I knew LibraryThing existed, but had never checked into it until last week. (Have you seen it? Do you use it?) It’s a catalog your books online site, and it’s heaven for book-lovers. The site explains:

Enter what you’re reading or your whole library — it’s an easy, library-quality catalog. LibraryThing also connects you with people who read the same things. (…)

  • Meet the world’s largest book club. Find people with eerily similar tastes.
  • Catalog with Amazon, the Library of Congress or 82 other world libraries. Import from anywhere.
  • Get recommendations. Tag your books and explore others’ tags.

Well. It’s amazing, and completely addictive. (Wonder where I’ve been for the last week? LibraryThing.)

It’s really fun once you’ve input a few hundred of your books. Then you’ll love exploring the "members with your books" list, and finding the fifty libraries most similar to your own. Or say you have a favourite — but very obscure — book. When you find that two other LibraryThing members own that same book, and that you can prowl through their collections… well. It’s a great way to find other books of interest.

Go try it out and let me know what you think. The hassle-free sign-up procedure only asks you to come up with a username and password, so you can go play right away.

11 thoughts on “LibraryThing

  1. Hi,

    I saw your blog post while I was doing a Google Blog Search, and I quote you on the buzz page – hope you don’t mind! Much gratitude for the kind words – if you ever have any account troubles, feel free to email me.

    Assistant Librarian at LibraryThing

  2. I have been a LibraryThing addict for several months now. I break into a cold sweat if I am thwarted in my cataloging. I only wish it had existed 30 years ago, before I had all these books.

    I found your site this morning. Very nice.

  3. I love LibraryThing — been using it pretty much since it started, and I’m surprised and happy with how many new features they’ve rolled out since then. One of my favorite things is now, when I get new books home, I get to play LibraryThing.

  4. Wow, Folkert, I wouldn’t want to input all those books.

    jspad – I love LibraryThing’s features, too. I especially like snooping through libraries similar to mine – I’m finding a lot of potentially interesting books that way.

    LibraryThing has also made me realize that I have way, way more books than I thought I had. I’m going to give a fair number of books away, I think. Need more shelf space!

    makifat – I wish I’d had LT years ago, too!

  5. Interesting! Thanks, Historia; I’ll check out that Shelfari thing.

    I didn’t mind paying for a LibraryThing account, as I use it quite a lot and benefit from my LibraryThing membership. Also, the fact that their business model is to sell paid memberships is a bit comforting – I hope that means that they won’t sell user info, stick adverts all over the place, or do other annoying things.

    Having seen so many useful websites disappear or change for the worse over the years, I am often reminded of what a geek friend used to say about them: “you can have any two things from this list: fast, free, good.”

    This isn’t my advertisment for LibraryThing, though. I do see problems with LibraryThing (frequent downtime lately) and think they have a ways to go, too. So I’ll head over to Shelfari and create an account. I like tire-kicking and comparing services.

    Thanks for the tip on Shelfari!

  6. I love Librarything, and have no problem with a one time fee of $25 for the rest of my life. It’s well worth the price to be able to easily put in all my books by ISBN and then print the whole darned thing – even once.
    I’d actually thought I had more books than I seem to (I think I’ve got about 1/2-2/3 catalogued and have around 400 so far). The people who catalogue seem to be fascinating (particularly those with similar collections to mine!) and I like that it’s a small business that’s growing.

    I’d only just read about the Shelfari “astroturfing” scandal today, and, if it’s true, am very disappointed in them – therefore, will not be creating a Shelfari account.

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