Kittens for BookMooch

April 17, 2008

I received this wonderful postcard in the mail today from someone a fellow moocher. I *think* it might be a vintage photograph, it certainly looks old. I had to share, this is so sweet…



ps: that’s not my real postal address, I tinkered with it in Photoshop (though plenty of you who’ve received a book or cards from me know my real address)

39 Responses to “Kittens for BookMooch”

  1. Mary Jones said

    John, I love the kitten postcard and thought that I’d let you know that a lot of us include postcards when we send and receive books, especially overseas. It is not only a way to personalize the whole BookMooch experience, but a novel way to make new friends. I have been know to barter for postcards with BM points too! I love both BookMooch and Postcards, and I love combining them even more!


  2. Leah said

    Thanks for sharing. What a sweet card but love the sentiment even more. Also agree with it. Take care. We love you so much.

  3. Now that says it all! Even the animals love ya John :o)
    Smiles, Debi Hoggan of Utah

  4. chunnie said

    Mary Jones- are you a member of It is a free site where members send postcards to random strangers across the globe, and also recieve postcards from random strangers.

    Some members of postcrossing enclose their postcard in an envelope with a letter or other small item of interest. Many of those members mention on their profiles that they like reading, perhaps if the recieved a bookmooch card in an envelope along with a postcard they could be encouraged to join bookmooch too. Another interesting way to combine two interests perhaps?

    Just a though anyway ;p

    Lovely postcard John, keep up the good work, you are doing a marvelous job.

  5. Vanessa said

    I like to include a home-made bookmark with mooches . . . I guess it makes the whole experience a little more personal for me — reminds me there’s a human being on the other side. 🙂

  6. jeniwren said

    Thanks Chunnie
    I am postcrosser have never thought about including a bookmooch card or for that matter even just including the website address in my note. A lot of people request that you dont use an envelope as the post mark and stamp are important to a collector.
    I also include postcards with my mooches and it really is appreciated and makes the whole sharing experience a bit more fun and interesting from where the book has travelled.
    Thanks John Bookmooch just gets better and better!!

  7. mina said

    I also included Indonesian-related postcards in any bookmooch envelopes I sent overseas 🙂

  8. Cece said

    Just a word of warning if you are sending books by Media Mail…the Grinch-like US post office, if they should choose your package for a random search,
    (which my post office clerk, Grinch’s cousin, always informs me they do after interrogating me about the parcel contents every time I mail…he’s a treat)
    and they find anything other than a book, will exact grave and horrible punishments. I don’t know what those are-probably sending it back to you with a stern note asking for First Class postage-but I get the feeling that they take it VERY seriously! (Unlike me.)

  9. Three cheers for the kind, wonderful people (and kittens) of BookMooch… This is quite a special community.

  10. Samantha said

    OMG!! I sent that postcard on a whim the other day. My boyfriend and I live in different states, so I’ve amassed literally dozens of postcards to send to him, and recently started sending them to just about everyone who’s address I have. The kitten one was from a lot of 1960’s vintage kitten postcards I won on eBay.

    Whoa, I’ve never heard of, but just joined. Sounds perfect for me! Thanks for the tip!!

    Much love to the bookmooch community,

  11. Jackie N. said

    It’s true. Bookmarks and bookmooch cards are ok to send via media mail with our books, but not postcards with our handwriting on them. Bummer, eh? One thing about my local postal people (clerks)…they don’t seem to be very happy I use media mail so much. I just told one sourpuss last week to call me the “book lady”. I’ve sent out over a hundred books so far in six months time. That’s about $225 postage and a lot for me on a fixed income. But I love BookMooch.

  12. jeniwren said

    Wow the US postal service are a nervous lot. Here in Australia all that is required is a Customs declaration slip on which you detail the contents which is *book* no interrogation or hassles, just a friendly smile and off it goes. Could someone explain the issue with handwriting?

  13. Nic said

    I know, technically, in the UK printed paper rate means that there should not be anything of a “personal” nature enclosed – no gift card, letter etc. The lovely ladies at my post office are used to me by now and don’t even ask :o)

    I always enclose a postcard saying “thank you” and in nearly five years of Bookcrossing, ReadItSwapIt, Bookmooch etc I’ve never, ever had an opened package.

  14. Ladkyis said

    but now that someone from the US postal service or customs and excise has read this (or someone has snitched on us) it won’t be long before sometime, somewhere a parcel will be opened and then a loud stentorious voice will intone “for adding a postcard with real writing on it you are sentenced to be without books for one week!”
    Now I have scared myself sill with that and need to lie down for a while and hug my books (or cwch them as we say here in Wales)

  15. Toby said

    Vanessa has a wonderful idea! Beyond my avid love of reading, I am a scrapbooker. What a lovely way to combine the two! I’ll be sending out homemade bookmarks with my mooches, too! LOVE IT! Thanks for the idea.

