entirely. She’s not the kind of person we want here.

      She was the one who chose to put multiple copies of her books on BookMooch. She would have received payment in Points per book so she could turn around any buy other books she wanted with those Points.

      What people overlook is that Moochers are paying the Moochee in Points so that the Moochee can get books he or she wants. I don’t look at it as a “Giver” deciding who to be generous to in deciding whether or not to accept a mooch request. Shall I give my book to her because she’s a blonde, or a Goth, or living in a more politically incorrect country? Or because that guy has a large inventory? Or a small inventory, new to BookMooch? Or because that one is a poor college student, or will I only give to stay-at-home Moms doing homeschooling?

      None of these things should be considered, in my opinion, because I don’t think of myself as having been “generous” in sending off 624 books to moochers so far – I was paid in Points for putting those 624 books in the hands of people who wanted them. And with those points got books I wanted in return. What people did with the books I sent them is irrelevant to me – they got the books they wanted and I got Points for the books I wanted.

      That being said, people should rarely and with only a very valid excuse reject mooch requests, because people are receiving Points for that mooch request with which they can obtain books they want. Points are a form of compensation, similar to cash, and Point Cost depends on your postage and shipping cost, which is why I give away 3 books for 2 points and encourage multiple international mooches, to lower my Points cost. I would think Maria Langer would have encouraged multiple mooches of her book too, to send off her promotional copies, which cost her little or nothing, in one cheap Media Mail package so she’d have lower Points cost. But from the behavior I read about here, she probably would have also feuded with anyone trying to purchase more than one copy of her book in a bookstore, saying they only deserved to buy one of her precious book!

    44. Lisia said

      I like the idea of a drop-down menu for rejection reasons, or guidelines somewhere in the Help about what are acceptable rejection reasons. I am strongly of the opinion that the list of acceptable reasons should include “Before receiving your Mooch request, I received an email asking if I would be willing to post this book overseas,” or words to that effect.

      I was shocked to read in the forums that a BookMooch member, a newbie like myself, received negative feedback for rejecting a Mooch in order to give priority to someone who had emailed earlier asking if the book was one the owner would be willing to post overseas:

      Maybe instead of asking wannabe Moochers to email first in the case of book owners who may or may not be willing to post a book overseas, the website should instruct wannabe Moochers to go ahead and make the Mooch request, on the understanding that the request will be rejected if the book is too expensive for the owner to post overseas. Some members are apparently already working this way: I’ve only been a member a few days and have already received one Mooch request from an overseas Moocher who opted not to email first despite my willingness-to-post-overseas status being set at “Please email first”. This saves time as well as solving the Who gets priority? problem.

    45. Zillah said

      I’ve emailed first asking for a book to be sent to me, received an email in response to go ahead, and immediately logged on to BookMooch to discover the book has been mooched by someone else and accepted. It’s really disappointing, I’d really like to see that ‘hold’ button that was discussed last year come into effect.

      If people wanted to help make this process easier for the ‘out of my country’ moocher, they could set their profiles to worldwide while:

      a) having individual condition notes on the books they will only send locally (for those users who would send worldwide were it not for certain heavy tomes)


      b) advise in their status notes they will not send heavy books/hardcovers internationally


      c) advise of lengthy delays for international mooches

      Just a suggestion, I’m not even sure if they’re allowable! Of course, the elusive ‘hold’ button would be a Johnsend.

    46. Michael Wharton said

      I’m a new member and I love If you already use percentages to run other aspects of your website, would a rejection percentage for suspending a members account 30 days or so make sense? Too many rejections compared to mooch requests makes sense to me. Also, you could deduct 1/10th of a point per rejection no matter what the reason is.

    47. Ingrid said

      I just want to say that BookMooch is the best thing that’s come along in a long time. What we have to remind ourselves is that we can’t control the behavior of others, so there’s no reason to get overly emotional over problems experienced when dealing with others in the exchange of books. We all should be on our best behavior, but forgive others when they’re not on theirs.

      Now, I say the fewer rules the better. I think that if you’ve listed a book in your inventory and someone requests it, you should send it. Why would you reject it? True, it’s your book, but you’ve listed it as available. If you can’t afford to send overseas then don’t say you’re willing to send overseas. If things change and you can afford to do it, then change your bio. If we get tangled up in so many rules, ifs ands or buts, BookMooch loses its feel of being on the new frontier of human exchange and becomes like everything else: controlled and monitored by others. OK, so maybe you don’t get every book you try to get or someone rejects the request, get over it- it’s not like they’re rejecting you personally or someone burned down your village or something.

    48. Ingrid said

      … and I also wanted to agree with the person who emphasized communication. I have had several occasions in which problems were easily resolved with emails.

    49. Ginny said

      As a newcomer to bookmooch I read with interest the discussion re rejecting a mooch. In a flurry of new-comer enthusiasm, I listed a bunch of books on my inventory, including a few vintage mysteries. They were snapped up almost immediately. Unfortunately when I took one of them down to mail it, the cover literally came off in my hands and the pages came apart. It was all there, but rather piecemeal. I decided to send it on to the moocher with the other books they had requested since it was still reable. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure any way to refund the moocher the point for the book. I tried to donate it back but could only find how to donate to a charity. I finally just rejected the mooch and emailed the moocher that I was sending the book and that this was the only way I could figure out how to refund the point. Should I have done this another way????
      By the way, love the site. Now, how about adding DVDs?!

    50. Kat (zzzkatzzzz) said

      re: Julien’s comment:

      i like the “no rules” better myself. but, i did like all of the 7 “reasons to reject a mooch” & action to be taken listed by Julien. i also liked the reason #8 (suggested by Lisa): “Before receiving your Mooch request, I received an email asking if I would be willing to post this book overseas,”

      as for the “its yours til you mail it” thought, i agree with it, but think people should be accountable for why they reject a mooch.

      keep up the great work John! LOVE it here!!

      take care,
      Kat (zzzkatzzzz)

    51. Cass said

      She pulled the article, but you can still find it if you search google for the title of the blog post and click on the cache.

      Here’s my take on Bookmooch: the place is for USED books–not new. Do not mooch from me expecting perfection. It’s no concern of yours what I do with “your” book after you send it to me, just as it’s no concern of mine what you choose to do with “my” book. You got your point; I got your book, and vice versa. Transaction completed.

      The one thing I can see is if someone already mooched certain books and were requesting the exact same titles. I do agree that someone else should have had a chance to mooch them first. I do not think that Britne should have been reported to abuse, but I also don’t think she should have given negative feedback. I never give negative feedback for rejections. The person’s comment usually speaks for itself.

      There are ***way*** too many anal-retentive people on Bookmooch who seem to expect perfection. I request books I want to read, not because I want to give them as gifts or whatever. If I wanted a brand new copy, I’d pay for it at the store.

      I agree with Ingrid and the others who said communication is the key. Once a person gave me negative feedback for claiming that I didn’t let her know that the book I sent her was missing its back cover. I knew perfectly well I had emailed her ahead of time about it, but she never responded, so I sent anyway. She finally must have found the email so she changed her feedback to a zero. IMHO, I deserved a 1 because I sent the book and I had listed in the condition notes that the back cover was missing. Whatever.

      People in general are stupid and you can’t cure stupid.

    52. In regards to “please e-mail first”, as a moocher, my solution has been to just type in the note to sender on the mooch page something along the lines of, “Because this book is so popular, I did not feel comfortable e-mailing first. If it would be too expensive to send this book to the US, or if someone else has already e-mailed you about this book, please feel free to reject this request, no hard feelings.” This gives the person a sender a free out if there is a problem while “reserving” the book for myself.

      I do think the “please e-mail first” procedure could be revamped/renamed (e.g. a “hold” button or counting separately international rejections from a member set to “will send small/hard to find books internationally”), but I don’t think those are the kind of rejections we’re worried about here.

      And, in response to the comment about e-mails, I wholeheartedly agree. If there’s a problem with the transaction, and I get an e-mail about it, I will probably leave a 0 (if the transaction is canceled/rejected). If I just get a rejection notice or try to e-mail the person, I will likely give a -1. So, yes, please use e-mail to let your requester know what the situation is! It’s common courtesy and will save your feedback rating.

    53. Michael Tuchman(mftuchman) said

      I am completely against somebody selling a mooched book. I like this community as a free swap meet. I deliberately chose to give my books to interested people for free, when I could have chosen to sell them for at least some money on e-bay.

      Thus, to think that people would turn around and re-sell in this context is difficult for me to accept.

      Time to say goodbye to bookmooch.

    54. Samantha said

      Please, let’s think guidelines, not rules. The reason I love boohmooch is because of it’s simplicity. There are other swapping sites with a billion tedious rules that I eventually quit because I got sick of it, and bookmooch is so much better.

    55. Mahre said

      One of the things I appreciate most about bookmooch is that it is primarily self-regulating. I have sent and received more than 100 books with very few issues at all. I have had to reject mooches when I could not find a book for some reason, but have later checked back with that person when I found the book. I have dealt with others who have had the same problem from time to time. I check each person’s feedback and base my decisions about mooching from anyone on their feedback.

      By and large, I have had great interactions, gotten great books, and sent many good ones out to new homes where they’ll be appreciated.

      I LIKE not having a lot of restrictive controls on the interface which I have seen on other sites – books MUST be sent in XX days or … Sometimes, it takes me a bit longer, etc. but I send the books I commit to sending and have found that nearly everyone I’ve mooched from has done the same.

      Thank you to all you great moochers out there. Keep mooching… 🙂 Mahre

    56. Mitzy said

      LizA, I absolutely agree with you in the case of people who request that people email them first, and I most certainly wasn’t singling anyone out. What I was trying to point out was the possibility of abuse if that statement were to become an acceptable reason for rejecting a mooch. i.e. Someone might reject a mooch and merely choose to use it as an excuse, but in actuality the mooch was rejected because the book owner did not want to send out the book to the person for any one of the reasons cited above: not wanting to send to someone living in Switzerland, or to a book seller, etc. I also agree wholeheartedly with Zillah, that perhaps another system, such as the ‘hold’ button would help eliminate problems such as these if they were to arise in the future.

    57. Caryn said

      After reading through most of these responses I think there is a key point being missed which concerns the Bookmooch currency itself – essentially that many people seem to be forgetting that the point system IS in fact, a form of “currency.” This “currency” – the stand-in for $$ – in the acquistition of books is the INTENDED and almost sole reason for transacting here, so it is important to protect the value of this currency to prevent loss of value to the Bookmooch site itself.

