Social Networking for Bookworms

The Wall Street Journal writes about a new social networking site called LibraryThing.com — for people to create catalogs of their books. Similar to software like Booxter or Delicious Library, you record all of your books in a cataloging data set. But in this case the database is stored online, and is shared with other users.
The software is free for up to 200 books (haaa!) and $10 for a year or $25 for life. I haven’t investigated to see how data can be exported from the program after being entered, but I would think that would be a must-have feature.
I’m currently using Booxter to catalog my books. Sort of. Everything’s in a uproar now. But I chose it because it’s cheap and it exports the data to a tab-delimited file that I can use to create a database. After using it awhile, I sort of changed my mind and wished I’d shelled out a bit more for the Delicious Library software, because it also catalogs DVDs and video games, which I now have libraries of as well.
But LibraryThing.com is interesting for the social networking component — you can tag your books like Flickr… and you can see what other people have bookmarked, too. I’m going to poke around in it a bit further.

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2 comments on “Social Networking for Bookworms
  1. Jaq says:

    I’ve been using LibraryThing since September and love it, though I haven’t tried any of the other software solutions. I had rolled my own Access database at one point, but lost interest in it. The thing I love about LibraryThing – you can enter any piece of information about the book- ISBN, title, author, whatever – and LibraryThing scours all the information from libraries all over the place. So if you have UK editions of things, you can get the correct data from the University of Scotland library. We also have lots of old weird books, and have found them easily in the Library of Congress listings. Makes it so easy to get the books into the database. The next step is getting a barcode scanner for the house – an even simpler to get those ISBNs entered. You can also just browse through other people’s libraries and snag the books you have.
    Here’s our profile: http://www.librarything.com/profile/illiterati

  2. Booxter does the same searches — there are something like 30 different databases that it uses to gather info. And it can work with an iSight camera or barcode scanner to scan the UPC of a book.
    I’m just not sure about having my library listed on someone else’s site. If I build it myself on my site, I get the ad revenue for it, and I don’t have to pay a fee, which is pretty compelling.

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