BookMooch logo
 
home browse about join login
Forum: BookMooch Blog
PREV -
NEXT +
MESSAGES >
?



Doom & gloom?

 Just wondering can we expect any changes on Bookmooch in the near future ?
There appears to be a lot of doom & sad predictions from a vast number of members.

As it turns out, yesterday I changed the BM signup form to not ask for your personal address, as i think that spooks people who want to check us out, and BM doesn't actually need it until you try to mooch (and _then_ it gets your home address).

I'm also currently working on some "training videos" to help new users ease into the world of mooching.

So yes, I am working on things, but with a focus on "tweaking" to help new members come on board, and not so much "radical changes" as I think BookMooch, as a software program, works fairly well. Some things that people don't like, such as the metadata about books (categories, for instance) aren't easy to fix, as that comes from Amazon and their data is the source of the problem.

I don't subscribe to the "doom and gloom" outlook, but I think it's also important to face the fact that the glory days of "dead tree books" is behind us, caused by (among other things) the ascendency of eBooks and rising postal costs.

If you use alexa.com to look at other "dead tree book" web sites, you'll find that every one is down considerably. Paperbackswap, according to alexa, has lost 50% of its audience in the past 18 months. Also, the press has "moved on" and doesn't really cover this sector any more -- again, it's all about apple, amazon and ebooks.

On the other hand, I think the worst is behind us. All the statistics at http://bookmooch.com/about/stats show a peak around 2008/2009, with a healthy drop, and then a flattening of the decline so that we're now at a new steady state. For instance, look at the number of members offering books, which hit a height of 31,000 members, but has stabilized at around 19,000 members for a year now.

I will continue to improve BookMooch, but I also think that the hopes of a "big jump up" in usage and members just isn't going to happen. Back in 2010/2011 I added a large number of features, which made existing members happy, but none of those caused an influx of new members.

About 3.5 million books have been swapped on BookMooch since 2006, and yesterday, there were 672 books exchanged. That's still a quarter million books a year!

BookMooch is a lovely place for people who love real books and love trading them with other people. That isn't going to change, but we do need to realize that all of us here are a bit oddball, and not representative of the greater world.

That being said, I'd love to hear y'alls top one or two ideas for making BookMooch much better.

-john

John Buckman
1 year ago

Comments



I think you do an AWESOME job, and for someone like me who reads almost a book a week, this site is a life (and a budget!) saver.

One thing that I think would help improve the site would be some way to flag or keep track of those who repeatedly post books but then fail to ever respond. I have found myself sometimes repeatedly mooching from the same person who after two months still hasn't even responded with an acceptance, and have now created a personal do-not-mooch-from list.

Thanks!

Alison Astor
1 year ago
I really like this site and its a great way to fill in missing books for a series. I have a Nook (e-reader) that I use but a paper back book always has its place in my life.
amy
1 year ago
My 'wishlist' of things to see at Bookmooch (in no particular order):

1. The ability to mark 'sent all' so I don't have to click the send button eleven or so times for a large mooch.

2. The ability to tweak a book's listing (for instance, add a summary or a cover).

3. Remove accounts of people who have not logged into Bookmooch in over a year - of course, send them an email explaining that they will be deleted from the site if they don't log in.

4. Let us swap DVDs and CDs so we don't have to join other sites.

Thanks for all you do.

Bast
1 year ago
100% with you on this John.

I wonder, with the just announced feature on Amazon of used e-books sales, if such a feature might some day become a possibility here.

And no, I have no idea HOW it would work.

And yes, I know how to go about getting e-books in other ways, it's just that:
(a) generally, I prefer regular books,
(b) e-books seems to have settled in at about 21% of the book market,
AND
(c) I think it's important to not lose focus on what Bookmooch can do, especially INTERNATIONALLY (unlike other sites).

Thanks for letting me speak.

Hercules40 (a.k.a. PapaG)
1 year ago
I agree with bast on number 3.
SWR
1 year ago
I agree with Bast..
I use CD swp, VD swap & PB Swap. I prefer Book Mooch.
However, this week I sent 3 DVD's 4 CD's & 4 Books thru The Swap Trio.. I also sent 4 Books Thru Half .com & 16 Books thru Ebay.
The one advantage to those three, to me is the abliity to print postage. The I can have the Postoffice pick up at my door.

I have a Kindle which I use on the road but have only read one book tha way.. 10% of driving time I listen to audio books..I get audio books from amazon, I tunes & Pirate Bay..
I would prefer a one stop shopping center. CD'c DVD's,Audio Books, & Paper backs.
Thru all this, I prefer to read with a book in my hand.
I have a big wish list on Book mooch but its been a long time since I have a response.
I am long winded to get to my point..
POSTAGE thru PAYPAL.. DVD's ... CD's... Audio Books.. Maybe E Books

Lou Jones
1 year ago
I AGREE WITH LOU JONES IN "POSTAGE" - ALSO BELONG TO PAPERBACKSWAP JUST SO THAT I CAN "MAIL TO A FRIEND" WHEN I NEED TO SEND NATIONALLY. FOR INTERNATIONAL YOU STILL NEED THE POST OFFICE
Miss Daisy
1 year ago
You know, I have a Kindle and I enjoy it. However, nothing replaces an actual book to me. I love the old, used book smell...yeah, the Kindle doesn't have that ;) I like the postage idea, and I have been tempted to go onto the USPS site and just print and label from home (I have done it before with large packages) using the book weight according to Amazon, and adding a few ounces due to packaging. I'm afraid to do it as I would hate for it to arrive and have someone pay the extra postage to receive their book.

I agree with eliminating accounts of those who have not logged on in over a year, especially if you alert them to it, and they do not respond.

I do love Bookmooch, and I do hope that it sticks around for a long, long time.

Sandra
1 year ago
I'd like to see a place In My account settings. Where you can check a box that you only want to mooch books from your own country and have the software automatically make that name invisible on the wish list to those in other countries.
I'm in the US. And I keep getting wish list responses on one book specific book from several different countries. Sometimes in a different language. As its a book I'm only going to read once I don't want to use my points up on an international mooch.
Other than that I like the site
Vicki B
1 year ago
I love BookMooch!
John Vernon Scott
1 year ago
Agree with Bast except for 4. I would love to see more Caribbean nationals on the site. Also the ability to mark all the books sent only once.
Karlene
1 year ago
There were several comments like this:
 3. Remove accounts of people who have not logged into Bookmooch in over a year - of course, send them an email explaining that they will be deleted from the site if they don't log in.

Do you guys know that there already is a mechanism for doing this?

If you mooch from someone who doesn't send the book, when you cancel (after having waited a bit) , then that person is deemed "inactive" and their account is automatically put on vacation, which also removes all their books from their inventory.

So... if you guys want to clean up BM to remove the inventories of people who no longer use the site, mooch from them and then indicate that the person never replied when you cancel the mooch.

-john

John Buckman
1 year ago
John, we have worked diligently in removing inactive members.

As for me, as I have money, I add new books to my existing inventory.

I still think you should keep this an BOOK only site in all its forms, print, audio and e-book (though, like I said, I have no idea how that would work).

I used to love the extra points I got, but I also understood POINT INFLATION (a point long debated).

The only improvement I recommend is helping newbies get the books they want FASTER, but making it easier for them to mooch a wishlist book first, but again, I would not know how you go about doing this. I suggest this, because I want these people to want to stay once they sample the site.

Hercules40 (a.k.a. PapaG)
1 year ago
Two suggestions at the top of my improvements wishlist, please and they both concern related editions.

1. stop sending emails indicating that a related book is available if that book is in a language other than the one originally indicated. For example, if I wishlist a book in English, don't send me emails about an edition in German or French.

2. once I've mooched a related edition to that on my wishlist, automatically ask me whether BM should remove all related editions from my wishlist. For most people the default is probably yes, but there maybe someone looking for a specific edition. I'm asking for this feature because I've found that several times I've mooched more than one copy of the same book. I may not file the mooched book immediately, and so the second copy doesn't always go back into circulation immediately; I'd rather BM stopped me inadvertently mooching another copy of the book.

Finally, lower on my priority but I'm sure it would be appreciated, an automatic BM smooch (additional point)to reward someone who sends a hardback internationally.

We need more members, but better quality than quantity.

Jacquie

jacquie
1 year ago
I would love the ability to be able to mark a specific copy of a wishlisted book as one you are not interested in. For instance --

1) If I'm only willing to spend one point on a book, and an international copy pops up.
2) Condition notes indicate that it's not within the range I want for that particular book.
3) I've mooched from that person before and had a bad experience.
4) It comes from a smoking household. (I prefer nonsmoking only.)

If any of these things are the case, I may not want to mooch this particular copy. If it hangs around for a long time without getting mooched (this can happen), that means every time I check my wishlist, it acts as a "false alarm" that something I want is available. This is annoying and disappointing!

Emily Martha Sorensen
1 year ago
I love this site, John. With you all the way (You know we had an ALA meeting here in Seattle the other week, would have been more than willing to volunteer if you all had showed!)

I am quite happy with the simplicity of the site, but you tinker with it as you see fit.

I wish to address some of your thoughts on ebooks versus dead trees. First, some things are in the pipe, such as the impending end of B&N. http://www.mhpbooks.com/the-slow-death-of-barnes-and-noble/ It is just a matter of time; when that happens, sites like this will have a tremendous opportunity to fill a very large gap!

Meanwhile, the slower than projected growth in ebooks is speaking truth to the overhype of digital reading. Some people may be drinking the koolaid on ebooks but lets be honest, the economics of them only make sense for mass-market, broad-read populations. Despite the hoopla, there is just as much front-end cost for ebook production then there was for dead trees, its just a completely different skill. So this is why only a certain form of NEWLY WRITTEN books are produced as ebook. Sites like this will be a big deal for all those old books people have and want to read but dont justify spending the time and effort to digitize.

Hang in there everyone, bookmooch has a potentially long and prosperous future!!

Christoph
1 year ago
John, Thanks for checking in. a) Since you can't personally change the postal systems of all our countries to make them make more sense;) perhaps there could be some information pages about the best way to mail books domestically as well as internationally for the top ten or so countries represented here. Perhaps this might help people realize that sending internationally is not as scary (or expensive) as they think. b) When accounts are "vacationed" after a very long period of inactivity, is there some way their wishlists could be hidden so the wishlists are a more accurate reflection of how many active moochers are actually looking for a book? c) Add the ability to put a feedback comment on books reported "lost" (since this is occasionally done in error). d) Some kind of incentive program or contest for bringing in new members?
Cara
1 year ago
Often I read through lists of people's gripes about BookMooch, but I've always been happy since I've joined this website. Books come and go slowly, but I don't need a constant influx of new books. I'm generally pleased with the books I do get through BookMooch.

If Amazon provides such bad book data, is it possible to work out a way to get book information from LibraryThing? Tim does a great job there to acquire the best information about books that he can.

My only frustration with BookMooch (other than the price of postage going up...and that is not the fault of BookMooch) is that it is hard to look for books I like here. The categories almost never list books appropriate to those categories. In other words, fix "Browse topics"!

Most of my acquisitions here are from a very long wishlist. I just sit around and wait until one of those books pops up. Sooner or later, one always does.

I have found it very easy to print postage at home through PayPal. I also have a small food scale and use that to weigh my packaged books so I know exactly how much they weigh.

This is the link I use:
http://bit.ly/WSs07M

John, thanks for all you do to keep BookMooch up and running!

SqueakyChu
1 year ago
Hello, John!

Over the years, there has been a good deal of discussion regarding the general dissatisfaction of obtaining metadata through amazon.com. I don't know if this is possible, but I would like to suggest investigating obtaining metadata from WORLDCAT, which is short for "world catalog," a digital database of bibliographic information gathered from many libraries from across the globe. As these records are produced by librarians, specifically catalogers, these records have a high degree of accuracy and contain many important data points, such as International Standard Book Number (ISBN), title of work, author of work, language of work and many other particulars.
If you go to the following website, http://www.worldcat.org/partnership/harvestset/default.jsp, which has the heading, "Directly Harvest WORLDCAT Records," there is information on how one's website can utilize these metadata records.
I would like to close by thanking you for producing and running this wonderful book trading site. Jill and I have enjoyed great success in getting books that can be found nowhere else.

Warm Regards,

Mike Bemis
Reference Librarian
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Mike & Jill Bemis
1 year ago
I have noticed a couple of member's sites where they list the same book multiple times. This is usually done every book they list. I think this may be done to get points, although it may be possible they are from a used book store dealer listing. It is tiring to look through these member's listings, soperhaps nothing need be done. Just mentioning it because perhaps there is some way to put 13 copies of the same book instead of separate listings by a member.
jgardner
1 year ago
I would love to see:
- A more modern design to the site. This will encourage new visitors, or even old bookmoochers who haven't popped in in awhile that the site is still actively being run and maintained.
- Separate pending pages for incoming and outgoing books.
- A way to mark all books as "accepted" or "delayed" or "sent" or "received" from the same sender or receiver.
- A better way to deactivate long inactive accounts. Accounts that are on vacation still show up as wishing for a book. New members get discouraged when they see a book they have is wishlisted by hundreds of people, yet no one mooches it when they post it. See the Twilight series as an example of this.
- Better supervision of the volunteer administrators. While most are great most of the time, there have been issues. Being a volunteer is not an excuse for being rude.
- More frequent blog posts to let people know that you are still alive and engaged with the site, even if they are not related to Bookmooch at all.
Becca
1 year ago
I think BookMooch is a healthy book-swapping system in the current economical context, and I think the peak we saw in 2008/2009 was because there were lots of publicity around it, so lots of new members in, who, in the long run, have left lots of dormant accounts and inventories to deal with. What I find very good these days, is that I can literally put vacant accounts 'on hold', so that their inventories don't clog up the system (and mooches).
soniaandree
1 year ago
Top improvement, for me, would be printable postage. Currently I don't make any book over 13 oz. available for trade here because I have to stand in line at the PO. With the end of Saturday service in August, my PO will no longer be open on Saturdays, making me even more hesitant to list hardcovers. Incidentally, I would have no objection to you charging for this service, as PaperbackSwap does. When I left the Army, I promised myself I'd avoid standing in line for the rest of my life.
Bill W
1 year ago
Huh, Well, I don't know about the physical book ever falling the way of cement playgrounds and pet rocks...

They just have another type of competition for their reader, in the forum of another format type. For the most part, I see that people try the new e-book format and eventually plateau at the realization that they now use both types for reading books, not one or the other.

I also found this article:

http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/balancing-happiness-and-consumerism-digital-age.html

I think that it lays out the argument, pros and cons by the writers assessment and makes the same point I do in convincing ways. So I don't see cause for alarm or 'doom and gloom'.

HOWEVER, I would LOVE to see some advertising in say, magazines or such for this site. More new blood, means a better stock of books for all involved. This place has gotten stale. :(

HI77
1 year ago
Bill W - If you sign up for a PayPal account (which is free), you can use the link paypal.com/shipnow to buy first class and media mail postage. It costs slightly more for media mail but you get Delivery confirmation, and you actually save money on the first class postage, even with the DC included. There are no transaction fees or fees for using PayPal (they charge you to receive money, not spend it). Not as convenient as buying it directly from Bookmooch, but it beats standing in line at the PO, I'm with you on that one.
Becca
1 year ago
The reason that paperbackswap's membership is down is because we've come over to bookmooch. Their site freezes up after a couple of transactions and you give up. There'll never be anything as good as a real book in may hands; gives me comfort that I can escape the real world for a while.
Betty Boggs
1 year ago
 The most frustrating thing for me is the length of time it takes to search for a book -- often over 5 minutes of waiting and staring at it "thinking." (It has always been this way, I've been a member for years, with new computers and high speed internet...unless BM likes PCs better than Macs ) I know the database is big, and I also realize than comparisons are not really helpful, but I can search for the same book on another trade site and find it (or not) in seconds.

Search Tip

If you're seeing very long search times, then probably you're including several words in your search, and some of those words are extremely common.

For example, instead of searching for "cooking and photography", drop the "and" to make your search much faster. In general, put the most specific and unique words you can think of in your search and it'll run much faster.

-john

John Buckman
1 year ago
re: browsing & making it easier to find books you want.