      There have been so many comments made here that people should be able to send to “whoever they want” presumably because they are offering a book for “free”. This is a misconception. With the exception of the up-to-two-books you potentially can mooch without parting with one of your own, when someone mooches a book from you, it is a book THEY PAID FOR. How? they were willing to part with one of their own books AND pay out of pocket to send it. And WHY would anyone do this? Because in return they know that the “point” they receive for PAYING to send an item to a complete stranger gives them the option to mooch any eligible book (meaning a book from any domestic or participating foreign moochee barring the possible exception resulting from human error…and of course, you always have to allow for human error 🙂 The value of this currency was the reason I agreed to take on the financial responsibility of mailing people my own property. Can anyone say that they had different expectations? How successful would Bookmooch have been if the arrangement was – you earn a point for sending a person a book – with this point any other user may ELECT to send or NOT send an item in exchange for your “generosity”… for some reason I thought that users who subscribed to that philosophy were scammers that we try to keep off the site.

      What happens when we start rejecting books FOR ANY REASON WE WANT? The currency of the individual we find “undesirable” – becomes devalued. And those affected – whether because they are from Switzerland, have Right-Wing opinions, or are a bookseller – are discriminated against by being denied their half of the bargain. Their currency is now worth less than that of the person denying them. If we were to assign an arbitrary dollar value to a point, we might say that to the extent that one moocher has never been turned down, his “point” is worth $1, but for every “class” of person s/he or anyone else turns down, their point is worth…what?… 95 cents, 85 cents….? It depends on how frequently this occurs. Fortunately, this is the exemption, rather than the rule, but if in exchange for giving away my private property and PAYING to do so, I’m told my point is worthless…because… why? ….Maybe you don’t like American foreign policy? Or you don’t like a book I mooched or have available? You can tell by the picture I have on my member page that I’m a certain sort of person you don’t like?… Then it’s not worth my time, books, or money here. Maybe those who favor rejection for ANY reason would be amenable to GIVING a point or partial point to adjust the devalued currency of the rejectee. (And to clarify this, an arbitary rejection is NOT an even transaction just because an unused point was returned to the rejectee if their currency isn’t worth what they were told when they agreed to Bookmooch’s terms.) Seriously, once a member crosses the threshold from “listing-earned points”, to “giving-earned point”, “FREE” is no longer applicable – we are exchanging something of value for another something of value and if that relationship can’t be agreed on than the endeavor is pointless.

      As for the author who didn’t want to give all the books to one person, while I understand the author’s position, perhaps the author should have considered that Bookmooch’s terms (which s/he should have read when signing on) were perhaps not ideally suited to his/her purposes. There are however, two relatively easy possible solutions to this situation. The author could have listed books one at a time, and after a second book was mooched by the same person, could decide not to list a third – saving the author the money to ship 5 copies to one person, which was clearly not the intention. OR, the author could do as I’ve seen MANY people do when offering additional deals such as two-books-for-one-point or optional free magazine with every book mooched – simply state on the member bio that a complimentary copy of the author’s own work will be sent at moochers request with a limit of one per user – no currency exchanged – wider audience reached -problem solved.

      One additional point not addressed here that I’ve seen come up A LOT and I think might be worth revisiting is the issue of “reserved books”. Obviously this is allowed with “Angel Network” books and among those participating in the Travelling Journal Project it is thought of as one fair way of seeing that the person who gets the financial responsibility of returning the journal to its owner is able to get their “point” by reserving it for that owner here. Technically, as long as a book is clearly labeled as “reserved for….insert valid reason here” I wouldn’t consider it “eligible” any more than I would a book from a foreign member who is unable to ship to my country. Obviously, if everyone started holding books for their friends only, this could turn into a big problem, so again, I think an official statement regarding the do’s and don’ts of this practice would be beneficial.

    58. Song said

      I love bookmooch and the idea behind it and it would never occur to me to cancel a transaction because I didn’t like the person on the other end. I’m quite happy for people to sell books I send to them, because it’s really a swap – I could sell the books I get if i wanted to.

      The only reason I refuse mooches is if I cannot find the book (which happens only rarely).

      However, I DO mooch books from people who say ’email me’ first, but I write to them “If you can send it great, if not, just cancel it with no hard feelings :)’ and that seems to have worked out pretty well.

      I have only ever recieved one rejection with a reason written for it though. I just figured no one else writes them.

      In my opinion, if you are the kind of person who is going to cancel a mooch due to discrimination, then don’t list it on here. THink – even if you send the book to someone you deem acceptable, they could then send it on to someone that you don’t.

      Oh and please please if you do reject, at least write a reason so I don’t feel like you don’t like me 🙂

    59. Song said

      Oh and am I the only person who never rejects books because they can’t afford to send them? I just accept and email the moocher asking them if they can wait then send it in a fortnight (or so) when I can afford it. In return, I don’t mind waiting a few months for books I’ve mooched.

    60. Shane said

      Bookmooch is simple. You list books, you send books, you browse books, you mooch books. You have the right to reject a request/mooch for any reason (including hateful, racial, stupid or false) and you have the opportunity to be rejected for the same reasons. Totally fair, in my view.
      Feed back is the mechanism by which you can judge if you wish to reject/request a mooch. If you don’t like persons feedback, don’t send or request a book from them.
      Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself. If somebody does not meet your expectations then don’t deal with them – you have the choice.
      Bookmooch is a community of avid readers who treat each other with respect. More rules are not needed, just tolerance for the behaviour of others, and some self-discipline to moderate your own behaviour.
      and, believe me, that is the hard part.

      Please, no more rules. Life is complicated enough.

    61. Alex said

      How about rejecting an international mooch because that person refuses to send books outside their country?

      I know it’s all within the rules, but it does annoy me that there are loads of book available on my wishlist that I can’t mooch because of this reason and have often thought why should I send them a book when they won’t send me one? It really doesn’t cost that much more using surface mail.

    62. esther said

      I will read the rest of the posts at some time, but right now I just want to say that I thought it was weird there was no page on rejecting mooches on the Wiki, so I created one:
      Do take a look, and improve it if you want.

    63. chunnie said

      Song said: “Oh and am I the only person who never rejects books because they can’t afford to send them?”

      I don’t reject mooches on those grounds either. I merely mark the book as “delayed” and explain when I will be able to post it out. Most moochers aren’t too bothered about delayes, but those who are generally cancel and mooch elsewhere. The ‘Delayed’ button is great for this providing you have a good idea when you can afford to post the book out. Unfortunately some people are on a very low budget and if they have lots of moochers wanting their books, it is often best to reject a few on financial grounds if it is getting to a point where you can’t estimate when the book is likely to be posted out. People generally don’t mind delays providing you can give them a good idea of how long they will have to wait, but if they are expected to wait indefinately there is a good chance they will cancel the mooch anyway. Sometimes it is better to reject than to keep a member hanging on for months on end.

    64. Kari said

      I joined BookMooch in November and have been very pleased with the results. I have generally found being as transparent as possible in explaining anything from my personal situation to book condition to delays in shipping has been instrumental in gaining excellent feedback.

      From my experiences of being a new member, this discussion of when it is/is not acceptable to reject requests has been very helpful. I have generally avoided rejecting requests as much as possible, but have had to do it once or twice for financial reasons. However, this discussion has given me a much clearer picture on why people would or would not reject beyond my corner of the BookMooch world. Perhaps when people join BookMooch a link to this blog entry could be added to help them better feel out when they should and should not use the reject button.

      Additionally, I agree that some sort of hold button for international Moochers who are supposed to email me first would be most helpful. This would have eliminated the situations where I’ve had to reject Mooches in the past.

    65. Tricia said

      I rarely reject a book. The few times have been when I have put a book in my inventory by mistake or when it was reserved for someone else and the person did not read the conditions. The few requests that I have had rejected were usually I can’t find the book, no reason given or the book was listed on another site and that site reserved it first. If people have certain countries they won’t send it to it should be stated in their bio. As for multiple requests for the same book by one person from the same person. Each person should be limited to one request of a book, unless it gets lost in the mail. Especially very popular books. That way more people can enjoy the same books. Otherwise if you list a book on bookmooch you should not reject requests for anything not stated in your bio or in the conditions of the book.

    66. Airin said

      I myself was the recipient of one of those nasty rejections. Someone refused to send me their book because I had “too many religious books” on my list. I was annoyed, but at the same time…it was his or her right to reject me for any reason.

    67. Ashley said

      Great entry! Thanks for bring it out. I think you wrote it well.

      I think the only time I have rejected a book is because I couldn’t find it on my bookshelf. But I full agree with the other issues you brought up like the person who had to many lost in the mail while on route to them. I too would want to reject that one.

      I also agree with the author who rejected the person who had requested way to many of the same books from her.

      But I also make a point not to mooch from someone if they have had way to many time rejected other peoples requests.

    68. Susan said

      The only mooch I have rejected was a case where the moochee was asking for a book (published under a different title) that I had sent her a few weeks earlier. AS I had made the same mistake and ended up with two copies of the same book (different titles) I wanted her to have the opportunity to say no thank you, which she did and I rejected.
      The fewer rules the better. BUT the email first/book condition/who is first stuff does get a bit confusing and the hold/hide classification sounds useful, sort of like the hold for later on the wishlist.
      Great job John. Love the site.

    69. alisonk said

      the author has left the building (acount closed!)no loss since she wouldn’t send out of her country!!!

      I so totally agree with Alex about the not sending out of country thing…soooo frustrating!

    70. Erin said

      I think allowing rejections for any personal reasons (e.g. you don’t ship to my country, i don’t like you, etc) is just opening the invitation for people to feel justified in their rejections of “i don’t like your country/politics/religion/race/occupation”.

      Remember the guy we had who refused to ship to “librarians or other selfish book hoarders”?

      I don’t think the community needs those headaches.