  16. Irene said

    Cece, the person you sent it to would have to pay the extra charge for first class or priority if a postal worker discovers non-media in the package.

    I’ve had several media mail packages inspected and rejected for bookmarks in addition to postcards.

  17. NHQltmkr said

    I also get grilled about the contents when I ask for media mail rates. I’m asked about invoices, notes, cards, letters… To be honest, I’m a little miffed – I do all bill paying and most coresponding via internet nowadays, so the only money the USPS is getting from me is the 30 or so books I send each month. You’d think they’d be happy to get out of me as much as they do. 🙂 Frankly, they scare me a tad so I don’t include ANYthing (anymore)(except I’m determined to include BM cards – I’m willing to be a martyr for BM)!

  18. June said

    So France isn’t the only place to have dragons (Jackie N ) in the post office. We have a super one in our local, I’ve had more arguments over the past four years that I’ve been living here to fill a book. Now I’ve found a website thanks to (Kirkus )and I go prepared with the price, and to argue if she doesn’t agree!

  19. Personally, I think this would make a great T-shirt 🙂

  20. cynthia said

    I get the same interrogation every time I mail books – our postal clerks are very thorough. They won’t even let you send bookmarks or cards of any shape or form. I was using a Bookmooch card as a bookmark in the book I was reading while I stood in line for eons. “I hope you don’t have one of those in there.” Luckily, I didn’t.

  21. Vanessa said

    Wow, I’ve never had any post office clerks here in Canada (and some are pretty snarky) drill me on “internal communication.” However, I never send anything “book rate” because I don’t have much confidence in Canada Post, so maybe they figure since they got their money they don’t care what’s in the package.

  22. Diana said

    Gee I never thought of post cards, get idea and John as so many have said. Bookmooch has changed our lives for the better. Sometimes I want to go shopping and I mooch instead! Just as rewarding and a whole lot better on my limited in come. Cute kittens! Recycled post card. Think when I start to send them out I’ll use pencil.

  23. Diana said

    Just a word on badgering by postal employees. If your area has a human post master, petition or complain. We did the in Orange,CA once at a satellite post office at the City Shopping Center. One woman was so bad everyone lined up on the man’s side! My father worked for the post office so I knew she had to behave and started a petition in my office building, got about 35 signatures, sent it to the post master of her cover station and that woman, lo and behold, changed over night into the nicest (fake but that’s OK) postal employee you ever saw. I basically said it was an inconvenience for me to travel to a different post office just so that I would be treated with respect and that I was willing to get testimonies and file a formal compaint if necessary.

  24. Vickytoria said

    I found another unsual thing about Media Mail in the US. I tried to mail some vintage magazines (50 + years old) by boxing them up and sending them Media Mail. I was ‘grilled’ by the PO clerk and I was honest by answering ‘yes’ when he wanted to know if there was advertising in the magazines. He said I could not use Media Mail because of the advertising! I replied, “Yeah, but these business probably don’t even exist now and the owner are most likely dead!” – – – Well, of course that got me no where. I had not known about the advertising ‘rule’ anyway. – – – So I took them home, put them in a FLAT RATE box, and mailed them from Alaska to New Jersey with an extra 20 pounds of decorative Alaska ROCKS at no extra charge to me. I know it was probably a nasty thing to do, but for the PO it was at least LEGAL and OK by there rules. – – – And, my cousin was tickled to get the rocks as well. He is a retired postal worker and thought it was a HOOT!! Vickytoria

  25. Annette said

    Just for the record, and so not all postal employees are seen as grumps and grinches, in my small town in California the postal workers are all amused that I send and receive so many books, and they have never grilled me on the contents of my media mail packages. And if I’m standing in line with a package-notice slip they go and get my package/s without making me wait…might have something to do with the fact that I make them all biscotti every holiday season, or maybe they’re just nice people. I think the latter.

  26. serena said

    john what a cute piture i agree been a member for 2 months and iam hooked thank you

  27. Brian said

    I don’t get any gruff from the Post Office. Only once did someone ask, “No letter inside?” Maybe because they generally see me sealing the book in one of the packaging envelopes they sell. Very convenient! I’m glad the Post Office sells packaging materials nowadays.

  28. Wyndy said

    Although I realize printer ink (or a printer) may be an issue, you won’t have to deal with the Postal Grinches if you use a self-printing postage service. Through the USPS, you can’t opt for Media Mail and print your own. However, Endicia, which is an “approved” postage site, offers Media Mail as an option. I print my postage and put the package out for the mail carrier.

  29. Cuppie said

    I have never gotten any hassle from the P.O. here. Thankfully my clerks at the P.O. have all been very friendly and have never blinked twice about me sending so much Media Mail. They’re used to seeing me now and assume that if I have a package it’s going Media Mail. I know one of them hates asking me all those question because he acts exasperated and has told me he asks because they make him 🙂

    BookMooch is wonderful, can’t argue that!

