Catalog Your Books Online ~ BitterSweetLife

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Catalog Your Books Online

Some people own thousands of books. For the time being, I'm happy with my library of 407 (and growing) volumes. Obviously, when you have THIS MANY books, you need sophisticated software to catalog them, label them, and show them off. This software should also be online, to allow for fluid, agile solutions, no matter your environment.

No doubt many of you are feeling this pressing need for book-tracking software. Fortunately for you, three such solutions are already online. Check 'em.

LibraryThing: probably the premier book catalog system online--has all the features of the rest and then a few more.

Shelfari: colorful, smooth interface emphasizes connecting/discussing with others.

Goodreads: minimalist feel--encourages you to track what your friends are reading.

All three platforms have nicely developed interfaces that allow you to tag, rate, review, and share your books. LibraryThing has been around the longest, and is faster than the other two, which are occasionally slow/buggy. It also has the most options, in terms of displaying your books and the creative features available, which is why it's my favorite. Shelfari and Goodreads aren't far behind, though, and have a more overt "web 2.0" community feel, which will appeal to many.

The good news is that you can try out all three and decide which platform you like best. They're all free, although LibraryThing has a nominal fee structure which kicks in if you catalog more than 200 books. Have at it. And if you pick a favorite, let me know why.

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Bernard Shuford said...

I like the "look and feel" of Shelfari best - thanks for the recommendation - but I can't find a way to tie it in to WordPress as a sidebar "widget". Any thoughts there?

Will Robison said...

400+ books! Who has the time when I'm too busy online cataloging the books I have already read? ;)

Ariel said...

Yeah, Shelfari is pretty slick. As to the widget...when I started building one to experiment, a couple options for WP showed up. See if you can access this page without a login. I think the Shelfari widgets should work though...especially since half the blogging world is using WordPress.

Dschauffer said...

I just stumble onto your blog. The new Shelfari widget is great! What an improvement :)

Ariel said...

dschauffer, are you a Shelfari employee or do you just really like their widgets? :)

Check the dschauffer blog to see a smooth Shelfari widget in action.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife