Library Thing is a Web site where you can catalog your library. You can enter up to 200 books for free. Or you can buy a membership for $10/year or $25 for your lifetime. (The latter is obviously a great value in the long run.)
I’ve started entering my library, starting with the hardcovers and trade paperbacks (otherwise known in my household as “the small bookcases”). You can view my library if you’d like, although it will take a while before I get it fleshed out. (Don’t expect me to get to the humor or non-fiction for a while.)
The site has its pros and cons, although its pros far outweigh its cons.
- You can search by author, title, ISBN, and other aspects to enter a book into your library.
- Searches can be made against several sites (such as Amazon), which often come with default information and cover art.
- The editing page is very easy to use, if you want to tweak an entry in your library.
- You can link to reviews you’ve written in your journal so others can access them from Library Thing, or write a review directly on the site.
- The database doesn’t have separate fields for copyright date (i.e., when the book was first published) and publication date (i.e., the date this edition was published). Both are interesting to track.
- The database doesn’t have a way to list individual stories in a collection, or (of more interest) individual books in an omnibus.
- The Suggestions page doesn’t have a way to ask that it permanently exclude a volume from its recommendations (although “omit authors already in your catalog” gets close).
One thing that’s been interesting as I enter books is that I’ve found a few books I own which I could not easily locate via the search mechanism. For instance, I own first edition hardcovers of Vernor Vinge’s novels The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime, and I couldn’t find the latter, so I entered it manually. That means I’ll probably also scan its cover to add to my library.
All of this is probably not the best way to spend my time. 🙂 As Cliff said when I told him about it, I’d probably do better spending my holiday vacation writing my own fiction.