I agree, this is my own personal top priority, and I'm giving some thought to how to go about helping people find books they might want.

The "Recommendations" page http://bookmooch.com/m/recommendations/buckman_ca works well for me, and I might highlight that more, perhaps make it graphical.

Also, I like the edited lists of recommended books you find on Amazon. I might do something like that here too, if I can find a good source of recommended books in various groupings, for example "Hugo Award Winners".

Amazon has a list of various book awards http://www.amazon.com/Awards-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=542942 and I might be able to find historical lists of award winners.

-john

John Buckman
1 year ago
re: swapping ebooks, cds, DVDs

BookMooch will always be a book-swapping site. I have zero interest in doing a DVD or CD audio swapping web site. Those physical formats are much more dead than books are, and there are good web sites already out there that help people swap CDs and DVDs.

As far as ebook swapping goes, Amazon "sort of" permits it, but Amazon has shut down several ebook swapping sites that tried to make it work, because publishers freaked out. Because of DRM on the ebooks, and piracy worries, I don't think ebook swapping is going to happen unless Amazon does it themselves. Given that Amazon has a patent on selling used ebooks http://www.nextmedia-source.com/frame.php?id=7679874 this might actually happen.

John Buckman
1 year ago
>> I have zero interest in doing a DVD or CD audio swapping web site.

Thanks, John. Was just a wishlist thing.

Bast
1 year ago
To bring in new members you could add 'Like' on Facebook et al buttons.

And a quick tweak you could do. A book I mooched was lost in the post over Christmas. (I know it was lost because i was sent the empty packaging by the Royal Mail.) Both the sender and I have tried to mark this so I can get my points back, but the site says not enough time has elapsed and I have to wait until April.

John Palmer
1 year ago
Thanks, Becca. I've been with PayPal for years, but I wasn't aware of the feature you mentioned. I'll try it out and you might see some hardcovers in my inventory soon!
Bill W
1 year ago
To clarify my point about BM members sense of doom & gloom, some quotes from BM members on LibraryThing.
Your response to these comments would be appreciated John. Thank you.

The 3-point change that stopped lot of people posting books and mooching internationally.
The change caused controversy, and conflict that has not improved
Books sitting in vacant accounts for well over 1,000 days inactive.
Users who don't respond.
The need to stalk your wishlist or never, ever get any books at all.
The overzealous and sometimes rude admin behaviour.

BookMooch's tendency to remove polite posts they disagree with is one of my biggest complaints. How can there be any sort of community with senseless censorship?
I was appalled by the bitterness and rancor exhibited by both members, and John alike

The sense of overall Bookmooch community that prompted me to go out of my way to find and post books, and the sense of trust that allowed me to build up large numbers of points for the future has been very damaged.

The atmosphere has changed and it no longer seems to be the close community of cooperation and sharing that it was (a lot of nice people still hanging in there though; it's just they aren't as active as they used to be either). Since the Bookmooch forums don't seem to be very active, I'm so glad you are all still here on Librarything.

I'll remain a member of Bookmooch, and I am grateful for the many hours of pleasure I have received and the many nice people I have "met". Perhaps Bookmooch, like the video cassette is an idea whose time has come and gone. Lbrarything is still here!

Gerri
1 year ago
Hi John,
I love this site but the 2 things that I would ask to improve the site is to make it easier to purchase and print the postage directly on the book like you are able to at Paperback swap.

The second thing I would like to see improved it to make it easier to find the book you are looking for. Sometimes you have to scroll through endless titles before you are able to find what you are looking for.

Finally the last thing is to warn people that if they don't plan to send a mooched book to the person they run the risk of being taken off the site. I can't tell you how many times I have requested a book from someone and they never got back to me and they never sent the book. Its very frustrating.

Paula
1 year ago
Hello John - Thanks for all your work in creating BookMooch and continuing to tweak various features, though not to excess. I'm so pleased that there's another free book-swap site besides PBS, from which I got suspended for almost a year because my computer software, although it worked with Amazon, BookFinder, and other giant sites, would no longer work on PBS after one of their updates, so i couldn't mark books received. I complained and got suspended with a snarky message about how it was my job to keep up with their changes. Foo! So place don't make BookMooch all New and Improved with lots of moving parts and stuff for sale.

Suggestions (Well, you did ask):
Please could the link that brings us the lowest current Amazon price next to our wish-list books be updated more often? Sometimes it doesn't get updated for several weeks, and I really appreciate the opportunity to pounce on some suddenly low-priced copy of a book that I'll probably never get through PBS or BookMooch.

Would it be possible for the View Moochables Now button on the wish list to bring up related editions currently available, as well as moochables that are actually the book we have listed? Sometimes I'm not so fussy about which edition I'll read.

I'd be happy if the link on feedback could be broken or readjusted for books that never arrived, so I wouldn't later find that I'd left positive remarks (my comment on the previous book received) for books I never got. The informative people in the forums told me a way to correct this, ex post facto, but it hasn't worked on all of them.

Margaret H.
1 year ago
For all the talk, you would think there was no mooching. Late 2012 and especially this early part of 2013 has been nearly non-stop mooch requests from me. I just counted and I've sent 24 books through BM since Jan 1 2013. In the same time period I've easily sent 70 (probably more to be honest but I don't want to count) through PBS given how my numbers dropped.

My problem is I am having a hard time finding books to request. Apparently I've run out of books in my areas of interest in my country and trying to get people to send internationally is a nightmare.

@WM - John had (I assume still has?) multiple accounts in different countries. Different inventories on each as he spent different parts of the year in different places. I seem to recall him moving books from one inventory to the other (like from US to UK accounts) so it was easier for international moochers to get the books. And as a long time member of bookmooch (I joined in 2006), many admins were very harsh. To say there was a problem with favouritism would be an understatement.

Melvin
1 year ago
John has mailed books to me in Canada, although he doesn't send bookmarks and cards to us. The point change made mooching uneconomical for Canadians and we have dropped to less that 600 members when we were nearly 2000 before the change. With the increase in postage rates and fewer members sending internationally, we are usually relaying on a wonderful group of Bookmooch angels and a few mooching buddies to make it worthwhile to continue. I personally am posting books to my inventory and sending once every few months now. I used to spend $50-$60 on postage every two weeks.

@ Margaret H. from the pull down menu in your wishlist, go to settings. Select email for related editions. The related editions will now show on your wishlist.

Cara
1 year ago
i love bookmooch, especially since the other site (paperswap or whatever) is only for americans.
i do agree with the deactivation of people, i post a book and see a bunch of people who want it, but then a loty of them havent been on BM for over a 1000 days...
Eva Cooper
1 year ago
I think you left out the fact that your terrible changes targeted at non-US members are the biggest threat to BookMooch.
Kevin
1 year ago
Thank you for all your work; this is a wonderful site and basically have not had any problems with it. However, since you've asked : ) can you do anything about the search/browse function? I'm not one who schizes out if I don't get an IMMEDIATE result on my searches but this site's search & browse usually is slooooooower than slow and the results are usually terrible. I cannot understand the logic behind the results which at times includes pages and pages of books that have nothing to do with my question. (For example, there's no way to delimit the search "P.C. Doherty" as every "Doherty" comes up, even when using advanced search.) Usually database searches delimited with quotation marks will only return that specific request but this isn't possible with BM. On the other hand, if this requires some complicated, expensive programming magic, I can live with it.

Also, I like the nice clean simple interface; I vote against flashy graphics and junk that just slows down page loads.

Renee15243
1 year ago
I'm also a member of Paperback Swap, but I have very few books listed there and use that site maybe 1% of the time compared to Book Mooch. The main reason - that site is much more fussy about the condition of the books you post, and if a book isn't listed in their database and you need to manually add it, the site expects you to measure and input all the dimensions of the book. I think Book Mooch is much more user friendly.
Octoberwoman
1 year ago
The quality of the Amazon feed comes up again and again. The feed comes in, is used by BM. If it doesn't then go back to Amazon, couldn't the data become editable by the BM community to clean up the database? There is no mileage for anyone here in spamming the database with incorrect information, but every benefit in being able to remove incorrect tags and add the correct ones. If everyone had the option of being able to correctly tag books they list, all BookMoochers would benefit; more useable data might just generate more mooches.
jacquie
1 year ago
Maybe this has been said before - I did not have time to read all posts. However, I would love it if you want to only trade in your country that you could choose that and not be shown your WL books that members in other countries are posting.
Also, it has happened to me on numerous occasions where someone requests books from me, I mail them out, and then their account seems to be on vacation hold for weeks or months afterward and my books never get marked as received. I send reminders and eventually can delete after 30 days, but I just don't understand why people do that. The deactivation feature mentioned in other posts would be good.
Marilyn
1 year ago
John,

I thought I had no other useful comments, BUT, the point situation reared its ugly head at me this week.

