book geekery, version 2.0

I've been meaning to point out two things that I've added as extras on the site, because some of you might find them equally nifty. I have an industrial-grade barcode scanner on loan from the library, which I used to go through our book collection and scan barcodes into librarything. Every book we own is now listed in our librarything catalog. I opted to just buy a lifetime account and get it over with.

I ended up exporting a CSV file of my books on librarything into my account on So far, my difference in usage is that librarything holds a record of the books I own, while I'm using goodreads to catalog the books I'm reading or have already read. I'm not entirely certain that I'll stick with this; I'll want to wait to see how the communities around both sites shake out in the next few months.

(By the way, to Jon, Ashley, and those of you whom I gave gift certificates to for Christmas -- if you can export a CSV or tab-delimited file of your collectorz information, we can get it into these point in duplicating effort!)

I am 'domesticat' in both places (please, restrain your shock and surprise). The 'goodreads' chiclet on all pages on currently takes you to a page that shows what I'm currently reading. Goodreads has a widget that will actually list the books you're currently reading, but right now the display format is too wide for my page layout's sidebar. I've emailed the folks behind goodreads and requested a text-only version so that I could style it to fit my page. They responded that it was a good idea, and that they'd put it in the queue. If you use goodreads, consider emailing them to ask for this.

I wished years and years ago that I had started tracking what I'd read.

Along those lines, does anyone know if something similar exists for music? If not, whyever not? I have to think barcode numbers are ubiquitous on CDs as ISBNs are for books. We have this disturbing, tentacle-laden, Tokyo-eating music collection that I really want to categorize, and I really like the idea of using social networking to find new music (see also my box in the sidebar).

Update: GuruLib looks like it might be promising, but it looks awfully beta.


I can't really blame you for distracting me from work and making me pay attention to LibraryThing again. You have nothing to do with the fact that a random list of a few of my books showed one that I wanted to write a review of and see other people's reviews. It is certainly not your fault that they have review copies of books available, and that I had to read all about how that system works. The fact that I was led from there into reading about Lecanomancy on Wikipedia was definitely beyond your control.

It is certainly a fun site.

We bought a lifetime membership a while back. It's reasonably up-to-date based on us exporting from Delicious LIbrary:

I'd added your library to my private 'watch list' for some time. However, LT just got 'friends' functionality going very recently. I just sent you a friend invitation.

I'm looking forward to working through Brian & Suzan's catalog this weekend. I really enjoyed helping Rachel and Mark (Mark == vatavian, who has already commented) get their collection into LT.

I'm LOVING the library thing. What I'm NOT loving is having to go shelf by shelf to catalog all my books, but it'll certainly be worth it in the end!

Barcode scanners are the way and the light. I can't imagine trying to do this without one, especially if you have a lot of books. With a good scanner, you can process a thousand books in a weekend if you really work at it...

(Which is to say, of course, that none of us have ANYTHING better to do on weekends than catalog our book collections, of course. I don't know about you, but my carpets magically vacuum themselves!) :)

I wish I had a scanner! That would make my job so much easier. I've got a lot of books to catalog! My carpets DO vacuum themselves! I mean, isn't that what husbands are for? :)

Look for modified CueCats on ebay. They should list on ebay for less than $10. Get a USB one if you can. Admittedly, that's not what I'm using (I have a piece of outdated but usable equipment on long-term requisition) but this is what I'd buy if I needed a cheap & simple barcode reader for myself.

(evangelist? me? never!)

Oh my heavens. I'm so going to buy one! Thanks! :) Edit that...I just bought one! I hope it gets here by the weekend! Then I can enlist the husband to pull all the books down from the shelves for me!

If you've a webcam lying around, you can download the freeware cataloging app Libra: It has a tool (Libracam) that allows you to use your webcam to scan in books for LibraryThing (or any other cataloging app).