Tag Archives for library thing
February 27, 2009
If you don’t know about Library Thing, and you are currently in library school, then you need to (as I did) get with the program and start it up. Or if you are just nerdy and like books a lot, well, you can come too. It’s way too fun for those of us who have slightly compulsive needs to organize (or “catalog“) things and, along the way, brag about how well read you are.
I’m not saying everyone feels that particular need. But be honest: you probably do.
Essentially Library Thing is a place to catalog your personal bookshelf by searching for books and adding them into your collection. (See also: Delicious Library) You can search via Amazon or the LOC, or a long list of other search engines. I found the best results for mine on the Amazon search, though I suppose if you were going for a more textbook or rare book collection, a library catalog would be more your speed.
Inevitably, the edition of the book may matter to some, so there is also the option to manually enter books into your library. You can even scan your own cover and attach it to the record. The best part about this feature is that the scanned covers are shared with the community, which enables anyone to select the cover of their choice. I like buying used books, and I find that the old covers for things are often better than the newer post-2000 reprints of books. It also helps to mimic your actual bookshelf at home, if you’re into that sort of thing.
As any good Web 2.0 tool does, Library Thing allows you to tag your books, which enters them into the collective consciousness. You can also recommend books to other Library Thing members. I entered “The Loved One” by Evelyn Waugh, and it turns out that MichaelPNaughton has recommended that I read a book called “Deathryde: Rebel without a Corpse.” Maybe next time, Mike, but thanks for the offer anyway.
Bottom line: Library Thing is a lot of fun for nerds. I expect that this summer much of my time will be spent adding and “browsing” books. I had a so-so reaction to GoodReads, because I tend not to dig on internet people’s recommendations of books, but the ability to make your own bookshelf online? Sign me up.
February 10, 2009
As I was stumbling through a big list of social media and web 2.0 sites today, I came across Good Reads. I had heard my friend here at school mention this once before (she had previously completed a degree in Children’s Literature, so you can imagine, she likes to read) but I’d never checked it out before.
Essentially Good Reads is like a social networking site, but with just a dash of Amazon.com thrown in. It runs on reviews: you tell Good Reads what you’ve been reading lately, provide a rating and a review, and then it broadcasts your information across the network. You can have friends, whose recent activities (reviews, books they claim they’re reading, books they have marked as “favorites) you will see when you log in. You can search for reviews of books that you want to read (to get a sense of if it’s worth it) or of books you love (so you can scoff at and insult those who have given it a bad review).
I find that with social software tools I feel a little spread out if I have to sign up for a new one. I like to integrate them as much as possible… or at least make it so I don’t have to a visit yet another web page when I start up my browser. I run Twitterific in the background all day and import my Delicious bookmarks into Firefox’s menubar. Good Reads, it turns out, you can import into your facebook account (if you have one), and you can access and edit your life there all through the facebook interface, which is nice. I tried it out, and found a couple friends already using it (turns out a friend from high school likes The Great Gatsby.)
I was an English lit major in college, so I tend not to rely on online reviews when selecting my next book. I also tend to go to used book stores instead of ordering them. In spite of the greyish yellow color scheme of the site, Good Reads will never smell delightfully musty like Bridgid’s Books. That being said, I am still intrigued because if I had an active community of friends on Good Reads, I wouldn’t argue with participating. I, like any other person who likes reading, like talking about the books I read and enjoy bullying people into liking what I like. Then again, being a librarian, perhaps I would rather be a part of Library Thing…