Moochable copies

June 5, 2009

The book details page now tells you:

1) how many copies are really, truly available for *you* to mooch

2) the names of the book owners for each copy are sorted by: are they in your country?, will they send to your country?, is the book reserved?, do you have to ask them first?, is their account on hold?

If that seems like a lot of information, hopefully an example will make this clear.


In the picture above, this details page indicates that two of the copies are reserved, and one of the copies is from a member whose account is on hold. Therefore, no copies are available.

However, if you are logged in, BM notices that you are one of the friends of one of the book owners, and makes that copy available to you:


When a book that has multiple copies available, each book owner’s relationship to you and your country is automatically taken into account. Here is a part of a very big example:


This example shows you:

  • The “will send” book owners are people in your country and will send you the book without any fuss for 1 point.
  • The “will send to your country” will similarly send to you, but it will cost you 2 points.
  • At the bottom are two people who won’t send to you.


I’ve made three other changes to the book details page.

  • The cover graphic now appears on the far right of the page. Previously, there were 3 columns, with the cover graphic occupying the leftmost column. The problem is that this made the center part, where most of the information resides, a bit narrower. By moving the cover graphic to the top right, I was able to widen this data-rich part by 35%. Books with “Descriptions” are noticeably easier to read now.
  • The “mooch” button will no longer appear if there are no moocheable copies for you. You no longer need to click “mooch” to see if you can get the book, since the “Moochable copies” field now tells you.
  • Clicking the > button next to a book owner takes you to their bio page (previously it took you to their inventory)

I’ve made this set of changes based on feedback about how frustrating it is to have BM make you think you can get a book, only to click the “mooch” button and be told you can’t. Also, people wanted an easier way to see what books were reserved. This set of changes (along with email notification change) came up frequently in the recent survey results.

The other extremely frequent request in the survey results was for better forum software. It’s not quite ready yet, but I’m going to tantalize you with a screen picture of the forum software I’m working on. The forums will be merged directly into BookMooch, and not a standalone web site. You’ll be able to participate in any number of specific forums, as well as create your own forums (and make your own book blogs, if you want).


42 Responses to “Moochable copies”

  1. Tara said

    Love the changes! Thanks for listening to the users and updating the site accordingly. John, you put in a lot of hard work and I just wanted you to know that it is definitely appreciated.

  2. Hope said

    Wow! This looks great! I’m really looking forward to using this on my next mooch – particularly if I find myself requesting a book that is available in many copies, and I am feeling in a bit of a hurry.

    This leaves me to enjoy the serendipity of pottering round different inventories for the same book, and a second mooch, for days when I am in the mood for more leisurely browsing.

    Thanks so much!

  3. Heather19 said

    WOOT!! Awesome changes, thanks John!!

  4. Cheemoandia said

    Thank you, you really get on top of things!

  5. Rosemarie (Freecyclor) said

    John, letting us know whether the book is available for mooching to my country is a MAJOR improvement!

    The new design for the Book Details Page is very nice, and a usable forum here would be an asset. I get emails rather than try to use this forum, and check out the LT Bookmoochers’ Forum periodically.

    Goin’ in to try out the changes now.

  6. Scott said

    Sorry, but this still doesn’t address what I think is the BIGGEST problem: These books, whether reserved for someone else, or from a member not willing to send to your country, show up as moochable on members’ wish list. I have found this annoying from day one and still do.

    • tudorpot said

      When I come across either scenario, I first email the bookowner indicating my interest. If they won’t mail me the book- many will do when asked directly, I ask them to hold it until a bookmooch angel can mooch it for me. Sometimes someone reserves a book, but does not follow through to mooch it. I have been able to mooch several books by checking back the day after the reservation is over or if the bookowner emails me that the book is now available.
      I want the books to keep showing on my wishlist.

  7. Melissa said

    I like the changes however I agree with Scott, it is most annoying to see a copy available for mooch on your wishlist only to find out it is not available. The new form looks great but seeing the word verification at the bottom is kind of annoying – does that mean every time we post we have to type in a verification? I really wish there was a way to do without those even when mooching a book – something like how Facebook or Myspace does they will send you a text message & you only have to type it in once and never have to type it again – I would LOVE to see that happen on BM. Thanks again for always trying to improve the site!

