Monday, July 27, 2009

Musing Mondays-- Online Book Databases

Do you have an account with an online book database such as LibraryThing, Shelfari or GoodReads? If so, do you have a preference? Do you use it for - your own record keeping? finding new books to read? social networking?

I arrived at LibraryThing first, primarily as a way to make a physical catalog of all my books. When I began dipping into the social aspect of it, I heard about Shelfari and GoodReads. For some reason that I can't remember, Shelfari just didn't appeal to me. I did give GoodReads a try, but other than occasionally spending time I didn't have in playing trivia quizzes there, I realized that I just couldn't do justice to both LibraryThing and GoodReads. I dropped my GoodReads account sometime this past spring and have been at LibraryThing exclusively ever since.

LibraryThing's interface is a good fit for me. I've been sitting in the evenings watching TV and going through the pages of my library, editing mistakes in entries, and making a list of books that I need to scan covers for.

One thing that I've never used LibraryThing for is to look for new titles to read. I've never needed help in that regard, and as I've said before, I joined primarily to keep records of my books. In the future I would like to get back into the social aspect more. Checking out the various groups there is what started me in book blogging!

A big vote of thanks to Rebecca for hosting this meme. If you'd like to see other answers to this week's question, just click on the Musing Monday logo at the top of this post!


  1. my own journey to my beloved Library Thing is very similiar to yours. I tried the others, but without question, LT is the best fit.

    ..and I too love going through my library, adding tags, looking for ones that need covers, adding Common is a bit

  2. I'm an oldfashioned traditionalist. Very rarely going online for my books. It feels so much better in a bookstore, especially a second-hand store where the smells of old paper and leather add to the feel and weight of the books in the hand. If I can't find what I want on the shelf, then I do the Ebay thing.

    Oh Cathy, there is a present for you on my blog.

  3. I use Good Reads because I found it first. I've checked out the other two but didn't find Shelfari terribly user friendly and although I liked Library Thing well enough I didn't need two accounts that did the same thing so I let that one lapse.

    I use it as an online record of the books I have and the ones I want to have and a little bit for socialising and finding recommendations although I use blogs and message based groups for that more and more.

    I now also have a separate database on my own computer of all the books I own and the books I read from other sources so really I don't need the Good Reads account any more but I will keep it active for now. I find the trivia quiz can be addictive too :)

  4. Thanks for lengthier than a comment post is on the blog - will post as a Monday Musing" tomorrow AM (the 27th.)

    Just for a's LT all the way for me.

  5. I'm at LTer all the way, since early 1996. There are way too many bells and whistles and the site often goes down, but all of my books are catalogued and have covers. There is a social aspect, but if I want social I'll go to Facebook . . .

  6. I'm partial to LibraryThing as well, Cathy. I did recently join GoodReads again with a different purpose for it in mind. I'm still bad about keeping up with it though.

    I sometimes will use LibraryThing in order to see what others think of a book I'm considering, but I've found that LTers are harder on books than I am and so it's not always a good gauge of what I might like. It's a good resource just the same.

    Like you, I mostly use LibraryThing as a catalog for the books I own.

  7. I really like this question. I'm a GoodReads gal myself, but I have accounts at LibraryThing and Shelfari as well.

    Here is my answer.

  8. I have accounts on both Librarything and Goodreads but i use Librarything the most.
    Facebook has a great app for books too , called Living Social which i like too.
    Natalie :0)

  9. Caite--Yes, LT is addictive, which is why I'm trying to make more time for it.

    Archie--Thank you so much for my present!

    Bernadette--I'm glad I'm not the only one who's spent some time with that trivia quiz! :)

    Tina--I like LT so much, I wonder why I still try out others! By the way, Musing Mondays are hosted by Rebecca on her blog, Just One More Page.

    Charlie--I tend to be a loner, so I've never gone great guns on the socialization bit, but if I hadn't done that on LT, I would never have started blogging!

    Brooke--You know I'm going to have to check that out now! LOL

    Wendy--I printed out a copy of my LT catalog and have it here in a 3-ring binder.

    Susan--Sometimes it's difficult to stay with just one. Each one has different strengths.

    Natalie--I tried Facebook for about a month and had to give it up. Facebook and my brain aren't on the same wavelength, and I only have so much time to divvy between all these different things. I have to pick and choose. :(


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