I’m John Buckman, the founder, owner, and head dish washer at BookMooch (i.e., I do everything here). I also run the online record label Magnatune.com and I’m a member of the board of directors of Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Open Rights Group. Before all this fun stuff I founded and ran Lyris for a dozen years, and sold it in 2005.

For more about me, check out my Wikipedia bio.

I read every single comment on this blog, but most of the time, because there are so many, I don’t respond personally. But, you can be sure that everything you write here is read by me, and a lot of it ends up in my bookmooch-project-organizer (aka the “todo list”).

You can also email BookMooch tech support, or email me.

27 Responses to “About”

  1. Robin said

    How about offering an RSS feed for the blog? I read them in an aggregator. Thanks.

  2. There is an RSS feed at
    http://blog.bookmooch.com/feed/

    But you wouldn’t know that, since it’s not linked anywhere (ie, it’s undocumented)

    I’m using the wordpress blog service, and I can’t figure out how to edit the home/about buttons on the menu to have a RSS feed link, or perhaps on the bottom.

    Any wordpress gurus out there who can explain to me how to make the RSS feed for this blog visible to un-logged-in readers?

  3. Mara said

    Hi John,

    how about introducing an option “I will send books within the European Union”, in addition to “worldwide”/”my country”?

    I found several bookmoochers from Europe (including me) that are reluctant to send long-distance other than occasionally because of unreasonable shipping costs to countries outside Europe. Whereas within the EU shipping costs are quite the same, be it to Finland or to Spain.

  4. John,

    Just a comment/suggestion: I have a lot of mooch requests at a time. It’d be really handy if there was a page on which I could view the addresses of the requesters, or better yet, an application– cgi, maybe?– that would not only make a page of the addresses, but format them so I could simply print and paste or print them onto sticker stock.

    Thanks a lot for a terrific site!

    Seth Matthew

  5. Hi John,

    I actually mooched a book from you a few months ago (Greg Egan’s Diaspora), but I’m commenting with a quick question:

    – Do you have any plans to develop a Facebook application that would automatically show your moochable books in the same way that you already can do on a blog?

    There was an article on Techcrunch (http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/08/23/facebook-integrates-book-swap-feature-into-marketplace/), which prompted this thought. I’d hate to see Bookmooch miss out on a potentially explosive growth opportunity.

  6. I’d love to have a Facebook / BookMooch plugin, but I’m too short for time to write it. If someone wants to do it, I can support them (ie, via the api) and even pay them for the effort.

    -john

  7. Leigh Anna Thomure said

    Hi John,

    Just curious… when a book becomes available to mooch, are the email alerts sent out in alphabetical order? I am a “T” and being at the end of the alphabet has plagued me my entire life. I know people are quick to mooch books on this site, but for some reason I feel like I am one of the last to receive the emails… trust me I react as soon as I get one! If this is the case and the emails are in fact sent out alphabetically, is there any way to send them out in a random order so that the end-of-the-alphabeters (like me) have a better chance at getting popular books? Thanks!
    – Leigh Anna

  8. Isabel said

    John, I can help you find a good Facebook programmer if you want to do that app right away. I too am obsessed with Facebook and I love Bookmooch. If you want, please contact me at isabel at isabel hilborn dot com.

  9. Emily said

    Wow, I love the idea of a facebook application. That would be really helpful, not to mention cool. šŸ™‚

  10. Tia said

    John, you’re the greatest!!! I love Bookmooch!!! My son and I have been on for a few months and are addicted . . . it’s where I go first when I’m online–even before I check my email!

    My questions is, where can I get some of those cute Bookmooch business card/bookmarks? I’d love to pass them around to my book loving friends!

    Thanks for creating Bookmooch!

  11. Shawn said

    Hey John,

    For the past month or so I’ve been refusing to send books to Bookmoochers who themselves refuse to send books outside their own country, and had a notice in my public bio to that effect. I started doing this because it’s been so frustrating to find a book I really want to mooch, only to discover that the Bookmoocher refuses to send it to me because I’m not in their country. I believe that Bookmooch’s awarding of 3 points (instead of only 1) for international mooches is more than equitable, and I instituted the policy in an attempt to get fellow Bookmoochers to rethink their decision. Several Bookmoochers have congratulated me for taking this stand, and I’ve seen other Bookmoochers with the same policy statement in their bios also.

    However, tonight I was warned by Dave from Bookmooch that my policy is discriminatory (he actually compared it to racism and sexism, which made me laugh out loud) and that I must change it or be suspended. Can you weigh in on this please? How is it **not** discrimination akin to racism for a Bookmoocher to refuse to ship worldwide yet it **is** discrimination akin to racism for me to elect not to ship to them???????

    I would suggest that Bookmooch itself institute an easy means for its members to select my now-discontinued practice (of refusing to ship to Bookmoochers who themselves only ship within their country). Or, alternately, make it **impossible** for a Bookmoocher to refuse to ship worldwide.

