Sep 10, 2007

BookMooch, LibraryThing and an essay on Poe

The other day, when going through my bookshelves, I ended up picking 50 books or so that I wouldn't mind parting with. This was a little difficult for me, because I have trouble parting with things in general (and even more so with books), but most of them are either books I had in translation and then I bought in the original, or books I know I'll never re-read because, well, I didn't like them all that much. And plus, I really need the space.

I considered taking them to a second-hand bookstore, but I ended up deciding to join BookMooch. With the points I got from adding all those books I've already mooched two. One was The God of Small Things, which I'm reading for two challenges. I had actually ordered it a while ago, but the package never got to me. The other one was The Mummy by Anne Rice. This is one of the few Anne Rice books I haven't read. There was a copy in my country, so it only cost me one point, and I thought it'd make a perfect extra read for the R.I.P. challenge. I love everything that has to do with ancient Egypt, and Anne Rice has proven in other books that she can bring the ancient world to life masterfully, so I'm sure I will enjoy it.

Tomorrow I will be mailing out my first book. I'd encourage you all to see if there's anything you want in my inventory if it wasn't for the fact that there are currently only 3 books in English in it: A collection of John Updike short stories called The Music Room, a hardcover copy of Anne Rice's Blood Canticle, and a hardcover copy of Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country?, which I never read and am not entirely sure how I came to own.

Still on great book-related sites, thanks to Rhinoa, who has kind enough to give me a spare password she had, I now have a full membership on LibraryThing. It was only recently that I began to explore the full potentialities of that site. If anyone wants to add me as a friend over there, my username is the same as it is here. I've been having a lot of fun tagging and cataloguing my books. One of the reasons for this is the fact that I will be moving soon, leaving my bookshelves behind. I will miss my books terribly, and I'd like to be able to at least "visit" my collection online (yes, I realize how incredibly nerdy that sounds). So I'd like to finish cataloguing in the next few days, although I'm not sure if I'll be able to.

On other news, those of you who regularly read Neil Gaiman's blog will know this, but for those who don't: the introduction he wrote for a Barnes and Nobles collection of Edgar Allan Poe's work that has since gone out of print has been made available on his website. It's perfect reading material for the R.I.P. Challenge period, especially for those who are currently exploring Poe's work. It's a beautifully written and insightful essay, and very much worth reading. My favourite bit is this:
Poe's stories -- even his humourous tales, even his detective stories -- are populated by amnesiacs and obsessives, by people doomed to remember what they desire only to forget, and are told by madmen and liars and lovers and ghosts. They are powered by what remains untold as much as by what Poe tells us, each of them split and shivered by a crack as deep and as dangerous as the fissure that runs from top to bottom of the gloomy house inhabited by Roderick and Madeline Usher.


  1. I really need to join BookMooch! It's a wonderful invention! I'm a huge Rice fan too...especially since she lives 5 minutes from my house :) I haven't read The Mummy either, but I agree that she handles ancient Egypt wonderfully! I loved Akasha and Enkil's story so much and I really want to revisit her Vampire Chronicles soon. If I finish up the series challenge quick enough, I may do that!

    Isn't LibraryThing great! I'm obsessed with it ;) I'm on there all the time. Rhinoa's kick ass :) So this is a new account or did you just upgrade your old one? I was friends with you before...I'll just put in another friend request for the hell of it!

    And the Gaiman intro is great...I just saw that today. Oh, and if you're quick enough, 10 more little black poppets just went up!

  2. I just love bookmooch! I'm one of the people willing to send books overseas, so if ever you read one of my reviews and think you want the book, you can ask me if it's going into my bookmooch inventory! I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of bookmooch.

  3. Welcome to the wonderful world of bookmooch! I'm completely addicted, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I also give away books I won't re-read, or those I've just lost interest in since acquiring them (happens more than I'd like to admit). I've gotten a lot of great books, and most of them in great shape.


  4. Bookshelf cleaning must be in the air. :-)

  5. I keep meaning to join BookMooch but never getting around to it. One of these days..
    I'm trying to get better about parting with books I'll probably not read again, or read ever for whatever reason. It's hard though! :P

  6. ummm explain why you are moving and not taking your books???? What will you do with them? storage?

  7. Hi, Nymeth!

    Book Mooch is an excellent place to trade books. I joined a few months ago but got so many requests that I couldn't keep up (Canada Post can be brutal on the wallet) so I am on a temporary hiatus, but will be returning soon, so if you see anything on my inventory that you might like, do holler!

