Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Book Lists & Cataloguing Books........

Following on from an earlier post I made to the Sunday Salon on 29th January and then further inspired by a post at The Blue Bookcase.

How do you keep track of books you've read?
How do you keep track of books you want to read?

The internet is a wonderful tool, but has the capacity to make a really easy decision difficult by giving us too many options.

I have a Library Thing account and a Good Reads account. Do I really need both? I found that I needed to make a definitive decision and stick to it. At the moment as I read books I tend to review them and post them to my blog. I tend to keep my wish list on, hanging my head in shame, on scraps of paper by my desk, on my iphone, a note book and a wish list on Amazon. Where I record does tend to be reflected on where I am and what I am doing at the time.

I have an iphone. I came across an application that used the camera facility to scan books held into the application thus building a catalogue of books own. I then came across another application and pondered on that.

Home Library
I was reasonably impressed with Home Library when I tried the lite version, which is restrictive to 10 books. The books can be added to the library via the camera facility on your iphone by scanning the bar code or manually, which is especially helpful for those older books without bar codes. Home Library also allows for books that have been loaned to be marked as such, as well as the facility to scan computer games, DVDs and music discs in the same way as the books making this a comprehensive facility for cataloguing. The application does give a price for replacing the item should it be damaged. This is of course a price guide as there is no way the application could confirm the condition of a particular item, but is useful as a guide for replacing items. There is the facility to register the application and upload to the net an entire collection.
Lite version is free to download and the full package is 59p. Latest update February 2011.

I liked the interface with this application. The write up for MyBookLibrary at the ITunes stores implied I could use the camera scanner. I could not see how to. It appeared that in order to add books I needed to add all of them manually. Lite version is free to download and the full package is 59p. Latest update December 2010.

I now have three points:
  1. How to record books I've read
  2. How to record books I want to read
  3. How to record books that I own - my own catalogue
In a perfect world I would like to be able to use my iphone to scan the contents of my books with bar codes, and be able to manually add those that were published pre bar code days. I would then like to import my personal library into Library Thing.

I have over the space of the last few years recorded books that I have read but I don't necessarily own on the Book Crossing site. I had hoped they could be added into the Good Reads site, using the import facility, alas no. Each book needs to be entered individually. I also need to reduce the books I want to read into one place - a note book and use that in tandem with my wish list on Amazon. I have two wish lists - one for the Amazon.com site and another for Amazon.co.uk site. Perhaps this could be incorporated into Good Reads?

I read a book a couple of years ago called "So Many Books, So Little Time" that is a perfect title not just for books but also recording them!


  1. I'm having the same struggles over how to catalogue books owned, books wanted and books read so let me know if you find a solution!

  2. I use LibraryThing, and have since they came out of beta years ago. There is a free version as well as a premium version. It's a nice program and you can very cheaply buy a little scanner for your books.


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