If someone asked you how many books you have ferreted away around your house, would you draw a complete blank? Have you every purchased the same book twice because you forgot that you already had it? Have you ever tried to recommend a book to a friend only to find that you can’t remember the name?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions than it is crystal clear—you need to catalog your book collection. If you answered “yes” to all of them, well then you may need to carry yourself into the nearest Biblio-addicts meeting (have no fear, I’ll put the coffee pot on for you all!)
There are several comprehensive web-sites out in cyber-land dedicated to helping you gain order and accomplishment over your literary tomes, ranging from free services to ones that charge nominal fees.
The website Library Thing lets you catalog up to 200 books for free, or you can pay just $10 for unlimited cataloging for one year, or shell out $25 for lifetime rights to catalogue as many books as want. This site is pretty cool, and it has many bells and whistles.
You add books to your library by searching for them by Name, Author, or IBSN, though you can also browse if you know part of the title. It is so easy to add a book to your library, and once you do, you can organize the list in the way that you prefer. Oh, and after you’ve read a book, you can rate it and even include a mini-review.
You can search for books through the available-at-Amazon database. You can “tag” your book with phrases that help you organize into sub-groups (like chick-lit, mystery, horror), and you can chat with other members who have the same book. One neat feature is that you can see what other books were tagged similar to yours, or what other people recommend to read if you liked a certain other book.
If you have a web-site, you can make a little widget that will run down the side of your page showing what you’ve added recently, what your favorite books are, or whatever criteria you choose to set. You can see my little ditty down the right-hand side of my blog under the heading Recent Books from My Library at: in Literal Limbo.
I’ll have to admit, adding books to this site is addictive, and I’m up to 140-something now, which means I’ll have to pay-to-play sometime in the near future.