Good deed for the week
I’m trying to unload large amounts of books before I move. I remember each time I move, and how there are 100 zillion boxes of books which are just a pain in the butt. Do I need all these books? No, most of them I just have because they’re cool (i.e., “Useful Swahili”, “The Meaning of Liff” (first edition!), “Marvels of the U.S. Mail”), or because I read them once and liked them. I’ve decided that, unless I use a book for reference (name books, dictionaries), will read it over and over, or it is insanely cool and hard to find, I should get rid of them. I don’t want to just donate them to the Goodwill because some things are pretty esoteric (i.e., “A Medieval Motet Book”) and a couple of these are actually valuable. Those I’m attempting to sell on Half.com, which isn’t necessarily making them fly off the shelves! Also, The Goodwill has, like, 10,000,000 copies of, say Angela’s Ashes and probably doesn’t need another one.
So, I joined Bookmooch.com. It’s a pretty cool site– you list all your books, and people who want them can “mooch” them from you. Each book someone mooches from you, you get a point or two (more if you ship to other countries). Each book you mooch from someone else you get a point taken away. All the popular paperbacks that I have are going to people who want them now, and that’s pretty cool.
But, I now have like 50 points and I really don’t want any more books (except, I’m embarrassed to admit I mooched the DaVinci Code— I watched a whole special on how preposterous it is on the Discovery channel and now I’m curious). I mean, now that I have a library card, I can pretty much get anything I want there. So, another feature of this site is that you can donate your points to charity. That is, charities can use your points to mooch books off of people for things they need. I donated all my points to a group that gets books to prisoners in Massachusetts. So there you have it, MA convicts can now read books (there are now 825 copies of the Da Vinci code available for mooching!), I have fewer books to move and everyone’s happy. Except me, who still has to pay for all the shipping. But, it’s a small price to pay (ok, it’s not since I agreed to ship books to Belgium and the UK) to know that I’m rehabilitating criminals and moving fewer boxes. Why didn’t I just put the books in a box on the curb with a “FREE” sign on them and save myself shipping costs on 32 books? um, good question. Oh yeah, prisoners. Think of the prisoners who will now be released and go on to become useful productive members of society thanks to Angela’s Ashes!
Oh yeah, and since I got addicted to bulk granola from Hole Foods, I have a ton of lunch-sized paper bags which are perfect for wrapping books up for shipping in. Recycle!
Entry filed under: today.