I used to ship books internationally ALL THE TIME. And to EUROPE, UK, etc, a lot. 3 points were adequate for a book back then. But now?

I just send a book to London and it cost me over $18 after the latest USPS rate increase. Considering this, my thought of becoming active in Angel Mooch program again, might be for nothing. $12-$15 per book was ok. But $18 to $20? This was a thin paperback.

You might need to consider adjusting the international point structure.

Hercules40 (a.k.a. PapaG)
1 year ago
Yes, international postage from the USA is now prohibitive thanks to the USPS rate increase. I try to accept all mooches international, but now it's getting to where I just can't afford it.
Bast
1 year ago
John,

I'd like to echo Hercules40's thought.

I used to ship books internationally too. But now, I'll send books only to my country, though I need to mooch internationally since I have no other choice, I can rarely get books I want from here, well there's Amazon as an alternative. But my point is, since the change of the point system, international sender had been killed.

As Hercules40 said, "You might need to consider adjusting the international point structure".

Thank you.

ylef
1 year ago
I really appreciate Bookmooch. I've used it to clear out my old library. While I haven't really brought new books in (I, too, have a preference for ebooks as of late), I still occasionally find a wishlisted book I really want.

Have you given much thought to diversification? I have very often wished Bookmooch had a video games section. I've had and still have several accounts with video game swap sites and they are all TERRIBLE! None of them are as good or as fair as Bookmooch.

I also have a decadently large classic music on LP collection I wouldn't mind swapping. Again, haven't found a service as good as bookmooch for these, though.

Elie
1 year ago
Elie, John has said that he won't be diversifying Bookmooch - it was on my 'wishlist' (in this thread) to be able to trade CDs and DVDs but no go.
Bast
1 year ago
I have no problems with bookmooch, I love it! I receive lots of requests and have no problem finding books to mooch. I search by title and author with no issues, and the wait is a bit long sometimes but I am doing this all on my phone so no biggie.

If I could have one wish, it would be able to move things off and on my inventory without having to add each one individually. Every few months I take most books off my list, take them to the UBS, and then whatever doesn't sell I put back on. This has the added benefit of letting people get the notification again or new wishlist adds get the notification for the first time. I have done this a couple times and received several new mooches after re-listing.

Megbomb
1 year ago
I have a Kindle but even though I get hundreds of ARC to read on it, I by far prefer the printed word. I also swap on PBS but love Bookmooch. I do use PBS to print my postage for books shipped to Bookmooch members. Appreciate all you do to make Bookmooch the awesome place it is.
Lisa R
1 year ago
I think bookmooch sticking with just books is a good idea. The SwapaCD and DVD sites do OK, but I was a member of Swap.com back when it was Swaptree, and it was a mess having the multiple formats on one site. Given that this is kind of a side hobby for John, keeping it simple is probably in the best interest of everyone.
Becca
1 year ago
1. John, first thanks for making this site at all.

For non-US Americans, Bookmooch is one of the few (or maybe the only one) available internationally, unlike Paperbookswap. This will keep on in the future.

2. I don't understand the problem with the wrong categories coming from Amazon: so they're metadata, just enable an "edit" function after import. I would recommend looking at or contacting Bookcrossing.com, an international site (which also has wishlists and sometimes sends international), which solved the import problem very well. They take basic data from amazon, but programmed their own 20 or 30 categories, which the member selects from.

3. Paperbooks will never become extinct entirely, but the used paper book market has been in a slump for over a decade, with flea-markets and church bazaar spilling over with unsold used books. Given how much new books are still published in paper form each year, and how much books become available everytime an elder person dies, I don't think this will change soon.
The principal idea of giving a book away to somebody who wants it instead of giving it to the next sale or paper recycling dumpster - and alternativly, receiving a book from somebody, will make this site always attractive.

4. An overview of postage rates by major countries in a handy lookup table (up to date) instead of old forum posts would be a help for international mooches, esp. so experienced senders can give tips to newbies on what's the cheapest rate is. (And so other members can get an idea of how expensive and therefore generous the giver is).

nonameblue
1 year ago
5. I already suggested this but have not heard feedback: the automatic email program does not accept sending to GMX.de/net, producing an error, so I don't get automatic notifications.

Furthermore, when I do use the direct Email function (which works) there is no option to get a copy of the sent email to my own account (again, comparing this to Bookcrossing, which has this feature). So if a mail does get lost, I can contact the member after a waiting period because I know whom I mailed when about what. I would find this useful

nonameblue
1 year ago
Update this page: http://bookmooch.com/m/points thanks;) It's right at the bottom in the table, but not further up the page.
Cara
1 year ago
Point information incorrect on this page as well: http://bookmooch.com/about/overview
Cara
1 year ago
P.S. and slightly off topic. The wiki has been hacked again. Could someone with experience please restore the earlier version? Thanks (I'll cross post this in the discussion forum).

ETA: and it's been fixed! Thanks bookarts

Cara
1 year ago
Keep up the good work, John.

One thing I would like is to only get ENGLISH language editions of books. I asked to get related editions in case an UK edition is available and I asked for a US edition, but I don't like getting non-English language editions. I have to go in and very carefully specify that I still want the book but not this related edition.

I am still a DEAD TREE junkie, so keep it up, John!

Barb
1 year ago
DVD's would be a good thing to add (I would love to be able to trade DVD's), also the problem I have with Bookmooch which isn't one you can fix is that no one sends out newer books (some of the books on my wishlist have been there since I started on here). This is the reason I add books to a wishlist on paperbackswap too, they come up faster on their website.
stacynvh
1 year ago
I would like to see a change in policy regarding inactive members.

When I list books I send out email notifications to everyone who has the book on their wishlist. Several times I get absolutely no reply from any member. When I check the profile of the various members I find out they have not be active on the site for anywhere from 100 days to 1000 days.

It is like going door to door to sell girl scout cookies and knocking on vacant houses...it is a waste of time.

Perhaps revise the BM policy that is there is no activity on an account for 180 days...the account will be deactivated and the member will need to re-active the account by contacting BM.

Deebs
1 year ago
Hi !

Bookmooch is a wonderful system ! Please don't make too many changes ! It works beautifully just as it is and I really enjoy its un-commerciality, the way Bookmooch doesn't spam you with advertising about charity or cruises or even new books. I really appreciate its discretion : forums are there if you want them, but you can be a very good moocher without spending any time on them at all.

I've just pointed a friend to Bookmooch. Please don't change it too much !
Bravo, as we say in France !

Courtiron
1 year ago
I support Hercules40 and Ylef's thoughts about int'l mooching and point system.

If nowadays only 4-5 countries are represented in BM with enough members (say, more than 400-500 people: ie US, UK, Italy, Canada, Australia) to allow members to use the website limiting deliveries to only domestic mooching, should one decide so, this also means that to keep BM up and running it's vital to find a way to encourage int'l mooching for all other countries which are not so lucky, and which today, basing on the new stats, represent roughly 40% of BM members.

Offering to people living in those countries, "you can use the 3 points you get from an int'l delivery to mooch 3 books available in your own country" cannot be a workable option for them - since they have (nearly) nobody in their own country to mooch from!

MarchRose
1 year ago
Actually John, I just looked at my recommendations list and I would love to know if you could make it so we could hide many at once?

I don't know how it makes recommendations since the books are almost completely irrelevant to books I've mooched, books in inventory, and books on wishlist. I would love to be able to hide like 50 or so at a time. Heck there were probably at least 50 entries just for the Twilight series on my recommendation list.

Melvin
1 year ago
I think Bookmooch is a great site & I have increased the type of books I would normally read.

