new BM version

April 2, 2009

A new version of the BookMooch software went up today. There are a lot of tiny things changed in it. Most people won’t find the list below very interesting, but the detail-maniacs (like myself) prefer to have everything nicely documented.

I’m working pretty heavily on BM at the moment, going through all the little bugs and annoyances first. After those are done, highest on my list is redoing the reservation system to hide reserved books (and not send email notifications) and to put up a new forum system.

So, without further ado, here is a list of the small changes on BM as of right now:

ie8 maybe doesn’t work with bookmooch
I received a report that IE8 didn’t work with BM. The user sent me a screen picture where the text entry fields on a form were really tiny. I installed IE8 and had no problem with BM. If you have problems with IE8 and BM, please email me and tell me how you caused the problem.

supress too-often-recommended books (ie, bestsellers) from recommendations list
The recommendations feature tended to recommended the same 50 or so books over and over, which are the best-sellers that everyone has read (that’s why they get recommended). I decided to automatically remove books that were over-recommended, which for the time being I defined as recommended for more than 20,000 titles at BM. Hopefully, that will help the recommendations be more interesting.

change “lost” number of days to: 6 weeks domestic, 4 months international
The admins, and also Australians and Singaporeans have noted that sometimes books take as long as 6 months via boat from a foreign country. So now, you have to wait 4 months (it was 3) to mark a book as lost from a foreign country. For the same country, this has been lengthened to 6 weeks (from 4) for the same reason.

add a “help close this account down” link next to bios of inactive members
I get a lot of emails complaining about accounts on BM where the user hasn’t logged in a while, and the person wants me to remove them. The way I prefer old accounts to be removed is for you to mooch a book from them, and if they don’t respond to the mooch for 10 days, if you cancel and indicate they didn’t respond, the person’s account is automatically put on vacation. This avoids the case where someone hasn’t logged into BM because nobody has mooched their books in a while, and seems fairer. The change I’ve just made simply has a link from “possibly inactive” in their bio to a page explaining how you can help.

limit dupe copies of books to 3 unless admin over-rides, also dupe limit of 1 prohibits user from having dupe entries
The admins have noted that some people add way too many dupe copies of the same book. There isn’t demand for that many copies, and also it’s not fair that they get 1/10th of a point for each copy. From now on, you will be limited to 3 dupe copies by default. If you want more (such as if you’re giving away mooch cards) you can email the admins (a link is provided) and they can increase your limit.

add “move to savelater” button and “move to wishlist” button on the confirmation pages for add-wishlist and add-savelater

make email form clearer that john doesn’t do tech support

display that a user is “temporarily on hold” in their bio page
If an admin is looking at somebody’s account, and that person can’t use BM while this happens, this is now indicated on their bio page. This doesn’t mean they’ve done anything wrong, but “temporarily on hold” is a precaution while the account is reviewed by a volunteer admin.

no wishlist notification for multiple copies of the same book – currently bombards users with wishlist of moochcards because so many copies
fixed: self-explanatory

bug with removing last copy of a multiple-copies book when dupe copies feature enabled, leaves reference in book to owner as if book was available
fixed: self-explanatory

remove weird topics
There were a lot of odd topics coming from Amazon: I’ve removed them

forbid adding non-books
most bindings at Amazon like “Clothes” or “Electronics” are now stopped from being added to BM. About 5% of the catalog at BM has non-book stuff like this. However, most of the non-book stuff are audio-books, which I do want to allow, and audio books are still allowed. I’m working on something that will remove the non-books from the database.

make trim version of asin feed, w/o recommendations
for programmers: the XML database feed of books was really large, due to the recommendations field being included. That field is no longer included, resulting in a 80% size decrease in the XML feed.

email to moocher should be clearly different than to the book owner after a mooch has occured
previously the email the moocher received looked way too much like the same email the book owner received

change “Estimated delivery time” to “estimated ship date”
thanks for the user suggestion on this

charity-log-given shouldn’t show dar-a-luz network (and others) which aren’t a charity any more

shouldn’t be able to mooch from a closed or suspended account
should not be able to give charity to a closed or suspended account
suspended accounts should not be able to receive smooches


when adding books for the first time, warn user to not enter too many or they may get tons of mooches

add Bookmooch to email subject line of “your book was sent”

140 Responses to “new BM version”

  1. shaun said

    thanks for the work your doing. im looking forword to a new forum.

  2. Scherizade said

    Thanks so much for your hard work, John! I love BookMooch, and these small changes will make using it so much easier.

  3. Debra said

    Great little changes, John. They all add up to an improvement, and I think you’re doing a great job. 🙂

    Are check-boxes for revising wishlists anywhere on the to-do list? When doing a major update of a wishlist, it takes soooo long to delete one book at a time. Check-boxes would be really awesome.

    Thanks for spending so much time on BookMooch! 🙂


  4. Laura said

    Another for the to-do list – a link that goes directly to MOOCHED books, so we don’t have to go through pages of SENT books to get to them.

  5. Maria said

    Thank you so much for your work on BookMooch, John!

  6. Erin C said

    I am leary of changes but these are GREAT! I especially like the “help close an account”. I think there are MANY bad accounts here there should be closed, especially the annoying ones that have high demand books and people keep trying to mooch them. I also like the New user warning of multiple mooches! I think some join and then are scared off(abandon the account) by the high demand, it has happened to me many times. Nice little changes will make it smoother here. I am interested in the new forum system, I can never log in there anymore always times out.
    Thanks John!

  7. Erin C said

    Oh I also agree with Laura that would be a huge time saver 🙂

  8. esther said

    So many changes that I am sure quite a few of us were waiting for.
    Thank you!

  9. mary said

    Good changes! Very exciting.

    Another one that would be good for new users is to remind them to put the condition notes. I’ve gotten more than one book from a new user that was not in good condition and they said they didn’t know about adding condition notes.

  10. Barbara said

    I am of two minds on waiting 6 weeks for lost books. I agree that that long is right for lost in shipping, but I has an ENVELOPE arrive quite quickly with no book in it! I have to wait (now) two more weeks to report it lost.

  11. Barbara said

    I have a separate peeve: what about mooches accepted and NOT sent for over a month or mooches not accepted and ignored by a user who HAS been there, but ignores repeated reminders? Can that be fixed so that an ignored request is dropped after a whie or must we just cancel them (does a lot of cancels make me look bad?)

  12. Ruth Ann said

    These are all great and I do agree with Laura. All so, another idea to save time is to be able to sort books by title not just by author. I would be so grateful to be able to do that.

    Thanks for the good work you’re doing.

  13. Kitty said

    I’m still hoping that there will one day be a feature that will allow us to search for books by style or genre, but until then these changes are pretty cool…
    Though, I’d hope that the “change “lost” number of days to: 6 weeks domestic, 4 months international” change doesn’t affect mooches between Canada & the USA… Being obliged to wait a third of a year before being able to report something as lost seems a touch drastic. :-/
    Also, I too agree with Laura’s suggestion: being able to skip directly to our mooched history would be excellent.

    Oh! & thanks again for being so awesome!

  14. Stuart said

    I am the user who had the tiny text boxes, and I now suspect that it may have something to do with my own system, and will check that out as soon as I can.

    How about excluding Kindle listings? I seem to run across those alot, and it’s frequently a new user who is unfamiliar with the difference.

  15. mariahj said

    Overall I am very happy with the site and your work.
    I do not feel that waiting 6 weeks within North America is necessary. If the book has not arrived within 3 weeks after it has actually been mailed then it would be a fluke if it arrived at all. Points are tied up way too long to wait 6 weeks to mark a book as lost.
    I wish that it did not take so very long to accomplish any task on the site as everything has to be done one at a time and it usually takes SO LONG for pages to load that it gets very frustrating when attempting to mark books sent, mark books received, add books to inventory, adjust wish list and so on. It would be great if some of these tasks could be done with a check off square and then a button to make all changes at once.
    Tasks take so long that I am astonished when a page does load fairly quickly, which is seldom. Maybe it is just me and my system, but I am sick of having to keep hitting the “try again” button to get bookmooch to load a page.
    I am quite concerned with the number of people that join and then never return, so hopefully your new warning will help out as I think that many become overwhelmed. I think that new members often need some guidance to realize that they may receive many requests at once and that they do not need to mail them all out immediately as well as some other helpful hints. Maybe a mentoring system would be useful. We seem to lose way too many new members.
    There are many issues that could be improved and it is good to know that you are working on them and I’m sure that with time, we will all be happier than we already are. We do love bookmooch and we thank you for all of your work.

  16. Fern said

    Great changes! I especially like the ideas for getting rid of dead accounts.

    As someone mentioned above, it would be great if there were a way to sort the ‘pending’ page into books being received and books mailed out. It can be hard to keep track of things when they don’t seem to be in any logical order and some books hang around for months on end (normally those shipped surface mail).

