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Wednesday, 6 September 2006

I was mooched today, and it was good.

BookMooch is an online book-swapping portal. When somebody requests that you send a book that is listed in your inventory, that’s called “mooching”.

He wanted my copy of Raymond Chandler's The Lady in the Lake and so I e-mailed him to say that, fine, I would send it. I also brought to his attention the fact that I had two other Chandlers in my inventory. By the time I got to work, he had mooched those as well. Being mooched by an overseas person (he’s in Boston) gets you three points per book. Because he mooched three books, I get nine points to use to mooch other peoples’ books.

It costs two points to mooch a book from a person in another country and one point if they’re in the same country as you. But because most of the inventoried books belong to U.S. residents, I will need to use up two points per book. Unless I’m lucky.

On top of that, however, is the issue of the country-specific inventories being out of service. By clicking on a link, you were previously able to see all books listed for your country. But they were having problems with it and when I e-mailed them they responded saying it would be out of service for another four weeks, as their developer would be on vacation.

So I looked through the list under the topic of ‘Literary’ (currently has 2926 listed books) and located a number of titles I’m interested in, including Oe, Yoshimoto, Vollmann and Kertesz. Once I’ve sent the current crop of mooched books to Boston, I’ll mooch a few of my own. And then when I recieve the books I'll add them to my LibraryThing catalog.

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