    71. Andrea said


      I agree and support your reasoning regarding small bookstores thriving and having to send out copies to get points – I hadn’t thought of it that way before. However, I do still have a bit of a problem with them making money off something I am essentially giving them for free. I consider BookMooch a place that is an equal exchange – I pay approximately $2 for shipping a book and this is balanced out by receiving a book that someone else paid $2 to send. However, a bookstore would pay $2 to send out a copy to get a point, but might make more than that off of a copy they sell. That’s not really “equal” to me, but oh well. It doesn’t bother me a whole lot, just a nitpicky thing. I think the biggest thing about being part of BookMooch (as a reasonably new member) is that everyone seems friendly and honest so far; I’m thinking that perhaps the nasties are the exception rather than the rule. For instance, I am not willing to send out of my country, so I make sure I never request from someone outside of my country – fair is fair. I know you can’t MAKE people play fair unless you monitor very closely, which might change the atmosphere of BookMooch and I like it as it is now.

    72. Lisa Carol said

      I believe a person should have the right to reject a mooch but perhaps not the right to go into detail as to their personal reasons why. Maybe a drop-down list of reasons were we select the “best” reason listed. As for selling books. If I was the author I think I might just write on the title page, this books was a preview gift from the author and is not for sale. Or I am sure an author can think of some better way to phrase it.

    73. Cheryl said

      Alex and alisonk and other non-US moochers; I understand where you are coming from on the frustration about sending to eole who won’t send to you, but you might be a little more understanding of USA moochers…our postal service eliminated international surface mail last year, so it is no longer an option for US users. I still send most international requests I get, but on average they cost about 3x as much as they did a year ago. (ouch)

      I think you have a perfect right to your opinion, and to not send to moochers who wouldn’t ship to you if your roles were reversed, but please just ease up on the “how dare they” a little bit??

    74. Karen L. said

      Getting rejected for the first time on bookmooch made me feel bad. It brought back self-esteem damaging flashbacks of getting picked last for gym class!

      Those feeling of being a rejected moocher quickly changed to annoyance when the rejector listed giving the book away to a friend and forgot to take it out of their inventory. All of my subsequent rejections have been for similar reasons. How hard is it to keep your inventory in a separate area from your other books? I keep mine in a couple of laundry baskets hidden under a table in my office. I recently gave my sister a book from there and immediately deleted it from my inventory. I take my bookmooch account very seriously.

      Bookmooch is a fun, money-saving way to feed my book lust. I don’t care who mooches from me, as long as they seem to have a decent transaction history. Some people are simply rude. I have attempted to mooch books and have been ignored for several days to weeks. I might finally be told that the book is “in the mail” and am not surprised when it is “lost” in the mail.

      I think the “email me first” should only be an option if it is a question of International mooching. If you list it, do so in goodwill. Why should this be so complicated? If you are going on vacation or might not be able to send out a book for awhile, then COMMUNICATE! Poor communication is probably one of my biggest issues with some of the bookmooch transactions I have attempted.

      The multiple copy issue should be up to the individual. I personally would not mind if someone mooched multiple copies because I would get the points and could combine shipping. In the case of this “author” I think she was out of line. If she did not want someone to mooch more than one copy of a book then she could have so kindly listed that in the book notes. It was abusive of her to treat the potential moocher in such an unkind and disrespectful manner. It was irresponsible of her to trash Bookmooch in her public writing. She obviously did not have all of the facts and seems very spiteful. She should take her self-promotion elsewhere.

      It doesn’t matter where we come from,our gender, the color of our skin, our political affiliations or taste in books. What matters here is that we (or at least most of us) truly love books. When we signed up we agreed to the point system. We should be honorable in our dealings with one another.

      I am glad that bookmooch is growing. Part of this growth involves growing pains. These will need to be addressed as more people (and their personalities) become involved. My hope is that we can continue to share a love of books in a positive and respectful manner.

    75. Taneli T said

      Haydesc asked:

      No, it’s not acceptable. The book owner should never ask for more points for a book. If the moocher is in the same country, it’s always 1 point, and if it’s international, the moocher pays 2 points and the sender gets 3 points. (On the forums people sometimes hunt for rare or highly wishlisted books and offer to pay more for them, but that’s a different matter.)

      However, if it’s too expensive to send the book, book owner may ask that the moocher mooches a second book, so the shipping cost per earned point gets more reasonable.

      The fact that it’s a new book or a hardcover don’t make any difference. It’s a book.

      Taneli T

    76. What are reasonable grounds for rejecting a mooch request?

      I see no gray area regarding the author. I don’t think a giver’s desires regarding what happens to books after they’re mooched should have any bearing on mooches.

      Regarding bad behavior as a reason for rejecting, in my opinion either someone is in good standing and should be able to participate freely without being treated with prejudice or the person’s account should be closed. If someone mooches from you and you think the account has too many lost books, too many rejections, too much negative feedback, or some other suspicious activity, you should delay your response and use the abuse button to let the administrators investigate. If admin investigates and the account is not closed, then the person should be allowed to participate. If people think it’s okay to reject because they don’t like someone’s record, then they’re copping out. They’re not helping BookMooch. They’re saying the person is not good enough to mooch from me, but they are good enough to mooch from others. They’re saying, let somebody else deal with it so I won’t have to. Plus, everyone has a different opinion of what constitutes bad behavior. There have been members who rejected because someone had a high ratio or because the person was new and had not given any books yet. Allowing people to reject based on an account’s record is wrong in my opinion. I think every account should have only three possible states: good, being investigated, or closed.

      What I think should be valid rejection reasons:

      1. Too expensive to ship (but there must be someplace you are willing to ship it).

      2. Someone mooches a book after someone else has written for permission to mooch it, and you’re set to ask first. (The system needs to be changed to handle this situation better.)

      I disagree that the many variations of “I don’t have the book” are valid reasons to reject. If it’s not considered negative to have books listed in your inventory that can’t be mooched, then there’s no incentive for people to maintain accurate inventories. Not having the book is a necessary reason to reject sometimes, but it’s not a good reason in my opinion.


    77. Margot said

      I haven’t read through 72 posts. I’ll just say I like your rules. If you’re picky about who you send books to, a public website isn’t the place for you to be.
      However, I would add: You’re not allowed to reject an mooch because the moocher [does not have enough money / is not mobile enough / whatever] does not send internationally.

    78. Michelle said

      There are only 2 reasons I will reject a request. First is if the book has /just/ been given to someone else either in person or on *dare I say it* another swap site, and I haven’t been able to delete it here yet.
      The second is if I look at the requesters feedback and it gives me the certain feeling that the mooch will not go well regardless of how well I’ve described the book. (Though in that case I have emailed the requester and asked that they state in no uncertain terms that they understood the book condition before I accepted the mooch.)
      As to being rejected for one of my own requests, I’d rather be rejected so I can look for another copy than accepted and then just never mailed to (3 of those sitting on my home page right now).
      I’ve never had anyone reject one of my requests because they just didn’t like me or my wishlist. That would be very upsetting, not to mention rude.
      As to the author….I think she should simply put, as a condition, that only one copy is available per person, in her ‘about me’ section and perhaps in the condition notes with the book. I think she should have the option, as an author giving away free copies of her own work, to send only one copy per address. I would hate to see her not participate here because she was expected to send multiple new copies to one person, regardless of the persons intent. It’s really easy to join BookMooch, so anyone could make an account here and request a copy of the book if they wanted to.
      I am sure Britne is being honest, but there are lots of people who aren’t and I believe that the author has the right to protect herself from them. I do not think she should have accused Britne of selling copies, just simply explained that only one copy was available per person. period. Mooch one, or mooch none.
      Otherwise, what I or anyone else does with a copy of a book once they receive it is entirely their business and theirs alone. If they want to tear it up for toilet paper or put it up on ebay or whatever, that’s their call to make. I don’t think than anyone using ESP and deciding that the moocher has ‘intentions’ towards said book should be fair reason for rejection.
      But as I stated above, the authors (or stores) condition that only ONE copy is allowed per user MUST be stated somewhere with the copy of the listed book. If the moocher then simply can’t read, then they have no business mooching books to begin with and there should be a drop down rejection box that the moocher didn’t read the condition notes. (this would work for users who want an email before accepting international mooches as well “Rejected because moocher did not read conditions”. There, that sounds fair.
      All families have to argue to be healthy.

    79. Andrew said

      Karen L: For what it’s worth… I too have a big box in the corner with the books I’m wanting rid of; they’re all listed here, but the primary goal is “get them gone” not “get them mooched”. Sometimes, a visitor will rummage through and take some – they’re welcome to them! – and every now and again I email a list around to friends, and move half a dozen that way.

      I try to make sure to delist them, sometimes it takes a day or two to get around to it, or I miss one. Or books drift out of the box, wind up back on the shelves, and then whenever I lend them or pass them around I don’t think to delist them because I don’t realise they’re listed. It happens; I’ve done it before, and I’ve had it happen to me as a potential recipient.

      Barring some kind of really good record-keeping system, perfect correlation just won’t work, and glitches and mismatches and so on are going to be inevitable.

      All I want to do, in the end, is get the book out of my hands and into someone else’s – and I know I’m certainly not alone in this. “Bookmooch” books aren’t special in that regard – they’re just “books I’m giving away”, and this is just one tool among many. It happens to be one where I get books back, but that’s a bonus!

    80. Andrew said

      To add: yes, I think it’s a bad thing to list books you don’t have. I don’t think, however, that allowing “sorry, can’t find it” as a valid reason is going to pose much of a problem; there’s a social pressure here exactly the same as with the number of books “lost in the post”. If that percentage is high, people will be wary and avoid dealing with you – but a low proportion is fine because we, as a community, accept a certain degree of inefficiency here as part of the normal routine.

      I’m not sure why it seems to be reasonable to assume a degree of incompetence on the part of the postal service as fair and normal, but not a little ineptitude and disorganisation on the part of volunteer community members?

    81. Elizabeth said

      Well this certainly has folks thinking and buzzing! And that’s great. My thoughts are these.
      1. I am paying to ship a book when it’s mooched. I get to decide if I want to do that. Period, end of story.
      2. The feedback and transaction information is there for people here to decide if they want to mooch from or send to. It says to check someone bio when you receive a mooch request to decide if you want to send a book. If we cannot use that info to make a decision about a mooch, then get rid of it. What is the purpose of this info if not to help BookMoochers decide whether to mooch or send???
      3. People who have an inordinate number of rejections due to books they don’t have for whatever reasons need to be dealt with in some way by BookMooch. They are obviously not good at the whole Mooch process and are wasting people’s time.
      4. If I’ve had a problem with a moocher, I am not going to be forced to send them a book. I won’t be mooching from them either, but I shouldn’t have to send a book to someone who has been rude and abusive just because BookMooch has decided they haven’t been rude or abusive enough to be removed as a member.

