Embrace Your Inner Mooch

Ten years ago, I became an empty-nester and got serious about my extracurricular reading for the first time in nearly two decades. I resurrected and applied for any local library that would let me. I purchased a Nook ebook reader, which was actually an early Android tablet, and decided to try book swapping using BookMooch web portal. For many years, I added books I’d read and no longer desired to gather dust on my shelves to my BookMooch inventory and placed books I wanted to read on my wishlist. When someone requested a book from my inventory, I mailed it via USPS Media Mail and earned a point, which I in turn could use to request a book to mooch, usually from my wishlist. All of this was before ebook lending was widely available and I was involved in several online (thanks to the rise of GoodReads) and real-world book clubs (thanks to all the libraries I received cards from).

What is BookMooch: http://bookmooch.com/about/overview

But once ebook lending became widely available and ebooks also came down to a more reasonable price, I completely stopped purchasing print editions. I put my BookMooch account on semi-permanent vacation. Once or twice a year I’d get an email alert from BookMooch advising me that a book on my wishlist was available for mooching. The last books I mooched were five of the seven Nausicaa graphic novels by Miayazaki, which was an incredible mooch.

My BookMooch History – http://bookmooch.com/m/history/jonmoss

While sheltering at home during this pandemic, we’ve been cleaning, organizing, donating and discarding decades worth of accumulated junk. The tipping point for me to switch from print to digital books came when I calculated I had five years worth of print editions taking up shelf space and box space in my house. Over the last few years, I’ve also managed to purchase ebook editions for many of the print editions I mooched or bought second hand at local used book stores or through local library annual book sales. Unfortunately, my closest library cancelled their annual sale earlier this spring and is not currently taking donations.

So, I returned to my BookMooch profile, updated my information and posted the first batch of mass market paperbacks for the mooching. I also donated 25 of my existing points to one of the several charities partnered with BookMooch. I will continue to donate my points, leaving just a few for out-of-print or hard-to-find editions related to Tolkien, which are not yet available in electronic format.

My BookMooch Profile – http://bookmooch.com/m/bio/jonmoss

My Current BookMooch Inventory – http://bookmooch.com/m/inventory/jonmoss

Just in the last two weeks I’ve sent out seven books. I’ve missed finding a good home for old books that still have a lot of life and enjoyment left in them.

I plan to work my way through all my mass market paperbacks, most of them fantasy or science fiction. Then I’ll move on to the trade paperbacks and last the hardcovers. Some of those may be held in reserve for donation to the Friends of the Library book sale next year.

If you’re looking for something to read and can’t get out to your local library or used book store, and you have some books you’re tired of dusting, you might try swapping a few titles via BookMooch.

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