  30. Tanya Book said

    My post office employees wanted to know where I swapped books online at so I had to tell them all about! They got very used to everything media mail from me.

  31. Cassandra said

    Thanks for the important reminder CeCE.
    Just to add to CeCe’s comment:

    Only the semi-unGrinchy ones will return it to you. Media Mail does NOT include return postage if it can’t be delivered. If they do return it, it will be with return 1st class postage DUE. And that’s when they are feeling generous. Then they might make one attempt to ring your bell and collect the fee and return your package to you. Which then you will need to pay new postage and re-ship.

    And if you do include any personal message, items other than books/magazines or something they can consider “advertisement”…they usually just confiscate the contents and send it to the Atlanta GA facility to be sold at auction.

    I used to have a WONDERFUL postman, who was a friend too. He told me that this is the standard procedure and that most inspectors are in perpetual bad moods.

  32. amberlianne said

    You can use PayPal Multi-Order Shipping to print Media Mail postage. All you have to have is a PayPal account — no fees for a postal website. I’ve done nothing but that since I discovered it a year or so ago. Makes life easier not to have to go to the Post Office (and your mail isn’t subject to that “must-be-taken-to-the-post-office-if-over-13-ounces” rule either).

  33. lin said

    no kidding about the postal grinches, it gets aggravaiting after awhile, sending so many books media mail…all the questions,but worth it!

  34. Macie said

    Loved the kitten postcard but then again I’m a die hard cat lover so anything with kittens on it catches my eye. As to the hasssle from the USPS the only thing they try to push on me is sending it the more expensive route, with which I just answer media mail please. Keep up the good work. I belong to another on line book swap and I don’t have the same great service as I do from Bookmooch and their site is not as people friendly as yours. Please don’t stop the great work your doing.

  35. patrick said

    It’s true, we all appreciate you!

  36. SqueakyChu said

    I’ve never been grilled by any postal employee at my local post office. I usually always include a handmade bookmark which also serves as a packing slip. I’ve never had any problem with that.

  37. Vickytoria said

    On my last trip to the PO I did ask more in-depth about the Media Mail ‘rules.’ I was told if the package is inspected and anything but book/s are found then there is a ‘problem,’ which means it could be confiscated, additional postage added, ect. I guess that is up to the person inspecting it (?); that wasn’t made clear because government-speak was used in the answer. However, I was told that business cards, post cards, and even a bookmark (homemade or otherwise) is a no-no. Often, I did the same thing (including bookmarks) when sending out books. I’ve stopped that unless the book is light enough for 1st Class because I’d feel bad if the person requesting from me never got the book because as far as we knew “it was lost in the mail.” It had been fun to do, and I’ve even received candies along with a book… but it is what it is. Thanks for the post-card idea tho, now I include an Alaska postcard with every 1st class book.

  38. Jennifer said

    I always tuck a little sticky note in with my books. Makes the whole transaction a bit more warm and fuzzy. ^_^

  39. I liked the kittens (I’m a cat lover). I collect postcards, so maybe when I have more money I will send out a local postcard with the book I’m mailing. I could make bookmarks, too, as I have scrapbooking materials and could use cardstock and rubber stamps. I enjoy receiving bookmarks, etc., with my books. Sometimes my name and address are written down on a piece of paper that’s enclosed with the book. One time the paper had Disney’s Tinkerbell on it. I liked that. It makes you smile. Plus I’d never seen that kind of paper before. It could’ve been a souvenir from DisneyWorld!

    I don’t think I’ve ever been grilled about the contents of my packages when sending media mail. A few postal employees might ask if it’s a book or a video. Guess they want to know if you understand what can and can’t be sent media mail. As long as it’s a book you’re mailing, I don’t see why you can’t just stick a bookmark or postcard inside the book (conceal it that way). I really don’t think they can “inspect” the packages. I mean, they’d have to open them up and reseal them. And if there’s a lot of tape on it, they’d wreck the package. Then they’d have to make a new one and write the address on that, etc.

    When mailing I ask for media mail or first class, whichever is cheaper. And most of my packages sent are books and if I wrap it in thick paper, then it definitely looks like a book and wouldn’t be suspiciously trying to pass itself off as media mail when it’s not.

    With media mail sometimes they ask if there is any advertising, so it looks like they don’t want you sending magazines or comic books that way. And magazines can be heavy, so I assume that would cost a lot first class; but I haven’t ever sent any of those out.

    Also, you can use the A.P.C. (automated postal center) that’s available at some post offices. They can be used 24 hours a day. If first class is more than media mail, I go back to the main screen and hit the selection that says buy a stamp and put in $2.13 as the amount. You can even buy more than one at once of the same amount. Then make sure you write MEDIA MAIL on the package and insert in the bin. I’ve never had any problem with doing it this way, even though the machine doesn’t have a media mail option.

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