People giving a little

February 14, 2009

Last week I blogged about how I was asking for donations to help me buy a new server for BookMooch, as the present one is now at 87% capacity.

I received a whole bunch of postal mail with checks, about $500 worth, which is great!

I’ve raised about $1500 so far, which is fantastic, but a long way from the $10,000 this server is going to cost, so please do give a little if you can. I really do need the help to keep BookMooch sustainable (it does cost something to run this service, since I do run it for free).

Here are two wonderful letters (out of a bunch!) that I received, that I wanted to share. I love the love that mooching engenders!




45 Responses to “People giving a little”

  1. cece said

    I am happy to support anything that promotes literacy and the love of reading-you do both. If everyone gives a little-the cost of a cup of coffee-once a month, we all benefit. I hope my contribution helps.

  2. Betty said

    Hello John, I will help you by posting about your “Bookmooch” site and asking for contributions on my blog.

  3. Sarah said

    Is there anyway I can give a one off donation via paypal?

  4. Leslie said

    I’m happy to give monthly in memory of my sister, Eugenia Provence, an avid mooch. Wish it could be more. Thanks for all you do.

  5. Rayhne said

    I really wanted to at least reimburse you for the cards and bookmarks and this gives me an easy way to do it! Keep up the great work!!

  6. Ruth Ann said

    I’m am sorry I can’t give more. Being on Social Security does limit what I can and can’t do. I feel that I save so much money using BookMooch that it is well worth the tiny amount I am able to contribute each month. Good luck and if, in the future, I can afford more I’ll be happy to do more. Keep up the good work.

    Ruth Ann

  7. Zee said

    My husband loves Bookmooch! Why? Because I am “getting rid” of books. I’m the reader and packrat. He’s not. He’s frugal and tidy. Sssssh! Don’t tell him that I’m getting books in return. That will only confuse him.

    I love Bookmooch! I’ve been received some amazing books from people all over the world. I finally gave a Bookmooch card to my mail carrier. He just wanted to know about all these little packages. I tell everyone. So, I figured… I’m mostly responsible for the surge in use. And should help defray my portion of the growth.

    Thanks for all you do!

  8. J. Lee said

    As a semi-starving library student/bookmaker, I have very little income, but I can swing the $3/month. So here’s to the longevity of bookmooching. May it last until world’s end (which may be sooner than we’d like if we start blowing eachother up).

  9. Heather said

    Does BookMooch only receive a commission from or does it receive commissions from etc? If it does how do we link up to the other amazons from BookMooch when we’re wanting to make a purchase?


  10. KarenH said

    I’m glad to support Bookmooch. It’s a wonderful site. I’ve got so many books to read as a result of the mooches I’ve done here. Thank you for keeping this going. I’ve set up a monthly donation to you through my bank. Expect a check from WAMU each month from me. Thanks again.

  11. Gina said

    I’m sure that ANY amount helps 🙂 If everyone would realize – If everyone here gave $1.00 – it would probably pay for the new server. We all use this site for free and it’s great! I sure don’t want to lose it. I have tried several trading sites in the past and left them all. Bookmooch is the only one that I support.

  12. You didn’t mention whether you had gotten a good response to the monthly PayPal option. It was a great way for me to be able to do a little bit more – hope people can take advantage of that!

    Thank you as always!

  13. Marianne said

    Thanks for sending the email. I don’t get to spend a lot of time on BookMooch, and didn’t see your post.

    BookMooch is an incredibly generous endeavor on your part and I am so grateful that it exists. I hope my modest monthly donation helps. I wish it could be more.

    Thanks for all you do.

  14. Heather19 said

    I am *very* happy about this new easy way to donate! And YAY for everyone who has donated so far, that’s wonderful!
    Upsets in home life have made donating impossible for me right now, but as soon as finances stabilize again it’ll be on top of my list!

  15. Columbine75 said

    Hey John,

    I know you really need continual donations, but I can’t really afford that, is there a way to give you a one off donation?


  16. Suzanne said

    I’d really love to donate, but once a month donations scare me in today’s economy, as I never know what the new month will bring! If you would allow a one time Paypal donation, I’d feel like I could donate for sure. If not, I’ll try to send a check. Thanks!

  17. Jen Hachigian said

    I just signed up to donate $3 each month. BookMooch has been wonderful for helping me declutter my bookshelves. Thank you for providing a great service. :^)

  18. Pen said

    Hi John,
    Although Im my mom’s live in caregiver (no pay), I can swing the $3 per month for you and BookMooch. Thank you so much for having this site and maintaining it…it helps along my little “harmless”(?!) addiction.
    Much love and thanks

  19. Hercules40 said


    I have added my meager contribution. I hope this site never becomes a pay site. I hope it stays affordable.

