25 December, 2006

Library Thing

My library is being cataloged online. I am almost finished. I still have a few shelves around the house to do as well as my antiquarian books. They will have to be entered manually. I paid $25 for a lifetime membership to librarything and would recommend it for anyone that has more than $500 dollars worth of books (which most Reformed Christians do). Check it out- it is quite fun and addicting!


Droll Flood said...

I eyed over the site...

You're blowing your time unto what end? I really fail to see the point/ benefit of this idea. This seems to me a thing for people to get a fat head and gloat that they have more books, more obscure books, etc. than others. Have they read them? What of those people that don't want to spend their precious time logging their books?

You've lost me on this one, Nate...

Nate said...


It is useful for 3 reasons:
1. Inventory of the books that you own. It is important to keep an organized library.
2. Having a catalog so that when you lend a book to a friend you can take not of who has it and when they took it.
3. Insurance company record in case of fire. How many people could list every book they own to an insurance adjuster for payment after a fire?

A one time $25 payment is worth it for these three reasons.

Anonymous said...

And, of course, bragging rights. I'd think it'd be great for checking if you own a book before buying it... I've made that mistake a few times. Looks nice.

Nate said...

I would have added
4. Checking books that you own from the bookstore.

The problem is accessing the internet from the bookstore- maybe that is a good enough excuse to get a blackberry!

Mark said...

Y'know, considering that the blackberry would keep you from buying dupes, thu saving you money, it'd be almost irresponsible not to get one.

James w. said...

i think you're out-thinking yourself this time, flood. if books are a hobby, which is perfectly fine, then cataloging them is pretty much essential. people will have a fat head whether they do it or not. if you don't want to spend your time on it, don't do it. i'd recommend you do it if you have lots of books.

i like the zeitgeist page... it's a sad commentary that there are half a million more fiction books than any other genre. and that the top 6 titles are all harry freaking potter.

Droll Flood said...

-I already have $2000+ books insured and I don't need to publish the books to the world.

"if you don't want to spend your time on it, don't do it."
-Sure won't...

"if books are a hobby, which is perfectly fine, then cataloging them is pretty much essential."

-Doesn't necessarily follow but it is useful to keep track of what you own, being a shrewd part-Dutch man, I don't need to pay $25 to do this.

-If books are a hobby? You mean collecting without necessarily reading them? If you're not reselling them, what a waste!

-It isn't inherent that any partaker of this website has a fat head, but certainly they don't have a fat wallet, given they're out 25 bucks!

"i think you're out-thinking yourself this time, flood."
-What else is new....

Rob Somers said...

Certainly there is a need to catalogue a library after a certain amount of books. Not sure of what that magic number might be, but I am guessing it might be around the number of books I have or larger. Don't ask how many books that is, as I am not intending to count them right now. I will say that I have less than Nate.

The reason why it is useful to catalogue them is that it gets hard to remember what you have on a given subject. As a pastor (pastor in training, if you wish), Nate has as good of a reason as any lawyer or medical doctor to have a large collection of books.

The only thing I have against Library Thing is that there seems to be no provision made for a subject search. For example, if I search Nate's library with the terms 'Extent of Atonement', it returns nothing, yet I know that he owns books which deal with the subject. If it had that functionality, it would be a steal to be able to list a library for $25

That said, Library Thing is still a very useful service for the reasons which have been mentioned already by other posters.

Nate said...


That is great that your books are insured- but could you name them all in case of a fire. As someone with a history of house fire- the insurance company makes you list everything that was damaged, price paid, and replacement cost. I could not do that in a million years- even if I only had 50 books!

Rob Somers

The section called 'tags' will do this. I will have to set it up myself. Overtime I am hoping to fill this with much useful information. Example- sermon books will have each text preached on listed in the tags section. This would make it a very useful search engine for sermon making- both for me and other men who are called to preach.

Rob Somers said...

The section called 'tags' will do this

Ah, thanks for the heads up. With this feature, I have decided to pay the one time fee and catalogue my books over time then as well. Very good indeed.