However I have noticed there are a huge number of people who have never added any books to their inventory, (I have spot checked some account & there are no entries in the points section) but they have books on their wishlist. Is it possible to stop people adding to their wishlist if they aren't willing to add to their inventory. As this again gives a false reflection of those wanting specific books

Keep up the good work John!

Ruth
1 year ago
I noticed a few people mentioned including CD's and or DVD's as items to mooch and I think that would be a really fantastic thing to do
Cole Reader
1 year ago
There's also the drawback that members that are active, just for some reason missed responding to a mooch by mistake-get put on vacation. Happened to me. I am on the site multiple times a week but somehow just missed a mooch for some reason. Not only did I miss out on that mooch bit I was vacationed lol.
Megbomb
1 year ago
What about an App that we could use to scan the bar code on a book to automatically load it into our Inventory? I know that ISBN scanners are already available, but it would be nice if it was linked to our Bookmooch accounts.
cpowell
1 year ago
1. Marking long-gone members as "inactive" takes away their inventory, but NOT their wishlist. They still show up in the wishlist dropdown on the book's page, and (I'm assuming?) probably still get counted in the "send random email to wishlister" mechanism. I REALLY think that needs to change. If you can remove someone's inventory because they've been gone over a year, why is their wishlist still "active"?

2. The apparent bug where we get an error message when trying to leave feedback for books marked "lost". Often, I'd even say MOST of the time, a transaction marked as "lost" has a story behind it, something that should be reflected in the person's feedback. I do not think it's fair that we can leave feedback for cancelled mooched, rejected mooches, and successful mooches, but for some reason not for "lost" mooches.

3. (I know someone already mentioned this) Give us an option to say "only this language" when wishlisting a book. It's VERY frustrating to get all excited about seeing a wishlisted book come up, but then you actually look and wait, it's in French, or Spanish, or whatever. I did *not* wishlist a book in French or Spanish, and unless my account somehow shows that I read those languages, even "related editions" should know better then to give me copies of a book in languages I can't read.

Overall, I've MAJORLY stepped back from BookMooch in the past year, partly because of medical issues and partly because I've gotten too frustrated with my TBR pile, and now only mooch books if they are actually on my wishlist. But I am SO glad you are working on things that will hopefully make new users more comfortable, and actually want to stick around.

Heather
1 year ago
^ I agree with number 3 up there. I see how it could be helpful with some people (bilingual) but its distracting to me.

Other than that I just wanted to say I enjoyed reading this thread- I agree on the no CDs and DVDs thing, and I think you're doing a wonderful job. I'm a stay at home mom and artist on a VERY limited budget and bookmooch is my salvation!!! Keep up the awesome innovative work!

Taryn
1 year ago
The ability to save search settings. For instance if I don't want it EVER to show or send me International listings. Or to sort by "Condition." Also to show condition in listing without having to go into the details.
Glenna
1 year ago
Hi John,
Something I miss tremendously is the categories that used to be under "recent" items. I could just click onto the categories I was interested in to see what new items had been listed in the past 5 hours or so. I find it almost impossible to use it now, with everything listed under "recent." Most of those are romance, mystery or science fiction, none of which I read. I would have to keep the "recent" items up all day & night, looking every ten minutes or so to see if there are any books that interest me. I really relied on the categories under "recent" items, to learn of new books I hadn't known existed. My use of BookMooch has dramatically diminised due to this change & once I use up my existing points, I'm not sure I'll add any new inventory. Why was it changed in the first place, & can we get it back?
Thanks,
Naja
naja sorella
1 year ago
I got a Kindle HD for free with bonus points from credit card but I have only put 3 books on there -- and only because they were very cheap. Thanks to Bookmooch, my bookcase is stocked to the brim so it will be a very long time before I have to actually buy a book. I've been spoiled by Bookmooch. The best thing since .... whatever!
ChrisP
1 year ago
Thanks for your good work John and also volunteers.
I read both paper and ebooks. If I am reading a series I request all the books from Bookmooch. I usually have 1 or 2 missing by the time I am ready to read them. I fill these in with the ebook as I get to that particular book in the series. This rarely happens because I can usually get the entire series here. So, thanks for that.

My requested changes are some of the same as have been requested from others already;
- Remove people and their inventory if they haven't logged on for a specified time. Or at least don't offer their books as moochable. It's a waste of time.
- Related copies are a wonderful offering but I have had so many that are from other countries who are not willing to send to my country. Can this be checked before offering? I also find that even when someone says "ask me first", they won't send. I wish there was a way to indicate that I do not want to mooch from other countries.
-Related copy mooches are great but can you remove the original book from my wishlist after acceptance if I do mooch a related copy? I sometimes forget to do this after waiting for someone to respond. I don't want to remove it until I know I will be accepted for the related book.

Thanks again for caring about what we users think.

Sarah
1 year ago
When I check my wishlist of currently available books I just want to see books from the U.S. I don't mooch from other countries anymore b/c I only want to use one credit. I don't know if you currently offer a way to filter this. If not, maybe you can add it.

I don't own a computer or e-reader so no e-books for me. I use the library's internet. I'm sure there are others (especially of low income) like me. Technology is just too expensive. I don't like the expression "dead tree book." I prefer to call them real books, as opposed to an e-copy, which wouldn't feel like a real book to me. I guess the best part of an e-reader would be that you can make the print bigger. Also that the books aren't heavy.

I use PaperBackSwap, too, so I'm disappointed to hear their numbers are down. Swapping makes sense because it's a lot cheaper than buying a new book: $7.99 for the paperback mysteries I like and it was $2.47 media mail for one pound or less (and you don't pay sales tax!). Barnes & Noble (the only new bookstore I go to) is on the other side of town, too, and the post office is closer.

Michelle Fidler
1 year ago
@Naja I think that feature disappeared because it relied on a technology that Twitter changed.
Becca
1 year ago
John, I'm among those just grateful to have this site exist -- in whatever form you judge most appropriate.

Living in France, almost all my activity is international (bless the French for their low international book rate!). Much enjoy the spirit of BookMooch, and getting to know others who have an addiction to hard copy books (their look, smell and feel).

I'm very appreciative of the tremendous effort you put into your "baby", and spread the word of it whenever I can.

Dorothy van Schooneveld
1 year ago
Fixing the wiki so that you have to use your bookmooch account to log in would help. It is full of spam and has been that way for months.
Also, when we report problems that are not fixed months later, it is pretty frustrating. There are still points pages that say that an international mooch costs 2 points, but even after being reported it has not been fixed. When someone rejects your mooch, the book is not added back to your wishlist. That has also been reported and not fixed. Lastly, the mods of the forums need to be identified and there needs to be somewhere you can tell if your comments were deleted.
Sarah
1 year ago
Brittany -
I just searched on the PBS site and can't find any reference to getting a PBS credit for buying a book via Amazon. Please could you tell me where you found that?
Thanks.
Margaret H.
1 year ago
I have never refused to send books, hardbacks and all, to the ends of the earth. Perhaps I am luckier than most in that I don't have to think of postage expenses, but for me, BM is more than just swapping books. It is about making other people happy. Especially, people who do not have the means to buy ANY book so they can read, learn, widen their horizons and feel that great feeling that only a "book in your hands" can give you.

So a little more research from John on some more very special places where I could donate my points, would be appreciated. I am specifically thinking of developing countries and countries that do not have lending libraries with books written in English. There used to be such a youth club somewhere in Serbia I think but I do not see it any more in the donation options we get.

Otherwise, I agree with Courtiron, keep it as simple as possible, it works fine the way it is.