    Keep us updated on the finances! Great job as always.

    Thank you as always!

  20. I would love to “give a little,” but I need an option that allows me to donate one time first. Sending in a check would be unnecessarily hassle, and I definitely do not want to “give monthly,” because that would be ten times as much hassle to remember to factor into my budget every month. In addition, I’m happy to give generously one time, or even regularly, but it has to be in intervals I decide directly, or I start feeling very guilt-tripped and resentful.

    Even if the “give monthly” option might seem to be more important long-term, I might not be the only person who feels alienated and so chooses to give nothing as long as that, or the hassle of a check through the mail, is the only way to donate. Just something to consider.

  21. I should probably also add that I am a huge fan of BookMooch, definitely want it to see it continue forever, and would be happy to donate some of what little I have to help it stay that way. I just won’t if I feel like the only option is involves feeling guilt-tripped. I love to give out of generosity or a desire to help; I hate feeling guilt-tripped.

  22. BrianL said

    John (and fellow BookMoochers)- thanks so much for all your time and hard work to make BookMooch such a success! I hope our small continued donation helps you get that new server and supports the future of BookMooch!

    Best regards,

    BrianL & family

  23. Paul Sas said

    For all those who want to give all at once (a one off): It’s very straightforward via the Paypal link to pay an amount (as a subscription) & immediately after the first subscription occurs, cancel the recurrence. The first subscription payment occurs instantaneously, so the entire process would take only a couple of minutes. NOTE: I may be undermining something that John wanted to have happen, with recurring payments. That wasn’t my intention, but in uncertain times, people may be more willing to pay now what they can, without being blocked from participating by anxiety over what the future may hold.

  24. Karl said

    I too would like to make a one-time donation via PayPal. How may I do so, John?

  25. vivir said

    I´m happy to help a bit, but I´d also prefer one-time donation via PayPal (it´s a bit too complicated to send a check from Finland).

    Thanks for all your hard work, John. BookMooch is just fabulous.

  26. Zjanette said

    I have an idea. Some members on BM are in need of points. Why don’t you make a “member” with the name “New server” and let people donate points to this member. Others (who are in need of points) can buy them. I think maybe 5 dollars for 10 points? But that is something you have to think about.
    For many members it’s easier to donate points then to donate money. And others get something back for the money they give.
    How about that?

  27. ecra said

    would it be possible to send $1 per month? really want to help but on a limited allowance, being a student, but in debt of gratitude to BookMooch.

  28. Brenna said

    Hi John,
    Sending u dough – would be more except I just sent 3 books overseas and it was over $50.00 ( ouch!) I hope you are getting credit for the Amazon purchases I make – I have bought lots of books in 2007 & 2008 and other items too – do you get credit for non book sales??
    Keep up the good work

  29. You have created something wonderful in BookMooch. The sense of community, generosity and kindness amongst the users is something I have not seen on any other website. I’ve dabbled in Paperback Swap, but prefer working with BookMooch people. I’m happy to make a monthly contribution to keep advertising off this site. What you do is sincerely appreciated.

  30. Ren said

    I never did see that post >_< but I just gave through PayPal – how could I not?
    BookMooch is such a wonderful site and it’s been so important to me. Thanks John!

  31. Julie said

    Like some others, I can’t budget to give regular monthly payments but can occasional give a one off. As I’m from the UK, sending a cheque would be pointless as it would cost you more to cash it than I can send. What about a one off Paypal option?

  32. Alioth said

    I love BM and I think that’s a wonderful site. I’m happy to contribute to this great effort, but I’d like to give all at once. I’d like to have a chance to do that without having to send a check from Italy!

  33. Kon said

    I can’t give a monthly payment, simply because I do not have a credit card that is required for paypal. I would love to give, but in Germany checkes are not used at all.
    Why is there no option for a one time pyment?

  34. Diane said

    Is it possible to send a donation by Paypal, I’d like to give something towards Mooch as I love using it. Thanks for all your hard work!

  35. merlin13 said


    Can you please add the option of a one time payment via paypal? I can’t do the monthly thing (I did use it once in the past and I had trouble canceling the monthly payments) so I’d rather do a one time donation (or several one-time payments for that matter, but not monthly).
    Thanks for all you do!

  36. JBatson said

    I too would LOVE to give, but I can’t do the monthly, there is no room in my budget, but I can swing a one time donation. Bookmooch is amazing, and I have told so many people about this site. I want to do my part in helping in its ongoing growth. Awesome job John!!