      I’ll be interested to see how this all shakes out.

    82. Tangent said

      RE: people who don’t want to send internationally

      I can send a book domestically, via media mail, just by putting postage on it and putting it in my mailbox. To send something internationally, though, I have to go to the actual post office. So, it might be difficult or impossible for some people to send things internationally (for example, if they have limited transportation options and can’t just go to the post office whenever they want). It’s a shame, but I don’t think most people are just doing it out of spite or something–and anyway they’re forgoing the extra points they could have gotten from sending internationally.

      I honestly don’t see a problem with people mooching internationally but not being willing to send internationally, either; it just means they’re getting fewer books than they’d otherwise be able to (about half as many, if they do it all the time). The consequence of having fewer mooching opportunities is already built into the system.

    83. Karen L. said

      Hey Andrew!

      I think it is great that you are eager to pass along your books to bookmoochers and friends alike. I was just venting my annoyance with the rather high amount of rejections I’ve had due to the lost book/missing book scenario.

      I am actually geeky enough that I print up my inventory list at least once a month and double check it against my “laundry basket” books. I understand that not everyone has the time…mine is limited too. It is just important to me.:0)

      I totally allow for human error. We are all human. True,this is a volunteer community, but we all benefit from giving it a fair effort! Please don’t think I am trying to sound righteous. I just enjoy bookmooch very much and hope it continues to flourish. It makes me very happy to receive new books in the mail. I also feel extremely thrilled to mail out my “old” books to their new homes.

    84. Lois said

      I have only rejected one mooch thus far, and it may be a case similar to what Danielle may have been referring to earlier (pardon me if this has already been addressed, I only skimmed all 80+ messages:-)

      Overseas mooches are requested to email me first because of shipping charges. Domestic US moochers are not. So, I put book X in my inventory. Someone from the UK would like it and sends me an email. Followed by someone from the US who actually mooches the book. In my opinion, the UK moocher gets (and in this case, got) first dibs on the book. In this case, I sent a nice note to the US moocher explaining the situation and he was very gracious. It may have been that he canceled the mooch or I rejected it, I can’t remember which (it was months ago).

      Perhaps, I’ve been lucky, but I’ve only come across gracious moochers (giving or mooching) and have had no major problems.

    85. chunnie said

      I think it is a bit unfair to diss those who mooch overseas but can’t afford to post overseas as well. In most cases its not exactly their fault they are on the low end of the finance spectrum. Personally I wouldn’t turn them down on the grounds that they can’t afford to post overseas, that would be like saying “Sorry pal, you can’t have my book because you are not wealthy enough”, how archaic is that? In addition, by rejecting that mooch, you might find yourself cutting your nose to spite your face – all it takes in a bookmooch angel to request a book on their behalf- they still get your book, and you don’t get as many points for it.

    86. Nanci said

      I had never rejected a request for a book until I decided one weekend to import my Amazon wishlist onto BookMooch. After an hour or more, I began loosing my connection and then received a notice that I had been suspended. Sure enough I opened my eMail and found requests for about 100 of the books on my Amazon wishlist now on my BookMooch Inventory. Ooops!! It took me almost a week to straighten it out, and I felt bad for rejecting so many, but I can’t afford to remedy such a mistake by buying books, though I did in a few straggler cases. If BookMooch could have warned me, the damage would have been less; then when the mistake was caught, it would have been wonderful if BookMooch could have removed the books from my inventory instead of disappointing more moochers. Instead I spent hours doing that, and still had people trying to mooch those phantom books.
      Is this something that can be considered? I also think that if that many rejections happen for such a stupid but innocent reason, shouldn’t the rejections be removed from the member’s history after a show of good faith otherwise, or a period of time without rejections?
      I thank all the people who were understanding, and apologize to all whom I disappointed. I also discovered that while I wrote the reason for the rejection on the rejection that does not appear in the eMail sent to the Moocher–they have to more or less go in search of it, and I had to eMail a number of people to clear this up.
      I love BookMooch, but seriously considered whether it was worth it or not. I decided it was, but am still blighted on my history. Please consider this.

    87. Leela4 said

      I agree with everything Maggie said above in her Feb 7 4pm post.

      I’d like to add some comments to her suggestion that it would be nice to be able to privately tag a member I’d rather never deal with again.

      I think it’s a great idea with the stipulation that it should be limited to only our Wishlists.

      After my own bad experience (similar to Maggie’s except my bad apple strung me along), it’s surprisingly painful to keep encountering the other person’s name in my Wishlist. I’m never going to try to mooch from him again, and I wish I could bar his books from being counted by my Wishlist so my hopes wouldn’t keep getting falsely raised.

      One caveat, though: Some members may use such a tagging system to strike people from their Wishlist who won’t send to other countries. Which might be fine, but what if a tagged person decides to start sending worldwide after all? Some members would like to know and un-tag that person. –So, just like the Friends feature, there needs to be a quick way for members who are so inclined to check the member bios of those they’ve tagged and untag them if they wish.

      I would also suggest a notes blank in which the member can note the reason for tagging the other person.

    88. Ron & Cassandra said

      We’ve been pretty whorish and have sent just about everything everywhere, and couldn’t understand why other Americans wouldn’t send abroad. It seemed kind of fishy– until we noticed the packages we received from the UK cost less than half as much to send hither as the ones we sent thither! (Thanks to Cheryl for her detailed explanation.)

      I can imagine residents of some other countries are in the same boat. (Perhaps folks whose POs charge more than twice the world average might get a fourth point?) And of course there are those in wheelchairs, nursing homes, isolated areas, etc., for whom international service may be much less convenient than domestic. Let’s not jump to conclusions.

      For a long time the only copy of one book I wanted badly belonged to a Singaporean who wouldn’t send outside her tiny, walkable country. I guess she wanted to hand-deliver her books!

    89. Leela4 said

      addendum: Oh hey, turns out the Friends feature already has a notes blank. Nice!

    90. Carol said

      I recently saw on Bookmooch the following message…”if you are NOT (someone’s name) do not mooch this book”. and I wanted to mooch that book!!! What do you think of that?

    91. Michael Robinson said

      I don’t have a full solution to this, but would like to contribute some thoughts.
      We are all book readers; hopefully many of us are familiar with the topic of censorship.
      I see the rejection topic as being similar to the topic of freedom of speech.
      Drawing upon this parallel, perhaps members should be able to reject for any reason they want to. Some people will reject for reasons the majority will not be pleased with, but I think that corresponds with freedom of speech allowing expression of any idea; we take some bad with the good; it is the cost of the freedom. I think the freedom is worth the cost of occasionally being offended.
      Some may not see this relationship; to me it’s a clear correlation.
      I think it is similar to the question of whether a book should be censored from being mooched if its content is deemed offensive. Generally speaking, again I would say, no, it should not; this is a form of censorship.
      And yet, what if a listed book violates censorship laws, or is considered pornographic, or has been otherwise banned by law? Well, then, pragmatically, perhaps such material should not be allowed on the website. And perhaps in correlation, a rejection containing obcenity should be grounds for censuring or barring a member.
      On a personal note, if my mooch request was rejected for a reason I would consider offensive, it would make me feel like not interacting with that member in the future on either side – mooching or being mooched.
      There is a self-policing that occurs in this way in any society, including an online one. People avoid interaction with individuals who they know to have a pattern of antisocial behavior.
      Thanks for listening.

    92. Melissa said

      I haven’t read every single reply on here, so maybe this has been brought up already. I personally feel that anyone should be able to reject any mooch for any reason. If someone is going to use an unfair or biased reason then it will state it as such and be public knowledge and I think the problem would eventually fix itself. I would not want to mooch from someone who would use some of the above reasons to reject a mooch. This just lets ME know who the idiots really are out there in bookmooch land.
      On a side note: I don’t really mind the new wishlist system, but what really bothers me is when someone from another country lists a book and the system chooses me to notify first and that person is in another country or won’t send to the US.

    93. Zillah said

      To Leela4: “addendum: Oh hey, turns out the Friends feature already has a notes blank. Nice!”

      Just letting you know that field is publicly viewable by that friend- it’s a field to write something like, “this person is great! mooch from them!” I think 🙂

    94. Nic said

      I like the openness of the current system, which relies on common sense, and acknowledges that everyone’s circumstances are different. For example, reasons I’ve rejected mooches:

      1. When I can, I like to mail overseas, but I ask for moochers to email first. If they don’t, I will reject the mooch. Because people can’t follow instructions, and/or aren’t willing to reciprocate with overseas mailings, I now mail to my own country only.
      2. I checked out an audio book before mailing, and it was faulty. I’ve marked the mooch as rejected, as the condition of the book is my responsibility, and therefore my “hit”
      3. I’ve had books marked as “delayed” (due to budget constraints) and in the meantime, the moocher has gone possibly inactive, and didn’t respond to email. I’ve rejected the mooch so that the book can go back into circulation.

      I would say, leave the system as it is, but make it clear what Bookmooch is for – exchanging used books, and not as a cheap form of advertising for an author. That’s what marketing departments of the publisher is for…

    95. Zjanette said

      Greg. You are so right. Thanks for your comments. I never rejected a book and I would be devestated if someone wouldn’t want to send me a book because I live in The Netherlands (naughty country but we do have great crime reporters).
      Sometimes I mooch books more than once because I have a lot of friends with the same booktaste and I just give them away!
      Nasty person this author. She removed the blog entry I think?
      For me there is only one reason for rejecting to send a book and that is if I can’t find it anymore or something happened with it. Or maybe there is a second reason and that is if the books “lost in the mail” are many. It can happen but its rare. Maybe the “lost in the mail” could also be changed into a “lostratio” like the moochratio and if it is to high you have a problem.

    96. Lesley said

      I’ve rejected a couples of mooches from overseas because I looked at whether or not the moochers themselves were willing to send overseas and they weren’t. Was that unfair?

    97. Zillah said

      Lesley: This is much discussed in the previous comments 🙂

      In a nutshell, it’s a practise that favours the wealthy and freely mobile, discriminating against people who have financial troubles or people with disabilities for example.

