When your bookshelf is just a little too full

I have far too many books, and for the most part I love them all dearly and couldn’t imagine being parted.

But there are a few I am willing to pass on to others – because I didn’t like them, or because I have two copies, or because I’ve outgrown them and they’re not something I love enough to save for my far-in-the-future children.

What to do with these books? Throwing them out seems wasteful. I could donate them, to Project Cicero or something similar, and often do.

But there’s something else to consider, and that is that I am constantly searching for new reading material.

If I bought all the books I wanted at full price, I would be bankrupt already. I do well enough buying $2 paperbacks from the vendor on Broadway, but that still leaves me with more books than I have room for.

Is there some solution that would elegantly solve both these problems together? Perhaps some way to trade in books that I don’t want for books that I do?

There is, and it’s called BookMooch.

BookMooch is one of several book trading sites out there, but it’s a good one. It operates on a point system. You gain points for listing books you are willing to trade (.1 points), sending books within your country (1 point), and sending books internationally (3 points). Receiving books costs 1 point if the book is mailed in country and 3 points if mailed internationally. Registration is free!

You can search BookMooch for available books to request, or search amazon for books to add to your BookMooch wishlist. If someone lists that book – or a similar edition – you will get an email notification allowing you to request the book.

So far I’ve listed 3 books on BookMooch; I may add more but I have to go home and look at what I have available.

Does anyone else use book trading websites? If so, which? If not, would you consider it?