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Downtime fun

I was very amused by this conversation at the LibraryThing BookMooch forum

They ask the question:

You know you are addicted to Bookmooch when....

  1. when you search out books coming out in 2011 and add them to your wishlist.
  2. You can't go to bed until you check your Wishlist one more time.
  3. you check the rss feed on your potty run in the middle of the night
  4. Feel lost & not sure what to do when BM is down.
  5. You list your postal clerks among your best friends.
  6. You get your boss to add BM to her list of "work appropriate" websites so you don't get in trouble for checking your wishlist at work...
  7. You put BM-shipping before paying bills.
  8. You "accidentally" leave Bookmooch bookmarks in the library books you return, in hopes of getting "converts" (who will add to the variety of books available) ;-)
  9. Your friends tell you that they should give you Frequent Flyer Miles at the Post Office.
  10. Instead of reading at the airport between planes, you cruise through the book store to see if there's anything interesting you should add to your wishlist.
  11. The mail box holds your tax return check, but no books, so you are disappointed...

Those are my favorites answers: anyone have more? How many of these are you guilty of? I'm counted six for myself (and I do feel guilty about cruising book stores at airports for future mooches)

Yesterday, BookMooch was unavailable for about 2 hours. Every once in a while, some robot (or something) pounds the heck out of the site and causes a problem. I'm working on figuring these things out, but the reality is that every once in a while, BookMooch is down for a few hours. Sorry!

John Buckman
4 years ago


Here are some of my own symptoms of BookMooch addiction.

I get depressed when a book I want is too big and heavy, or too expensive to likely show up on BookMooch, and then much later I realize I can ask for the book for my birthday or Christmas.

When BookMooch is down I can't accept it and I waste far too much time checking sites like Down for Everyone or Just Me? and Siteuptime before reluctantly accepting the downtime.

I crave mooching books regardless of the size of my to-be-read shelves. The fact that at my current reading rate I've got enough books to last me until the end of 2012 is irrelevant.

I configured my email program to play a loud voice saying "It doesn't get any better than this!" whenever a wishlist email comes in. I can hear it from wherever I am in the house and although it only happens about once every two months, it startles the hell out of me.

When I hear my wishlist alarm I instantly stop whatever I'm doing and rush to the computer -- exercising, nude, meditating, etc -- a wishlist mail takes priority.

I'm agitated on trips until I can get to a computer and check my wishlist.

I risk alienating family members by always telling them in emails about the books I've just been able to mooch.

I put bookmarks to my wishlist on my brother's and father's computers so whenever I'm visiting their homes in another state I can quickly check my wishlist.


Jon Maloney
4 years ago
OMG! I can relate to EVERY SINGLE ONE of John's--and Jon's--statements! I just can't seem to get things done because I hover around the computer. In fact, my computer is never turned off anymore, so that I can hear my incoming RSS feed because you never know when a book will become available! Aren't I right? Yes, I'm obsessed.

When I'm out of town, I absolutely have to take the laptop so that I can check in at Bookmooch. It's like, I HAVE to!

4 years ago
I am guilty of all of these things as well as having a link to my RSS feed on my blackberry so I can mooch on the go!
4 years ago
If you're cruising the airport bookstore looking for titles to add to your wishlist, be prepared to wait a goooood looooong time for those to become available to mooch. I've had much more success tracking down the nth book in a series by a given mystery writer via BookMooch than getting a popular best-seller. Just tempering expectations for those new to BM izall. Also, the pace is way slower for those expecting the same turnaround you'd get from an eBay or purchase. People get to it when they do on here.
4 years ago
I read all the book reviews from the NY Times to People Magazine to see what I should be adding to my wishlist.

I spend far too much time wish-listing every edition in the BM data base so I won't miss a possible mooch.

I become unreasonably angry when a wishlist item comes up and I'm either too late or the owner won't ship Internationally.