    98. Kim said

      I have rejected requests because I realised I had already released them into the wild – I belong to I USUALLY remember to remove books from bookmooch BEFORE releasing them, but 2 books slipped through the net!!
      I have also refused because books have been very heavy and even Surface Mail would be expensive.
      I try to remember to email before mooching when requesting books from overseas, as I am aware how expensive posting can be. Some members have been very kind and sent me hard cover books. I tend to give a smooch, sometimes 2, for senders outside Europe, in recognition of the mailing costs.
      I have recently removed a heavy paperback from my inventory,as I had one mooch request and one email request for it from US and I felt the mailing cost was too high. Although 3 points is fine for light books even UK to USA, an extra point would be good for posting heavier books to another continent.
      I think an extra category in our profile which would say ‘will send books within my own continent’ as well as ‘will send light and hard to find books anywhere, but email first’ would be good.
      Also, if your profile says email first, it isn’t fair if people mooch without doing so, as this puts up your ‘mooches rejected’ ratio!

    99. rachelsmdai said

      Wow – such a tempest! What is BookMooch about? It’s about people who have books they want to give away. It’s about people who want to receive books they want – and maybe can’t find elsewhere. It’s about a community of booklovers who discuss books, love books, read books, save books, maybe smell books (my husband does!), and share books. It’s about respecting books – and knowing that there have been times when books were burned! It’s some dedication to preserving access to books – whatever books we want, whatever the topic.
      It seem to me that when we refuse to send a book to another country, we are making many assumptions – including the fact that the moocher ascribed to a political decision made by government over 50 years ago. Frankly, those of us in the United States are currently at great risk for “shunning” based on our leaders’ choices – these are choices that I have not supported and certainly do not want to be judged on.
      I am on BookMooch to trade books. Not to decide what books people are allowed to read, not to assume a person’s religious or political choices based on their inventory, not to judge anyone else. I have to spend enough energy making sure that I clearly think out my life choices and be comfortable with them – do I have the right to impose on everyone else as well?
      Let’s give each other the respect of humanity – true humanity, not our individual definitions of how life should be lived.

    100. Lesley said

      Thanks Zillah – I’m going to rethink my policy!

    101. Teldira said

      The only time I reject a request is when I simply don’t have the book. I have all of my books posted on both PaperbackSwap and Bookmooch. Since PBS has an automatic system set up for the wishlist books, I post there first and if it’s not wishlisted then I post it on bookmooch.

      I’ve been a moocher for over a year now and absolutely love the site. In that time I’ve probably had to reject 7 or 8 books that are requested from both sites at the same time. I always send to the first one that requested. I usually offer a 2-for-1 if this happens. So far I’ve had no complaints. Some of these books have been sitting on my shelves for months then suddenly two requests the same day.

    102. bibliophile7 said

      regarding the “complaints” about emailing before you mooch. now, i don’t have this in my status message as many do, but i do have the pre-selected “ask if not my country”. this is inevitably the same thing as what some people type themselves in their status. the difference is that the creator of the site gave the prior as an option that many of us use and, i assume, for the logical reason that everyone cannot afford to send overseas every book in their inventory. so, i do take it a tiny bit personal when people are seemingly ridiculed for utilizing that option when it’s given to us when we sign up and to change as our situations change. i have had one of the 4 persons i shipped to internationally not “ask first”. again, we are given that preset option for a reason– it’s our choice. and i did send the book in spite of, but it’s the principle. and personally, the only reason i would not send a book is b/c someone mooched from another country and i found it too expensive for me to send. i decide if it’s worth my gas and postage expense for those 3 points.

      i also agree with those who say the fewer rules the better. i have checked out other sites and bookmooch is the simplest and i didn’t feel that there would be the same sense of community as it is here.

      as for the rejection reasons, i think allowing everyone to type their own as it is now is best. i don’t have an idea on how to alleviate the tacky comments that instigated this discussion, perhaps the deduction of 1/10 point but only for those reasons deemed illegit. but, i know, who’s to determine that?

      i love this community of book lovers who pirate for the sake of spreading that love of books.

      lol@ rachelsmdai– i smell books too…

    103. James Ledbetter said

      I think this is a significant problem with BookMooch; beyond individual cases of abuse, the system will not work as intended if there are many more “net downloaders” than there are “net uploaders.” I’ve written about it here:

    104. Callirhoe said

      James — I read your article, and it’s an interesting one. I agree that BookMooch can sometimes be frustrating, especially if you have your heart set on one particular book and it isn’t available. However, I think you missed one important point.

      You wrote: “And once the idea of resale outside the system is introduced, Bookmooch’s point scheme becomes close to irrelevant; booksellers would have no problem giving away hundreds of books they can’t sell in order to acquire books they can.”

      The problem with what you’re suggesting here is that there must be a demand for those hundreds of unsellable books on BookMooch in order for the bookseller’s nefarious scheme to play out. If a seller has a zillion books for which no one will pay money even at used-book prices, why would moochers on BookMooch want those titles? It’s fair to assume that people would be willing to mooch at least some of those books, but all of them? Not hardly. Anyway, moochers ARE paying for the books they get in the sense that they must give books to get books, and giving books costs money ($2.15 or so by US media mail). BM points do have actual value, and while their value may or may not be very consistent compared to a national currency system, they are fairly consistent in terms of book currency. One point equals one book. Period. (In actual money terms, perhaps one point equals the money laid out to mail one book — $2.15. Or perhaps, if you’re someone who mooches a lot more than you give, one usable point equals half the money laid out to mail one book [keeping the 2:1 ratio now required by BM] — $1.07. The books you’re mooching are therefore not free — but they’re very cheap!)

      With regards to the moochers who wanted the most current edition of the book you were giving away: there are many, many reasons for wanting a specific edition of books beyond the desire to resell them. I’m a college student, and I’m sometimes able to get some of the books I need for my courses off BM; thus, in my situation it’s often important for me to get the specific edition, translation, etc. I’m looking for. This might have been the case with your moochers, or perhaps they had some other reason. Just to put the matter in perspective a bit. 🙂

    105. tudorpot said

      As a moocher who sends books everywhere- even with our very high cost of postage here in Canada. I feel I should have the right to refuse to send books to others who don’t offer to send books to other countries.

      Further up in the comments someone said” To send something internationally, though, I have to go to the actual post office.” Well, in most of the rest of the world people have to go to the post office to send within their country and internationally. Disabled people have friends and others who help them- I’m one of those who does errands for disabled friends and family.

      As for “email me first” if it’s a popular book, the first person who emails me gets the book. I hate rejecting as it looks like I’m abusing the system, but the drop down list is a good idea, then others can see why mooches were rejected. I would add to the list- someone else emailed me first.
      Can we get copies of our bookmooch emails sent to our email address? It would help with some transactions.

    106. Stephanie said

      I thought the ratio was still 5:1, although John was *thinking* about changing it to 2:1.

      Did I miss the announcement that it actually changed?

    107. Callirhoe said

      You’re right; my mistake. For some reason I thought it had changed after that post a while back, but apparently not. Thanks for correcting me, Stephanie. 🙂

      I think my point still stands, only the cost-per-point drops down to something like 43 cents. That’s a cheap book, but it still isn’t free.

    108. pitbullrescuer said

      James, I’m sorry you didn’t have a positive BookMooch experience, but I think you’ve misunderstood how it works. The “system” doesn’t email people when you list things on your wishlist. If you want to accrue points, look around on the site for ones that are on a lot of peoples’ wishlists. If you post any of those, you will receive mooch requests.

      I went through all of my books a while back and checked to see which ones were wishlisted. I then put those books at the front of the bookcase, to make sure I read them first so I can list them & people can mooch them. That is why I wind up giving many points to charity –I’m posting books people want.

      Just because people want the more recent edition of a book doesn’t mean they’re selling it! For goodness’ sake! Why WOULDN’T you want a more recent copy if it’s available, particularly if you’re doing something scholarly?

      I’d be very surprised if anyone COULD make money from books they’ve mooched. I used to sell on Amazon and made less than minimum wage! Amazon’s margins are very slim — notice that a lot of people are selling books for .01 on there — so that means that Amazon & the seller are splitting $4 US, of which a minimum of $2.13 is going to postage! Think about it.

    109. Kerry said

      I think that if the book is yours, you have every right to accept and reject sending books to whoever and wherever you want to. There shouldn’t be any “can” and “can’t” involved in it. If the book is yours to send, then it is your decision. For example, I put all my Harry Potter books on my inventory list, and one person requested to mooch every single one of them. Personally, to me that didn’t seem fair, because they didn’t give anyone else the opportunity to mooch, and it felt greedy to me. They are my books afterall, so I sent the ones I wanted to and rejected the ones I didn’t. I later sent the others to different people.

      If you think about it, this whole website is about choice. If I choose to mooch more than I give, it says nothing about me as a person. If I choose to mooch from someone in NY instead of in CA, it says nothing about me as a person. If I reject a book, I have my own reasons and people really shouldn’t be judging people by their choices in their history.

      I mean, we’re swapping books here, if you expect things to be perfect and for everyone to do what you want, you’re being unrealistic. Go buy the book at a bookstore if it’s that important to you. I however, reserve the right to reject whoever I want for whatever reason.

    110. Laura said

      I very much enjoy Bookmooch and have recommended it to many people.

      I’m not in the habit of refusing people, but did recently because the person’s account had been closed “permanently” just a short time ago – then he was back and mooching about 50 books.

      This person was upset that I rejected him and said the closure was just a misunderstanding but the last time he tried to mooch from me, my emails to him bounced.

      Shouldn’t there be something saying he is back in good standing put in his records?

    111. VeraMarie said

      “Carol said:
      February 9, 2008 at 6:18 am

      I recently saw on Bookmooch the following message…”if you are NOT (someone’s name) do not mooch this book”. and I wanted to mooch that book!!! What do you think of that?”

      Carol – I used a similar note when I had my profile set to ‘ask if not to my country’. When an international moocher e-mailed me and I was willing to send to them, I’d note it in the condition notes of that book. The idea was to keep the book available for them to mooch. I would leave the note on for a week, then if they didn’t mooch after all, I’d take it off.

    112. Sonia said

      An interesting debate, as expected with a community this size, lots of different opinions.
      I am relatively new to BookMooch and I absolutely love it.

