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I have made a discovery. It's name it LibraryThing. Do you remember when I borrowed a barcode-scanning handheld from work and wrote a couple of programs that would allow me to 1) scan in all of the ISBNs of all my books, 2) upload them to my computer, 3) then look up the title, author, replacement cost, etc. at Amazon? Well, neither do I. It's all a blur.

Anyway, somehow I ended up with a spreadsheet inventory of 1,718 of my books. This is, by the way, not all of them. We have about 2250 books (not including audio books, maps, or comic books). About 200 of them are our son's books. The rest can be bifurcated twixt my lovely bride and me, but only by a Rabbi.

Where was I? Oh, yes, LibraryThing. Yesterday, I stumbled across a remarkable, and appropriately-named, site. LibraryThing.com is a place where you can create your own list of books. (You're waiting for the remarkable bit, yes?) You can't buy books there. You can't sell books there. You can't swap books there. (Still impressed?) OK, I can't quite put my finger on what's so remarkable about it, but it is remarkable. I'll let them tell it:

"LibraryThing helps you create a library-quality catalog of your books. You can do all of them or just what you're reading now. And because everyone catalogs online, they also catalog together. LibraryThing connects people based on the books they share."

There you have it. It's Amazon.com without the commerce! It's the Library of Congress without the Congress! It's...It's...It's about creating a library just to say "I've got more books than you do and I've even read six of them!" or "Dude! You and I have more books in common than anyone else out here...but, man, you're a dork!"

Seriously, though, it's like a social club where everyone's into books and everyone can see all the books you own and love you anyway...or something.

Anyway, take the tour: http://www.librarything.com/tour/

It's easy to create an account and incredibly easy add books to your library. I added 1073 books to my library last night in a matter of minutes (Of course, I already had all the ISBNs collected in a spreadsheet...). I did have to pause briefly during the upload to throw $10 at LibraryThing so that they'd store more than 200 books, but now I'm set for a year. ($25 will get you LibraryThing for life.)

I was going to post a link to my library here but I don't think anyone's going to read this far. See next post.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
I started doing the LibraryThing, but got frustrated because I didn't want to spend money to put more books in my catalog. So I gave up.
Oct. 10th, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
I understand. I didn't see that part until I discovered that only 200 of my books imported. I thought about it for a while then figured I'd throw them the 10 bucks because 1) after all the work I did to create my offline inventory I wanted to show it off and 2) I like to promote interesting Internet things.

Speaking of which, this is an interesting Internet thing that I built:
Oct. 10th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
That is interesting. Thanks for sharing.
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