    I have reluctantly changed my public bio statements, and thus will begrudgingly ship to those Bookmoochers who for whatever reason wouldn’t ship to me, but I really would like to see this issue discussed. I’m looking forward to your response. Thanks!

    Shawn

  12. re: refusing to send books to Bookmoochers who themselves refuse to send books outside their own country

    This topic was brought up on the bm-discuss list in the fall of 2006, and there was an extensive conversation about it.

    Some people (including myself) were on the “treat your neighbor as you would want to be treated” camp, and wanted BM to nto allow mooching from foreign countries by people who won’t themselves send books to other countries.

    However, the opposition (people who wanted no change) had a really good point: they are already being compensated with 3 points for the cross-country mooch, AND there aren’t enough people mooching their inventory as it is. This group of people felt that they wanted as many people to mooch their books as possible, so they can earn points, and get books themselves.

    I thought the opposition had a really good point, not enough to sway my own personal position (grin) but enough to understand that BookMooch should not enforce a policy on this.

    I should emphasize that what my personal opinion is, and what BookMooch should do, are two separate things: the community really runs the policies that get enacted.

    So, I’m not likely to change BookMooch to enforce your preference of not sending to other countries to those who refuse to do this themselves. It’s certainly your right to refuse mooches, but the community, over time, has decided that refusing mooches on principles isn’t a friendly thing to do, and wants people not to do this.

    More to the point, I think BookMooch should be a fun, friendly, all-about-books-and-swapping experience, and not a stage for political positions, trying to change people’s minds to your opinion, and avoiding negativity as much as possible.

    So yes, I’d prefer that the decision to “refuse a mooch” be limited to evaluating the moocher’s good behavior, reliability, etc.

    -john

  13. It would be great if we could print out a label with the recipient’s name and barcoded with delivery confirmation on media mail when accepting a mooch! The computer generated delivery confirmation is much less costly than when purchased at the post office!
    This is a wonderful trading community and I am so happy to have found it, thanks!

  14. Mair Hill said

    This is the only place I could find to contact you and I’m not sure it’s the right spot.
    I’m still new to bookmooch and there are obviously nuances to this whole system. On Monday I was bookmooched – 4 books from the same person (the 4 Red Rock series in my inventory). I accepted right away and sent her an email that I would mail them on Tuesday. I didn’t get to it until this morning (Wednesday) and tonight I receive an email from her to cancel. Now bookmooch has put them back in my inventory, taken away my points and 4 brand new books are on the way to leigha. This really stinks. I emailed her. I just think it’s wrong that she would cancel 48 hours after I said I would send them!
    Also, just for the record, my histroy is good accept for the blemishes where it says I rejected requests. That was a glitch in the first week and you all fixed it. I know I’m being anal, but I would appreciate it if you would remove that from my history. I’m proud of the condition of the books I send and that I send them quickly.
    Thanks for you help.

    • Carol Lynn said

      It’s possible that the users account was put on hold and she didn’t want to cancel the books at all. I joined bookmooch this week and listed over 50 books. Over 30 of them were mooched immediately and I’ve sent most of them off (I needed a box for one of the multiple book mooches). I started to mooch some books of my own, and then got a message that my account had been placed on hold until an administrator reviewed it. After contacting tech support I was told that my account had a higher than usual volume for a new account and was thus put on hold. This is very frustrating to me. If I had been aware of limits for new accounts I would have gladly followed them, but I was put in the same situation that someone sent me books and then got a cancellation notice. Thankfully that person was very understanding when I e-mailed them back, but I feel like it makes me look bad. I understand completely why account limits should be in place for new users. I could list 200 books and not actually send any of them, but I feel like there should be a better way to fix this. Either state a limit for new accounts or don’t give points for mooched books until they’re received. Suspending an account without notice affects not only that user but all the users that they mooched from as well as users who want to mooch from them. Also, on a personal note, if you put my account on hold then you should also hold the e-mails letting me know books on my wishlist have become available…it’s especially frustrating to know that books I want are available but I’m not allowed to mooch them.

  15. lakeylady said

    John ,Don’t know if I’m at the right spot for this comment but here goes.
    I belong to more then 1 book trading site and I had a problem this week and I would like to explain. Went to a library book sale and bought a batch of books which I posted on both site well I’m a mystery fan and some of the books I posted aren’t mysteries so I didn’t know how popular they were now I’m getting request from both sites and normally when I get a request I remove the book from the other but this time before I could remove it from book mooch it was requested.So I had to reject .I don’t like having to do this but some times books will move better on 1 site then the other and visa versa

  16. June said

    Comment. I live in France now but probably it makes no difference. The Post Office seems to make up it’s own rules as to how much books cost to post. Can anyone beat the cost of sending to Israel that I was charged last week, 16 Euro’s and the book didn’t cost that new. In fact I looked at the PO list of mailing and it should have been 4.20 Euros, too late by that time.I have complained of course and next time I will be prepared when I go to mail anything.