  17. jaymoore5 said

    Was wondering if the bug on removing the last copy could be the cause of my problems lately. I’m getting moochs for books I’m sure I canceled. I usually throw an extra book or two in with a mooch, if I have something similar to the mooched book. When I give these away I delete the book. Lately I’ve been having trouble finding moochs. I have several moochs right now that I cann’t find and I swear I’d gave then away with another mooch and deleted them. Two that come to mind are the “saga of eric the viking” and “300 things to do on the internet”. I also delete if I’m unable to find a book and I’m sure the “saga of eric the viking” keeps getting mooch by the same person and I thought I had thrown it in with one of his other moochs.

  18. Ray C said

    When mooching, the entire author’s name used for the “capcha” is not visible in the allocated display box. I have to guess, which is sometimes impossible.

  19. Megan said

    Everything sounds good to me! Lots of small changes that will probably make a big difference. I’m especially excited about the new recommendations guide — suppressing recommendations of books that seem to be appearing everywhere. I always want to use that feature, but nothing ever seemed to be appealing! Thanks!

  20. Hippo said

    Another for the to-do list…

    Flag or ad or tag or mention on member bios the one who involves to put back mooched books on BM.
    This flag (or ad or tag or mention) will not be compulsory : I mean you can keep the book or put it on another exchange site. BUT if you put it somewhere else, you will put it also on BM.

    Indeed some get books on BM (especially more valuable ones) to exchange elsewhere. They are right to do it but they should put them also on BM.

  21. Hippo said

    I forgot 2 things.

    . I am very happy with the site and the way it works.
    . Another way to implement the aboved mentioned “stuff” would be to forbide (sorry for it) to mooch several times the same (valuable) book.

    Thanks again!

  22. Eva Marie said

    Great changes- I agree with Laura 100%, that’s a real hassle when you’ve sent a ton of books!
    I also agree that the ‘lost’ time seems a bit drastic when you think about it but it really sucks when a book is marked lost and then you get the email saying the book arrived! Maybe there could eventually be a way to change that? That might be able to help with the time frames for lost books sometime in the future.
    I LOVE the feature for alerting about the old accounts- those are as annoying as can be to me. I come across so many each day.
    I also have a question- how to the volunteer admins become admins? I’ve only spoken with two or so and am wondering about that.

  23. Cristina said

    Thanks for these little changes, they’re great. I also agree with Laura and Ruth Ann.

    Another idea is to make obligatory to describe book condition when you add a book to your inventory. This would be very helpful for those who doesn’t like bad treated books. If someone lies about it, people who mooch from them could give them negative feedback.

  24. Stuart said

    I did a Google search and found a fix for the tiny-sized text boxes, as it appears I have not been the only one. The fix is to:
    GoTo > Tools > Internet Options >Advanced Tab
    Under the “Browsing” section, uncheck the box:
    “Enable visual styles on buttons and controls in webpages”

    Voila! Text boxes are back to regular size. I have no idea why this happens, and am not going to take the time right now to research that aspect…just happy to see inside those boxes again! 🙂

  25. Carol Mitchell said

    Thanks for the work you’ve put it. In the meantime, there’s something else that’s been bothering me. I asked one of the tech people and he told me how to reach my own biography, but I don’t know how to update it, or even if it can be updated. Not only do circumstances change, but I learned things as I went along, and the text would be different if I wrote it now. This was particularly a problem when postage rates went up for international mail. I have searched for information and not found it, and while I’m not a techie, I’ve used email since before there was a web, and I’ve got friends who know more than I do. If none of us can find instructions or even something that tells that what we want can’t be done,something’s wrong.
    Thanks again. I love bookmooch. This is the second
    time this week that I’ve gotten 4 packages in one day. It’s not our fault that the post office is having money problems!
    Carol Mitchell

  26. Alexi said

    Hey, I was wondering if you had any plans to start a CD/DVD mooch (or anything else mooch) in the near future?


  27. Leo said

    A couple of notes:

    on the extended length of time before a book can be marked lost, 6 weeks for domestic mooches is not unreasonable. I’m in NJ, and anything I’ve sent Media Mail to Alaska or Hawaii has been a minimum of 4 weeks. (Believe it or not, I’m surprised at the number of mooches I’ve gotten from Hawaii…) Also, anything sent to an APO/FPO address, which is still classified as domestic, will get there when it gets there if sent Media Mail (which is why USPS encourages use of those Priority Mail Boxes).

    Four months for international mooches, though, for mooches originating from within the USA is a bit long, however, since USPS eliminated surface mail shipping options for international destinations. I’ve seen books get to Switzerland faster than they get to Ohio. Having said that, I realize that it’s probably prohibitively time-expensive to set different parameters for international mooches based on country of origin.

    Any way to add a FIFO to the wishlist (reserving wish list books in order of request?) As I understand it now, when a book is posted that’s on a wishlist, the email goes out to everyone who has that book wishlisted and the lucky one who responds first gets the prize, rather than the one who’s had the book on his wishlist for a year and a half…

  28. talisa said

    I think Bookmooch is great and the changes will be very helpful.There is still one area I feel concerning is that there are some moochers who refuse to send books within their own country,telling you either to cancel or they will reject requests as they email to say they want to send their book overseas in order to recieve more points.This seems very wasteful that despite a book being available in your own country you are not allowed to mooch it and instead some kind moocher in another country has to pay a small fortune in postage to send you another copy.I am aware of the current rule ( for Canadians as internal postage is more expensive than overseas and for countries with less than 5000 books).
    Many thanks and best wishes,Talisa

  29. Hoop said

    Everything looks good. I also agree with laura about having to go through all of the sent books. One other thing i can think of, is when you try browsing for books by category or topic, i seem to get some that are totally off. Like searching for Horror, and getting Children’s books pop up, or Romance novels.

    Seriously though, thank you for all of the work your putting into the sight.

  30. SJ Hennessy said

    No, please no FIFO! This was a discussion topic before and the concept was shot down. I think notifications were then changed to notify a random name off the wishlist rather than to notify everyone on the wishlist, giving the selected individual a set time to respond before sending out other notifications. This is a nice compromise and IMHO seems to be working.

  31. Eliza K. said

    Thanks for making all these little changes, they’re greatly appreciated. However, I feel that, if you ARE going to try and improve Bookmooch the main thing you need to focus on is the browse function, which is frankly quite awful. Like Kitty said above, it would be great if we could browse books by style or genre. But what I’m mainly interested in is something else. I read books in English but do not live in an English-speaking country, so obviously Bookmooch has helped me a lot in getting the books I want. BUT there is still no way to look at all the books in English from users in my country (which would only cost me one point). I need to browse ALL the books in my country and just look and see which ones have English titles. Which is ridiculous. Also, I can browse only books in English but then I get books from all over the world. So it would be great if you made that possible. That for me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one here, would be a MAJOR improvement. I love that you’re trying to improve BM and thanks for listening to our suggestions.

  32. Lexi said

    Thanks for being open to our suggestions and making improvements! Bookmooch also doesn’t work entirely in Google Chrome. For example, adding books on the wishlist from the wishlist page: I get an error message that says, “you must be logged in” even if I am – though I can add books by browsing in Amazon and then clicking on “add to wishlist.” Same error when I try to email a friend.

  33. jeanne said

    Having to wait 2 extra weeks to mark books lost when you order 5 from the same person makes me mad. I have 5 credits tied up and have to wait 4 weeks is 2 weeks longer than most books take. Now you say we have to wait 2 more weeks that is not right. I ordered 5 books from the same person so that they can save on postage and now either they did not send it and marked it send or they did get lost in the mail but the extra long wait doesn’t seem fair. Think about this please, I feel I have waited long enough after 4 weeks.

  34. Michael said

    @SJ Hennessy: The lack of a FIFO system is the reason myself and many I’ve talked to keep accounts at other places. Any book in my wishlist with more than, say, 5 wishers is never going to get to me unless I never, ever leave my computer.

    A compromise might be to add an “Auto-Mooch” system similar to the one at PBS, so that the so-called lucky person, if they choose to, can automatically request the book when he/she is informed first.

    Until then, I keep a stash of points at PBS to cover my wishlist of popular books, and also only post certain books there so that I can replenish my points as needed… but I’ve gotten more sought-after books there. Here, I only get the older, less popular selections.

  35. Ruth Ann said

    I agree with Michael – I hate when I get the email that says there is a book for me that’s on my wishlist and when I mooch it it’s already gotten by someone else. I like the way PBS does their wishlist as well.

  36. Leah Wiederspahn said

    Thanks so very much. Love these changes especially on the inactive accounts. Those are bothersome. Thanks for devoting such time and love to the site. Greatly appreciated.

  37. First, THANK YOU JOHN (and all) — I love this site, and really appreciate the time and work.

    Re waiting longer to mark things ‘lost’… although I fully understand other members’ frustrations, I’m also supportive of the change. Just this week, a *severely* USPS manhandled packet containing two books I’d sent out in January got returned to me almost two full months after mailing. The moocher had marked the books ‘lost’ after four weeks… then, about a week later, the parcel arrived back in my mailbox, chewed up by postal machines and marked undeliverable.

    In short, if two months is an average amount of time to pass during a snafu like this (and since there’s no way to REVERSE a ‘lost’ claim once it has been made) then it seems logical to give the process a few extra weeks here, making our BM ‘lost’ timeframe more closely reflect the amount of time that the post office typically takes to return things.

