Trade For Free Books on BookMooch

Trade Books at BookMoochI just stumbled upon a neat little website called BookMooch.

I just stumbled upon a neat little website called BookMooch.

It’s basically a place to get rid of the books you don’t want anymore and subsequently get books you do want.

Where I live, I call this Half-Priced Books and the library.

Except at Half-Priced Books, you might not be able to find the book you’re looking for, and at the library you might have to go on a waiting list to borrow it.

With BookMooch, you earn points for listing and trading your books. You then use these points to “purchase” books you want. There is no cost to join, but you have to ship the books you trade (so, there’s your cost). You also have the choice to only trade with people in your own country, so you can avoid international shipping fees and save some money that way.

The big question for BookMooch is their inventory. Are popular books plentiful or just leftover books that no one really wants?

A quick search for Suzanne Collins’ uber-popular The Hunger Games only returned 1 copy and that was to a member in China who only wants to deal with people in China. There was only 1 copy of The Help by Kathryn Stockett, 1 copy of To Kill a Mockingbird (a book you shouldn’t read on a Kindle), 1 copy of Orwell’s 1984, no copies of George W. Bush’s Decision Points, and no copies of Steve Jobs’ biography.

The good news? If you’re looking for any Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, or James Patterson books, then BookMooch has enough for you and all of your friends.

So basically, just like a search at Half-Priced Books or your local library might result, you might get lucky and find the most popular, in-demand books. But for the most part, when using BookMooch, you should be able to aquire books by some best-selling authors.

In the event that you did not find the book you were searching for, BookMooch does have a “Wish List” feature that will send you an email when the book becomes available.

BookMooch functions a bit like eBay or Etsy when it comes to mooching. You can see the bios of the members who have books that you are searching for. Those bios include feedback ratings and how much that member has mooched and given. This enables you to decide if the person you’re requesting a book from is a safe bet.

You can see each member’s entire inventory, which enables you to find books that you didn’t necessarily know you wanted, as well as his or her geographical location, in the event that you’re in a hurry and you want your book to arrive sooner rather than later.

One of the most interesting features of BookMooch is the ability to donate any number of your points to charities of your choice. The charities list ranges from schools, libraries, and prisons to children and new mothers. You can also search for charities by geography and suggest charities for BookMooch to add to their list.

BookMooch makes its money with Amazon book links. I guess they are counting on some people wanting the book sooner rather than later.

Let me know if you give this a try or have already used it.

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About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon. He created this website back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence. He uses Personal Capital to track his wealth. All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  1. Terry – Thanks for sharing.