Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Musings- Online Book Databases

Although I don't normally participate in many of these weekly memes, Cathy at Kittling: Books raises an interesting question for which I have a definite answer:
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 began my online book adventures one year ago this Thursday by joining LibraryThing(LT). Actually, I had established an account for my deceased father's books so all of his daughters, sons-in-laws, and grandchildren could go online and see what was available and let my mom know who might be interested in receiving what from dad's estate. In doing so, I saw how easy it was to use. Although I have another computer resident database program (Readerware) that I've used for years, and still do keep current, LT offered me a better search engine, and the ability to share my books and info with other online--about the only functionality books that Readerware(RW) didn't have. So.............I rushed back home to Maine, opened my own lifetime account, and began cataloging our own extensive collection. Later, mainly because I'm a very curious person, I began nosing around the groups/talk, and other social aspects. Within weeks, I was hooked. I've peeked at Goodreads and Shelfari, but don't see anything there that LT does not offer. I'm absolutely thrilled with LT and its capabilities, and the people who catalog and post there. Through my online LT friends, I've found literally hundreds of leads to books I would never have read. In fact, I've been preparing a one year anniversary recap for my LT profile, and I'm willing to say that over 50% of the books I've read this past year (there have been almost 200 of them) are LT recommendations. I especially love the challenges and groups and the ability to have on-line discussion groups without having to go to a third site. I tried Virtual Bookshelf on Facebook, but that was awful. I don't particularly like all the fusiness of Facebook anyway, and find it can get personally intrusive and obnoxious. Finally, and this is a biggie for me since I've done database maintenance work for a living, the staff at LT are phenomenal. The database works as advertised, they actually give you warnings of the extremely short down times they have, the staff openly solicits suggestions ---and not only LISTENS TO THEIR CUSTOMERS----they ACTUALLY GIVE US FEEDBACK, and keep us posted on everything going on. They are an incredibly dedicated, hard-working, intelligent and competent bunch. ---no I've never met any of them! Their witty sense of humor shines through and cements an incredible dedication to customer service. I started blogging just recently, more as a writing exercise and to develop Web 2.0 skills that I felt I needed in my work at our town library. When I found out that people would send me free books just as long as I read and reviewed them, I was really hooked!! The world of books and blogging is a fun, interesting, and meaningful way to contribute to the world of knowledge, especially for us chronologically advantaged semi-retirees. Thanks Cathy for asking the question. I look forward to seeing the replies you get.


  1. Great commentary about LT. I have to agree, the staff is great. They listen and continuously update/upgrade the site.

  2. I started using LT for their Early Reviewer program and stayed because I was hooked. I love being able to archive all my reviews. Great place to get blogger help as well.

  3. Agreed that I love LT! I think I'm addicted. I am also on GoodReads, and the main reason I joined there was so I could catalog all the books I read, not just the books I owned. I'm still using it for that. Plus more of my real life friends are online there. LT is my own personal obsession, and I am very happy with it.

  4. I joined LT to keep a catalog of my books that my boyfriend would have a hard time accidently erasing off the hard drive (he's a bit recycle bin happy at times). I poked around in the forums, read some posts, dove in and never looked back. I absolutely love the people and the books they've recommended.


Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.