      I agree with Alex regarding sending books internationally. I have thought about rejecting requests from international moochers who are not to willing to send internationally. I have not done so yet, but it is my right to do so. If I did decide this was my policy, it would be clearly listed in my bio.
      I don’t think you can assume – as many have – that people only chose not to send internationally because they can’t afford it, although I am sure it is one of the reasons, it isn’t likely to be the only one. More likely it is a decision based on cost of points.
      As it happens it can cost me $12 to send a book in my own country. I’d love it to cost $2.15 per book, as seems to the case for US domestic post. I have also received books from the US (mooched by me) which have had cheaper postage on them, than I pay to send books locally. I also have to go to the post office to send any book, regardless of destination.
      I chose to send books internationally because I want to be able to mooch internationally.
      There are just more books available in the US, you guys are lucky (yes, I know it is a population size thing)!
      Having said that I do respect a person’s right to choose where to send books, that doesn’t mean I can’t be annoyed when a book I really, really want comes up and I can’t get my hands on it!
      One more thing while I am having a rant – the email me first policy. I agree with it in principle and the people posting here are using it honestly, which is great. But I have found it simply means I just don’t get the book, particularly with popular books/subjects and factoring in the time difference. This is what happened the last time I emailed first. I did a search by subject, the book did not come up, I did the same search an hour later (to check details of a book that did come up) and the new book was there. I excitedly emailed the person) I say excitedly as the site said they were still logged in – I know they might have been away from their computer). I emailed at the beginning of my work day, for eight hours I checked my email for a reply and also checked the site for its availability – it was still there. I went to bed some 15 hours after I had emailed, with no reply but the book still there – there was still hope. I received an email the next morning telling me that the book had been mooched almost as soon as it was listed. I know that is not true, and it annoys me to be lied to. A hold function would eliminate these frustrations.
      Or perhaps I should just do what others seem to do and mooch the book with a message that says “If you can send it great, if not, just cancel it with no hard feelings”

    113. Zillah said

      I read your article James, and although very well written, the problem I had with it was simply that there are a broad range of BookMooch experiences, and you took your experience as the typical one when there are a lot of different behaviours accounts can show. I’m sure many people have experiences like yours, but many would also have experiences like mine- where I struggle to send enough books to feed my voracious book appetite- I get emails every week for my wishlisted books, I got 2 just today! I guess you need a large wishlist and yes, it’s more difficult if you have extremely specialist tastes 🙂

    114. Zillah said

      Oh, and Carol (in case you don’t already know?)- many BookMooch Angels use that conditions field to reserve the books they have mooched on other users behalf instead of creating a phantom book record. Like if I mooch a local book from someone who wont send outside my country on behalf of someone who lives outside my country, after I’ve received it, I’d relist it for that person, putting a note in the conditions field that it is for them.

    115. lexie said

      I have had to reject only once (well twice now) because some of my already mooched and reccived books were somehow able to be mooched again (by the same person no less!) I sent a nice explaination, along with some “smooches” for the mix up. I also contacted bookmooch tech support…I feel terrible about it but what can I do? I no longer have the books she wanted!

    116. MissMac (UK) said

      The ‘ask if not to my country’ can be a pain – especially with popular books on my wishlist. I tend to mooch regardless with a note that I can understand if someone would rather not/can’t afford to send the book and am happy if they reject my request.

      The reason I do this is because I’ve been stung in the past. I emailed someone, they agreed I could have a book, then when I went to mooch it I found that someone else had beaten me to it because they were in the same country and didn’t have to ask. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed.

    117. Emily said

      I think I’d rather stick to guidelines, rather than rules about rejecting requests. As others have stated, having a drop down menu with limited “reasonable” rejection options just means that less-than-stellar people will lie about their reason. This doesn’t help anyone and takes away from the transparency of the current system. Right now bookmooch members can self-police on a low level with negative feedback and comments. Many of us choose who we mooch from based on their feedback, their rejected requests, their number of “lost” books, etc. It’s a pretty good system as it stands, because it gives us plenty of information to make our own choices. More rules, I think, would just make things more difficult.

    118. John Clark said

      I only reject when I can’t find the book, or when I do, realize the copy is in bad shape and I missed it when listing it. As a public librarian, I add/buy books for my library that I find politically and socially offensive, but others do not, so I think the same freedom belongs here. Anyhow, I’ve made a lot of patrons at my library very happy by using Bookmooch as a collection development tool.

    119. Leigh said

      I think a person ought to be able to reject international requests if the person is set to “ask first” and the international moocher doesn’t have the courtesy to do so. Otherwise, there’s no point to the “ask first” setting and I like that setting, b/c sometimes I can send internationally and sometimes I cannot afford to do so, and that option gives me the ability to decide where I am financially at that moment. It is very annoying feeling as though I *must* come up with the money to send the book when I’m at a “short time” and the moocher did not follow the rules about asking before mooching.

    120. Tangent said

      James, I think you may have misunderstood the nature of the automatic email system. You get an email when someone puts a book in their inventory that is on your wishlist, and then you can choose whether you want to mooch it–it doesn’t get mooched for you automatically. You have to actively mooch the books you want. Otherwise there would be potential for some truly creepy stuff–would you want BookMooch to just give out your name and address without you telling them to, to anyone who said they had a book you wanted? As it is, your personal info is under your control.

    121. Zillah said

      I think the assumption James was under was that he would get emailed every time a book on his wishlist was added (which was the previous system, before the emails switched to picking users at random).

    122. Tangent said

      That could be–the article seems to suggest otherwise, though:

      “…and no one has sent me any on my wish list (which supposedly automatically sends an e-mail to anyone who’s offered up that book).”

    123. Zillah said

      Oh I see what you mean- he thinks that the person who listed the book gets the email to send it to them?

      James, feel free to clarify. Though it may be that we’re definitely going on a ‘tangent’ here 🙂

    124. brezova said

      My worst “problem” with bookmooch are all the people from the USA who will only mooch inside their country, but easily ask us non-USA moochers to send them books 🙂

      Britta – who enjoys bookmooch and hope more people will mooch from me

    125. Tea said

      RE paying extra for books: I think this is perfectly acceptable if the “price” is clearly stated in the condition notes so that a potential moocher can be aware of it before making the request. If I really want a book I prefer the option of choosing whether I want to pay (yes, I agree, points ARE currency) extra or whether I’ll try finding the book somewhere else. Supply and demand. The alternative might be the user not listing the book at all. Hardbacks are significantly more expensive to send and while I personally choose not to list any, I respect the right of moochers who do to ask for extra compensation. Some of us are living on rather restricted budgets.

    126. Frances M. Bothwell said

      I have to admit I gave up reading all the responses about half-way down the discussion. Just a few comments:

      Bookmooch is particularly attractive because it allows moochers the right to actually communicate with other moochers, mail things as convenient, and has, in general, few rules. Other sites don’t allow you to see who is asking for a book until you accept the request, which makes you open to members who abuse the system.

      I think political statements or personal attacks are out of place. Accusing people of lying is particularly irksome and offensive, because often, as in the case of the now infamous author, good faith actions are misinterpreted. A member to who I sent a book recently accused me of lying, when what had happened was a series of rather unusual mixups in the process of mailing her request out. I found her comment very offensive and consider it an unmerited blot on my record.

      The drop-down menu seems a good idea. I have rejected some books because I swear that there are book-loving gremlins who sometimes abscond with books I have listed. Actually, I have a fairly open-shelf policy with a large number of friends and sometimes they borrow books without telling me they have it. Thus while I try to keep my inventory up to date, sometimes it’s just not possible. I have close to 500 books on my list and I have a real life with a job, and I can’t be constantly checking and double-checking the physical inventory against the one on Bookmooch. On the other hand, I have never rejected a mooch because of shipping costs although a few mooches have actually cost me more in postage than I paid for the book or books. I like to send books to foreign parts, despite the cost, and this site allows me to find some books which are rare or unpublished in the US, which other sites do not.

      John, few rules are best. Drop-down menu might save some trouble. People who constantly rejct mooches should be looked into to see if its bad faith. And no one should be condemned without a hearing. Before any conclusions about bad faith or abuse, the person should be contacted.


    127. Sue said

      [I think the assumption James was under was that he would get emailed every time a book on his wishlist was added (which was the previous system, before the emails switched to picking users at random).]

      Until I read this I thought that I would be emailed if a book was listed that I had on my wishlist. I had no idea that it changed to some random subset. Was that recent? How should I have known? What if the people randomly selected just don’t mooch the book – how would I ever know the book was still available apart from manually checking all of my wishlist (uhhhh.. urgh)? I thought I read when I joined (only around 11/07) that emails went to all who had a book wishlisted. I also noticed sometimes on adding a book to inventory the message stating that emails were sent to ‘wishers’ matched the number of users who had the book wishlisted (I checked some of them, maybe I didn’t check enough).

      Also I’ve twice requested more than one copy of a book though from different users, since I wanted to give them to friend and daughters (heck they’re twins, sometimes I have to keep things fair-ish), I’d be hurt if I was rejected because of that without a chance to explain. As for if someone sells a book I send to them, well c’est la vie and good luck to them. I won’t sell books I receive because I just wouldn’t but if I’ve made the decision to list my book I’ve already had to get to grips with the idea that someone else may feed it to their dog or may sell it, after all it won’t be *my* book any more.

    128. alisonk said

      I live in Cyprus (a very small island in the Mediteranean ) It was invaded by Turkey nearly 35 years ago and is still occupied and divided…however I have had a mooch from Turkey (which I accepted) and I have mooched from problems and in fact I really liked the fact that a love of books can surpass all barriers!
      I post(yes with stamps from the post office!)all over the world and as yet I have not rejected any request.I have posted a trilogy (could I have asked for triple points??)and I have learnt the hard and expensive way not to put big books on my inventory!!…when ever I can I mooch from Europe as I know the post is cheaper but when notification comes up that a book from my wishlist is available I get really happy and then find out that it will not be posted out of their country….it is so frustrating….I found a book which I wanted which listed 20 copies available AND NOT ONE WOULD POST OUT OF THEIR COUNTRY!!!!!
      However I love bookmooch, I think it is a wonderful idea and I have found many books that I have read and loved…I believe the majority are book lovers and use the site honestly…I realy don’t think the odd rotten apple will spoil this.
      Its great that we can whine and state our opinions and worries and communicate.
      Keep on mooching !! at the end of the day it is all about swapping books and reading…usually a lot cheaper than buying new ones!!!!!

    129. Zillah said

      Alisonk- have you tried the Angel Network?

      Better luck with future mooches!

    130. Lisa Carol said

      RE: I recently saw on Bookmooch the following message…”if you are NOT (someone’s name) do not mooch this book”. and I wanted to mooch that book!!! What do you think of that? From Carol.

      I think this is why that happened………..