    Thanks again for the updates and changes!!

  38. PS, re Michael’s recent comment on the FIFO idea (“A compromise might be to add an ‘Auto-Mooch’ system similar to the one at PBS, so that the so-called lucky person, if they choose to, can automatically request the book when he/she is informed first”)… I think that sounds like a great idea. If the first person to get a random notification is set to ‘automooch’ and has the points, that seems like a good way to make the wishlist process more fair to people who don’t live at their computers.

    Just my two cents, for when you decide to take on the next big BM project… 😉

  39. melissasyd said

    The increase in time for marking international books lost has enabled me to switch back to Worldwide. Thanks for that change.

  40. Fantastic changes! Thank you, John!

    I wonder: Would it be possible to add another detail to your to-do list for the future? When going to a person’s mooching history (especially my own), it would be great to have a link for “books received” on the first page, so that I don’t have to go through pages and pages and pages to finally find where that part of my history begins. This isn’t a huge deal or anything, but it would be a very useful feature to have added.

    Thank you again for all the little things you keep doing to make BookMooch a better place! You’re terrific!

  41. Steven said

    I am against a FIFO system because it would turn Bookmooch into a pyramid scheme where the earliest members get ALL of the popular books and the new members get sh**. I am a new member. My books (that I give) are just as good as yours and I have just as much chance to mooch a popular book as you do, even though you may have been here two or three years. I like it that way. If I had to give away books, and pay postage, for months or years before I had a chance of getting something decent in return I would just pack them up and give them to the good will. And Bookmooch could become a closed system that nobody would want to join, because they would be at such a disadvantage.

  42. bookel said

    Thanks for all your hard work! For ‘ask first request’ emails can the requestor comments be placed at the top (or close to the top) with the word COMMENTS:
    to distinguish it and place it above the links? I completely missed an angel mooch the other day because the comments were way at the bottom and never thought to look way down there. Thanks. 🙂

  43. bookel said

    P.S. Remember last year when you changed the shadow edge on images? There’s still many amazon images that don’t show on BookMooch and I thought you were going to fix it… a white box pops out if you run the cursor over many where there should be book cover images. I think it was better before you changed the shadow as all images showed before then.

  44. Claine said

    May I make a suggestion? On the pending page there’s the following categories:

    Books waiting to receive, which have not been sent

    Books to receive, accepted by sender

    Books which have been sent

    The first one is when you have sended a mooch request but it hasn’t been accepted yet. The second one is when it has been accepted.

    I think these are confusing. I think the first one should read:

    Books waiting to receive, which have not been accepted.

    This means it hasn’t been sent, and hasn’t even been accepted.

  45. John98109 said

    I like the suggestion of an “autorequest” feature, and would like to further suggest that a wishlisted book not become available for “general” mooching until everyone on the wishlist (at time of posting) has had an opportunity to decide, say 12 hours/person (for non-autorequests).

  46. LizA said

    Thank you for the good work! I am sure all these changes will add up to improvments of an already great thing.

    Now I have a “wish” to add for further changes. I often send multiple books to one moocher (for postage reasons). Would it be possible to find a way to make that easier? At the moment, you have to mark every single book as sent, received, etc. It would be much easier to have them all on one page, review them, and then do whatever you need to do once. I am not sure I am expressing myself well, or if this is possible, but anyway…. it is worth a try!

  47. DubaiReader said

    Hi John,
    Thanks so much for your continuing work at BookMooch, it’s great to know you are there, beavering away behing the scenes to make the site ever better.

    There is one thing that doesn’t seem to have been mentioned that I thought I might just bring up.
    A number of items are stuck on my WL because I don’t want to Mooch them for various reasons – they are in a foreign language, they are listed as dirty or mildewed (should they even be listed!?), the Moocher has Ásk Me First’and has refused my request etc etc. I would love to be able to mark these in such a way that I can exclude them from my WL.

    As to the time for marking lost books, I can see that’s evoked some strong reactions! I’d just like to mention a situation that occurred recently. A book I’d Mooched got returnd to US and we’ve had to wait ages to mark it as lost so I can re-mooch. OK, the book isn’t lost but how else is the sender going to receive any remuneration for her second posting? I’ve also had books turn up after they’ve been marked Lost (and I never do this within 6 months, except for US, which is air mail only), it would be good to be able to correct a Lost entry.

    Thanks for all the brilliant changes.

  48. RidgewayGirl said

    Just a big thank you for all your work on my favorite site.

  49. Raven said

    Just a small thing, since future suggestions are being offered up… 🙂
    When someone mooches a book from me, I would like it if the e-mail to me shows the condition notes I added for that book. For example, the other day someone mooched a book from me that has been in storage for quite a while, and I couldn’t remember if I had added the condition notes to it. Since the dust jacket was beat up, I wanted to make sure the moocher knew about this before I accepted the mooch, so that one or the other of us could cancel if the condition notes hadn’t been added or had changed, whatever. But I couldn’t find the condition notes for that book anywhere until I actually accepted the mooch (though I did e-mail the moocher with the condition notes beforehand, and she said she still wanted the book). It would be nice if the condition notes showed up in that mooch e-mail.

    Thanks so much for all of your hard work!

  50. genieh88 said

    Thanks much John!
    these are some great improvements to see come to BM BUT I totally agree with Lisa (who first mentioned it) and Kitty, Ruth Ann, Erin C, Cristina, Eva Marie, Hoop and UnicornEmily about being able to skip directly to our mooched history instead of having to go thru all our sent books page by page. This is a very time consuming task to do, especially for those of us who have sent more books than we have ever mooched. I emailed months ago suggesting this feature and after being told it was being considered I am very disappointed not to see it in the changes. I am still hopeful to see this feature in the future.

    Also the wishlist check boxes that Debra suggested would not only be an awesome time saver (as it is now, you must do one book at a time and then the page reloads right back at the top instead of where you were when you deleted the book) but I believe this affects the wishlist notifications being sent out to those who really aren’t wishing that book anymore but have given up on deleting since it is so time consuming.

    I agree with Leo, Michael, Ruth Ann and Full MOON BLUE about the wishlist FIFO. I disagree Steven, FIFO doesn’t work that way. No matter that you are a new member, you would still be able to be first in line for a wished book if you were the first one to wish for it. New books come out daily, you can read reviews for them in many magazines or online, if you are quick to add it you can be first for it. I have waited (and am still waiting) years for books wished here but at another site that uses FIFO I get wished books daily, the line moves faster when done in this manner since many drop out when they get the book either by the site itself, in a resale shop, by buying it or they just don’t have enough points to get it at that time. Here it seems to be that you must sit online, constantly checking your RSS feed to see if one has come up since wishlist notifications rarely come thru by email.

    John I know these are big changes you have done and I am very grateful for all your time and hard work. I hope you will note the changes we are still wishing for and that you will consider these on the next upgrade of BM. I AM very grateful to be a member here at BM.

  51. I add my thanks, and my disagreement with the added wait times. Media mail doesn’t take 6 weeks in the US. Even grumpy old Amazon doesn’t make you wait THAT long! Personally, many of the books I’m looking for come from the UK, but I’m going to hesitate mooching from overseas at this point…which will cut down on my activity here overall.

    Anything you can do to make the Recommendations list easier/faster to navigate and clear will be great. How about a sort by author and a way to delete multiple titles at once?

    But all in all I love Bookmooch and Thank You!

  52. Tim Haas said

    Re condition notes: I’ve always wondered why the condition field isn’t included on the initial submission page — seems like a simple change that could greatly increase the quantity of records with notes.

  53. Sterile said

    I too disagree with the waiting time to report a mooch lost. Usually I know if a book is going to turn up from a domestic mooch after week of someone saying they posted it! I cannot comment on overseas postal systems but in the UK it rarely takes more than a couple of days after the member has posted the package for it to turn up – that’s if they have posted it of course!! There are always the ones who ‘asked someone else to post it’ or ‘I used on line postage and didn’t put it in the post box for another 5 days but marked it as posted anyway’

    Sure, for international postage it can take 6 weeks for a book to arrive at it’s destination, but this should be mentioned in the notes when the book has been despatched. I think most of us *know* whether or not we are having our chain yanked by members who do not actually post the books off – Don’t we? So it would seem a little frustating to find that you have to wait for 3 months or more to get your points back, and the person who didn’t send the book? they get the points to use as well……

  54. mariahj said

    It does seem unfair to have points tied up in books that you absolutely know that you are not going to receive. We sometimes know that by receiving an empty package or an open package with one or books missing that the sender has said that were mailed together. We also have intuition as to whether they have actually been sent! I already felt as though 4 weeks was too long to wait in the US when coming from the continental US. It is the same thing with US mailing to a foreign country. The only option is airmail and should be received within 3-4 weeks if not sooner. You always try to give us the benefit of the doubt and are so very fair to trust us, so why don’t you give us enough credit to use our own discretion in when to mark books as lost? If you feel that too many would be mark as being lost and then “found” then why not have a way to reverse the “lost” book rather than make moocher’s points be tied up for 6 weeks to 4 months? Actually, I don’t see the huge deal about a few books turning up “found” after being lost as everyone’s points are fine and I really don’t think that it would happen that often. Please give us this trust as you give us trust in so many other areas!

