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BookMooch FAQ


What's the best way to package books for shipping?

Here are some ideas:
  • Reuse old padded envelope
  • Wrap in plastic wrap, then wrap in paper grocery bags
  • Buy new envelopes
  • Hardcovers should be wrapped in stiff paper or a padded envelope
  • FedEx padded shipping envelopes wrapped in a plain manila envelope
  • Simple tyvek envelope for paperback, padded for hardcover
  • Brown paper and clear shipping tape
  • Wrap in plastic bags for padding, then paper for the envelope

How much does it cost to ship?

How do I change my address?

Go to your profile page. Double check that you enter it correctly!

Can I opt-out of international shipping?

Yes. Go to your profile page and find "I am willing to send books to". Select "My Country...".


When do I get awarded points?

You receive points for the following:
  • Adding a book to inventory (1/10th point)
  • Giving away book domestically (1 point)
  • Giving away book internationally (3 points)
  • Acknowledging receiving a book you mooched (1/10th point)

When do I lose points?

You spend points by:
  • Removing a book from your inventory (1/10th point)
  • Mooching a book domestically (1 point)
  • Mooching a book internationally (2 points)
  • Giving points to charity (give)

Isn't the point system unbalanced?

Yes, extra points are added to the system. The extra points help encourage good behavior and to keep the system well lubricated. This will be monitored and adjusted as needed.

Should valuable or heavy books be worth/cost more points?

This is up for debate. The simplicity of one book, one point, is favored. It's hard to say exactly when a book should qualify as "valuable" because 'one person's junk is another's treasure'. Heavy books typically do not cost twice as much as light books, so charging two or three points for a heavy book wouldn't be fair. Internationally shipping does usually cost two or three times as much as domestic, so that's handled differently.

How do I give points to charity or another book moocher?

A: Go to Member Home -> Your Account -> Charity and you can choose how many points to give and to whom.

How do I suggest a charity, such as a community library/project?

Go to Member Home -> Your Account -> Charity and click Suggest.

Finding and listing books:

How do I find books to Mooch?

Start at the browse page. There you can search for available books by name, or browse by topic or member.

How do I add books to my inventory?

Go to the add page. From there, you can search Amazon for books by title, author, or ISBN. It's best to search by ISBN so that you can be sure to find the correct edition and binding.

What if I want to enter a book that isn't in Amazon?

You can always enter a book by hand. Please double check that the book can't be found any other way.

I have a lot of books to enter. Is there a faster way?

Try the bulk add page. (need info on the :CueCat and other methods of adding books quickly)

Can I see a list of the newest, most wanted, or most available books?

Not yet, but these are features are on their way.
Here are some unofficial lists:

How do I see the condition comments for a book I'm interested in?

The book condition will be shown when you choose to mooch a book, but before you've finalized the request.

What is the difference between mass market and trade paperbacks?

Mass market paperbacks are usually smaller and printed on cheaper paper. Trade paperbacks are usually printed on higher quality paper and are nearly the same size as the hardcover version. The different versions should have different ISBNs.

Wishlist and Save-for-Later:

What is the Wishlist?

The Wishlist is a list of books that you want to mooch as soon as possible. Whenever someone adds a book that's on your Wishlist, you'll be notified by email. Wishlists are publicly visible.

What is the Save-for-Later list?

The Save-for-Later list is a list of books that you are thinking about mooching, but that you don't want right away. You will not be notified when someone add a book that's on your Save-for-Later list. The list is also hidden from other users.

What's the difference between the two lists?

Wishlist Save-for-Later
Causes Notification Yes No
Publicly Viewable Yes No

How can I add a book to my Wishlist if it's already available?

You can add it to your Save-for-Later list and then move it to your Wishlist. In most cases, you should either mooch the book if you want it right away, or add it just save it if you don't.

Members' pages:

What do all these stats mean?

Points The number of points that you've earned. You use points to mooch books.
Books sent The number of books that you've sent, but that haven't been received yet.
Books received The number of books that you've received from other members.
Books given The number of books that you've given and have been received by other members.
Mooch ratio The ratio of the number of books that you've mooched to the number that others have mooched from you.
Feedback Your current feedback score.
Friends The total number of your BookMooch friends.

What is the purpose of the Friends system?

The main point of the Friends system is to give you easy access to the inventories of a group of people who may have books you want to mooch, or people who would be your preferred source of mooching.

How do I suggest a book for someone?


How can I see any pending items?

Click on the Pending tab.

How can I see my history?

From the Pending page, click on the History button.

How do I change my address?

Go to your Account Profile page and enter your new address.

Can I opt-out of international shipping?

Go to your Account Profile page and set the "I am willing to send books to" option to "My Country".

How do I get a "Gold Star"?

The Gold Star system isn't in place yet, but when it is, it will be based on a web of trust. You will become a Gold Star member by sending books to other Gold Star members.

What do I do if I'm going to be away for a while (more than a few days)?

Go to your Account Profile page and set your Status Message.


What do I do if there's a problem with a book I requested?

For the most part book moochers are a friendly lot, and the best way to resolve a difficulty is to send an email to the person concerned, if you are not able to resolve a problem, then please do contact us so we can help you resolve the problem.
If you have attempted to mooch a book and have not had a reply within 7 days, it may indicate that the person does not wish to continue with their account. Please let us know that there is an issue by clicking the abuse button from your pending page. You can cancel the pending book from this screen as well.
If you have requested a book, and it has been marked as sent, but you have not received it in the time expected, then in the first instance please email the person sending the book. If you are unable to resolve the situation or they don't reply please click on the abuse button and the BookMooch Team will investigate.

What do I do if there's a problem with a book I sent?

That really depends on what the problem is! If the book does not match the description you entered, or you sent the wrong book by mistake, the proper thing to do is give back the point you got for the mooch so that the moocher isn't out of pocket. If a book has been lost in transit click on the lost button on the pending page.

How do I report abuse?

Go to the abusive member's home page and click the Report Abuse button. Someone from BookMooch will investigate.

How do I report a bug?


How do I request a feature?

The best way to request a feature is to make a post to the Forum area.


What APIs are available?

See the API page for details.

What sites integrate with BookMooch?


Are eBooks allowed?

No. There are too many issues with copyright, DRM, and no shipping for it to work with BookMooch at this time.

What if I find a mislabeled book?

Then email the person who posted the book, or failing that click on the abuse button and we will let the person know and make sure they change it.

Why are books in such weird topics?

The topics come from Amazon. Sorry.

How long should I wait for a reply to my Mooch request?

Four days to a week should be enough. At that point go ahead and send a reminder email. Be sure to check the status of the person you're mooching from. They may be on vacation or away from home on business.

Should I list children's (etc...) books?

Yes, please do.

Shouldn't condition notes be mandatory?

It is your choice as to whether to take into account the condition of a book or not, many bookmoochers say they only mooch when the person displays the condition, so it's worth doing it, but making it compulsory particularly when uploading a long list of books could put people off adding books and so, no, currently it shouldn't be mandatory. Books are assumed to be in fair condition if there isn't a note.

This FAQ is maintained by Aaron McBride. He can be contacted at "aaron at apejet dot org"