BTT: Catalog

This week's question from Booking Through Thursday:

Do you use any of the online book-cataloguing sites, like Library Thing or Shelfari? Why or why not? (Or do you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking to? [grin])

If not an online catalog, do you use any other method to catalog your book collection? Excel spreadsheets, index cards, a notebook, anything?

Having only around 20 books in my "collection", cataloguing my books isn't something I have to worry about. Whenever I buy books, they get "borrowed" and never manage to find a way back to my hands. Even if they do, they are often so badly mutilated that I sometimes feel that having them back in such condition is worse than not having them at all. So I'm left with a collection that cannot be called a collection at all. And I really don't see the need to catalogue such a small collection.

I wanted to post about a related topic, that is cataloguing books that you read instead of those that you own. For this, I've tried almost all the methods mentioned in the question. I started off with the trusted pen and paper option. I used to write the names of all the books I read on sheets of paper. Later when I got my computer I started using Excel to list the books. I switched to using a simple text file soon afterwards.

Recently I joined Shelfari (my profile's here), which looks great, but I wish the website were a little bit faster. I hate having to wait for two minutes to add one book to my list. So I started adding books to Google Books' MyLibrary and importing the list to Shelfari, but never got very far. (I've only added 40 odd books to my shelf so far.) LibraryThing also did interest me, but there's a limit of 200 books that you can catalog if you're using a free account.

Right now I'm using a little Python script to catalog books on the computer. It is command line and a bit of a chore to work with, but it's been working fine for me so far. But at the same time, I've gone back to using the good old pen and paper method just in case the computer decides to go on a holiday (which it did recently).

PS. That's four BTTs in a row now, but not even a single book review in over a month. Maybe I should spend less time blogging and more time reading.


Marg said...

The spreadsheets I use include both what I read and what I own for the exact reasons you mention!

BTW, I have been in a reviewing slump myself! I just posted one today, and it feels like such an achievement!

GeraniumCat said...

I'm listing the books I've read on my blog, though I might do it in Excel as well - I've only recently started to do it systematically. I catalogue the books I own on Library Thing, which helps me to keep track of them.

heather (errantdreams) said...

I would love to be all organized about my books... but organization of something ongoing requires memory, so you can remember to keep new incoming books organized. That kind of leaves me out...

gautami tripathy said...

I find the paper-pen cataloguing any day better!

Booking through Cataloguing

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