  8. Bruce Dressel said

    As a teacher, I’ve been in a good position to “push” bookmooch. Now I’m really hyped to “push” harder and make our bookmooch the best site for trading “old for new” !!
    Thanks, John et al for all the hard work.

  9. bernadetteinoz said

    As a non US moocher I am extremely chuffed about the moochable copies changes. Thanks.

  10. bookel said

    Wow what a lot of work! Changes are cool! One problem: When “Not to your country” there is no Mooch button. Why do I want the mooch button (or maybe you could rename it in those instances?) Before all the changes you could tell from the details basic things like ‘condition notes’ without having to go to the book owner’s inventory and going through pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages of details. Then I can ask an BookMooch Angel to mooch for me. So I assume these books are still ‘moochable’, the ‘not to your country’ ones, you just have to go via an angel. Therefore the mooch this book button could still be there, like it is on other pages (below).

    What about book detail pages where there are multiple books available to you, including ‘not to your country’ books? I assume you can click mooch this book in those instances, and you can see the condition notes of those particular books only because the others are available to see…

    Apart from that, amazing stuff you’ve been doing, thanks!

    • Andrew said

      Great change. This really addresses most of the book visibility that was lost recently, and in a very neat way. I like the immediate view of reservations.

      I agree that it would be preferable to see the “moochable” number on the wishlist. I’m not sure how you would then avoid losing the number of total copies. Maybe drop the “number” entirely, and instead have a “mooch” button if a moochable copy is available, plus a “detail” button if only non-moochable copies exist?

      Thanks so much for this improvement, it’s really appreciated.

    • Rachel said

      I also would like to more easily check the condition of a book that is not moochable because the giver won’t send to my country, since I could still get an angel. I always check book conditions by clicking the mooch button, then backing out if I’m not pleased with the condition.

  11. These are awesome changes John! And I’m sure you’ll get to the books showing up on our wishlists that really aren’t available. I can be patient as that’s a small imposition to deal with compared to all the other awesomeness you provide with BookMooch. A million thanx for all of your continued efforts!

  12. mariahj said

    I guess this is okay, but I still liked the previous way better where we could click on to mooch from our wishlist and actually see more information than this provides (condition notes). With this new way, when we see a book available on our wish list and click on to mooch it, we still get the message that we can’t have it, then have to “go back” (and wait for a long time for it to reload) and then click on the book title to see the information as to why we can’t have it and then if we want to request an angel and would like to know the condition, we have to go the the person’s inventory and click to show detals (another long wait). The previous way, we could see who had the book and whether they would send to us or not and we could see the condition notes … all with one click from our wish list. The only thing that I do not remember if we saw was if someone was on hold and we could not request from them. We could see if it was reserved and when it expired.

    For those of you that do not want books that cannot be requested by you to show up on your wish list, maybe you do not understand that many members NEED them to show up so that they will know that they are in the system and that they can request an angel. For those that do not use the angel network, one must keep in mind that if it were not for the angel network, many members would rarely be able to receive books at all because many members will not send out of their own country and unless that changes, I feel that you should learn to live with this minor inconvenience.

    • mariahj said

      I do like this book detail page better than the previous book detail page. On my note above, I was looking at it from the perspective of clicking on the mooch button from the wish list and you were not intending to address that. My error and I apologize. As a book detail page goes, it IS nicer. (It would still be nice for those needing an angel to be able to see condition notes somehow, otherwise, it’s great!)

  13. Wow…I had no idea. The books I want are so “unpopular” that I’ve never seen anything like the screens here; never once in a couple of years. An entirely different BM experience than I have.

    I was interested, too, when reading the survey results…they too are talking about a BM I don’t know — community, etc.

    I’m here to find and give books. Obviously my wants seem obscure (though they aren’t) in comparison. And now I understand why I’m so frigging frustrated by the Recommendations and Browse features, which are useless but don’t seem to bother many others.

    I’ll continue to get my “Recommendations” from other sites, and then list them in my wishlist here. NOT that I’ve gotten a wishlist notification in forever either!

  14. mariahj said

    The forum addition will be wonderful for everyone. Thanks for working on it.

  15. I am super excited about these changes– I’m a relative newbie to the site… but I plan to stick around for the forseeable future.

    Thanks for everything John!