      That (someone’s name) might have been mine. Once I had requested a mooch and it was accepted, immediately afterward the bookmooch sever was being worked on. When it was up again the giver’s list of available books no longer indicated that I had already mooched those books. It showed the books available. The person I was mooching from was rushed and placed that statement on ONLY those books I had already requested.

    131. Amanda said

      The concept is to post a book and ship it, find a book, receive it. Do you want to ship the book, or do you want to waste your time posting books and rejecting mooches to someone based on political reasons, number of books a single moocher has requested from you or, I don’t know…what the moochers username is? To me, maybe the only acceptable reason to reject a mooch is a moocher with lots of cancellations/rejections/lost books. Keeping inventory up shouldn’t be too difficult, so reasons like “loaned it and never got it back/gave it to someone else/can’t find it” – I just don’t understand these. I try to be as honest and diligent as I can because as far as I’m concerned, if I post that book, it’s already gone. My books are stored right next to the computer –I will not take a book from that pile unless I sit there and wait for the computer to boot up and I can get that book removed from my inventory.

      It’s no secret that you get points for posting a book – it therefore makes sense that it would work the same the other way – you lose equal points for a book you refuse to send. I think that’s an excellent way of addressing people posting books, rejecting mooches (“lost it”), and reposting them again for additional points (unless behind the scenes the system can tell when a book has been “lost” and reposted, then no additional points for reposting). To someone who feels they have a valid reason for rejection, I’m sure this seems unfair, but again, it just goes back to my feeling of you post a book with the intent to move it along to where ever it’s wanted, regardless.

      Thank you for the comments about international shipping. To be honest, I’ve never stopped and looked at where a book that I requested was coming from – since I currently don’t ship overseas, I’ll make a point of checking the origination. Strictly personal – I’d feel pretty crappy if several people overseas go through the time/effort/expense to ship a book to me and I’m simply throwing a book in the mailbox for someone down the road.

      The whole “e-mail first” situation seems to me setting myself up for trouble so if, after researching cost, I do decide to ship internationally, I think I’ll steer clear of emails. If I can’t afford to ship, I shouldn’t be posting books – unless I’m clear in my bio of a delay and use the delay button (which I learned the hard way when I first joined and had immediate requests for more than half my first load of 40 books).

      Happy reading, all. I love bookmooch and was so excited to send great books to people who wanted them, that even after shipping some 30 odd books, I went to my bookcase of “favorites to keep” and posted some of those, too!! I LOVE sharing a good book!

    132. kim said

      I think that things should stay the way they are now. I’ve had to reject a request or two because I couldn’t find the book anywhere. I know I had it when I added it to my inventory, but sometimes things get misplaced or lost and you don’t realize until you look for it.

      That said, I don’t think anyone rejecting requests for that reason is abusing the system. Points go back to the way they were before the other person tried to mooch so nobody’s gaining or losing anything.

      I am against rejecting mooches for no apparent reason or for (in my mind) ridiculous reasons, but i don’t think that very many people are on here for that reason. i think most people accept mooches as much as they can and usually ship out books fairly quickly and just do the best they can following all the guidelines. So i don’t think there’s any real problem here. Just a few rotten eggs leaving a sour taste in people’s mouths.

    133. Barbara said

      I’m relatively new here and have really enjoyed the site. Receiving books I’ve mooched feels like a lottery win to me…. I get a package from an unknown person and it’s a BOOK…one I wanted and it actually arrived…a little life miracle! It’s such an expression of good will, a small courtesy like someone stopping to hold a door or someone who rushes to help you in some way. When I send out a book, it makes me happy to give that feeling to someone else. I wouldn’t want to ruin that by requiring someone else to “audition” or clear some screening process. I’d be disappointed by being rejected and might even wonder a moment but no more than I am when someone cuts in line or is obliviously pursuing their own agenda without concern for those nearby…. I love the concept and accept that some people’s kids don’t really “get it” and yet, that makes the miracle of a mooched book actually showing up at my door even more precious!

    134. Barb said

      I think (Having read most of these posts) that it comes down to Honor: if you put a book in inventory, it must be ready to be mooched at any time (I have a shelf I keep my “moochables” on.) If you get asked for a reasonable mooch (that is, if you want to mooch to other countries, it can come from elsewhere, or if you DON’T want, you just say no, thank you.) you mooch it. Regardless of politics or other things. If a person is “losing” or not receiving a lot of books, that is for the staff here to deal with. I just send what I have or not, as I have agreed to do.

      It sounds silly, but you either play nice, or don’t play.

    135. Bree said

      I haven’t read through all the replies, but something that could cut out the “someone emailed me to ask permission to mooch first” thing is to have the “emails” to be public, on the pending page. If a person goes through to mooch the book and hits “email” on a certain person’s name, that book should be automatically moved to the “pending” page and the “emails” posted there for all to see what’s going on. If the moochee doesn’t want to send to the person emailing them, there should be a way to cancel the pending mooch and have it end up back on the inventory for anyone else who would like it. This is especially true for those popular books that a person may end up having several moochers lined up to get the book.

      I don’t require people to email me first before I send out books, but I had a hardcover edition and didn’t want to send it within Canada (because the postage is like 3x higher than sending internationally). I wrote a note on my bio about this, and someone out of my country emailed to ask if they could mooch. I said sure, go ahead…but in the meantime, someone else mooched it. I decided to let the person who actually mooched it go ahead because I didn’t require anyone to email me.

      I have only rejected requests because of a big boo-boo on my part, I was uploading a list of books to what I thought was my wishlist, and it ended up in my inventory (I didn’t double check before doing it – my bad) and before I could fix the 300+ books, the requests were pouring in for books I didn’t have. But it all got resolved, and most people were very nice about the situation.

      On a totally unrelated note, it would be nice if Bookmooch didn’t send emails for books that are now available BUT not available to the person receiving the emails. It’s incredibly annoying to get 100 emails a day for books that are marked “only to my country” when I go to mooch them. It would be nice if more moochers would open their horizons a bit, as well…but I know that those of us in other countries will never convince everyone of that. To me it seems like a win-win situation…shipping to other countries may be a tidge more expensive (if at all…for those of us in Canada, it’s cheaper sending to the US than within our own country), but you get 3x the points and can then mooch 2-3 books just for shipping out one!

    136. Jason said

      With the exception of the reasons stated at the end of the article, everything else sounds ridiculous. Nobody is forcing you to put books on BookMooch. If you put them on the site they are fair game for anyone to mooch. Not liking someone’s politics or country is not a reason for rejecting a Mooch. this site will not survive if people get to reject a mooch for any little reason that tickles their fancy. Stop acting like babies and grow up!

    137. Jason said

      With the exception of the reasons stated at the end of the article, everything else sounds ridiculous. Nobody is forcing you to put books on BookMooch. If you put them on the site they are fair game for anyone to mooch. Not liking someone’s politics or country is not a reason for rejecting a Mooch. this site will not survive if people get to reject a mooch for any little reason that tickles their fancy. Stop acting like babies and grow up!

    138. Lisa R said

      I refused a mooch my first week here, It was a hard thing but the book was over 1000 pages, very heavy and the requestor wanted me to send it from New York where I live, all the way to Australia, the cost would have been more than the book itself I found out. So I declined sending it. I hope that was ok , I still think about it, but I just could not afford to do that.

    139. Sonja said

      I felt very comfortable with having my profile say that I would send to other countries, just ASK ME FIRST. Well, someone from another country didn’t ask, just pretty much demanded, and when I turned them down due to postage costs, they gave me two negative ratings (since there were two books in question)and ruined my perfect score. Taht was finally straightened out and I have my perfect rating again, but unfortunately due to this hassle, I decided to change my profile to read “will not send to other countries”.

    140. Kay said

      I do have one issue with listing a book on multiple sites/neglecting to keep one’s inventory up to date. We receive points for listing books in our inventory. When we list books that cannot be mooched we are essentially defrauding BookMooch!

      I recently went to mooch a book from someone who listed over 2000 books, had never mailed out a single book, had mooched several and stated in his bio that he was not currently sending books out. It felt fishy to me and while I am sure that the vast majority of people act in good faith (and we all make mistakes) we are effectively paid for every book we list in our inventories.

      That said, I do have to agree with everyone counselling tolerance with the imperfections of others – I have certainly accidentally listed a book in my inventory when I meant to put it on my wishlist. And I still feel bad for the person who must have surely been overjoyed to find it listed only to have me send the email of disappointment.

    141. Iz said

      I love this service – thank you so much.

      However I must say, John, as sensible as I think you always are, that this is too much micromanagement from the top.

      Bookmooch is a terrific example of pushing intelligence to the network’s edge, where it belongs. It doesn’t need to have heavy control from the top, just enough to keep it operating smoothly.

      Based on that interpretation of the dream, regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, I recommend the opposite of what you proposed: Anyone should be allowed to refuse to send a book for any reason, and the person who was refused shouldn’t allow their feelings to be hurt by it. I think it’s polite to not say why you are refusing if you have a nasty reason – but if someone feels forced to say it, whoever got turned down should simply conclude that person is an anti-social jerk and let it go.

      I’m not a fan of the official protection of people’s feelings, in general, anyway. Life isn’t kindergarten. Some people are jerks – just dismiss them and move on.

      Just my opinion! Thanks for listening.

    142. Aurorra said

      In refusing a bok based on another persons ethnicity or social preferences such as book taste), you are only perpetuating the cycle of racism you claim to be making a stand for. Other than postage cost being too high, I can’t really see any other valid reason not to send a book. When I joined bookmooch I thought it was a global society based on an idea of shareing. If you not capable of behaving like a civilised adult, then maybe you shouldn’t be useing bookmooch, at least not unitl you learn how to share with dignity.

    143. Tangent said

      Sue: Before, the system would email everyone who had the book wishlisted at the same time. Now, it emails Moocher #1 first, then Moocher #2 (a few hours after the email to Moocher #1), then Moocher #3, and so on, working down the list in a random order until someone mooches it. There was a blog post about it… here and the one after it.

      I think that’s an excellent way of addressing people posting books, rejecting mooches (“lost it”), and reposting them again for additional points (unless behind the scenes the system can tell when a book has been “lost” and reposted, then no additional points for reposting).

      You already lose the tenth of a point when you remove a book from your inventory, don’t you?

      this site will not survive if people get to reject a mooch for any little reason that tickles their fancy.