  8. I keep hearing about Book Mooch, but I've never joined!! I probably should look into that as well.

    I haven't even come close to adding all my books to librarything. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. And my books are all spead out! I list a few at a time, or when I get new ones.

  9. Oh! Oh! When I first joined Bookmooch I had so many overseas requests that I was tapped out by the first week. It can get intense, but I also met a few nice people online who were nice enough to show a rookie around.

    Bookmooch, in an odd way, made me believe in karma.

  10. Chris: You do! It's a great way to give unwanted books new homes AND to get even more wanted books. I loved that section of Queen of the Damned too, so I have high expectations for The Mummy. I don't think I will be disappointed. Rhinoa kicks ass indeed. It was just an upgrade, yes, which is great because I wouldn't want to enter 200 books again. Thanks for letting me know about the Poppets!

    Dewey: I will keep that in mind!

    Andi: I'm starting to see how it can be addictive. As much as getting rid of books can be hard for me, I think it's just a matter of getting used to it. And it will be easier if I know I will be trading it for other books.

    Literary Feline: It must indeed :P

    Tanabata: It is hard, but it gets easier once you get started.

    Deslily: A good question :P It's because it's just a temporary move. I'll be studying in the UK for the next 6 months, but then I'm coming back. And since the amount of luggage you can take on a plane is very limited, I have no choice but to leave them behind. Living in a house without books will be weird, but I'm sure I'll be getting quite a few to keep me company while I'm over there.

    Lotus: I can imagine that happening. I will ship worldwide too, but so far, because most of my books are in Portuguese, I haven't received many requests. I can see how it would be heavy on the wallet if I did.

    Stephanie: You should! It's been great for me so far. And yeah, I'm starting to see that cataloguing everything in the near future is impossible. I wish I had one of those bar code scanners; it'd make everything so much faster.

    Dark Orpheus: Like I told Lotus, I can imagine how it could be heavy on the wallet. But yeah, it's also a nice way to interact with people in a positive way.

  11. I'm completely addicted to both BookMooch and LibraryThing. They are both completely wonderful things!

  12. What a coincidence! I just joined BookMooch too! I swapped my copy of Little Face for a copy of The Lovely Bones, which I am very much enjoying. Am going to sort out some of the books I have at the house which I am not fussed about keeping, and pop them in my inventory!

    I too have difficulty in parting with books, but I think it has to be done...I have rather a lot, and I could do with saving money on buying new this is ideal.

    LibraryThing is awesome, and I completely understand about visiting your collection online - I keep looking at my photos of my bookcases back at the house....

  13. I've never checked out BookMooch. I'm guessing it's similar to Paperback Swap?

    By the way...I didn't think that sounded at all nerdy!

  14. Nymeth - if you don't mind my asking, where in the world are you? I had assumed you were already in the UK, but now see that I was mistaken.

    Anyway, I'm sorry you are having to part with your books. I just unpacked my last box of books and finally feel complete, so I can understand being without them. I *need* to clear out some of my old books, I just can't seem to do it, though...

  15. oh, librarything is wonderful, isn't it! that site gobbled up a whole month of my life when i first discovered it...! :)

  16. Ohhh! Where in the UK will you be? and what are you studying there?? (nosey huh? heh) and when do you leave?

  17. Court: They really are great, and I can see how addictive they are.

    Quixotic: It really has to be done, even if it's just so one doesn't run out of space in the house. And it's also great way of finding even more books, of course :P I'm going to be taking pictures of my bookshelves with me. I know I'll look at them often too.

    Debi: It is like Paperback Swap, except Paperback Swap is US residents only, and BookMooch is worldwide. I guess it doesn't sound very nerdy here among like-minded people... but I'm sure non-book lovers would give me some weird looks :P

    Trish: I don't mind, of course. I live in Portugal. Parting with old books can he hard, I know. But it gets easier once you take the first step!

    Jean Pierre: I can see that happening to me as well!

    Deslily: Not nosey, you can ask away :P I'll be in Nottingham, and I'm going to study English Literature. I leave on Saturday already :o There'll be a proper goodbye post before that, of course.

  18. Glad you are finding good use for the librarything membership, I have I have done! I really enjoyed The Mummy by Anne Rice and hope you do too.

    Still not a big fan of Poe...


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