  16. Gerry said

    Thanks for the updates! This makes it so user-friendly! Way to go.

  17. Marine said

    Sorry, but I don’t see what huge, fundamental difference this new feature makes.

    And unless I’m mistaken, this does not solve the big problem for international moochers who need an angel mooch: it’s still a pain to see the book condition.

    The big survey on BM users strongly underlined the specific problems non American moochers have… and still no improvement and no communication on this rather simple issue (making angel mooching even more difficult). It’s really too bad, as BM is such a great website.

  18. This is all great! It would be very nice to have a way to see condition notes for books we can’t mooch, however; after all, many of us like to ask angels to get books for us that we can’t get ourselves, and it’s helpful to make sure the book is in personally acceptable condition beforehand.

  19. Erin C said

    I am looking forward to the new forum!!!!
    I can never get into the current one, I always end up timing out. Thanks 🙂

  20. Maggie said

    THANK YOU!!!! This has been my biggest frustration with the site and now it is solved. Thank you very much!

  21. Mohammed said

    Great work John you cant believe how time it saves me. Seeing in books page if there is a moochaable copy or not. Instead of going through the different owners one at the time.

    Specially for me a worldwide moocher who lives in sweden where many american members arent willing to send.

  22. Johann said

    Beautiful, thanks!

  23. Ilana said

    Is Bookmooch down? I’m unable to access any pages this morning… (panic, panic)

  24. tennantfamily said

    Please PLEASE can we have a tag when listing a book to select and display the language the book is written in. Just a blank space where you type the language would do. We have emailed people about books with English titles who live in Spanish-speaking countries and find the book is actually the Spanish edition; and our books supposedly all “English” are in fact English, Welsh, German, Latin, Hungarian, Dutch, French!
    Mark and Gill (tennantfamily)

  25. Cathy said

    >each book owner’s relationship to you and your country is automatically taken into account.

    Great, thanks for that! That should make life a lot easier…

  26. Suzi said

    Awesome changes, John!

  27. Jessica said

    FANTASTIC! I noticed the changes right away and found them MOST welcome and MOST helpful! Thank you John! Amazing how you are able to improve on something already awesome like Bookmooch is ; )

  28. Thank you, John!

    Please remember that we need to be shown books whose owners won’t send to our country, so we can request an angel. I think the mooch button on the wishlist page currently serves this need.

  29. akashy said

    thanks for all the improvements you’ve been adding to the site, john! can’t wait to try these out!

    i *heart* bookmooch!

    best regards!

  30. Robin said

    These are great improvements, but it would be great if similar changes could be made to the wishlisted books.
    It’s really irritating when I think I can mooch something, but really nobody is actually willing to send me to or the books are already reserved.

  31. katherine said

    I look forward to the new forums, unfortunately the current one doesn’t load for me.

  32. Eva Marie said

    I love the new look for the forum and can’t wait to start using it- I’m sure it’ll cut drastically into my reading thime! 🙂
    Thanks for the work you’re doing John!

  33. Rachel said

    I love the list of givers and reservations on the details page. GREAT improvement.

    I wish we could still scroll over the book covers and see them enlarged. I always used that feature and got so used to it that I always try to do that in Amazon or other sites.

  34. Cathy Hake said

    The changes sound great. Not sure how my biggest peeve – absentee moochees – could be addressed, though. I hate it when I would like to mooch a book and find out the potential moochee has been “on vacation” for half a year. I’m a lot more careful now who I mooch from, but I’ve had a few problems with this type of situation.

  35. bookel said

    If a book is reserved for you it only shows on the details page if you are signed out, or if you hit the mooch button to see it on the mooch page. All it says on the details page is “will send to your country”. It shows for others that it is reserved. Can it show on the details page for the moocher it is reserved for too?

  36. leanne said

    omg I LOVE you!
    It is so wonderful to feel that someone actually reads our comments, considers our requests and needs and then actually acts upon them to improve the website! This has usually been the exact opposite experience (witness Facebook constantly “upgrading” its site, usually making it less userfriendly and requiring days of tinkering around to figure out the new configuration).

    Anyways, you ROCK! I am so happy with these changes: it was soooo frustrating to check all the “mooch this book now” in my wishlists and find no one would send to my country. I will be using the site MUCH more now as it will be less frustrating and timewasting.

    thankyou sooo much!

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