I have a lot of books. I get more every day. And sometimes, the problem becomes knowing what I have, and where it is. I’ve looked at cataloging software before, and even downloaded a few free trials, but I was never satisfied.
Then I found Librarything. Nothing to install on my machine at all — Librarything is completely Internet-based — which comes in handy when I’m away from my own computer. I can catalog in the office using my painfully obsolete laptop, and I can update, tag, and sort the collection downstairs on the good computer.
But there’s more to it than just cataloging. It’s a community; that’s right, it’s like MySpace for book lovers. You can check out other peoples’ catalogs and find books you might like to read. You can post reviews, or links to reviews, and read reviews others have written. It’s a community.
And that’s what makes it better than most of the cataloging projects I’ve seen, even the few that are online. There’s a community, and that community is helping Librarything to grow. I can insert widgets into my web site that show the covers of random books in my catalog. I can list the last five books I’ve reviewed, and show the covers. And adding books is as easy as finding the book on Amazon and clicking a button – there’s a nice, handy bookmarklet available that really simplifies things. If you’ve got a database already, no problem – there’s a universal import AND export feature available, so you can import your library with ease.
The price is great, too. The first 200 books you list are free. If that’s all you want to list, you never pay anything. A lifetime membership is $25, and lets you import as many books as you want to, for life. If you just want to try it out, you can pay $10 for a one-year membership — but why? Pay the $25. It’s worth it.
And when you join, you can check out my catalog.