BookMooch – Recycling Books
I have, literally, stacks of books around my office. SQL Server, ASP.NET, C#, and various others that are a version behind or a day too late. On half.com and Amazon, they fetch almost nothing—rarely worth the cost of shipping. I tend to donate them to the local libraries; however, the last librarian told me they simply trashed technology books (no Kansas jokes, I think it was just THAT library).
So, last week, I was referred to BookMooch, a somewhat recycling plan for books that mixes social networking with book sharing. Remember the old book markets (I went to one as a child called The Bookmark) where you brought in your books, received credit, and left with new books without ever getting out the wallet? This is the same concept, but international.
Using web services from Amazon.com, you toss up lists of ISBNs you have in your “inventory” and browse through the catalog of available books. As you send off books, you gain points to mooch off others. You can’t “mooch” without points—keeping it fair.
I dropped an ASP.NET book in the post this morning—off to a new home out east. From there, I’ve got Fabrice Marguerie’s LINQ in Action and The Mythical Man-Month on my wishlist for when I get a couple more points. To me, if I don’t need the book now, this is fantastic! I clear out my pile ‘o books and gain a few I want—without paying Amazon.com an arm and a leg.