If not an online catalog, do you use any other method to catalog your book collection? Excel spreadsheets, index cards, a notebook, anything?One of my favorite procrastination strategies is spending time with my book lists. Whether it be cataloging, reorganizing my own shelves or browsing other people's libraries online. Lately though it seems I end up playing Big Money (have no fear, there's no real money involved). What I should be doing perhaps is continue with adding old reviews to my LibraryThing catalog and update my tags.
Last year about this time, I decided to give LibraryThing a try after hearing so much about it. I spent part of my holiday vacation logging in my books by hand, over a 1000 all together. I had considered Shelfari at the time as well, but it did not quite meet my expectations. Only recently did I finally cave in and join Shelfari too because so many of my friends prefer it. I fought joining for so long because I did not want another book catalog to have to keep up and because it lacks features that I really want in an online cataloging site. I cannot promise I will stick to Shelfari, but for now, I am giving it a try. I was quite disappointed when my entire library from LibraryThing could not be imported over to Shelfari. Luckily, Shelfari made a list of all the books it could not add, and so if ever I decide to take the time, I may go back and add some of those by hand. One of those activities to do when procrastination sets in perhaps.
I tried Goodreads for a couple of months at the invitation of a friend and was not too impressed in the end and ended up canceling my account. Of all three of the book cataloging sites I have tried, I still favor LibraryThing. It may not be as pretty, but it does have the most useful features, at least in terms of what I am looking for and want in a site for keeping tabs of my books. LibraryThing is easier to navigate when I want to look at books with certain tags, tag multiple books at once, and pull up various lists based on criteria I am interested in searching under. And of course, the Early Review program is a big bonus. I have thrown my name in for several selections since the program began and been chosen to review a number of books so far.
Besides the online catalogs, I also keep an Excel spreadsheet of all the books in my TBR collection. As soon as a new book comes into my house, it gets logged onto both LibraryThing and my Excel spreadsheet. Sure, it's double duty, but I find both catalogs useful in their own ways, and I do not mind the extra effort. Whereas LibraryThing is a record of nearly all of the books in my home library, TBR books included, my Excel spreadsheet is a list of only my TBR collection (divided by genre or category). I also have my book wish list which is also on an Excel spreadsheet. Wish list books, or books I want to read but do not have on hand, should not to be confused with TBR books, which are books I already own but have yet to read. Of course, there is also my reading journal and the Table of Contents page on Excel I keep of my journal entries on each book. There's a new page for each year.
Online cataloging sites are known for the sense of community and most include groups and discussion threads that make sharing a love for books even that more interesting. Which reminds me, I think I will mosey on over to LibraryThing and see what I have missed so far this week . . .