I have enough books on my TBR list to take me up to my 87th birthday.

Ed Hahn
4 years ago
As I live in France, it's rare to find a booksale with English language books. BM addiction for me is going to a booksale and coming home with an enormous bag of books, some of which I want to read, and the rest of which I'll put onto BM for someone else, so I can earn the points to get something I really want.
The other problem with BM is where to hide one's TBR pile... BM membership should come with a TARDIS room for the TBR stacks - enhancement request, please!
Downtime? Withdrawal symptoms seem to include suddenly having time to tackle that enormous pile of filing.
4 years ago
You know you are addicted to Bookmooch when....

you spend far more time looking for books on than actually reading books.

4 years ago
My shelves are sooo full of books and I am still addicted to BM. And I do spend more time on BM than reading!!! Your comments are so true for me too. It's nice to know there are other obsessives apart from me!
4 years ago
I know when I'm guilty of BM addiction....When?

When I'm at a book-store or even just Australia's version of Wal-Mart (Big W) I will photograph the cover of a book with the camera in my cell-phone & wish it when I get home.
I do this often, what must the store staff think??
Better than writing it down on a bit scrap paper that will invariably get lost, before it gets wished.

I also know that I'm addicted to BM when right now the TV is blaring in the background (about nothing, to nobody) & I continue to write in the forums!! Worse still it's a show I hate, but I won't momentarily leave BM & turn it off.

When like Peter, I spend more time here on BM than I do reading, I need counselling!

Great thread John!

4 years ago
I second Jacquie's statement! I am a distance learning student, and getting English-language books is difficult, unless you're ready to spend a lot of money in Paris-based language bookshops.

You know you're addicted to BookMooch when:

- you have withdrawal symptoms from not checking your daily wishlist (holidays without internet, anyone?);
- you found a newer edition to your old book and you desperately need it;
- your wishlist is more than 1,000-book long;
- your boyfriend sighs and gives you a kiss each time he finds you on BM;
- you find that you managed to get the next four years' worth of set books for your courses;
- nobody around you understands your addiction! ;-)


4 years ago
P.s. With the amount of data available about mooches, it may be just possible to draw the profile of the typical BookMooch addict, I think!
4 years ago
I have now got myself a massive book mooch addiction, every time i buy i book i can't wait to finish it and then post it on Book Mooch and i must admit i get a natural high when someone wants to mooch one of my books and then i get to send my love of books to another book lover :D
4 years ago
Oh yeah, Moonie that was an unbelievable buzz for me when I first started. That feeling - I can only describe it as one of 'warmth', transferring the warmth/an ultimate & intimate love of books to someone else via a post-bag.
But non BMer friends & family of mine haven't got a clue what I'm talking about. :)
4 years ago
I am new to this, telling everyone I know who reads about it, and am looking for emails from people who might want one of my books (my list is small, still). Thinking of how to acquire more books than I already have to add to the list of books to give away, and not answering other emails that I should, because this site has become too important to me. My apologies to a lady to whom I sent 2 books then apologised for sending one of them to the wrong person, etc. I will get used to this and organise myself, but I am having a lot of fun altogether. Thank you all that have offered help and encouragement, you are awesome people. <3
4 years ago
You know your addicted to BM when you harass friends, family, and co-workers for packaging and used padded envelopes to send books out in.
4 years ago
i too search my local paper's book reviews in search of books i might want to read which then get added to my wishlist. :P

these truly are signs of BM addiction!

thanks for the chuckle John & keep up the great work!

4 years ago
My main sign of bookmooch obsession is...

slipping bookmooch bookmarks into books in the library that are on my wishlist, thinking that whoever is checking them out from the library may just have some others by that author at home and if converted will probably post those books on Bookmooch.

Coming into work with a big fat expensive hard cover I just got through Bookmooch and telling everyone "Yeah, it's $29.95 in the book store but I got it free using Bookmooch.