  37. Is there anyway I can give a one off donation via paypal?

    Yes, you can paypal a donation to john(at)

    I’m am sorry I can’t give more. Being on Social Security does limit what I can and can’t do. I feel that I save so much money using BookMooch that it is well worth the tiny amount I am able to contribute each month.

    Thank you so much for contribution, it really means a lot to me. I received quite a few heart-breaking emails from people who have been long-term unemployed or have very little money from retirement, and it means a lot to me that you write to tell me how much you love BookMooch.

    Does BookMooch only receive a commission from or does it receive commissions from etc? If it does how do we link up to the other amazons from BookMooch when we’re wanting to make a purchase?

    Good question! I do get a payment from the amazon shop that you visit when you click on the “amazon info” link, if you buy then, but I don’t get anything from purchases from amazon stores that you visit that aren’t linked to from BookMooch. I could provide more Amazon links (to all stores), but that gets a bit salesy.

    Actually, what I want to do is have the BM amazon link go to the appropriate Amazon store for your country, if the book is available in your country. That’ll take some extra work, but it makes a lot of sense, especially for Canada and Britain, who have much the same books available as the US store, and obviously people living in those countries would buy from their local amazon store.

    You didn’t mention whether you had gotten a good response to the monthly PayPal option. It was a great way for me to be able to do a little bit more – hope people can take advantage of that!

    Actually, I’ve gotten a great response, and in a few days I’ll post the results. While I haven’t raised enough to buy the server now, I will have enough in a few months to pay for it. The last I checked, I was around $1500/month in gifts, so that 6 month’s of gifts would buy the server.

    There are some other things I want to do besides buy a new server, such as get cards printed in other countries. Moochers in the Philippines, for example, are really great & very active and I’d love to get some cards printed there to help them talk about BM.

    I also want to support people who run mooch stands all over the world, such as at book fairs. It costs a little bit of money to pay for the stand (which is often run by a charity) and the materials for the mooch volunteers to hand out.

    Why does your server cost $10,000? And why aren’t you using Amazon’s hosting services (EC2)

    I got this question a lot and I’ll be writing a blog entry shortly explaining the gory technical details, for those who want to know (everyone else can just trust me to do the right thing).


  38. Jon said

    I love BookMooch and I ‘advertise’ it as much as I can with all my book-loving friends. I original joined BookMooch to clear off my shelves and make room for new books. While I’ve given away over 200 books, my shelves are not getting any lighter! 🙂

    I only have one question with respect to the technical aspects of BookMooch’s infrastructure. Occasionally, response times are sluggish from the site – is this the 80% CPU utilization or the Internet connection? or both?

    Thanks for all your hardwork. And please keep BookMooch as non-commercial as possible. I have signed up for monthly donations and will continue to support BookMooch financially and personally.

  39. Lottie said

    I couldn’t do a monthly payment thing, so I just gave £14 as a one-off. 🙂

  40. I appreciate the way you’ve worked so hard to keep the site as non-commerical as possible, too. That really is one of the things that makes it feel so homey and right, I think.

    I try hard to click on the links whenever to buy things, though I don’t always remember. (I’ll try harder in future!) One question: I’ve heard that, if you click on a link and add other things to your cart in that same session and buy them all, the commission from those other things that weren’t linked to goes to the affiliate who linked you in originally, too. Is this true? If so, is it true whether or not you buy the item you linked in with, or only if you purchase that particular one?

  41. akashy said

    hi, john! i’m new to bookmooch, and now really addicted to it! 🙂 thanks for all your hard work in thinking up, and maintaining this site.

    would love to help and though i don’t have paypal, i do have a credit card. just worried though, as it might be a hassle to cancel after i enroll in the monthly contribution. because it says you can cancel at anytime with paypal, but i don’t know how this would work if i pay via credit card.

  42. Gina said

    akashy – I just used the email address that he sent the email from ( john(at) ) and sent in what I could through paypal.

  43. Charrie said

    I feel like even though I can’t really afford much right now, I want to give a little. When I can afford it, and I will soon, I will up my monthly donation. I cherish this site and plan on using it far into the future, and I want to help make sure that it will be here. Thanks for all that you do, you are appreciated!

  44. Eva Marie said

    I’m going to be sending a check or money order each month because that’s just easier for me. I hope that’s not too much trouble. I’ll help out in any way to keep bookmooch the way it is- I already have SO many great memories from bookmooch and I’ve been a member for about six months.
    Not to mention the GREAT friends I’ve made also!
    Thanks John!

  45. Alison said

    every little helps……glad to be able to give a little back after all you have done….(by the way…could you try and make an easy access to the Angel network?????):-)

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