library thing

I’ve come across a few sites where you can list your book collection (notably reader2 and allconsuming) but none of them held my interest longer than a dozen books. LibraryThing seems to have cracked this by:

  • Making entering books super easy. You can enter random words from the title and author all together. Or, if you can the book handy, you can flip it over and just type in the ISBN. If you are seriously going to enter a lot of books then this is essential. You can even get a cheap bar-code scanner.
  • Having an attractive site with a straightforward structure. It’s nice to look at and fun to explore. It feels like a friendly book/coffee shop rather than a research library desk.
  • Providing a wealth of essential and quirky features. If something better than librarything comes along, I need to be able to export my work. I would also very much like to display books on my own site. The zeitgeist page shows me far more than I could possibly try to digest. Nevertheless, it’s fun to wallow in the stats.

For up to 200 books it’s free, which seems fair. I’m still entering books but you can check my shelf out. It’s slow since most of them are in boxes right now.

Why do this? Partly because I like being able to organise my books. Mainly because, having entered the books, I can get spot-on suggestions for future reading. As LT grows, the value of it’s database becomes significant and I imagine Amazon would love to get their hands on it. Their usual recommendations are crude at best. LT has suggested book at my first glance that I would be happy to stump up for right now.

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