Basil

Basil
1 year ago
Love the site John, thank you so much. My only issue (and I really didn't realize it was a "change" until I read a post on this blog)is that I never seem to see any of my wishlist books show up as availble. Would love to see a return to the previous system where everyone who had a book on their wishlist received an email when a wishlisted book was posted.
I really liked being able to put my account on vacation through my recent move. So much simpler than reloading my inventory.
Thanks again for a wonderful site John. I truly appreciate all your hard work.
Jimmye
Jimmye
1 year ago
John, You're so right. I'm a Published author and I love to read a paperback, but the world seems to be on the go and e-books are easier for some, I suppose.
Regardless, I can't knock E-books. My publisher is E-book first PB second, so we move forward, but still cling on to the good things. Paperbacks are one of the good guys.
Mary L. Ball
"Escape to Big Fork Lake"
Mary L. B
1 year ago
I have been giving and mooching for years and I am a fan. Thanks for all you do, John, and for the great members that make this a vibrant and special place!
Jessica
1 year ago
John,

I've been a member for a few years and have enthusiastically shipped my "used" books all over the world. I accumulated a lot of points doing that proving that altruism is just another name for self-interest.(Grin)

I am now back in the U.S. and was very disappointed to discover that the Int'l Priority pack has gone up to $23.95. I would ship my U.S. based PBs in a priority pack and could always get 2 and somtimes three in the envelope which cost U.S.$12 or 13.95.

I just posted the folowing on my profile page:

"Unfortunately, thanks to the political football we in the U.S. call the U.S. Postal Service (the service part is an oxymoron) I will no longer pay the ridiculous charges to send books overseas. Last year, a Priority Mail Pack, good to hold 2 or 3 PBs, was US$12.95. In January it went up to US$23.95. In most parts of the world, one can buy new PBs or used HCs cheaper. While this site is more than just a way to get books for a reasonable cost, US$8 to US$12 per used PB book is beyond reasonable. Methinks, I see a business opportunity here for someone far younger than myself, shipping books and other heavy weight items via surface and then re-distributing them at various points using local postal services or couriers.

I feel sad about this development since I made some good Bookmooch Friends around the world by shipping them books from Hong Kong which is still civilized enough to handle surface shipping at a reasonable cost. Reminds me of the song, "Those Were the Days"."

It might motivate some U.S. members if the moochee received 6 points
for a book shipped internationally from there. I know there are other places in the world where Int'l postage is even greater and perhaps these places could be included. Another possibility would be to accumulate books in some less expensive spot like Hong KOng and re-ship them. I wish I had thought of this before I relocated back to the U.S.

Unfortunately as my good friend Dick Gottlieb, President and founder of Grey House Publishers, said to me recently, "I seem to be involved in a dying industry, which may be appropriate as I celebrate my 74th birthday."

Whatever the problems, I hope Bookmooch can continue to be a global organization.

I also hope others who read this might have their own take on the issue, if they see it as an issue.

Ed Hahn
1 year ago
I like e-books, but I will always LOVE real books, will always WANT real books, and will always mooch & give books as long as there is a BookMooch. I prefer real books, turning pages...nothing beats the real thing. Thanks for everything, don't ever stop!!
Julie
1 year ago
If the USA had surface mail, Ed, it would be helpful. :(
Bast
1 year ago
I use PBS as well as BM, but have found litte activity with PBS (noteven once a month). I love Book Mooch and realy enjoy using it. My library keeps getting larger and larger, but I'm reading as fast as I can. Keep up the good work and thank you,
Shirley
1 year ago
This would be very, very simple to implement: add 'Audio' as a "binding", therefore making it easier to search for audio books.
jacquie
1 year ago
I am new to bookmooch but so far I am really enjoying it.

If I had to name one thing I'd want to see be different, it would be the forums and discussion area. I took one look and knew it wasn't something I would enjoy using.

Personally, I like community and good online forums (see ravelry for my very favorite forums system), and a better way to talk about books and connect to other members would really appeal to me.

That, however, might be a very big project for you, so I understand if it isn't viable.

Andraya
1 year ago
I've only been here a week or so. One thing I hate is the forums. They are terrible. There has to be a more user friendly way to do them.

I've had two people mooch off me which has been great but I have had 3 books that I've wanted to mooch canceled because of inactive members.

Laura Polley
1 year ago
First off I have to say a big thank you John as for me bookmooch is a life saver.

I don't feel the need to be one of the popular girls on the net - 'oddball' suits me fine.

In fact I am frequently considered oddball due to the large amount of books on, and falling off, my shelves.
At some point my shelving capacity, living space and the sanity of my darling husband required that I get rid of some of the books I have read. When I refuse to throw books in the rubbish, my friends rarely read anything but literary fiction and I live in the land with no charity shops I had no solution for all my genre fiction, the YA, vampires, werewolves and alternative histories. Which is where BM's life saving capabilities came to the fore.

There are probably a thousand ways BM could improve itself but I love it just they way it is and have had so many great mooching experiences.

BTW if you are searching for a specific book using the ISBN rather than the title is much, much quicker.

EstherS
1 year ago
@Melvin, and anybody else out there who can't find books to mooch and finds it difficult to get people to send internationally :
just so you know, it's cheaper for us in France to send internationally than inside ! So needless to say, I'm perfectly willing to send abroad--just mooch !
Courtiron
1 year ago
Incredible and I thought the U.S.P.S. was bad.
Ed Hahn
1 year ago
True for Canada as well: domestic has always been more expensive. But that is evening out since they have increased the international rates: over $18 for 2 books to Israel surface mail. This translates to over $3 a point which makes books for me to mooch cost over $9. Only a deal for rare and hard to find. I send about three times a year now mostly when I am planning a trip over the border unless to special mooching friends.
Cara
1 year ago
Before I knew there was a forum like this to post suggestions, I was wishing that in my wish list that the duplicates would eliminate themselves when the system goes to suggest related titles. I have wishes for multiple ISNBs of the same book. When the system lists a related item, it lists books I already have on my wishlist and lists the same book over an over that is related to each ISBN I wished for. Sifting through to find what might be a good related match is tedious because I have to go through the same book over an over. Another fix for this that might be less complicated would be to actually show the ISBN in the wishlist data and make it a sortable field.

I do love the flexibility of Bookmooch copared to paperbackswap. I am so glad I stumbled onto you!

Ivy Hostetler
1 year ago
I am relatively new to Bookmooch. Despite a rocky start, I have been pleased with the service. My suggestions:

Functionality change request -
I read books in English (and sometimes Spanish). I am not interested in related books in other languages. It would be helpful to be able to restrict my wish list by language.

I think there are lot of people out there who still read and/or prefer books with spines.

To help with the "doom and gloom" -

Member Referral Program: one point for each new account that an existing account refers. Perhaps with a restriction that the new referral account must post 1 or 2 books to the system to qualify.

International Read-a-thon: A week-long virtual read-a-thon/mooch-a-thon could be a cool way to connect existing users, encourage more forum usage, attract new users, and promote the site in general. I would be willing to help coordinate.

Tallulah A. Scribbles
1 year ago
I am relatively new to bookmooch. I am not interested in CD or DVD swapping, and it would muck up the browsing.

The best thing you could do for bookmooch is get us a bigger selection of books.

I would also like the forum to look more like normal forums. It is organized strangely and I can't easily find what I want. I'm sure, John, people would be interested in modding.

Ashley
1 year ago
I'm afraid the Philistines among us with their Kindles and Nooks have created a situation where less and less books are being listed. Hopefully there will be a time when E-books can be listed and downloaded directly. It isn't like these books haven't been paid for.

My biggest concern is the high cost of shipping books internationally. It has made responding to Int'l requests financially impossible.

Ed Hahn
1 year ago
Ed, you're right.

Biggest problem is people with E-Book readers and the cost of International Shipping. I've certainly curtailed my International Shipping and mooching because of that cost.

Hercules40 (a.k.a. PapaG)
1 year ago
I get so excited when a wishlisted book turns up only for my request to be rejected.
Recently I received 4 rejections (from 2 different people), the reason given "I no longer have this book."
I even offered to smooch someone 3 extra points to send me a book internationally, but wasn't even given a courtesy email back. Just a rejection.

To be honest, I am reluctant to list any more books if I can't spend my points. Sad that I will also now contribute to the lack of moochable books, but I can't afford to just "collect points".

I will be very sad to see the end of BM.

Mel
1 year ago
Mel, I am right there with you. I have points but nothing to spend them on. Generally nothing I ever wishlist gets added so I check out the recently posted books but rarely see anything to mooch. In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually mooched anything.

I did get a hit on my wishlist but the person refused to ship the book. They did not give a reason, which I do not think should be permitted.

I used to get all kinds of books for my mom but she is now a Kindle convert so paper books are not wanted by her. I read mostly on my ipad but still hope for wishlsted books.