  55. mariahj said

    I do not understand why we get wishlist emails about books that are not available any longer. Sometimes I get an email about a book that I mooched from the member that is indicated in the email days ago from seeing it available when checking my wishlist. It is no wonder that people are so often disappointed that books are not available when they get the email.Why not suppress any new emails from going out once the book has been mooched?

  56. Jax said

    I agree that more than 16 weeks is too long to mark a book lost when sent within North America [Canada to USA or vice versa]. I have one book I sent to California which was supposed to go to Canada. I got it all worked out with the two moochers, but we involved in the canada transaction still can’t mark it lost after 12 weeks now that you have changed it. Besides, you must remember it doesn’t take very long for US posts to reach their destinations by airmail. Americans pay more now for the airmail rate since surface mail was discontued by the USPS.

    I would also like to see an ALL BUTTON to the bottom of the mooched-given page, just like the pending page has. If we have given/received a lot of books, those umpteen pages take forever to load each page one at a time to check for one book that you sent or received. Either and ALL Button or a dedicated search engine for those given/received pages.

    Thaks for all the hard work to make BM Better. jax

  57. Hoop said

    PLEASE no auto mooch, or anything like Paperback Swap. I like having the 2 sites different. I like the way the wishlist works, and going by whoever responds first. Let’s not copy another site, when this one is so much better to begin with.

  58. Debbie1can said

    I agree with the added time for lost books. I know I have received books from US to Canada as long as four weeks after they have been mailed(assuming they were mailed when they said they were). I also have books waiting to arrive from South Africa as long as 6 to 7 months. It took as long to go there as well. Books take no particular prescribed time to arrive, in fact there appears to be no rhyme or reason to the length of time for shipping. There are averages – but no absolutes.

    I too want to jump on the band wagon for tick boxes for marking off books on wishlist or as received.

    Last but not least – of course we know you cannot meet everyone’s wants or needs but I love BookMooch and I thank you for making it better all the time!

  59. Jax said

    I finally marked one book received when it actually had not come from Hong Kong in 8 weeks. I just got tired of seeing it languishing on my pending page for so long. It’s been two weeks since then and it still hasn’t come. If it doesn’t ever come, Ohhhh Welllll. At least I got my tenth of a point back. What actually happens when a book is marked lost? Does the sender lose the point, and the moocher gets the point back or what? If so, and the book arrives waaay late after marking it lost, the moocher can give the sender a smooch. Jax in CO

  60. Jennie said

    Thank you so much John! I love that Bookmooch is different than Paperback Swap! Please don’t change it to be more like them. Some days I want chocolate and other days I like vanilla.

  61. Ann said

    Is there any way that mooches that are not answered in a resonable amount of time,(even though the moocher has been logged in)can be dropped without having a cancel mark against the ignored moocher? I’ve ran into this problem 12 out of 15 cancells,and It seems like the people mooching get penalized for other people ignoring requests.

  62. Leanne said

    I am a fairly new member and must say I really like Bookmooch. I totally appreciate the amount of work put into it.

    That said, I agree with the new member who disagrees with FIFO for wishlists… I wouldn’t get anything on my wishlist despite having spent about $200 on postage in the first four weeks I joined.

    And my major peeves are 1) On our Wishlists/Saveforlater:
    -there is no way to know if a book that is marked as 1 (or 8) copies available on my wishlist or saveforlater list is actually moochable for me. I can’t tell you how many times I have clicked book after book that shows a copy available from those lists to be told “no one with that book will mooch to you”. Every week I go back and look at EACH one again, instead one copy might have become available to ME and not just available in general.

    -it would be great if there was some way to have it show without clicking on the book title if the book was available in our country or internationally. I don’t know, if we can enter what country we are in, and all the books on our lists that are available from senders in our country were in another color, had an asterix beside them or something… there must be some way to program this. (this would also help a lot with the ubiquitous “not available for you to mooch” of others only sending within their own country)

    2) browsing.
    I send a lot of international mooches and would like to spend them in Canada. Right now the only way to look through books in Canada is to look through the whole shebang of thousands upon thousands one by one… I did that upon first joining, but it takes me several complete evenings. Same with looking through several other categories. It is time consuming, and difficult to remember if one has looked at every title before or if it is newly added. It would be great if there was a “newly added books” feature, where on any one category, those which were added the previous week or month were listed first and we could browse them effectively. Or even an overall “newly added this week” books that includes ALL books newly added for mooching.

    And as someone else mentioned, the subject categories seem to have absolutely no bearing on what books come up. I clicked “gay and lesbian” and I get everything from “A Child’s First Bible Story” to “1985 Outdoor Life Freshwater Fishing Yearbook” to “A Parent’s Guide to Raggedy Ann & Andy’s Grow-And-Learn Library”. That is just a selection from the first two pages. Actually, on the first two pages I cannot see a single obviously gay or lesbian title, though it seems very full of Bible stories. The subject heading just seems to be a waste of time. I can understand a few errors of misfiled books or titles that could be misleading, but really… ;D

    Thanks so much!
    In general I am a happy (though much poorer in $) camper!

  63. Eva Marie said

    I also like most of the differences with BM and PBS although I do still also have my PBS account. I only have a few minor complaints. I don’t see why ‘lost’ books can’t be reversed as someone else (Mariah?) mentioned? Then the added wait wouldn’t be needed. That doesn’t seem so hard.
    Another thing I just noticed, when we click on the “inactive” link the only thing we find out is what we already know. I’m not understanding the point of this? Even if a day old member saw ‘possibly inactive’- it’s self-explanatory. Why the link? I thought the link would allow us to click it (much like an abuse report) and send it along and have an admin. trash it. It could be said somewhere when signing up, if your account goes inactive for such and such a time it’s possible (likely even) that you’re account will be deleted. That would take care of a bunch of problems in one. We wouldn’t have non-moochable books in the system. We wouldn’t have old accounts clogging up the system, etc.
    I don’t know- it all seems kind of clear as day to me but………

  64. Leela4 said

    This may be what Laura meant above: A link that allows you to skip straight to feedback the member has given for books THEY’VE mooched. It’s a nightmare trying to find the beginning of that section if a member has given away dozens or hundreds of books.

    I requested this ages ago and never got a response. How hard can it be to implement?

  65. Andrea said

    Is there any way to limit the amount of time a book is “held” for another user? I have had trouble with a book being listed for a long period of time on my list as available, but it is held for another user for weeks. It is annoying to always see this book that I want, but the owner won’t let it go even though the person it is “held” for isn’t taking it. I don’t know how to address this unless there is a limit that a book can be held so it is available for others after that time, or the owner needs to re-hold it. It would prevent a book being listed as on hold and not updated and released from hold.

  66. andrea said

    I agree about the required time to mark a book as lost (international mailings). Surface mail books can easily take 3 months and I once marked as lost a package of books that took 5 months to get here from the UK…

  67. Sue said

    Great work John…I know how much is involved!
    Have to agree with several of the comments on how useful a “sort” facility on many of the list pages would be…by title, or author in particular, would hope this can be achieved with not too much hassle on the programming side! Thanks for all your efforts! Great site!

  68. morpha said

    John & everyone who work on this site: Thanks for all you do it is much appreciated.
    I love BookMooch so much!

    I like the ides of FIFO as I don’t have internet at home right now and miss out on many books I would like. I like the idea of a 12 or 24 hour rolling notification – but it’s probably hard to do.

    What is very much not working for me is this:

    I have had to slow or delay sending mooches for financial reasons, I state this clearly in my bio and anywhere else I can think of, but some moochers don’t bother to read this. Instead of sending me a reminder, which I nearly always respond to right away, some folks cancel the mooch without a reminder and say that I didn’t respond which puts my account on vacation. This is rather frustrating and feels like punishment.

  69. bookel said

    Another thing you may want to reword — on the Mooch ratio explanation page, “Total books sent:” probably ought to read “Total:” like the others, due to the cases where people haven’t sent all books yet, the number is still included in the total amount.

  70. Heather said

    Sounds like you have been busy. Thanks for making everything work well for us. 🙂

  71. Raja said

    Many great changes. It would be great if DVDs and CDs were added to moochable material. Thanks!

  72. tudorpot said

    Thanks for this wonderful, but totally addictive site and all the great work you do. Others have mentioned the difficulties browsing. What I would like to see is a way to find audiobooks easily. Also, would a ticky box set up for book condition be possible?

  73. sue said

    hi there, mooch is such a usefull and large site, and i agree with what you have changed.but living in australia 4/6 months is better time frame for marking lost.yes there are other problems that could be fixed and probley will be with time,but thanks john for answering the questions i have asked. what we all have to relize is that this is a free site and where possible you are trying to address the problems that have araised in the running of it.and not everthink will be change overnight…. sue.