  17. June Whitehead said

    Comment.Reading my comment above I would like to give the update. I now get a smile when I go into the local PO instead of a frown, they know I’m up to all their tricks and take all my ‘tarif livre’ as a given. I hate complaining but felt if I was to carry on with bookmooch I had to get the true cost of mailing the books, especially overseas. Otherwise it would be ‘my country only’ on moochers. I’m really pleased with the outcome of my perseverance even if it did take three years.
    Regards to all moochers.

  18. cross54 said

    Hi John;
    Love the site but I was wondering…can BM institute a policy that dictates a cap on a listing when there are already too many available as inventory? When going to list some of my more popular books I notice several hundreds of copies already on file and I feel that the reality of my book being mooched is slim to none. Doesn’t it make sense that it is not productive to accumulate large numbers of the same titles to this point of saturation? Can BM’s policy state that no more copies of a book be excepted after X amount has been reached? When the numbers decline relating to successful mooching, they can again be added. IMO I think that there needs to be a cut off number. To me it seems almost ludicrous to continue to accept listings of a book whose inventory is already larger then the demand. The lister gets points for their availability ( in theory could they list 12 books with such large inventories that they probably would have little chance of being selected to mooch one of them and ven though it is not their intent, they can then qualify to receive a mooch). To me it seems as if the books being listed are almost not really available & that the amount of books look like alot but actually aren’t.
    I hope that this makes sense. Setting a limit on posting would help streamine the overall inventory and possibly sway those with these books to either hold onto them until the inventory decines to list them or to free them up to find others who may benefit from their donation etc.
    just my opinion…I personally cannot in good faith add another book to a huge listing…maybe others feel the same way.

    Thanks for eveerything.

  19. JOHN: I have finally trained myself to go to Amazon through book mooch since I feel you need to make MONEY.

    However, it appears to me that after the first Amazon page, when I browse within their site, the book mooch tail disappears.

    JOHN: do you know: as long as I go through bookmooch at the beginning, even if I switch to the used page in Amazon to get the book, do you still get a %? Because if you don’t I will not bother to go through bookmooch to Amazon since 95% of the time I buy from their used books people.

  20. sarahemmm said

    A suggestion:

    I had no idea that bookmarks were available until I saw the comment about UK and France. You definitely need to make this info more visible. Also, make it more obvious tha twe can print these ourselves and save you the time and cost. Most people can do this easily nowadays, and I am sure it will get many more cards and bookmarks out and about. (For example, I normally put LibraryThing bookmarks in with my books, but I will now add BookMooch ones too – including when I send books sold via Amazon or swapped via ReadItSwapIt.)

    ..and a comment:

    I joined ReadItSwapIt a couple of years ago, when there seemed to be no UK bookmoochers. But I am happy to tell all and sundry that your swapping method is waaay better. Delighted to find that there are now growing numbers of UK bookmoochers – keep up the good work!

  21. Wendy said

    I just joined Book Mooch and as soon as I listed my first book last night, it was mooched and I sent it today. What a lovely experience. I understand how Book Mooch makes its money to run this lovely website. However I’m a little disappointed that I can only find books that can be found at amazon. I’ve always been reading books in English but since I moved to the US, I miss reading books in Chinese. I do know the ISBNs of a lot of books in Chinese that I would love to mooch but because they’re not being sold on Amazon, there’s no way for people to give or mooch them. Would Book Mooch consider this problem please?

  22. Claudia said

    Hello John:

    Why do I have to delete a book in order to edit it? Since I live in Mexico and some of the books in my inventory are old, I have to hand-enter them and if there is a mistake I see later, thee seems to be no way to fix it. (No EDIT-button). Could yo make one? I have no idea how complicated that is. My HTML is in diapers.

    All the best,
    Claudia

  23. Julie said

    Hi
    I have recently had a new experience on Bookmooch and would be grateful for others members advice on my situation.
    I accepted a mooch from a member in Sweden and sent her three books. She received a note from her Post Office telling her to go and collect them but by the time she did so they has been returned to me. (you only have a limited number of days to collect). She emailed me explaining what happened and admitted that it was her fault. My problem is that these books now feature in my “Books sent” list. I can’t help feeling that this member should mark the books as received even though I have got them back because otherwise I can see that what is going to happen is that she will wait until the four months is up and she can mark them as lost. OK I accept that I have had my points and I’ve still got the books, but it dosen’t look good on my profile having three extra books marked as lost, when they wern’t lost at all.
    Opinions please.

  24. c. bockstoce said

    I’ve been a BookMooch member a little over a year now and think it is great. Some things I’ve had a hard time finding about.
    For example: What is a BookMooch Angel?
    Who becomes one? What is a requirement to be one? Who needs an Angel? Where does one go to find out this information?

  25. An angel is someone that mooches a book for you, when you cannot do so, due to having the wrong nationality. That’s a way to get your hands in books you want but that are not available internationally. See the bookmooch wiki for more information.

  26. Anne said

    Hi John. I’m still a little confused about how you work. I’m studying French and really want a copy of “Le petit Prince.” but I’ve got the site info in french, when I need it in english.Now I can’t even find the page where I list books I’m willing to trade! “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens is one.Please help.

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