      People can already do this, but most people don’t, because they want their books to be mooched (why else would someone even be here?). Just because a few people choose to be idiots doesn’t mean it’s going to turn into some kind of epidemic.

      I’m against having “hard” rules about reasons you can reject a request, pretty much for the reasons other people have already mentioned.

      Maybe the rejection reason could be made publicly viewable on the rejector’s history, though (though possibly not on the moocher’s history–if the rejector said something rude, then the moocher shouldn’t have to have that on their page). I think that would discourage people from being nasty about it (Possibly rejections could be separated out from “books given away” in the history, as well? It would make them easier to spot). If the reason is personally abusive, well… most sites have rules against being abusive towards other members, anyway. Having a rule against flaming in rejection reasons wouldn’t be a big deal, I think.

    144. Donna said

      I love bookmooch and was excited to send a book to Iceland; even our post office was interested. I know if someone is on a severly limited budget it can be impossible but it doesn’t cost that much more if it’s a paperback and it feels good to know someone else shares your interest.

    145. pattricejones said

      Um, what’s the point of calling it a mooch “request” if the recipient of the request isn’t free to say “no”? Me, I always feel lucky when somebody says “yes” and I wouldn’t worry over it if somebody said “no” without giving a reason. I’d prefer BookMooch to be a truly free exchange, in which nobody is obligated to send books to people or places to which they would prefer not to send them. To avoid hurt feelings, maybe we could adjust the language to get rid of the word “rejection” and have the default email message for a refused request be politely apologetic.

    146. Jane said

      I agree with Pattrice. Her suggestion sounds like an excellent solution to me.

    147. Diana said

      This is my first post on here. I have only had two rejected requests & both people were nice about it. I’m not sure a drop down list will help, but it may be helpful in not upsetting people with crazy reasons for rejecting a mooch. I believe a default email message for a rejection would work out well, as another person suggested. I enjoy this site & hope it doesn’t become ruined by a few rude people. Thanks for listening.

    148. Anna said

      I’ll ditto every one who’s on the “keep things the way they are, maybe issuing some guidelines” side.

    149. Dana said

      I have rejected two requests. In both cases, I still mooched the book but didn’t want the recipient to have to use their points as they were a non-profit afterschool program. Not sure if there was a way for me to accept the book but then give the point back to them.

      Before mooching from someone, I do look to see how many times they have rejected a mooch. It would be nice if there were some standard reasons or categories that oculd be viewed by others instead of just seeing that a moocher has rejected a number of requests.

    150. Sam said

      It just goes to show that there are still all kinds of folks out there.Live and let live and understand people make mistakes.I don’t think I would deny anyone a chance to enjoy a book just because of a bad personal experience with an author or anyone.Just keep going and chalk it up to humanity.

    151. Marlene said

      I know that postage in US has gone up and that it cost them now just as much, or nearly as much as we had to pay for years.

      Our postage also go’s up every year.
      In my country if you send to Europe you still have the surface mail opion but outside Europe it will cost you a minimum of 7 euros which is about 10 dollars, for a small book but most books cost 10 euros.

      So I had to reject requests.
      My profile states email be before mooching and in each condition I add Europe only but people just still mooch without asking.
      I get annoyed by that cause when I mooch I always check the owner’s profile.

      Why not add a “I email to Europe only” option?

    152. Barbara said

      Pease don’t post this… but after reading most of these replies, if I was managing this site and had to moderate this conversation… it would make my heart soooooo heavy.

      I love the site, the concept and the thrill of receiving a book. This conversation is soooooo disheartening. I just had to drop you a note and say.., keep up the excellent work and try not to let the turkeys get you down. 🙂

    153. Joe said

      I was really quite upset when someone recently rejected me… it hurts. But the I realized the reason they did was because they closed their account, and had denied 7 other moochers too… Then I felt a bit better.

    154. kat said

      britne: that really sucks! What can you do though? sometimes good writers aren’t good people. =\ We love our authors so we’d like to believe they’re wonderful people who will always support their readers.. but in the end theres just as many jerks who are writers as there are in every other profession. I wish it weren’t so!

      I rejected someone once because my dad spilled coffee onto the book on accident. 🙂 All I can say is, look at feedback… and always give a reason if you’re going to reject someone. Maybe they could make it mandatory to provide a reason for rejection? Then at least there wouldn’t be the random unexplained rejections. Or they could rename it something other than “reject” .. like “pass” then it wouldn’t sting so much. maybe? haha

    155. Cuppie said

      In my opinion a book you own is yours whether it is listed in your inventory or not. Therefore, you should be able to reject a mooch at free will. I believe that most people wouldn’t reject a mooch without a reason. If I have a book listed in my inventory, I may get give it away or decide to keep it and it’s mine so that’s my right. I *DO* think that ideally once you’ve decided that the book will not be moochable it should be removed from inventory, but let’s face it, some of us are more forgetful than others. There could be a case of “I no longer have the book but forgot to remove it from inventory”. When I request a mooch, I never assume that my mooch will be accepted and if it were, I would accept it as the right of the owner to reject. i wouldn’t even except a reason. That’s just my opinion!

    156. Margriet Maas said

      The discussion is very useful, but I have the impression that arguments are repeated, when does this end? I think it has now enough interesting topics to improve the website, whether it is technically possible, that is of course for John to find out? As for me I think that the “hold” option (or “reservation”) and the option: “I have rejected because somebody emailed me first” would both be useful for me. If there would be a choice for the profile: “I will send within my continent (or within Europe) only”, I would probably not choose it, but it would be more fair for people in small countries like mine. I understand the argument “not enough money to send overseas”, but that same argument goes for people from Europe, because for us it is expensive too. Personally I love to send my books everywhere and I enjoy this site very much, so even without any change, I will continue and send my books with great joy. Thanks for all your work John! Bookmooch is great and I hope it will exist for a long time and that more and more people will find it and become a member.

    157. Mickie said

      I’ve had a few rejections with what appears to be valid reasons. The one rejection I had a problem with came from a member that I felt was abusing the system.

      They had a large number of books listed in inventory, but had over a long period (more than 6 months) been rejecting all the requests they were getting all the way back to the same month that they had joined Bookmooch. I gave them negative feedback on that transaction (to which I received a nasty response) and reported them. They are still members now and last time I checked had a mooch ratio of 5:1 with around 20 they had rejected & a feedback rating of less than +5. I think there should be some better way to handle situations like this while still allowing most fair users to continue to operate.

      I agree that to some extent, the community has to regulate itself, but at the same time, tools have to be in place to do so. I think the tools in place do a fairly good job, but I would not be opposed to a little tighter handle on rejects.

    158. darkwood said

      If you get this far down the comments, you’re doing very well!

      My opinion is that you can’t legislate against stupidity and mean spiritedness. Put more rules in place and you still won’t be able to stop people from doing what is perceived to be the wrong thing by some.

      And the more rules that are set, the more the atmosphere of Bookmooch moves from openness, friendliness and trust, to regulation, fear and pre-judgement.

      I wouldn’t want that to happen.

      I delight in the goodwill and trust that that washes over me from almost all moochers and moochees that I have had the pleasure of dealing with. Bookmooch works. The good overwhelmingly outweighs the bad experience on Bookmooch.

      And I definitely won’t get my knickers in a knot about the occasional bad apple in a crate of sweet ones.

    159. Jesse said

      I’m sure someone already said this but I didn’t really want to read all of them… some of the comments were sad and I’m sorry people had these situations happen to them.

      My only bad problem with the rejection of books thing… I am on several other book swapping sites ( for example) and for sometimes someone will mooch a book from me on bookmooch and then a few days later another person will mooch from me on another site. I don’t come online every single day, and so on several occassions, the two requests will happen before I come online and now I have the book being requested on two different sites. I generally send it to the first person who asked for it and I explain this to them when I reject it, that I hadn’t gotten a chance to take it out of my inventory before they mooched it from me.

      However, one one occassion, this happened and the person for some reason didn’t get my message with the rejection, they emailed asking me “Why did you reject my mooch?” and I replied explaining the situation and apologizing that my computer didn’t send it the first time.

      Without sending an email back, they left me a negative feedback. I find that… absolutely insane. But instead of getting angry about it, I just let it go figuring one bad feedback wasn’t such a big deal.

      But honestly? I think that if you reject a mooch, they shouldn’t have the option of leaving feedback… or something.

      That’s all I have to say on the subject… besides the fact that I think the “Send rejection now” button is HILARIOUS….


    160. Jesse said

      Also.. Mickie: I think there is a rule in place that you can only receive books if you are still sending them out. Or was that taken away?


    161. Yaya said

      Lately I’m disappointed with a member, because she already accepted to send my books but later she emailed me because she wanted to check the cost to send books from USA to Indonesia.

      Why didn’t she email me first before accepting my request?

      And then I found out she cancelled her acceptance because my points were back to normal. She emailed me one day later!

      Truly disappointing 😦

    162. Sue H. said

      I am on two other trading sites and I have learned not to place a new book I wish to give away on every site. I will place it on one of the sites for say, a week to see if it’s on someones wishlist. If it is not taken within that timeframe, I will post it on the second most active site I use, then eventually the third. After three weeks if it’s not taken, then I feel it’s available to anyone who wants it on any of those trading sites.

      I’ve only had to reject 10 requests on Bookmooch(because of me not keeping proper management of books taken from the other sites and forgetting to take them off my Bookmooch inventory) I would have had to reject more, but I went to the used bookstores and thrift shops in my town and found copies of books people wanted. I know not everyone would do this, but I felt that I owed it to the person asking for the book from me. I have had books rejected for not so reasonable reasons and felt upset and wanted to leave negative feedback, but I feel life is too short to be petty.

    163. jilted moocher said

      I realize book owners have the right to reject,but to say you accept the mooch then cancel/reject is a real let down. Please check before accepting so we don’t get our hopes up.
      Bookmooch is terrific!The post office loves it,too 🙂

    164. sk said

      I’m a bit confused by these ‘rules’ because I’ve seen a BookMooch member’s history where she clearly stated that she wasn’t willing to send books in her inventory even within her country but was allowed to keep her inventory up and continue mooching from other people.

      I reported this as ‘abuse’ which I think it is (if you’re not willing to send books, I think it’s obvious that you shouldn’t list them) but never got any response.

      Is it indeed a rule that you can’t reject requests because you find the postage (even within your country) too expensive? Because it certainly isn’t enforced.

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