  74. Heather19 said

    If I remember correctly, John said long ago that he didn’t want to implement any kind of FIFO system because it basically goes against the way BM is set up and the spirit of the site. (John, if I’m remembering wrong, please say so).

    I definitely do NOT like the idea of a FIFO system… it’s absence is one of the best things about BookMooch. I don’t think it would be fair that, just because I “found out” about a book late and therefore wishlisted it after a lot of other people did, it means I won’t have any shot at it for a long time. The way it’s set up now, it’s basically a game of luck. There is no favoritism, and that’s a good thing. Giving the edge to people who’ve been here longer and have therefore wishlisted said book earlier, it just doesn’t seem fair.

  75. Laura said

    Leela4 – yes, I’ve seen it requested before, it’s not a new idea!

    Did forget to say thanks for the updates and continued work on BM.

  76. Debra said

    I’m definitely against a FIFO system. It gets brought up all the time, but I don’t see why people want BookMooch to be like other sites. If you want FIFO you can go to the other sites. Variety is the spice of life. I DO like the idea of auto-mooch though, if I’m the one randomly chosen to be notified first of a wishlist hit. Many people can’t be on their computers all day, and it’s a shame that those who can will get more of their wishlist books than those who can’t. If someone is the one randomly chosen they should be able to get it whether they happen to be sitting at their computers at the time or not.

  77. Laura said

    I love this idea, and it looks like you are weeding out the problems in a stepwise process that makes sense. I aam not sure if I missed this, but I find the content in the topics search, usually not to be relevant. I’d live to see additional categories to search within topic. But overall I love what you’ve done.

  78. Ruth Ann said

    I have read all the comments regarding the changes in BM website. One of the things I’m most interested in are the comments concerning FIFO. For me, I am tired of getting an email saying one of the books on my wishlist is available and I’m so thrilled. I click to mooch the book I’ve been waiting for, maybe, 6 months or more only to find out it’s not available to me. Yes, it just happened, I happened to be at my computer and clicked to mooch as soon as I was notified that I had an email. Guess what, the book wasn’t available to me and I was right here at my computer!!!!! I HATE it. I understand most of us can’t be at our computers all the time and I don’t want BM to be like every other swap site, as Debra pointed out. But to have a book on your wishlist for a very long time and not be able to be first in line to get it is ridicules. First in first out. I don’t think I’m selfish if I’ve had a book on my wishlist for a long time and “maybe” someone that just put it on their wishlist gets the book before I do.

    Yes, I am a member of PaperBackSwap but I’m also loyal to BM. I have supported John and BookMooch October 2007 (maybe not long by some standards) and have loved the site and the wonderful people I’ve met here. Fact is, I’ve tried several other book swap sites and have cancelled all but BookMooch and PaperBackSwap. The others simply can not come up to the standards of these two sites. There are none better.


    I certainly do not intend to be disrespectful to anyone especially to Jon and these members that have taken their time to make comments and share their feelings. If anyone feels I have been disrespectful with this post please accept my deepest sincere apology.

  79. Marina said

    I’m definitely against a FIFO sistem for wishlist hits, with heavily wishlisted books newest members or people who hear late of a book would have to wait forever.

    I live in Europe, and spend a lot of time away from my computer, between the work and the time-zone with the old wishlist notification system (all the people who had a title wishlisted where notified at the same time), I was rarely able to mooch wishlisted books.
    Since the new system was implemented (one random whishlister is notified at a time) I have been able to obtain some heavily wishlisted books, in my opinion the fairness of the system has increased and everyone has an equal opportunity, definitely more than before.

  80. Jillian said


    It appears we have lost the ability to hide books off of the recommended list. Many of these books are those I’ve already read. I would actually like to have, instead of a “hide” option, a checklist option to remove several of these in a go to save my time and the bandwidth of the site. Is there a chance this could happen?


  81. Renee said

    Thanks for the great, free website. For the rest, please consider donating to keep this up and running.

  82. Caron Garliepp said

    Thanks for all you do, John. I LOVE Bookmooch!

  83. Claire said

    Thank you John for all your hard work on the site. Not many items are still “free” in this world and this site is a blessing to many.

    Please remember to give to charity as well. Help out others in need with books from bookmooch; donate a point today!

  84. Eliza said

    Great!!! Thank you for this site. I love the changes to Recommendations, much, much more interesting!!!

  85. Julie said

    I know this has been requested loads of times but we Europeans need a “will only send to Europe” option to put on our bios

  86. Karmen said

    Thank you for all your work. Is there an update in the works to avoid mislabeling of books i.e. topic. Too many searches bring up books that are not associated with the specified search parameter.

  87. Julie said

    I know this has been requested loads of times but we Europeans need a “will only send to Europe” option to put on our bios

  88. Brian said

    No problems with IE8 here.

  89. I agree with your extended “lost” times. I have, more than once, had items lost in the mail for extended periods of time…not just books, but all kinds of mail. And if we do not require tracking, which most people are likely not doing due to cost, then it is impossible to look for these items and we just have to wait it out so why bother to make a big deal out of something which we cannot do anything about anyway? I have had mail take two weeks to get two miles. And one time the post office forwarded all of my mail to a NY address because someone typed in a change of address card with a typo in the address, which made it appear that I had moved. I never got any of that mail back. Things like that do happen.

    I disagree with Mariahj who suggested giving us back our points sooner rather than tying them up for items that may be lost. If you did that, and the book did eventually show up, then the moocher may have spent all of their points and would be in the hole when the delayed book arrives.

    I also disagree with Sterile that we know when we are getting our chain yanked. You do not know most of these people. You may assume and it may seem suspicious, but in most cases you do not KNOW that they are being insincere and it is really not fair to give them anything but the benefit of the doubt. If someone has lots of lost books on their history, don’t order from them if you suspect they are not honest. The dishonest people will eventually get less and less mooch requests, because of their history, and they are limited in the number of lost books that BookMooch considers reasonable and their account can be suspended by BookMooch. I don’t think we need to create personal opinions about people when there is a process in place to weed out those who are dishonest. If someone appears to be playing a game or taking advantage of the system, report them to the moderator and let the moderator handle it.

    My issue is more with people who list books available but then are unable to send them within a reasonable time when you request them. I would support tightening the required shipping time. Of course the required shipping time cannot be too tight because we should all be minimizing our trips to the post office to mail just one book, if they are trips via automobile, but I think a month or more is too long to have to wait, especially if it is something the person can predict. If they know they cannot afford to ship any books right now, can’t they just be required to disable their account temporarily to save other people time, effort, and disappointment by mooching and waiting and waiting and possibly giving up chances at other copies of the book while not knowing if the book will ever actually arrive?

    I am all for controlling things that are actually controllable by members, and for members. I don’t think we should try to control things that are outside of our control…things like the USPS or guessing at whether or not someone is honest are not really in our control, but processes to make it easier for all members are controllable.

  90. Melanie said

    Thank you for all your hard work.

    I second the recommendation for check boxes on the wishlist to remove multiple items at once.

    Also for the inventory. Today I accidentally imported a list of books into my inventory instead of my wishlist and didn’t notice immediately. Then I had to painstakingly delete them one by one. Had two mooched while I was doing so and had to reject the mooches. It would have been nice if I could have checked a bunch of boxes and deleted them all at one go.

  91. kbuxton said

    Thanks. You might want to also hide kindle listings.

  92. morpha said

    Well,I had not realized that now one random wishlister is notified at a time. That is much better than the old way and gives everyone (online 24/7 or not) a fair chance at getting a book. That would explain why I have occasionally been able to mooch the occasional highly wishlisted book of late. I can live with that.
    Thanks again for all you do!

  93. bookel said

    Going through my wishlist I am checking potential angel mooches for USA only books and when I hit the mooch button to check condition notes it repeatedly comes up with:

    “Sorry, but none of the people who have this book are willing to send it to you.”

    I know that … all I want to do is check condition notes! This was always easy to do by hitting the mooch button. I don’t want to have to go through their inventories (some might be particularly large too) in order to find out the condition of the book… Why was this ability to quickly check taken away?

  94. Zjanette said

    A new forum!! Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!
    Thank you for all the work. BM is the greatest.

  95. Eliza K. said

    I received a notification for a heavily wishlisted book this morning. And then tried to click on Mooch and got the same message that Bookel above mentioned:

    “Sorry, but none of the people who have this book are willing to send it to you.”

    I checked the user’s homepage and they were set on “ask if not to my country” but there was no “Ask Me” button. Only a “Mooch” one which got the same response over and over again. What’s wrong there? This is the second time since the new BM that I am not able to ASK people, and the second time I get an e-mail for a heavily wishlisted book but am not able to mooch it. Have you guys accidentally disabled the ask me function?

  96. wimbittworld said

    I have no Bookmooch at all today.

    I like the idea of a limit on how long the delay to mail can be. A month at the MOST. If you can’t mail any books within a month, your account should be on hold or vacation or something. I think 2 weeks is perfectly reasonable. More than that is getting irritating.

    I live in the US, but think an “I only mail to Europe” button is a great idea.

