Friday, March 09, 2007

Ain't no thang

So, I finally got sucked into the world of LibraryThing. For the uninitiated, this is an incredibly cool site where you can catalog your own books -- you can put in the title, author, ISBN, or whatever and it will search Amazon and the Library of Congress catalog & retrieve the full bibliographic data. Or, if you have a fairly obscure item, you can enter everything manually. Then the fun begins. You can tag your books, so that you can retrieve all the ones tagged "autographed" or "stolen from my ex" or "translations" or "Yale younger poet winners" or whatever floats your boat. You can see how many other LibraryThingers own the same titles. You can get recommendations based on what other people who own a particular title also own. You can post reviews, join groups to discuss various bookish topics, and on and on and on. Oh yes, you can also access the site on a mobile browser, so if you're in the bookstore and you can't remember whether you already own something or not, you can look it up. How cool is that?

It's free to catalog up to 200 books; for unlimited use, you can pay $10/year or $25 for a lifetime membership -- which I will probably end up doing. I've started by just putting in a) poetry books, b) which I own, and c) which I have already read. I do read a lot of library books as well, and maybe once I get my whole library entered I'll start adding those. But I own a crapload of books, so it's going to be quite a while before I get all of my own up there. I may actually get all the poetry done before summer, though. :D

Also, you can make a widget to show random books from your library in the sidebar of your blog. So looky! -- mine's over there --------->.

Recreational cataloging. Who woulda thunk it? (For the record, although I did OK in the cataloging class when I was in library school, I came away from it thinking "I am so not a cataloger." Hah!)

(If you are a fellow LibraryThinger, feel free to drop a comment on my library over there!)

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