The admins at Book Mooch are concerned about the amount of work it takes to give 300 books away to people who really, really want them. So, allegedly out of concern for me, they deleted the half of my inventory that no one had claimed yet.
What does this say? First, that in less than 36 hours, 150 books had been snapped up by eager readers around the country. Many of the books I was willing to mooch had huge wish lists, 50+ people in many cases. The requests started coming almost instantly.
Yes, this does take a lot of work. I packed up 140 books in the end, after I decided not to ship international. I answered everyone. I made a couple of newbie mistakes. I started entering titles on Tuesday, and the last books will go to the post office tomorrow. The local post office wants me to call ahead before I show up again, so they can lay on more staff to handle the workload.
I spent my time, and also invested some money, to send books to people who actually want those specific books. It would have been easier, faster and way, way less expensive for me to just drop the books off at my local library. But I thought this would be a good thing. And some of the people who have packages on the way have already written back saying that they are looking forward to getting the books.
But the admins at Book Mooch got worried. They explained that they were uneasy about the amount of work I was taking on, sending out so many books at once. I asked to have the inventory restored, explaining that I was sending books out, and that I was trying to dispose of a significant collection before moving. Again, they expressed their anxiety about my workload, and that they would check back in two weeks, to see about putting my remaining inventory back up.
If there is concern that a new account is adding too many books, and won’t deliver, just say so. Better yet, limit new accounts until a defined number of deliveries have been confirmed.
Apprehension about business and service levels are Book Mooch’s legitimate concerns. If they had an issue, they could have raised it honestly. They didn’t. Instead, they sounded like my mother, talking about chores, and I mean that literally. I already have a mother.
I didn’t see this as a chore. I saw it as giving books to people who wanted them. But if it’s a chore, it’s one that I don’t have to do. The local Friends of the Library can always sell my books at their next sale.