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Library Thing - A Tool for Book Collectors and Book Lovers

Updated on April 21, 2011

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, 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.


Early Reviewer

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

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.

Other Tools

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.


Submit a Comment

  • GoodLady profile image

    Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

    I think you might be right. I had a look. They have an Italian language section but not sure if they have English books in Italy...but It's certainly a great Thing.

    Many thanks.

    Probably have to wait till these few months of writing go by.

    See you around!

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    I'm in Canada, I think anyone can join Library Thing.

  • GoodLady profile image

    Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

    If I lived in the Sates I'd become a member.

    Interesting and useful Hub for all you guys over there.

    I don't even have a library where i live in Tuscany. I rely on you know what, the used books are good!

    Look forward to reading other hubs over the next few months.

  • Kris Heeter profile image

    Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

    This sounds really cool. Awhile back I had to start keeping a manual list of what I had read or had because every time I went to used book sale I'd end up coming back with something I already had! I'm going to have to check this out!

  • queenpoetica profile image

    queenpoetica 6 years ago from England

    Thank you for that - I'll check it out. I remember my mum organising my library for me a long while ago when I was ill. She put everything in height order and nearly caused me to have a heart attack! This is a useful hub.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments.

    I've also started listing my ebooks on Library Thing. You can search by ASIN too.

  • kmcmichael profile image

    kmcmichael 6 years ago from Athens, Georgia

    I have lots of books and may check out Library Thing. Thanks for the info!

  • profile image

    CollB 6 years ago

    Superb hub and information! Thanks for sharing this hub with us.

  • profile image

    Dee Duckett 7 years ago

    Thanks for this information. I've been wondering how to organize all my books. Great winter project.

  • sminut13 profile image

    sminut13 7 years ago from singapore

    wow this is the first i've heard of it and it sounds really interesting. i'm an avid reader of specific genres, although i don't buy books. i borrow instead. and all the books that i've read and liked, i write a simple review on my blog so that i can go back and see which books i would like to re read again from the library and so on. i have heard of good reads and bookmooch and am a member of the latter although since i've no books, i'm not active. thanks for sharing.

  • mimind profile image

    mimind 7 years ago from THE UNITED STATES

    Oo cool I got so many books some I wanna keep some I get rid of. I fold pages (I know horrible right?) I always lose the book markers and besides usually read a book at least two times before it goes bye bye. This winter when Im stuck in doors and cold I may try this thanks.

  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

    I have been a member of LibraryThing longer than I have been on HubPages - and I love it. Along with Bookmooch and Bookcrossing - great sites for book lovers.

    Thanks for the write-up.

    Love and peace


  • kids-toy-box profile image

    kids-toy-box 7 years ago

    Agree iwth Kevin..a valuable resource!I've not heard of Library Thing until reading this page. It seems like a great way to keep track of good books but also great to discuss with fellow book lovers. I usually use a program called Zotero. I will be joining for sure...I was attracted by the colorful profil pic thats how I found this hub.

  • profile image

    Kevin Schofield 7 years ago

    Hi Uninvited Writer. Thank you for this valuable hub! What an ingenious idea! I'm a compulsive book-buyer, and consequently have got mountains of titles that need cataloguing. Great hub! Kind regards, Kev.

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

    Super information! Thanks.


  • vydyulashashi profile image

    vydyulashashi 7 years ago from Hyderabad,India

    Wonderful information!!

    God bless you!

  • hathibelagal profile image

    hathibelagal 7 years ago from A jungle inn

    Yes, I am a member of LibraryThing, and it has been very helpful to me as I am an avid reader.

  • WannaB Writer profile image

    Barbara Radisavljevic 7 years ago from Templeton, CA

    I belong to Library Thing, but have more or less abandoned it in favor of Goodreads, which I like better. It has many of the same features, but no fees are charged if you list more than 200 books. I have hundreds on Goodreads.

  • kimballtrombone profile image

    kimballtrombone 7 years ago

    Cool. I hadn't heard of LibraryThing. Sounds similar to GoodReads, which I've used for a lot of the same things.