Yes, I know could donate my points but at the present time I keep hoping I will get my wishlist books... :)

Re: high cost of international shipping : What's been said is so true. It's a shame.

Bast
1 year ago
Response to last two posts.

I sometimes do get my wishlisted books. Running about 50-50. One thing I do, in addition, is monitor my wishlist. When a book is available, there is a bright red "mooch" message.

If someone refuses to ship a book with no reason, report them. There is a tab to report abuses and if they are doing it quite regularly, they will get booted off the site.

I don't bother wish-listing recent "hot" titles because if they get listed, they get mooched immediately. I generally wish-list all the books from authors I like and do pretty well. I also offer extra points for any International titles I want. Up to 6 extra depending on the book's weight and how bad I want it.

Shipping internationally from the U.S. has become a total rip-off so I don't even try anymore. I was lucky living in Hong Kong, I could ship Surface Mail internationally for about the same rate as Domestic Media rates so I accumulated an obscene number of points which I will never get to spend but periodically give away or use as bribes for international shipping.

I am not totally convinced Bookmooch is finished but hope we can come up with some solutions to the problems. Consolidating international mooches might be possible. Somebody's going to come up with a way to mooch e-books, maybe already has. Just a matter of time. That will help keep the idea alive.

I shop periodically at Powell's in Portland and it is always crowded. They too, though, are selling Kobo, an e-reader for independent bookstores. And then there will always be those who prefer ink on paper to pixels on a screen. Hopefully.

Ed Hahn
1 year ago
Hi Ed. I monitor my wishlist at least 2-3 times a day. But as an English reader in Germany I find it very difficult lately to get books sent to me internationally.

I don't blame the US people for not wanting to send internationally, the postage costs are crazy. But what I don't understand is why some US readers have their account set to "ask me first." My mooch gets rejected and when I look at their profiles they have never sent anywhere outside the US, not even Canada. Please don't get my hopes up :)

I find less and less books in Europe and would be interested to know how the international listings have been affected since the point change. I realise that the non US/UK members are not a priority.

Mel
1 year ago
Not only is International mail from the U.S. a problem, domestic mail in parts of Europe is ridiculously expensive. Also, I recently heard from a Canadian member that it was cheaper to mail to the U.S. than across Canada.

It's almost as if the various postal services (oxymoron) of the world are conspiring to inhibit the mailing of books. We don't exactly have a huge constituency. I still think some kind of a consolidation service might work but I certainly haven't figured out how. The cost of Media Mail keeps rising also: US$2.53 for a PB, US$2.98 for an HC. Still a bargain compared to most places in the world.

Maybe the Fed-Ex's of the world will see an opportunity and institute some kind of bulk rate for books and other media.

Whenever I ran across the "Ask me first" issue, I would write the person pointing out their dishonesty in pretending they ever shipped overseas. Most of those who replied didn't realize what they had done and changed their listing. I had to go back and change mine to "My country only" after I moved to the U.S. and realized I was still offering if asked.

It would be a crying shame if all the effort that John has put into Bookmooch would be for naught because of postal costs.

Ed Hahn
1 year ago
Ed, thanks for the idea about monitoring wishlists even though I do that already. Most of the time when one of mine come available, it's from someone that won't send outside their country. :( But I understand where they're coming from - I just wish I didn't see listings that were like that.
Bast
1 year ago
One other thing I've discovered is that if I try to collect the writings of a specific author, I do better. I recently did that and was able to mooch 4 books and even one from France. I put the rest of the author's books on my wishlist. Interestingly, the more recent books were the one's not available.

Whenever I manage to get an international mooch, I usually double the points. Since I accumulated so many while I was in Hong Kong, I can afford to do that. I realize not everyone can do that.

Let's all keep thinking of ways to enhance Bookmooch and share those ideas with John. Maybe we can even solve the e-book issue.

Ed Hahn
1 year ago
Ideas for making Bookmooch better:
Sorry to keep repeating myself but it is over a year since the points were changed to 3-3 and STILL the overview says it only costs 2 points to mooch from abroad. Please change it, it causes consternation when new members find it to be untrue and may be responsible for some new members becoming inactive so quickly.
tennantfamily
1 year ago
What happened to "smooching"? Just noticed you can't do it any more
Judy Storset
12 months, 4 days ago
Strange - I certainly can!
Sophie Houston
12 months, 4 days ago
Harlot.
GarethM
12 months, 4 days ago
Unspeakable toad.
Sophie Houston
12 months, 4 days ago
Enough of this witty banter - how ya doin', you old beast? Haven't seen you around here for yonks ...
Sophie Houston
12 months, 4 days ago
No, I've not mooched in an age - just never put up new books. Perhaps I'll have time soon. I do lurk on the forums from time to time though, and that seemed like altogether too good an opportunity to miss!
GarethM
12 months, 4 days ago
Well, it's good to see you again!
Sophie Houston
12 months, 4 days ago
Judy Storset,

If you go to the person's Bookmooch URL, you can smooch. If you want to do multiple smooches, go to your Home Page and click on Charity. You can smooch to individuals from there. I do it all the time to reward Int'l shippers over and above the three points.

Ed Hahn
12 months, 4 days ago
John, thanks for all the recent updates. We love BookMooch and are telling anyone we meet who loves books to check it out.

A thought: Could there be a distinction between users who are voluntarily on vacation (not wanting to trade right now) and those whose accounts have been set by the system to be on vacation (haven't logged in for many months nor replied to inquiries) so that we can see if books are truly wanted by active users or not? I don't mind keeping some books on my shelf indefinitely, but I will pass on most volumes locally if no one is really going to mooch them.

Celeste Henry
12 months, 2 days ago
Blunt.

1. Set the example for international trading by doing it yourself. Both your profiles state that you won't send internationally. With the resources you have it must be easier than for most of us.

2. Delete accounts with an if/then simple program if they have not logged in for 366 (yes one day more than a year) then delete the account. Tired of having books that I have posted be sent to "wishlist" accounts that are never going to mooch a book.

3. Recruit members to assist new members i.e. a buddy system so new members aren't frustrated when they can't immediately find books they want to mooch. Set a new tone for BookMooch. . .have members who really want to keep this site going volunteer, support them.

4 I volunteer to assist new members!

WM
12 months, 1 days ago
I joined bookmooch about 15 months ago and went crazy on it sending and receiving books. I thought then and still think its a great idea and site. Then my home situation suddenly put my stress levels through the roof and one of the casualty's was bookmooch which I managed by putting myself on permanent vacation. I wonder if part of the problem with the moans and groans is that sometimes we bibliophiles can become so obsessed with our book searches we forget there are real people at the other end with lives that do not go in straight lines. I recall feeling terrible last year about emailing several reminders to someone about a book they had promised to send then finally receiving a reply apologising because they had been in hospital! I had to remind myself......it is ONLY a book!

I also wonder how many other bibliophiles and book moochers are like me..... Always full of enthusiasm for their latest fascination which sends previous interests spiralling into the black hole of yesterday's passions....

I think the "bookmooch buddy " might work for new members as an option but the downside might be that some buddies might quickly get overwhelmed or find they have over-committed. Maybe buddies should only be allowed to take on a limited number of new moochers each month and cannot take on more until previous ones have moved on . I guess the buddy system could be available to new members for a time limited period after joining.... Say 1 month.
Only problem with this is.... Could you guarantee enough potential buddies to meet potential demand..... Also would some people who offered to buddy up get miffed if they didn't get given a buddy for a while.... Who manages the managers.... It's the age old question...

Still I guess a lot of new moochers would not need or want a buddy....
It would be good to buddy people up with someone fairly near to them then they could arrange to meet if they wanted to.

How much potential is there for encouraging the ground roots growth of local bookmooch groups?

Tweedledum
12 months, 1 days ago
John, you really do need to change your stance on inactive accounts. That would be one, simple change that you could make that would have almost universal approval from the members who still make this site tick.

