Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I'm in a bit of a book slump at the moment... in the space of a week I've gone from reading three or more books a week, to barely managing one.

Going from previous experience, I'll be in this slump for at least a month. In the meantime, I've discovered

BookMooch is one of a handful of large sites which are run free of charge, enabling users to request fiction and non-fiction books from thousands of other users. Unlike the majority of other book swap sites, BookMooch isn't just for US users. Unfortunately most of the "good" books are offered by US users, and most of those don't seem to want to ship overseas (though I've discovered they're more than happy to request books from overseas themselves...).

The theory behind BookMooch is that you can request books to "mooch" by earning points; these are gained when you send a book after another user requests it, when you list a book in your inventory, and even when you leave feedback for a book you've received. You pay the postage costs when you send a book, and in return postage costs are paid for you when it's your turn to request a book. So long as you keep to the required mooch/send ratio (you are allowed to mooch more books than you actually send), you can search for and request books to your heart's content.

So far I've sent Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday to Canada, Atwood's The Penelopiad
to the US, Muriel Spark's The Driver's Seat to Queensland, Elspeth Huxley's Murder on Safari to England and Ted Hughes' The Iron Man to England as well.

Now I'm waiting for the books I've requested so far to arrive: Guilty Parties: A Mystery Lover's Companion, Mary McMullen's Bad-News Man, an Agatha Christie paperback, and The Type-Writer Girl by Grant Allen. Davis Grubb's A Tree Full of Stars arrived late last week. Now if only I could find the attention span to start reading it...

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