Last month I showed you how to use Goodreads to catalog your home library. This month we’ll take a look at LibraryThing–which is a nice alternative to Goodreads if you don’t want to be part of the Amazon ecosystem.
First, let’s start with the basics. Here’s what you get when you use LibraryThing:
- Join the world’s largest book club.
- Catalog your books from Amazon, the Library of Congress, and 690 other world libraries. Import from anywhere.
- Find people with eerily similar tastes.
- Find new books to read.
- Free Early Reviewer books from publishers and authors.
- Enter 200 books for free, as many as you like for $10 (year) or $25 (life).
- Available in many languages.
One thing that probably stands out is the fee. Unlike Goodreads, LibraryThing charges a yearly or lifetime fee. I think the cost is reasonable. The 200 book limit is sufficient to test out the service before you decide to spend the money for unlimited books.
Creating an account is simple. You can create an account using a username and password or sign up using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Once your account is set up, you’re ready to add books.
LibraryThing doesn’t have an app, so you’ll need to search on the site for books to add. You can search based on author, title, or ISBN number. Their catalog is tied into Amazon, the Library of Congress, and 700 other libraries, so you should be able to find your book.
It’s also possible to use a barcode scanner connected to your computer to import books to speed up the process. Alternately, you could import a file using LibraryThing’s universal importer. The catch is that the book must have a valid ISBN number. Books that don’t have an ISBN number will need to be added manually. Because book collectors use LibraryThing, you may actually find that pre-ISBN version of Gone With the Wind.
Once you’ve added books you can review them, share them, and connect with other people who like the same books. Like Goodreads, LibraryThing encourages you to share your experience, but you can keep it all to yourself if that’s what you prefer.
LibraryThing is great if you’re looking for a solid cataloging system and aren’t as concerned with the social aspect or if you’re looking for a system that isn’t as commercialized as Goodreads. The one-time fee is reasonable. The interface could use some improvement but can be overlooked.
Next month I’ll close out the series by taking a look at libib.
John Wilkerson has been married to Lisa for 15 years, and they have 7 children. All of them are homeschooled and keep them busy but very happy. When he’s not solving technical problems at a local private college during the day or podcasting and blogging at night, John likes to pursue his other current “hobbies” which include social media, martial arts, and coaching soccer. If you’d like to connect with John online visit the contact page at his website, The Wired Homeschool.