Another change is to actually acknowledge members suggestions for improvements both on here and the new features thread. It's all very well asking, but you never seem to respond!

donna
12 months, 1 days ago
1. inactive accounts (say not used for more than 6 months) should be flagged - in red - as INACTIVE. Inactive accounts should receive wishlist notifications only when those notifications have already been sent to active accounts; give those who are making the site run first opportunity to mooch a wishlisted book.
2. Vacation should be reclassified as purely "on vacation" where the account owner wishes to put the account on temporary hold.
jacquie
12 months ago
John, why do you post to your blog, ask for feedback and then never respond?

Has anyone other than me noticed that when John posts a blog notice he never responds?

John, it is very disrespectful to us, the people who actually trade books on BookMooch and those who "give a little" and international givers when you haven't responded to any input for over 5 months.

Where are you?

Talk to us!

WM
11 months, 28 days ago
WM, not sure what you mean. John has responded twice in this thread alone. I have also seen him give feedback in other threads.
Mel
11 months, 28 days ago
@Mel

With all due respect, I have not seen one let alone two posts in response to members posts on John's blog, nor have I seen any response from John on the "BookMooch Discussion" Forum where members have comments and issues.

Please school me on John's comments as I am eager to read them. Quote, date, and reference please.

Thank you in advance for your help with this issue.

Willow

WM
11 months, 28 days ago
I have asked in various forums for a response/feedback to certain issues (fallout from the points change especially) in the past and can say that I have never received any kind of response from John!
donna
11 months, 28 days ago
@donna, Thank you for your comment that John does not respond to member questions, now I know that I am not alone.

Willow

WM
11 months, 28 days ago
Willow, if you scroll up the page, you will see John has responded twice in this thread.

Once: 5 months, 28 days ago
Once: 5 months, 29 days ago

Bast
11 months, 28 days ago
I will paste John's comments below in case you cannot locate them.

+++++

There were several comments like this:
John Buckman
5 months, 29 days ago

3. Remove accounts of people who have not logged into Bookmooch in over a year - of course, send them an email explaining that they will be deleted from the site if they don't log in.
Do you guys know that there already is a mechanism for doing this?

If you mooch from someone who doesn't send the book, when you cancel (after having waited a bit) , then that person is deemed "inactive" and their account is automatically put on vacation, which also removes all their books from their inventory.

So... if you guys want to clean up BM to remove the inventories of people who no longer use the site, mooch from them and then indicate that the person never replied when you cancel the mooch.

-john

John Buckman
5 months, 28 days ago

The most frustrating thing for me is the length of time it takes to search for a book -- often over 5 minutes of waiting and staring at it "thinking." (It has always been this way, I've been a member for years, with new computers and high speed internet...unless BM likes PCs better than Macs ) I know the database is big, and I also realize than comparisons are not really helpful, but I can search for the same book on another trade site and find it (or not) in seconds.
Search Tip

If you're seeing very long search times, then probably you're including several words in your search, and some of those words are extremely common.

For example, instead of searching for "cooking and photography", drop the "and" to make your search much faster. In general, put the most specific and unique words you can think of in your search and it'll run much faster.

-john

Bast
11 months, 28 days ago
@Bast so you are referring to swapping CDs and easier browsing? Then you have me on that. You are right.

So it's okay that he hasn't responded to any other requests/suggestions in over 5 months? Is that a responsible moocher? If you requested a book from a member and they did not respond for over 5 months would that be okay with you? I think not.

You were only pointing out how I didn't see a response that was over 5 months old to embarrass me and the questions had nothing to do with the majority of the concerns in this thread. It did not work. Petty.

I still expect John to respond in a timely manner to all of our concerns and questions. 5 months and 28 days ago for a pablum response is just wrong with no further response to over 100 comments.

I sign my name to my comments. I hope Bast does in the future.

Willow

WM
11 months, 28 days ago
To all:

I will not post here again. Tired of the apologists, the lack of response from John and the hiding behind "member" names.

I'm done with hoping for open dialogue from John and the apologists.

I will confine my participation to the Angel Forum.

All the best to those that sign their names to posts here. I hope to see you on the Angel Forum.

Willow

WM
11 months, 28 days ago
You're right Willow. All relevant questions gone unanswered. Fact is, the ship is sinking, some are shouting there's a leak on the north side, the anchor is broken, there's a dolphin suck below so the turbine don't work properly but the captain is busy deciding which color the sail should be. The ship is hurting and needs professional crew.

I sign my name too,
Fely

ylef
11 months, 28 days ago
Er, what? You asked a question, I answered. I wasn't saying if it (John answering) was right or wrong or anything in between. I'm sorry that you feel I was trying to embarrass you. I was actually just trying to answer your question. I admit to being shocked at your reply, considering I was just answering your question.

Insofar as hiding behind member names, you might realise that some of us do use our names as member names and have no reason to hide (although I am not sure what we are supposed to be hiding from).

Hope you find peace on the Angel forum.

Bast
11 months, 28 days ago
I have seen him respond. If you were running a website, would you have time to respond to every single comment?
Megbomb
11 months, 28 days ago
I honestly don't see why John should even have to reply. The aggressive posts and the demanding of proof (with quotes & dates) I find a bit disturbing.

But that is just my opinion.

Mel
11 months, 27 days ago
I've been a "Bookmoocher" since 2009 and I've seen lots of improvements. Those of you who complain about John's lack of responses have evidently not realized that this is a labor of love and John does not break even. The reduction in book listings and the absent members are minor annoyances compared to the benefits of the site. If someone hasn't been around for a while, I just don't bother mooching from them.

The publishing business is changing. e-books are becoming more and more popular. The USPS is making Media Mail more and more expensive. International shipping from the U.S. and many if not most other countries is no longer viable. As with any (r)evolution, there is a period of uncertainty, change and chaos. Eventually "Bookmooch" will change appropriately or perhaps disappear. In the meantime, I'm mooching as many books as possible as I doubt if I will ever use up all my points. I am also listing books for others to mooch as soon as I finish them. I usually smooch double points to anyone who is willing to ship Internationally. What goes around....

I appreciate what I've gotten from my FREE membership and will continue to visit the site daily until it no longer is viable. Life is tough and then you die.

Ed Hahn
11 months, 27 days ago
''That being said, I'd love to hear y'alls top one or two ideas for making BookMooch much better.'' John Buckman

I do appreciate that it's a labour of love and no I don't expect a response to every question.

But why ask if there is no real intention of acknowledging or responding?

donna
11 months, 27 days ago
He asked the question SIX months ago. He responded around five months ago. He started different threads in the mean time as well.

So. Is an author of a thread obliged to give feedback on a 6 month old discussion? Seriously?

Mel
11 months, 27 days ago
@ Mel: there had been a lot of dicussions and a lot of questions and a lot of suggestions but there's no analysis being presented, not just this thread. Please browse and read.

I'm still interested to know the results of some experimentation and analysis:
1) point inflation: did it helped the 3:3 points instead of 2:3? did the number of books increased?
2) kicking out inactive members by cancelling mooches: did they come back?
3) postage is increasing but the point system is sticking, why is that?

I really appreciate what I've gotten from here too and stick on it till it dissappears or improves whatever the case.

ylef
11 months, 27 days ago
@Mel - I'm one of the members who has participated in the inactives clean-up and as a result used many, many of my own points, which were earned through my paying to send books out. I received books I didn't really want and then paid to send them to other members. Have I not done enough to grant me the right to question?

As for x number of months ago, I didn't realise there was a time limit on the thread - my silly mistake.

Put simply, to not get replies is very frustrating and could even be construed as a little arrogant or even ignorant. And before you all get on my case at saying such things, I'm just pointing out how others may be seeing the situation.

donna
11 months, 27 days ago
What on earth is all this fuss about? So sometimes people mess up, forget to send or their lives get complicated, these are human beings we are talking about not robots. I joined book mooch because it seemed like a fun club. I didn't have huge unreasonable expectations on the people in the club. If they send great.if they forget, leave or otherwise don't manage to slip up, well that's life. I've messed up too.... Some you win some you lose. There is more to life than bookmooch...
Tweedledum
11 months, 27 days ago
Love it, Tweedledum. To err is human. To forgive is divine.

I have read many, many books, I might never have seen, because of Bookmooch.

Ed Hahn
11 months, 27 days ago

Write a comment




Join this forum

Receive this thread by email

Security check: type the name of the author displayed in the image below

SAVE YOUR COMMENT >