Going to book sales and slipping bookmooch cards into the for sale books.

As I trade on a few other systems for dvd's and cd's I put a bookmooch card in every item I send out anywhere.

You know you're addicted to bookmooch when your wife institutes a 1 in 1 out policy since your books are now spreading to other rooms of the house.

You know you're addicted because no matter how many other sites are out there you always think of yourself as a bookmoocher first and foremost.

You know you're addicted to Bookmooch when you can come up with more that 2 of these "you know your addicted to bookmooch when..." off the top of your head.

4 years ago
I hadn't thought of putting bookmarks or business cards into library books! Brilliant!

I did give a card to the librarians, in case they wanted to post up books that don't sell at the book sales...

4 years ago
Some of the books I read include source books. I keep bookmooch up on the computer so that I can wishlist books I read about in other books if they sound interesting. When I'm done with some books, I end up with 20-30 more on my wishlist!

I cruise the library book sale on the days they put new books out & purchase books SPECIFICALLY to give out on bookmooch.

I check my wishlist as soon as I get home from work & dread working overtime because then I have to check it later! THEN I relax.

4 years ago
You know you're addicted to BM when you find that at thrift stores and booksales you end up with 2 to read/keep yourself, and one to post for mooching right away!

I have found that by haunting BM, I have gotten a feeling for which authors and or titles move quickly, and I always try to stock up on those to keep myself in points.

4 years ago
We all have something in common. Obsessive about books. One reason, I haven't become "Kindling".
Ed Hahn
4 years ago
You know you're addicted to Bookmooch when you buy books you've read before at garage sales and library sales because you know there is a huge list of people who want the book.
4 years ago
I mooch books to complete series for our local library. Books in my inventory a long time also are donated either for their use or for their book sale. Thrift shops are a great source for "like new" books.
Jim Keehn
4 years ago
My mail clerks inquired about my frequent posting of media materials, and ended up as BookMooch converts.
4 years ago
Oh my....This just confirms my addiction to both books and this site! I recently went on vacation and came home with five new books I picked up here and there while I was gone. I had 3 books in my mailbox when I got home. My hubby laughs at me (and sometimes just sighs) because almost every surface in our apt. has at least one stack of books on it. My bookshelves are overflowing but I just keep adding to them and finding more I want. I'm definitely guilty of cruising booksales and thift stores for Bookmooch fodder.
I've never thought of leaving the bookmarks in my library books! That's brilliant!

It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there. LOL

4 years ago
More and more of my books are coming through with "checked by customs" stamps from various countries, most of them though by French customs. I wish there were some way of telling those customs people about BM so they could get their own books.
My postman commented that the larger van that's now on our postal round is more likely to be for my book packages than my business post ;-)
4 years ago
You know you are addicted to bookmooch when you started harrassing your computerphobic friends and family members for books they no longer want so you can add them to your inventory. It's even worse when you actively encourage your computerphobic friends and family members to harrass their own friends for books to pass on to you so you can add them to your inventory.

You know when you are addicted to bookmooch when you attempt to send telepathic messages to bookmoochers around the world to encourage them to add books from your wishlist onto their inventory :)

you know you are addicted to bookmooch when you start enclosing a bookmooch bookmark in christmas & birthday cards to friends and family :/

4 years ago
soniaandree: "your wishlist is more than 1,000-book long"

I'm not sure how to check this, but my impression is that there are many BookMoochers with Wishlists of more than 10,000 titles, and even some with over 25,000 titles.

4 years ago
Now that my inventory and wishlist are growing (slowly), and now that I've been able to mooch some long-awaited titles, I see myself sliding down that slope to Bookmooch addiction. I've checked my requests every hour for the past few days.

And leaving bookmarks in library books- brilliant idea! I've got a few books to return myself, so I will definitely be trying that!

