A new social networks launched this week focused the sending and receiving of books.
BookMooch is a new social site for exchanging used books. The service is essentially a cross between eBay and a social network. You can browse books and members and build a network of friends.
I got excited about this because i love the CD swapping site Lala which i use every so often. It’s a great way to get new CD’s that you’d never want to buy (I wrote about it here). If you haven’t checked it out – you should. Similar to Lala, BookMooch requires you create 2 lists – one that’s an inventory of the books you’re willing to trade, and another “wishlist” of the books you want to get from others. Unlike Lala, this site isn’t that slick, doesn’t provide very much information about the books or the community, nor does it populate your profile very well. It would also be nice to have a better way to aggregate reviews and comments about a book. I need a little more IMDB-ness here. And, in general this site seems half-baked. They could use a few more month of graphic design and polish.
They do have a point system which is a great way to regulate swapping. You earn points in 3 ways: 1) for adding books to your inventory, 2) giving your books away and 3) leaving feedback for the sender after you receive a book. You use up points when you receive books, and you can also give your points away to charity. What’s more, there’s a BookMooch toolbar to use when you’re browsing Amazon – it lets you see when a book is available on BookMooch and add books to your wishlist. To avoid the freeloaders out there, you have to give away at least one book for every five you receive.
If you want to get going on either site, feel free to add me as a friend. My username is “pescatello”