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Give, Get

May 1, 2008

The idea of swapping books is not new. As the internet, our newest medium for the exchange of information, has arrived, part of the information that can be exchanged is who wants what book, and who has that book to give away. This Guardian article covers some of the leading books swap sites out there including BookMooch. I’ve never registered with one of those sites, LibraryThing is as far as I’ve ever gone. Could be a good time to start.

I don’t expect every author in the world to look at this as a good thing, facilitating people who don’t buy your books to read them. Are sites like BookMooch worse than libraries? In a sense yes, because unlike libraries BookMooch doesn’t buy any of the books it gives out, but then the people who use the site do. These sites are giving people a guilt-free outlet for books they read but don’t like – give them to someone who wants them, plus allowing easy connection to the person who does want that book.

More books mean more people interested in reading books, which equals more people buying books. I guess. Though I don’t expect this to be any comfort to an author of a small selling book, seeing multiple copies of their work being passed around on sites like these.

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