LibraryThing

I was looking for something in my apartment and found a box of books that I got from my Aunt Louise that I was suppose to catalog.  Usually I use Shelfari for this, but recently my brother-in-law was telling me about this other WordPress friendly book cataloging site called LibraryThing.  One of the reasons he liked it more than Shelfari was because, unlike Shelfari, you can add your book cover images.   I was very interested in that, because after painstakingly making a list of all of my books on Shelfari, not only didn’t they have many of my older books, but  they didn’t have a lot of the covers either.

I wanted to test out LibraryThing, but wasn’t looking forward to relisting all of my books, so it made sense to me to test it with my Aunt Louise’s, much smaller, book collection.  There were a few things I noticed right away that were much kooler about Shelfari, but most of that was just cosmetic.

LibraryThing pluses:

  • LibraryThings boasts an extensive list of book sources, including Amazon, The Library of Congress and over 650 other book databases around the world.  Between those sources and information that users have uploaded, out of Aunt Louise’s books, I was only unable to find 2 books out of 80 (not already listed) and I did have the ability to manually add those books.
  • You can select book covers from Amazon.com or covers previously uploaded by users, but if you don’t see your cover, you can scan it and upload it for your use and the use of others.
  • When you add a book or edit a book, there are MANY fields you can customize.  Aside from the standard title, author and ISBN, on LibraryThing you can add things like editor, illustrator, Library of Congress number, etc. I’ve been including the Standard Book Numbers on mine because a lot of old books don’t include the now standard International Standard Book Numbers.
  • If you get stuck, LibraryThing has one of the best help Wiki’s around and a great user forum to search for answers.
  • In addition to the standard, wishlist, currently reading, favorites, etc., you can add your own custom categories like: My Aunt Louise’s Books.

LibraryThing minuses:

  • Those kool Shelfari bookcases to chose from.  But they do have a nice, customizable widget to add to your blog.
  • It’s only free for the first 100 books and if you’re anything like me, you’ll have way more than a 100 books.  But the price to add more is nominal; $10 per year or $25 for life.  For that price, coupled with the ability to set up your own collections, make it well worth the lifetime price.

I might update this post when I start adding my own books to the LibaryThing, but for now, if you can get over those great looking Shelfari book shelves, I would say to give this Library Thingy a try.

Join and/or check out LibraryThing here:

http://www.librarything.com

Read the full LibraryThing wiki here:

http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/HelpThing:Catalog