    Longer lost times is good. But, too long for those where the account has fone wonky since we mooched and now we are pretty sure we aren’t gettng a book from them, but have to wait ages to do anything about it.

  97. ejhahn said

    I think most of the changes sound good. I’m having a heck of a time logging in and accessing my wish list and responding to a wish list available message (I never did get through). I assume all of this is due to the updating work you are doing and will end soon.

    I support the new waiting times for marking a book lost, though four months for Int’l seems a little excessive. I think leaving it at 3 months would be fair. I don’t understand, though, why, if a book eventually turns up, that the lost classification can’t be changed to received.

    This is a great site and you are doing a great job of keeping it going. I was a member of PBS but have gone inactive because of your work here.

  98. ejhahn said

    A quick hint to those struggling with taking books off the wish list one at a time. I use the new tab feature (I use Firefox) and just right click “remove”, choose new tab and voila, the book is removed when the tab opens. I Van do this as many times as I want. If you don’t have this feature choosing new page will work, also.

  99. Valerie said

    Unfortunately, the whole recommendations page is blank when I try to load it. All I see is the gray column header bar, and nothing below.

  100. Michael said

    Although I would personally prefer a FIFO system, an improvement to the “random wishlister” system would solve some of the problems — make the random wishlister have exclusive access to the book.

    Right now it appear they are emailed, but the book can still be taken by anyone who finds it in the search listings or looks at their wishlists and sees a “mooch” button. If, when they are sent the email, it is reserved for that person for a certain length of time, it will help to solve the problem. Not as fair as a FIFO system, but a close second.

  101. Stephanie (smoorefu on bookmooch) said

    Thank you for all your hard work!

    Does it make sense to you that now with the change, I don’t have any recommendations at all, or is that a bug? Just wondering.

    I agree with not letting things like clothes from Amazon be added to BookMooch, but as several others have said, I would love it if we could mooch CDs and DVDs in addition to books.

  102. jkiparsky said

    John – no complaints here, just adding my voice to those saying “thanks a bunch”.

    One thought on the automooch – it would seem to me wise to allow the moocher to disable automooch on out-of-country mooches. Given the cost of postage, I try to be careful about overseas mooches (only mooching foreign language titles, and submitting multiple mooches), and automooch would prevent me from exercising that courtesy.

  103. Leanne said

    Hmmm, Stephanie, you are not the only one. I just checked, and whereas I used to get all these “recommendations” that had nothing to do with what I read, mooch or have listed, including all sorts of bestsellers, I currently get a completely empty page for my “recommendations”. Also, I still see that the browse by topic seems completely pointless. I clicked “graphic novels and comics” and got everything from Children’s Bible (not a graphic novel form either) to a gazillion Agatha Christie novels.

    I also have had the problem in the last day or two of getting a “ask if not in my country” when I clicked a link on a “a book you wishlisted is available”, and there was no “ask me” button. I sent an email and it all worked out, but I think there used to be “ask me” buttons.

  104. Jeri said

    I’d like to see a note for new members posting books (along with the warning about possibly getting many book requests) telling them how to correctly list a book. I just received (a week ago) an incorrectly posted book (MMPB) when I actually ordered a WL illustrated trade paperback.

    I barely avoided the same mistake with another member a few days ago–I almost got a Scholastic abbreviated version of an illustrated trade paperback I’d requested. I requested the mooch be cancelled if the book was damaged. Got a photo of the book and it was damaged (no condition notes) and not the book I ordered.

    New members definitely need to be shown how to list a book correctly by ISBN and how to use the condition notes to list their books accurately and honestly.

  105. Julie said

    I don’t know if the changes on Book mooch have anything to do with it, but I am having real problems with the page. (Both yesterday and today) I try to register books, acknoledge receipt of books and mooch booka and I just get a page telling me that there are problems with the server. This only happens about midday until evening European time.

  106. mariahj said

    I entirely agree with Jeri that
    “New members definitely need to be shown how to list a book correctly by ISBN and how to use the condition notes to list their books accurately and honestly.”
    This is a BIG problem if you particularly want the edition that is listed. As it is, if we are aware that there is a different edition, we must ask them if they have indeed listed the one that we want and some people get very nasty in their reply to this question. Sometimes I do not realize that there is actually a different edition and don’t know to ask and receive something different that I did not want (as in a case of maybe not knowing that an older and outdated edition even exists). I’ve found that many members, mostly new but definitely not always, add their books by title only and pay no attention at all if it is the same edition, format (some people list kindle editions and then I know to ask if it is actually a different format), or even the exact title (sometimes the title says “revised and updated” or something like that and that is not what they actually have. I’ve often received books that are not at all what was listed with no note in the condition notes at all. It can be very maddening (at least to me) and almost always if I mention it to the sending member, they get very nasty and say to me “why do you care, you got a free book, get a life”. Frankly, I’m so tired of getting that email from members that I rarely even say anything to them now as so many don’t care and it is very irritating. The same thing often happens when condition notes are not given or not at all accurate and I end up with something totally unexpected. I, for one, do not appreciate it. I have spent quite a lot of money to mail books all over the world to earn the points that I spend on books and would appreciate receiving what I request and what the condition notes indicate, or in the case of no condition notes, I expect it to be in reasonable condition and not ex-library, an ARC, or be full of markings or highlighting etc, no water damage, etc. I’ve received replies saying, “if you don’t want it, then just pass it on to someone else and don’t expect me to give you your point back”. Putting it in my inventory to “pass on to someone else” costs me more money than I have already spent on that particular book as I feel that I have already “spent” money to receive it in the form of mailing a different book to someone else. I seldom say anything at all anymore when I am very disappointed as I usually receive a nasty (sometimes even with profanity) reply. Maybe I am the only one that takes it seriously, but since every point spent to obtain a book means precious money that I have spent to mail books to someone, I do take it very seriously and sometimes think that much of it has been wasted money spent, especially if I have to actually throw a book away. I know that mistakes happen and we all have and will make them, but there is no need to be nasty about it and if a mistake is made, I feel that one should acknowledge it, give the point back, and apologize.

  107. Julie said

    I soooo agree with Mariahj. Everything you say is so true. I have had similar experiences. If my books are in good condition then I don’t usually add condition notes but if they are in better or worse than good condition I do. Occasionally someone has mooched a book from me and when I get it out to send I find it has a crease or is stained and I have not mentioned it in the condition notes. In this cas I email the person explaining and offering them the chance cancel the mooch.
    I think it would be a good idea to have a multiple choice condition notes, with such comments as: different cover, creasing on cover, edges of pages discoloured, musty smell, etc so that at a clic of a button you could add these things to the condition notes without having to type them individually.

  108. Renee said

    What’s up with BM? I can’t access anything on the right hand side of my home page.

  109. Tria said

    What’s with putting the site back online when the maintenance isn’t finished, and deleting your blog post even mentioning there are problems, if pages are still broken? Nobody who doesn’t know this blog exists is going to know what’s going on… I appreciate your doing maintenance on it at all, but I am confused by the post deletion. Good luck, and thanks for running the site.

    Mariahj, I don’t give a damn if a book is ex-library or anything else, provided it’s readable and unabridged. Anything else is just by-the-way to me, and while I try to list condition notes accurately, sometimes I can’t remember. I have 1600 books and a disability, I’m not going rooting through all my shelves to check my remembered condition of every book as I list it! It’s just not practical. I never throw a book away unless it has pages missing, because I know there are at least *some* people on the site who would be thankful to receive a copy of said book at all, myself included in some cases. No wonder you get so many “get over it” comments.

    Michael, I agree with you on this one. I have had emails about a couple of my wishlisted books only to find when I can get online and get to the site – only a couple of hours after the email in the last case – that someone has already mooched it. I think it’s pretty pointless if that’s going to be the case.

  110. Tria said

    *addendum to comment*

    Meant to say, I agree with Michael’s comment with the exception of FIFO being a good thing – I do not agree with that. I think the random wishlister system is good, apart from the whole not-reserving-the-book and coming online to find out it’s gone already…

  111. justelise said

    I can’t access parts of Bookmooch either — haven’t been able to since this morning. I sent them “technical” email, but haven’t received a reply or seen any posts about it here or on Bookmooch itself.

  112. Julie said

    Me too.
    I can get to the first page OK but when I try to access other pages nothing appears

  113. Julie said

    Same for me here in the UK as well. I can log on but can’t access anything. All I get is a ‘server error’ page on every page I try to view.

  114. Lisa Richards said

    I love Bookmooch just the way it is. Who wants a duplicate of PBS. Simply belong to both sites(like I do) but leave BM alone. Little enhancements that help it flow smoother is okay but radical changes that make it a stepchild of PBS. No! No! No! We love you BM. I also have have belonged to other sites and only BM and PBS have endured as they both individually have features that I like.

  115. Michael said

    Forced condition notes are definitely a great idea. I’ve always tried to accurately describe my inventory, but some members, both new and long-term, do not feel it necessary to accurately describe the item they are sending.

  116. Eva Marie said

    John shut down the site last night to do something and it was supposed to be down for a few hours. I’m sure he ran into a problem for it to be down this long and I would think word will spread when it does go back up. I’m sure he’s working on it as we type. 🙂

  117. Eva Marie said

    Mariah- if someone responds to you with profanity you should proceed just like on BM with an abuse report. As far as I know, just as on BM with messages, as email from a member about a bookmooch transaction is NOT allowed to have profanity or threats of any kind.
    Hopefully if I’m wrong someone will correct me but I don’t think I am.
    I’ve had seven different people email today asking why BM is down. I feel like the BookMooch spokesperson! 😀

  118. Eva Marie said

    Eliza K.- the book was reserved for someone else. When you get that message that means the book can’t be mooched by you since it’s already been reserved for someone. The ask me feature is still on but members can’t see WHO a book is reserved for any longer.

  119. Tara (autumnrose) said

    What if both the moocher and the giver could mutually agree to mark the book as lost, after say, 2 weeks for domestic or 6 weeks international? Or whatever they decided, they’d have to decide together. It kind of sucks having the same standard for all countries, because some countries have much faster postal systems than others, or the countries are close together. Or maybe each BMer could set their own dates. Like, when they accept a request, they would have the estimated delivery date, and then they could mark the amount of weeks/months before you could mark it as lost, but nothing more than 6 months. Lots of people say that you may have to wait 4-6 months in their status update, but many people will mark as lost before that because they don’t want to wait, then they get the book anyway, plus their points back.
    So, say I mooch from someone from the US (I’m Canadian). The giver says I can mark as lost after one month if I choose to. Then if I mooched from someone who is, for example, from the Phillipines, they could say I can only mark as lost after 4 months.
    Also, you could make it so if a new user has 3 books marked as lost and none received we could mark as lost immediately, or something.
    Oh, and idk if anyone else would want this, but maybe we could have a separate mooch ratio for books that are sent/received internationally? I hate how so many people won’t send out of their country but will gladly mooch from other countries. I know some people can’t afford to send internationally all the time, but they could send out 1 book internationally for every 5 they receive or something like that. Or even if they send only to their country, make it so the book can be reserved for you for a day or two so you can look for an angel.
    Everyone has strong opinions on the FIFO system, I’m not sure how I feel, but maybe there could be a separate thing for people who have had the book on their wishlist for a reaaaaaaally long time? Maybe the people who have had the book on their list for a year or more could get the notification first, but it would be randomly distributed to all the users who have wanted that book for a year/whatever amount of time, then the others who have wishlisted more recently could get the notification if none of them mooched it. Or the book could be reserved for a while for all the people who have had the book wishlisted for a long time, and if none of them mooch it then the random notifications would continue like normal.
    A ‘send only to my continent’ button would be cool.
    I hate the new “Sorry, but none of the people who have this book are willing to send it to you.” message, I liked being able to see the condition notes or when a reservation would run out.
    Maybe if the books don’t have condition notes, it could be mandatory to tell the moocher about the condition, and it could be sent with the acceptance email, so people know what they’re getting and can be given the chance to cancel.

    These are just random ideas I came up with while reading the others comments, I don’t sit and sulk about the lack of these features or anything, lol. Thanks for all the hard work, BookMooch is my fave website 😀 It’s my one addiction 😉

  120. Eliza K. said

    Maybe we SHOULDN’T get email notifications about a wishlisted book if it’s reserved for someone else? The disappointment every time… (unless it’s reserved for us of course – then we should definitely get an e-mail!)

  121. Sophie said

    Tara, members who send abroad have that reflected in their ratio – books sent overseas count “extra”, as it were, so that those who cannot afford to send overseas are indeed slightly penalised.

    BTW, any chance of fixing the bug that means I can’t mooch a book (not reserved for anyone) within my own country?! It’s very annoying 🙂

  122. Materialgirl said

    Lots if ideas floating around here!

    Firstly: thanks to John for continuing hard work and dedication.

    OK, Wishlist first:

    Haven’t seen this elsewhere, but how about being able to customise the view of our wishlist? Every time I log on I hit the ‘all’ button and ‘show alternative editions’. It takes a long time to load now (a lot of books on the list) and it would be nice if my chosen format came up automatically.

    Mariaj, who wants to be able to select a particular edition: What I do is look on Amazon to see what editions are available then email the moochee to say there are several editioans available, and is theirs the one actually pictured in their listing? I have never had a rude reply.

    I am always on the lookout for high quality craft magazines, but I can’t list them in my wishlist because they don’t appear on Amazon and I can’t hand-enter items for the wishlist, only for the inventory. I can put them on my wishlist if someone has previously hand-entered it on their inventory, and if I manage to come across it while browsing.

    Now Inventory:

    If you list by ISBN you are stuck with whatever info has been entered in the past, eg audiobook title lines that don’t actually say they are audiobooks, wrong categories etc. There doesn’t seem to be any way to tidy up these pieces of poor/wrong info.

    Condition notes:

    I seem to remember reading that condition notes are not necessary if the book is in reasonable condition. If you just want to read it you should maybe be happy with a book that turns up in ‘reasonable condition to be read’. If you are building a collection, for example, or the condition is especially important for some other reason, then it shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience for you to double check with the moochee to ensure you are getting what you want. The person who said she felt she had already paid plenty for her books by paying to post large numbers of books out is quite right: you have the right to check on what you may wish to mooch.

    Browsing Categories:

    Couldn’t agree more. These seem to be a nonsense. If you browse the ‘Craft’ Section, not one in 7 books is actually a craft book by any stretch of the imagination. Searching through 20 or more pages like this after a hard day’s work is really soul-destroying.

  123. Spinifex said

    Thanks for all the hard work, but count me in among the people who hate the “Sorry, but none of the people who have this book are willing to send it to you.” message.
    This does not make things simple when asking for an angel mooch. How are you supposed to check the condition of the available copies or know when a reservation expires?

  124. Melissa said

    I think the current changes are great John but may I make one tiny suggestion? There is one thing about bookmooch that currently drives me nuts. I cannot search by binding. I also cannot see the binding in the search results so if I am searching for a book in hardcover only, I have to click on every result until I find what I’m looking for. I think that it would be great if an option to search hardcover or paperback only was included in the advanced search options or if at the very least, we could see the binding type in the search results. As it is I have to send a PM to each person I mooch from to be certain that the binding matches what bookmooch says it is because I have received so many paperbacks from people who listed the books as HC becasue they did not use the proper isbn.

  125. Jeri said

    I have to politely disagree with Tria about book condition. It matters a great deal to me what edition or condition the book is.
    That is exactly how I determine whether to mooch a book or who to mooch it from.

    I don’t mind books with various defects or bindings as long as I know in advance what I will receive and can decide for myself if that copy is worth a point to me. It is, after all, my point to spend–not yours.

    Listing shabby books, ARCs, older editions or books with obvious differences to what is shown or listed without a condition note appears dishonest. It makes the sender look as if they are just doing (or in the case of condition notes, “omitting”) whatever they need to to get rid of a book and earn a point.

    I should not have to question everyone I mooch from because a few are lazy, dishonest, or just weren’t educated correctly about the book posting process.

    After I joined BM I was slow to mooch books for this very reason–I was worried about the books I would receive. Receiving some great books here (books as described) has encouraged me to continue to trade here. Since then I have offered more books knowing that when I mooch I will receive the same courtesy–acurately listed books.

    If I send out accurately listed books to others (and willingly cancelling trades if I speak with the moocher and find out my book is not what they thought it was) then it’s frustrating when I get a damaged book or incorrectly listed book when I mooch.

    So don’t discount those of use who actually care about the type or condition of the books we swap here. If you want there to be a diverse and large selection of books you need some type quality control to prevent this or some of us may not feel “secure” swapping here and will leave.

  126. tennantfamily said

    Thank you for the marvellous job you do John!

    I’d like to see a field in the listing for the LANGUAGE of the book.

    I requested a book I wanted from someone in South America, and, luckily, asked was it in English? Although listed with an English title it was the Spanish version.
    Many new BookMoochers, especially those who are lone active moochers in their country find this difficult. Even a note to say, add the language of the book in the condition notes would be helpful.

    I have listed books in English, Welsh, German, Latin, French, Hungarian and Dutch, but all say they are in English because I’m in the UK, and many/most are hand-listed.

    A search facility for books by language would be useful. I’m often asked what Welsh books I have listed and searching among the 1500 I’ve listed, or the 770 on the shelves is time-consuming.

    A language of book tag like the other blue clickable tags would be wonderful.

    However, in my opinion the search facility is infinitely superior to that of Amazon, so that I always access Amazon through BookMooch both to search and to list. For a site run by one volunteer it is truly an amazing achievement, John deserves the Nobel Peace Prize! Spreading goodwill through sharing books must have done more for peace than any politician! Thank you John.

  127. Just a thought for those who have had people respond negatively or nastily…sometimes how you word YOUR email will influence how others respond. If they are not nice to you, think about how you could word your question differently the next time to avoid such negative interaction. Perhaps they misunderstood you and you came across abrasive even though you don’t mean to. Sometimes you will run into someone who is just having a bad day or is always negative. Just let it go.

    I rarely have anyone get mad at me when I ask a question.

