Bookworm, Bookmooch

I am a bookworm.  In high school, I was the kid in the back of the class reading a novel while the teacher was lecturing.  Which is why I still can't do high school math.  But anyway.  I love to read.  And, although I don't get quite the reading time I used to, I still manage to go through 50 to 60 books a year.

Which can be a problem, given that I live in Japan and English language paperbacks are not the easiest (read cheapest) things to get ahold of.
Last week, I signed up for Bookmooch.com.
Although I had heard about the site quite some time ago, I was hesitant to sign up because I was worried about shipping costs between Japan and the rest of the world.  However, once I had done the math (and gotten a high school kid to check it) I discovered that by using the service to send out unwanted paperbacks and to request some that I had been wanting, I could lower the cost from about $9.00 US per book to closer to $5.00 US.  Which may not seem like much until you multiply $4.00 by 50. Keeping my shelves clear of unwanted paperbacks is just a bonus.
Since I signed up, I've sent five out and received one with two more coming soon.  Of course, the service isn't perfect; there's still a bit of trust required and there's no real way to control the quality of the books you receive, but it beats a two hour train ride to Tokyo. (Where the closest English-language used paperback store is located.)  The only other downside is that the most widely available books are older ones.  On the other hand, if you're not in a hurry, new books do appear, and fairly soon after paperback publication.
I've barely scratched the surface of what the service is and what it can do, but I'm looking forward to getting more into it over the next few weeks and if I get nothing more than a few good books, well, that will be just fine.

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