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My first Bookmooch!

I’ve been stupidly busy working on an over-long assignment and haven’t been reading. But today, I was delighted to receive what is a great incentive to finish this work as fast as possible–my first Bookmooch parcel! Bookmooch is a service that lets users list books they want to get rid of and request books from among those other users want to pass on. The site works on a points system–you gain points for listing books and sending books and have to give up some points when you ask for somebody else’s books. Really simple, very useful idea–and I must say I love the quirky little “reading people” in the illustration on the homepage (as above). I listed a couple of books as an experiment and almost immediately received a request for one of them (R. K. Narayan’s Swami and Friends), which I agreed to send out (getting Bookmooch points in the process). Browsing led me to a book I wanted from a user who was willing to post books to India–and, because I’d agreed to send a book out already, I had enough Bookmooch points to ask her to send across The Ampersand Papers, by Michael Innes, a Golden Age detective novelist I’m quite fond of.

Unfortunately, this sort of exchange doesn’t really work out as sustainable in the long term for me, primarily because used books here in Bangalore are so very cheap and postage isn’t. I spent Rs. 180 to send my parcel out — that’s nearly double the cost of any one of the Michael Innes novels I’ve picked up at Blossom Book House on Church Street. I think I’ll save Bookmooch for stuff that’s really hard to get hold of–and no, I don’t think this foray was wasted, because somebody in the UK will get a book they want and I got one I’ve never come across before. Whee!

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