4 years ago
I no longer do this since I have enough points, but I used to cruise the thrift store bookshelves looking for books likely to have wishers. I'd write down 50 to 60 ISNBs, run a BM search and then return to buy those that were wanted. I got really good at predicting which books would be mooched. I would get soooo excited when a book was WL'd by 50+ members.

Now that I have enough books in my to-be-read pile (750 and growing) to last at least a decade, I've got my addiction somewhat under control. However, that doesn't stop me from checking my WL 20 to 30 times a day.

Alan Dellamore
4 years ago
You know you're addicted to BookMooch when you leave at least 5 tabs open on the computer screen at the same time, all mooch related.

1. Leave outlook express/email program open all day of course.
2. A Bookmooch tab open at the mooching side, inventory/wishlist etc.
3. A bookmooch tab open at the forums.
4. A Google books tab open for cross-referencing things you see on BM.
5. Ditto with an Amazon tab, for searching there too.

Who's got time to read! LOL

4 years ago
You know you're addicted to BookMooch when you take a picture of the ISBN number rather than title and author because it is faster to list the book that way.
4 years ago
I joined BookMooch only to reduce my book inventory because I moved to a small house and I just didn't have the room anymore for the 10 bookshelves I had in my previous house.

I realized I was addicted to BookMooch when, after reducing my inventory, I have a sole bookshelf that houses the books I've mooched and are waiting to be read! (that's in addition to the 3 bookshelves that houses my read books, that I just have to keep). LOL

And the other sure sign is that I'll take any and all free books that my friends and family throw my way to glean for myself and, at the same time, hoping there are some good titles to add to my BookMooch inventory.

I love BookMooch! Thank you John for creating this wonderful site!

4 years ago
I can't say enough about this wonderful site! My problem is I have so many books to read but feel that if I don't check bookmooch several times a day I might miss something. I have found books in the browse section before receiving an email that they are available!
4 years ago
The PO clerk starts communicating in sign language with you. There is a long queue in front of her, but when you pop-up, she either nods or shakes her head - without you asking anything - to let you know if there is a point in you joining the queue. Whenever the person she is currently serving has turned his head for a minute, in order to find a pen or something, she quickly reaches for the package(s) she had already put within reach and nonchalantly puts them on the counter, smiling at you and nodding meaningfully (meaning: 'grab them before he notices'). And when this ritual repeats itself daily - then you know you are a BookMoochoholic!
4 years ago
This is the comment TaneliT didn't want to make....
4 years ago
I love them all!!!
4 years ago
Reading the comments here reminded me of two other symptoms of my addiction that I didn't put in my first list.

I always have a Firefox tab opened on my full wishlist so I can quickly switch to it and click the refresh button to check it.

I pester all my family members to save their book-sized boxes, padded envelopes, and bubble wrap for me.


(I unsubscribed from receiving this forum by email, and resubscribed before making this post, to see if it solves the forum's mail delivery problem.)

Jon Maloney
4 years ago
Now when I ask guys for their number, I ask for their ISBN's instead.


4 years ago
any of you notice yourself checkin out the books behind people being interviewed on the t.v.?
4 years ago
This made me laugh out loud and nod my head. Lots apply to me.

I also got good ideas about about where to put my Bookmooch cards and bookmarks.

May I mention I have gotten any number of books from people moving, graduate students who have graduated, etc. I have gone to strange parts of my area to pick up boxes of books sitting outside the front door.

People in my therapy group know to bring me bag fulls of books when they are finished with them.

I also will look for books that folks from my group want and are not willing to buy new. I hit Bookmooch first as I am bookseeking, then Paperbackswap. Then, Fetchbook. Depending on their level of desperation and my fondness for them, I will sometimes buy it myself for them.

I now feel less bad about the stack and stacks and stacks of books in my TBR pile AND sitting on the floor in front of my eleven bookshelves in my one bedroom apartment. I will get them put up eventually.

This thread is inspiring me and encouraging me.

