Library Thing - A Tool for Book Collectors and Book Lovers
If you have a lot of books, do yourself a favor and visit Library Thing. Library Thing is a site that allows you to catalog the books you own and to share your library with others. The site also has many active discussion groups on every topic under the sun. There is also a group you can join, called Early Reviewers, that allows to compete to get review copies of book and to post your reviews under the information page for that book. Library Thing also creates pages for each author whose books are added.
While you are allowed to add as many books as you want with a free account, you can only view 200. A paid account gives you to add an unlimited number; paid membership costs $10 for a year or $25 for a lifetime membership.
Library Thing was created in 2006 and was developed by Tim Spalding. The company is based in Portland, Oregon.
The first thing you should do is set up a profile on the site. The profile can include your real name, your location, your favorite authors, biographical information, your website address, information about your library and what you are currently reading.
To add your books to Library Thing you click on the "add your books" tab at the top of the page. Then you can enter the ISBN, the LC Catalog number, the title of the book, or the name of the author. You then can search the books on a number of sources such as Amazon.com, the Library of Congress and Overcat (there are 690 American and international sources to choose from) You can also add tag you want to use at this stage. If it finds you book it brings up a list on the right hand side of the page and lets you choose your edition. Clicking on this automatically adds the book to your library.
One of my favorite parts of Library Think is the Early Reviewer program. You sign up giving your name and address. Every month members compete to receive hundreds of review copies of books. Many of the books are only available in certain countries but you can filter by country in a drop down box. Being chosen to receive a review copy is totally random. I have received 4 review copies so far. In return, they expect you to write a review on the site. You add book reviews to Library Thing by going to the book's information page.
There are hundreds of discussion groups on Library Thing on every subject you can name. When you go to the groups home page, by clicking on the "groups" tab at the top of the page, you are presented with a list of the most active groups of the week. For example, the most active group as of this writing is75 Books Challenge for 2010, which is challenging people to read 75 books in 2010. Under that you will see a list of official groups such as the group for those in the Early Reviewer program.
Your library can be arranged alphabetically by title or by author. You can view it as a list or by the book covers. There are also several styles of arrangement that you can choose and you can even create your own arrangement. In your library you can also see how many other members have the same book.
Keeps Everything Organized
I like the fact that I can see all the books that I own and have added to Library Thing. Sometimes when you have as many books as I do you lose track of exactly what you have. Library Thing can help you avoid buying the same book twice.
There is also a section on Library Thing that lists bookstores in your local area. There are a number of widgets and graphics to add to your own websites also. I like the widget that lets you display books in your library and give people the option of buying them from Amazon using your affiliate account. If you don't have an Amazon account, the earnings go to Library Thing. This widget allows you to enter keywords so only certain books are shown. I have a website on author biographies and I only show books tagged as such.
Check it out
Library Thing has helped to create the term Social Cataloging. Why not check out Library Thing for yourself? I am sure that if you are a book lover you will love this site as much as I do.
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