What is This About?

The BookMooch Journal Project was started in 2006 by Kenneth Samson. After he learned about the “1000 Journals” project, Ken became intrigued by the concept of traveling art journals and he decided to start a small-scale art journal project for BookMooch participants. The small-scale project now encompasses over 400 traveling journals.

How Does it Work?

The rules are simple: Begin one or more BookMooch-only journals, created out of a hardcover blank journal, a used hardcover book, or a sturdy softcover book, and create a theme and name for your journal. After you’ve made the first art* entry in your journal, set it loose into the BookMooch world.

*The journals have now broadened to include text, craft and even mathematical entries in many!

Participants can mooch your journal just like any other book listed on BookMooch. Each person that mooches a journal adds their entry, and within two weeks re-posts it into the BookMooch system to be mooched by another member, who adds their entry to the journal and again adds it back to BookMooch for the next moocher (adding to the inventory by its number), and so on. When the journal is completed, it is sent back to its owner.

 Journals should be relisted by the given ISBN/ASIN number or by going to the list of books you have mooched and clicking GIVE. You can also click on the underlined link in the page shown for that journal here, and that will take you to the journal’s listing on Bookmooch. Check it is the right journal (the last giver should be the person you received it from), where there are several journals with similar themes, and then click to give your copy.

Ask the person who requests it if they understand Bookmooch journalling or direct them to look here or at the about page in the journal site.

Okay, I want to journal. How do I start?

First, you have to be a member of BookMooch to request a journal.

A good start is to mooch a journal or two. Get a feel for what the journals are like and what the art is like. Take a look at the list of journals here to see the topics and themes that are being circulated. Each entry here has a link to the journal’s entry on BookMooch where you can mooch a journal or add it to your wishlist.

I want to release a new journal. What do I do?

Start by choosing a topic and title for your journal. Make sure your title is not the same title as a journal that is already circulating. It gets confusing when journals have the same name. Then create a unique BookMooch entry for it at:


When adding a new journal to the system, make sure to add the word “BMJournal to the title field along with your journal’s unique name, so others can search for and find the available BookMooch Journals to mooch or add to their wishlists. Please don’t use “BookMooch Journal” as the full title for your journal.

Use the description field when adding your journal to the system to explain what you’d like done to the journal. Also, be sure to add your BookMooch ID to the description so participants may contact you. When a journal is ‘full’ it will then be returned to the owner by emailing them for a shipping address.

(Click on the image for a larger view.)

After you submit your entry,  jot down the ISBN number. Add it inside the front cover of your journal so participants know how to re-list it. Mention that it is only for recirculation on Bookmooch, not transferrable to other forums.

(Click on the image for a larger view.)

After your listing is completed, have your journal added to this web site by sending an email to bmjournals at gmail dot com. Send a picture or scan of the cover, too.

What’s the cost of participating?

There is no cost to join or use BookMooch for either regular books or journals. Your only cost is mailing your books to others.

What’s my obligation?

Unlike a regular book that you get through BookMooch, when you request and receive a journal, it is not yours to keep. Mooching it is committing yourself to adding your artistic entry into it and releasing it back within two weeks to be mooched again by another participant. The owner of the journal retains ownership and gets it back when the journal is full.

The recommended time to keep a journal is not more than two weeks. Please try to adhere to this time line so that the journals can continue to circulate. Real Life does happen and sometimes prevents getting a journal back out within two weeks. If there’s a delay, please be considerate and let the owner know. If you have a big life change coming up, it might not be the best time to mooch a journal!

Other BookMooch Journal Resources:

BMJournalers Discussion List

BMJournaler Becky Short started a Yahoo Group with a discussion list for everyone interested in chatting about the BMJournal Project at BookMooch.

Warning: I have been unable to contact this group for the last three years. I presume it is inactive. Instead please join the Bookmooch Journals forum at


and post your messages there. All journallers are welcome! 

Here’s the join link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BMJournalers/

The group’s database contains a comprehensive listing of all BookMooch Journals that have been released.

Here is Becky’s welcome letter for the list:

This group is for all members of the book trading site, http://bookmooch.com/, who are participating in or are interested in participating in the BMJournal Project. You can find out all about the BMJournal Project here: http://bookmoochjournals.com. This group combines our love of books with our love of art and writing as we create and trade journals of art and writing. To participate in this group you need to join the Bookmooch community (free at the site) and join this group (free through Yahoo). Art and journaling support and encouragement will abound here with lots of opportunities to share techniques, ideas, helpful books and web sites, artist/writer block rants … anything relating to the BMJournal project. Please come have fun with us – and play nice! (No flaming will be tolerated – it gives me indigestion and a rash and I will put anyone guilty of flaming on “moderated” status in a heartbeat – just so you know.)

Rena Rossner is the BMJournalers Yahoo Group Moderator.

BMJournalers Flickr Group

BMJournaler Clair Rigby has started a Flickr Group where journalers can share images of their work. This is a public group but with restricted membership (i.e. people need to ask to join and requests are filtered so that only BM members are joining.)

The group can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/thebookmoochjournalproject/

For those of you that haven’t heard of, or joined, Flickr yet – come on and join the party. It’s free and all you need to join is a Yahoo account. (Happily, you should all have one already!) If anyone needs any help joining, accessing the page, uploading photos, etc, please ask Clair.

Clair Rigby is the Admin for the Flickr Group.

BookMooch Journal Wiki


18 Responses

  1. […] very excited about the idea of Bookmooch Journals. If you’re familiar with Bookmooch, or even a member, you already know that Bookmooch is a […]

  2. […] this one. Something to think about, at any rate. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go here. It’s […]

  3. what a fascinating concept, am quite intrigued!

  4. Really like the new slideshows for the journal entires, what a good idea.

  5. […] About « The BookMooch Journals What is This About? […]

  6. […] came to my notice that Bookmooch has its own system of travelling journals, or books that a self-selecting variety of contibutors create sequentially, and since there were a […]

  7. […] I told you about the first BookMooch Journal we’d had, but I haven’t told you about any of the others, and since we just received a […]

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