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The ethics of the free book box

As you all know, I’m an avid user of Bookmooch, a book swapping website where you can find people who want your old books and find people giving away books for you. A while back, they profiled an essay about how to make the most of your BookMooch account. One piece of advice said “free book boxes are your friend.” I take that to heart, and regularly raid the free book boxes that appear in the hallway outside our department. As a result, my inventory has a number of esoteric literary books that will likely sit there for a long time, but every now and again someone mooches them.

Today, as I pulled 14 books from the box (the bulk of titles available), I had a twinge of guilt about taking books that presumably others might want to read. But then I decided that FREE means FREE for whatever purpose, even just to hoard until I can give them away. So readers am I in the right?

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