Organizing books can be a challenge, particularly in a family that tends to collect inordinate numbers of them.  I think my mother bought three copies of Tom Sawyer over the years, because she could never remember whether we had it.  Luckily, there’s a solution:

LibraryThing is an online card catalog.  It’s accessible from your phone, so if you’re tech-savvy enough, you can stop yourself from buying that fourth copy of Tom Sawyer.

Of course, if you’re clueless about your phone, like me, you can still access your catalog — just call your younger brother and ask him to log into your LibraryThing.

Here’s a screenshot of my LibraryThing page:

LibraryThing profile pageFrom here, you can access all kinds of useful things — in the green box on the right, for instance, there’s a list of members who have the same books I do. This is a nice way to glean recommendations. And if there’s a member who has a book you’ve been thinking of buying, you can send them a message to see if it’s worth the money (people crazy enough to keep an online catalog of their books usually enjoy discussing them). You can keep track of your friends on LibraryThing, too, and view their catalogs — if I’m looking for new reading material, I can snoop through my mom’s catalog to see what could be borrowed. Or if I’m trying to decide whether to buy her a book for her birthday, I can see whether she’s got it before I buy it.

Adding books is quick and easy — you just type in the ISBN and add it to your library.  Organizing them is easy, too. You can type in whatever tags you like, and then go to your Tag page to see everything on a particular subject.

The LibraryThing tag screenI think that — just maybe — I’ll have enough cookbooks soon. LibraryThing informs me that I have 61. If you need a recipe, call me.

LibraryThing catalog pageThis is the catalog page. You can configure this however you like — I currently show all the information you see here, and they’re sorted by the date that I added them. (I’ve been on a bit of a cookbook spree.)

And now for the great bonus feature: the Early Reviewers program.  LibraryThing has a monthly giveaway of advance copies of books. You can get books for free if you write a review (you don’t have to write the review, but if you don’t, you probably won’t receive another book). So far, I’ve received six books and one e-book.  The latest to arrive in my mailbox was Liz Curtis Higgs’ new book, which will retail for $14.99.

These are a few of the books I’ve won (the only ones I was able to round up, since half my books are already packed for our upcoming move). I think it’s a nice little variety.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers books

LibraryThing is free for the first 200 books; after that it’s $10 a year or $25 for a lifetime subscription (which my mother gave me for Christmas a couple years ago). I think it was a bargain. I’ve probably already saved that much by avoiding multiple copies of Tom Sawyer.

About Charity

I have an inexcusable number of cookbooks (and like to experiment with them), have worked in architectural antiques, and have been sewing most of my life. I recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Apparel, Merchandising, & Design from Iowa State University. Doing household things (except for cleaning!) and hunting for antiques are my favorite pastimes.
This entry was posted in Mrs. Armstead's Household Guide, Organization. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to LibraryThing

  1. Jenny Calvin says:

    I love LibraryThing!

  2. Sarah Grace says:

    I have never heard of LibraryThing. Sounds very cool and useful, but of course its useful…you’re using it. enough said.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Wow, you have 61 cookbooks?! Not gonna lie – that’s pretty shocking! I’ve only got three vegetarian cookbooks (I’m not a vegetarian), and one Elvis cookbook that is mostly a useless novelty.

    Never heard of LibraryThing, but it sounds pretty awesome. I might check into that.

    • Charity says:

      [Charity hangs head in shame] 😛 It’s not entirely my fault — various relatives gave me quite a few of them. And then, for instance, I just HAD to have both the old and the new Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks, because they’re different (hmm, maybe I’ll address that in a post sometime). But mostly, it’s just because I like cookbooks too much. At least I use them…..

      • Ruth Calvin says:

        I have a few cookbooks Charity can have. HAHAHAHAHAH I have a bunch of Barbie dolls I promised her and
        Lauren they could have after I am dead. Also forgot to give your parents the 30s-40s Christmas ornaments I have.

  4. Pingback: A Tour of the Sewing Room, Part 3 | The Daring Domestic

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