Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday Thingers: Why LT?

This week's question for the Tuesday Thingers group over at Boston Bibliophile is:

Why did you choose to open and maintain an LT account? Do you/did you use other online cataloging/social networking sites, like GoodReads or Shelfari? Do you use more than one? Are they different or do they serve different purposes?

I really don't remember exactly how I first heard about LibraryThing. And I have to confess that until very recently I didn't even know there was such a thing as online book cataloguing. I was looking for some sort of computer database program to keep track of our book collection, thinking I'd have to buy the software and install it (well, get the hubby to install it), or come up with my own spread-sheet type system.

But around that time, one of the people whose blog I read pretty regularly mentioned the fact that she had a Shelfari membership, so I checked it out and joined up. And I played around with it for a while, but never really did much with it. It felt a little too much like MySpace or Facebook – more of a social networking site than just a place to catalogue my books. Then a little while later, I heard about LibraryThing – probably from some other blogger – and it's been so easy to use, I've just stuck with it.

I believe I still have the account at Shelfari, but I don't think I ever really catalogued anything there. I think Marie's idea of using another site to track the books she's actually reading (and let people know about it) sounds like an interesting idea. I might try that myself.

By the way, I have to thank all those LTers who recommended the CueCat scanner. We finally got ours, and it makes cataloguing go incredibly fast. Of course, it only works on books with barcodes, so anything published before the mid-1980s still has to be keyed in, but I definitely think it was worth the fifteen bucks.


  1. I haven't investigated Shelfari, but it sounds interesting.

    I haven't got a CueCat scanner but as I've got a lot of our books already entered in LT I don't think I'll bother.

  2. I haven't got a cuecat, though I wanted one. It wouldn't be worth it for the minuscule size of my library.

    GoodReads seems like more of a place to tell people what you're currently reading. Anobii is good for that, too. I like how Anobii tracks how many books and pages you've read this year and has the ability to put in for re-reads (since I do a lot of those).

  3. oh, I WANT A cue cat!!!! I need to just order it already, as it seems like it will take a while.

    I love LT, haven't tied anything else...but I don't feel the need to. It is interesting that you say you felt shelfari was more a social networking thing, that really makes me not interested.

  4. I think I am the only one who isn't too fond of the cuecat, I never managed to get it to work properly.

    I like the social aspects of LT, but if they were more important than the books, I wouldn't like it as much either. I have a few friends on shelfari that I am trying to convince to switch over, instead. =)

  5. Yes, the CueCat can really make your cataloguing go faster if you've got a lot of newer books with barcodes. Otherwise, it's probably more trouble than it's worth. We had a little trouble, too, getting it to work at first. But after my husband played around with it for a while, it now works perfectly.

    I'm going to have to check out GoodReads and Anobii. I didn't realize there were so many other sites for listing books and finding others with the same fixation!

  6. The scanner really is a lifesaver... although it was a pain to put all the older books in. Lol I don't think I had realized before that how many older books I owned!


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