I have and wear the "Life is Simple. Read. Sleep. Eat." T-shirt. I got mine through the Literacy site on the same page as the Breast Cancer site.

I used to give out books my tutoring group got from FirstBook.

Everyone believes in something.

I believe in books. :-)

Hugs and love and abundant blessings plus piles of books to all,


Gosh! I can take Bookmooch cards and bookmarks to the senior pantry.


4 years ago
When somebody mooches that book you've had in your inventory for ages - bliss!
4 years ago
In addition to most of the above you know you're addicted to Bookmooch when:
* you keep a notebook in your bag so you can list must-have books that you read or hear about (or see someone else reading on the train) to add to your wishlist wherever you are
* your bookshelves are full so you keep your BM books in boxes under the bed sorted according to: inventory, to be listed, TBR soon and TBR later
* you have a large box of recycled paper, envelopes, packages and bubble wrap under your bed
* you have a similar set of recycled paper, envelopes, packages and bubble wrap at work so you can sneak out during lunch to the post office where the staff all know you by your first name and no longer check your ID for international mooches
* it feels like your birthday because not one but two packs of books have finally arrived from overseas!
4 years ago
I have run out of room in my house to keep books. I have just emptied the dresser in the spare bedroom and filled 6 drawers with books because I have no more room on my many book shelves. Then I realized I still had a box of books in the closet I had cleaned off the top of the desk because my husband had no room to write bills! Where to put those? I have enough books to keep me reading until 2015 at least. It really is an addiction and I keep swearing to reform but it never works. Is there a Bookaholics Anonymous? Wouldn't join anyway - I love and treasure my books and love sending them off to appreciative homes when I'm done. When I'm at the used book store I sneak bookmooch cards in some of the books. I only wish the date requested was on our wishlists so I could see which ones have pended for a long time. Then I would get it at the used book store and would have one to put into the rotation.
A. Anderson
4 years ago
My family doesn't understand my love for bookmooch. They are all urging me to stop using it. I plan to use it more than ever.
4 years ago
The local post office employees no longer ask me what postage rate I want to use- they just get out the stamp. I could send anything media mail now...cinder blocks, a chair, snow tires....ANYTHING.
4 years ago
E. Thayer:

In response to the wish to have your inventory dated -- if you go into your inventory page, and click on the little orange box beside the words "Inventory: books you own and want to give away", you will get a "feed" list of your inventory, and it will be in the order that you entered them on Bookmooch.

I use that feature all the time, and for the same reason.

One thing that I'm careful about, is that I seldom remove a book if it's the only copy anywhere on Bookmooch. There's a reader *somewhere* for every book, and I've had some mooched recently that were on my inventory for a very long time before their new owner found them.

4 years ago
I figure I'm addicted when my husband asks 'are we eating today'.
4 years ago
Lol! I'm also one of those who buy books that I don't even want at thrift stores and yard sales just so I can mooch them for better ones!
4 years ago
I have a spreadsheet with BM requests - book, weight, moocher & address, date requested, cost of postage and how sent (MM, 1st class, int'l)...I take long enough to send that it's good to see when it was requested, just as A.Anderson says. Also it's nice to see who's mooching from me again - fun! My mooch requests are few enough that I keep all of them in there and it's not too slow; in time, I'll archive some.
Jennifer McGaffey
4 years ago
Is there any way we could identify audio books? At the moment it's just a matter of luck as far as I can see.
4 years ago

I always click onto Amazon to see a more detailed description of the book, and more than once I've found out that the "book" I've chosen is an audiobook. Also, most moochers are forthcoming with that info in their descriptions.


4 years ago
Thanks Jeannine. What I'd like is to be able to see a list of the audio books bookmooch has to offer. Mine are all mixed up with books and no way of separating them.
4 years ago

I understand what you're saying now,and that WOULD be a good idea. Nine times out of ten I want the book, though audio books are great for trips.


4 years ago

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