    When someone asks me a question, if I am not at home with the book in front of me, I promise to check for them and get back to them, and then I do. In fact, I have learned some things about how BookMooch works BECAUSE of the questions people have asked me. The next time I am more likely to clarify to avoid confusion. Questions are welcome, and helpful to me.

    It took me a while to realize that I could put in condition notes since it is sort of off to the side and not in line with the data I am entering. Most of my books are in good condition, but before I realized I could add in condition notes I was not intentionally mis-leading anyone. I just did not know. Again, nothing wrong with asking, and nothing wrong with pointing out to newbies…”did you know you can put in condition notes for each book?”

    I think if you are nice to people, more times than not, they will be nice in return. This is about recycling books and saving trees, not about meeting your personal needs for social interaction, and not your place to enforce your personal motives. No, it may not be perfect, but it is pretty darn good and most of the people on here are well-intended. Please give people the benefit of the doubt and check yourself before assuming they have done something wrong.

  128. Julie said

    Today I experienced a problem with Bookmooch.
    I received an email telling me a book on my wishlist was now available. I immediately tried to mooch this book, only to be told that none of the people who have this book are willing to send it to me. OK, even though I would prefer not to receive emails about books that I cannot mooch I do understand that this happens. The problem occoured when I tried to look up the information about this book so I could ask my angel moocher to send it to me. I can’t even look at the condition notes of the book, if it’s soft or hard cover or anything. I have had to ask my angel moocher to do all this for me, poor thing. If this goes on, and with the rising cost of postage, it is going to be increasingly hard to find Angel Moochers.

  129. Shanna said

    I’m all for diversifying the list of recommended books, but now I get no recommendations – none. And I know there were a few on there I was thinking of mooching. Oops!

  130. Claudia said

    Thanks John! BookMooch is GREAT! We really appreciate everything that you do. Thanks for the constant improvements. BookMooch is the best of it’s kind, by far!!! Keep up the good work!

  131. kas tyler said

    Hi John, love Bookmooch. just thought i’d let others know books sent to australia can take up to 6 months to arrive so a longer time to mark as lost is a good thing, even though it is sometimes frustrating for the sender. (also for the moocher)

  132. Judy said

    I agree with Leann above where books on our wishlist are not available anyway. There are 4 or 5 copies available piling up on my wishlist and no one will send them internationally. There should be some sort of filter.
    However, this is a small complaint about a great site which has given me many happy reading hours and contact with a lot of nice people! Keep up the good work!

  133. Kelly said

    I havent been on here that long but I love it.
    One suggestion though or maybe this can be done and I havent figured it out yet. 🙂

    Is there a way that a users inventory can come up alphabetical by title?
    When i go into my inventory, the books are all mixed up.

  134. Arnaldo said

    I have another one… On a mac, when using Safari and need to send an email to a Moocher via the web form no matter if your are already logged in, it redirect to the login screen without let you fill the email blanks.

    Another one is that every time you log on, the quantity of sent books change to different numbers but always to minor quantities.

    Beside that i consider myself a privileged person for being part of this great community.. thanks to all for make this project what is is today

  135. Dovile said

    I second Bookel’s, Julie’s and others’ comments – as one of the people who frequently ask for BM angels’ help, I really liked the previous feature which allowed me to see ‘my country only’ or reserved book’s details (and reservation expiration time) without having to go to book owner’s inventory or to email the owner every time I’m just considering a mooch. Now seeing only this ‘Sorry, but…’ message is very frustrating and confusing, especially for newer members. Please, please change it back

  136. Jax said

    I’be been enjoying reading the posts because I’ve learned a lot from them and I actually know what you guys are talking about.

    One thing is, don’t forget we get our point when mooched from immediately, while in PBS one has to wait until the book is marked received to get the point (There is never any “going in the hole” involved.) I like the immediateness of BM points.

    Also, I admit I’ve been known to mark a book received before it arrives just go get that tenth of a point to make one point in order to mooch a wishlist offering.

    For those wishing to spend your points in Canada, just search for the authors or books you want, that you have listed in SAVE FOR LATER, perhaps, and then look for the owners that are from Canada and then mooch from only them, ask them to be your friends and then you will have a list of canadians to work from, checking their inventories for new listings, etc.

    We have to remember that Canadians have very high postal rates for sending small parcels within their own country and it actually costs them less to send books to the USA. Another thing I’ve realized is thier bestselling and favorite authors aren’t the same as ours in America, but just as entertaining and interesting 9and most are in English! You can’t say that about our neighbors in the South. jax

  137. bookel said

    Sorry, but none of the people who have this book are willing to send it to you.

    Sorry, but none of the people who have this book are willing to send it to you.

    Sorry, but none of the people who have this book are willing to send it to you.

    Let me reiterate how annoying this message is, when trying to find angel books for people to mooch! It is also annoying to go through pages and pages and pages of the inventory only to find there are no condition notes whatsoever… or the condition is definitely not what you want… honestly this is soooo time consuming, compared to before when all you had to do was click Mooch to find out what the condition notes were and whether they were USA only or not, without having to go any further. The books I am looking for aren’t reserved, and I know from experience that the majority of books I’ve wanted people to angel were definitely not reserved. Thanks and apologies for the rant. You do a great job with the site and I wouldn’t have so many fantastic books if it weren’t for BookMooch!

  138. bookel said

    If an account is (temporarily on hold), should the account’s inventory be hidden during this time? Some are (temporarily on hold) for a long, long time… and it is kind of annoying when a book shows as “available” when the moocher cannot use the account to respond.

  139. Mike said

    Thanks for the improvements. I’ll chime in with some suggestions and thoughts of my own, and try to stick to missing/broken features that keep me from using the site in a certain way at all, as opposed to stuff that’s just awkward or slow.

    – There should be a wiki or some other central place to make these suggestions, view the suggestions of others, and allow John (or whoever) to reply to them (ideally by marking them “future enhancement”, “under consideration” or “never gonna happen”). If there already is such a thing there should be a prominent link to it in each blog post, above this comment field, and on BookMooch itself. It would cut down on the signal-to-noise ratio a lot, and folks might quit constantly suggesting the same things if they could see they were already on a list.

    – I think the auto-mooch thing is a great idea. Odds are I put the book on my wishlist because I definitely want it. Since I’ve already told you that, why ask me again? (Assuming I have the points.) Not only does it cut down on the disheartening emails for things that end up already being gone, but it speeds the whole process up immensely.

    – I agree with those who think condition notes should be mandatory or at least more prominent when adding a book to your inventory. For most books I don’t care (assuming it’s not falling apart) but there’s a substantial minority where I’m trying to complete a set in a certain binding or something. I always try to ask first, but that brings me to my next point:

    – If you ask a sender a question before mooching the book, you risk it being mooched out from under you. If you mooch and ask a seller a question within the mooch itself it’s often unseen or ignored. On several occassions I’ve tried to double-check the edition in the mooch request and had it shipped to me quickly without the question having been answered. (Almost always with the result of me not getting what I expected.) There should be some kind of checkbox and text area when requesting that flags the mooch as having a question associated with it. The request should still reserve the book, but the sender shouldn’t be able to act on the request until the question has been addressed.

    – The whole “on vacation” thing needs some tweaking. I tend to get mooch requests in clusters – I’ll end up sending out twenty books in one month. After that much mailing and postage I need to take a break for a while. When that’s the case I put a note to that effect in my bio, but moochers don’t seem to see it and I end up having to either send books I didn’t want to send or reject mooches (which I hate to do). I’d prefer to put my account on vacation and have my books fall out of the global inventory completely, but there’s a big problem with that. I can’t mooch books myself without bringing my account back to normal status (and I don’t think I get wishlist emails either). That makes no sense to me – I have the points, I earned them by sending a bunch of books, I’ve already DONE the work. It’s not like PBS where I could have bought them. If I have the points then by definition I’ve participated in the community and done my share. So why should I be penalized for trying to do the right thing and hide books I don’t currently want to send (saving other people time and trouble)?

    – Why do we have the option to add a book we just mooched to LibraryThing when confirming receipt, but no tool available to do the same thing with all the books in our history at once? A relatively small issue compared to the others but it just seems like a weird omission to me. I didn’t bother with the LibraryThing option at first. Now I’d like to do it but the only way to get caught up is to go enter every book in my history manually. Which I as a programmer find frustrating given that you already have both the whole list in a convenient electronic form AND a hook into the LibraryThing API. For that matter, why should I have to hit the “Add to LibraryThing” button every time? It should be a global account setting – “Add received books to LibraryThing”. If you’re doing it at all, you’re generally going to want to do it every time…

    Lest this sound like whining, let me just say that

    1) I’m a web developer with Ruby experience
    2) I’ve worked on several large sites in the retail and news spaces, including one formerly in the Fortune 500.
    3) I’ve got free time and the willingness to donate it

  140. Julie said

    re comment by bookel
    What is even more annoying is that when your account is on hold (or vacation) you cannot do anything such as acknowledge books that you have mooched or confirm that you have sent books to other members. You have to come off vacation everytime you want to do something

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