Are you using LibraryThing to keep your book collection organized? I have to admit that I have known about LibraryThing for a long time and have even looked at it before. However, it wasn’t until this summer that I decided to get serious about using it.
LibraryThing is ridiculously easy to use. First, it is free if your book collection is limited to 200 titles or less. If you have more than that, it is $10.99 per year OR $25 for lifetime use. That is a real bargain!
To become a member, just use the box at the top right corner of the screen to created a user name and password. You’ll be set to go.
The dashboard is your control center for LibraryThing.
Before entering any of your books, take a minute to scroll down the dashboard. There is a ton of information here. On the left top corner are general categories of information to what can be found on LibraryThing. In terms of your own catalog, there is a profile and introduction to the site at the top. Your own collection of books will appear just below that once you’ve entered them.
Your collection includes thumbnails of the covers of your most recent entries and shows the tags you’ve assigned. As yo continue down that home dashboard page, there are Recent Automatic Recommendations, based on the topics of your own books. There are also links to “hot topics” in the chat area, a spot to add local events and a section on “This Day in History.”
The right hand column is for news. The best news is that if you want to log into your LibraryThing account on your phone, there is now an Android app:
You now know a LOT about LibraryThing and we haven’t even gotten started entering books. It’s really simple and quick:
At the top left side of your dashboard, just click on Add books to your library.
Books can be added by title, author, ISBN or even manually. I haven’t tried searching on Amazon, etc., but I have a few old elementary school textbooks that I collect and when no ISBN was to be found, I searched by title and/or author and found all of them one way or the other. I used Add Manually for three very recently published books that didn’t show up even by the ISBN.
Next, I added tags to each of the books so they might be searched and found by others. To tag a book, click on the title and a screen opens just for that one book.
My main purpose for using LibraryThing is to keep track of the books I already own so I don’t buy the same one twice. I have done that – not many, but a few times – and I’d rather not buy more than one copy. 🙂
If you are a totally book addict and want to participate in chat groups, online reading circles and/or review books, LibraryThing offers all those opportunities.
The very, very top of your dashboard is the place to make those connections:
You can edit your profile and add your photo if you want. Connections are automatically set up for you based on categories into which your book titles fall. I have several genealogically related connections along with Christmas collectibles and old school reading books.
Recommendations brings up a long list that includes your book titles and titles of related subject matter. You have the option to review and recommend if you wish. Reviews brings up a list of your titles that others have already reviewed.
There are also searchable links for Groups you might want to join, Talk (chat about various topics) and More, which is a great little category.
More is the feature that links you to Features, FREE books and Community help. The free books include those provided to LibraryThing early reviewers (of soon to be released books) and those that members want to give away. The books available (provided by publishers) comprise a VERY long list with a mix of paper, e-book and audio formats. The give away books are mostly e-books with a few hard copies.
I hope I’ve convinced you to take a look at LibraryThing. It’s a great organizational tool, but it’s also a terrific way to expand your book horizon.