I know that LibraryThing is already pretty popular, but seeing as how I’m trying to collect resources here at RearViewMirror, I figured it was appropriate to post this.

I’ve been cataloguing my books at LibraryThing for a few years now. It’s an awesome place to store, track, review and blog your books. To get an account, all you have to do is sign up at their website – it’s free up to the first 200 books. After you explode 200, you have one of two choices: 1) pay $10 a year or 2) pay $25 for a lifetime membership. Why anyone would choose the first option is beyond me.

LibraryThing is great because you can search through your catalogue online. If you’re about to purchase a book in a store, but aren’t sure if you have it already, you can ask to use the internet and check your LibraryThing. It’s also good for insurance purposes; if your library were to burn down, you have a complete record to get them all back.

It is very easy to use. All you have to do is, under the “add book” tab, type in the ISBN or some other piece of bibliographical information, and LibraryThing will search the book for you via 690 libraries across the world including the Library of Congress and Amazon. Once the book appears, you click the link and it adds the book to your account. You can then tag it as “politics” or “cooking” or “history.” Books that are too old to be searched can be added manually.

There is also an online community that compares libraries and brings together people with like book collections. There is a place where you can add friends and write on other people’s message boards.

All in all, LibraryThing is a worthwhile investment, I highly recommend it.



Filed under books, Resources

6 responses to “LibraryThing

  1. A few other advantages to LibraryThing…

    1. From any book page you can check to see if the book is available, say, at the University of Windsor Library.

    2. Good blog widgets

    3. Legacy libraries; see overlap between your library and the libraries of, say, Thomas Jefferson, the Mather Family, Ian Fleming, Ben Franklin, etc.

    4. Automatic “book suggestions” based on your current library (as well as an unsuggester for bad choices)

    5. Programs for getting Early Review copies and also for safe Christmas gift exchanges with a random member from the community.

    6. Great page for statistics of your library, broken down by language, date of publication

    7. At one glance you can see which of an authors most popular books you do and don’t have (a good checklist of sorts)

    8. If you want to find the top works for a given topic, just find the tag page and you can see which books are most frequently tagged that way.

    9. You can export your book data in various formats for backup or other uses.

    10. Ability to choose which cover you want to display for a particular book. You can take the stock Amazon ones, user uploaded one, or upload your own.

  2. nathantyler

    I need to get on this. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Wow, Ian that website looks really cool! hope you had a good time in mexico

  4. Mark@DR

    You really shouldn’t have posted a link to your own library, Ian. Now I’ve browsed through the pages and pages of books you own and have found many I’d like to see reviews for on Discerning Reader…a Managing Editor’s dream come true. :)

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