The books on my shelves are predominantly used books. Either I've received them from friends and family, bought them at library fundraisers, or I've exchanged books for credit at used-book stores. Since discovering online book swapping, I've been giving that a try too. Though, the results so far from that experience have been underwhelming.
I signed up with Book Mooch last year after deciding to test out book swapping. As much as I browse for titles on my wish list locally, it's really hit or miss--especially when it comes to dark fiction. So, I thought I improve my chances a bit by exchanging a few of my books in order to build up points so I could mooch books on my wish list from others.
Just one problem: Very few of the books on my wish list appear on Book Mooch, and those that do are held by members who don't ship to Canada.
Ouch. It's only fair, I suppose. My account is set up to only ship within my own country too.
Since joining, I've mailed off four paperbacks to other moochers in Canada. From the accrued points, I've mooched one title this past month--Robert Dunbar's The Pines--and that's not even a book I had on my wish list. I just decided to do a search for Leisure Books, since it's probably the biggest publisher of horror literature around these days, and The Pines was the only horror title I saw pop up that I could actually request.
Horror isn't the only genre I'm searching out, though. I've been querying fantasy, steampunk, speculative fiction, and crime novels from my wish list. So far, no hits. The problem may be as simple as not having a big enough wish list--nearly two hundred titles isn't big enough?
So, I wonder ... Are you a book moocher? How have your experiences fared with it? Do you also find that there is a strange mix of super rare finds and other books that are extremely plentiful? What kind of advice would you offer someone who is still finding their way with this type of online scavenging?