Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Cataloging sites

Do you keep track of the books you read?  And if so, do you use an online cataloging site?

I've kept track of the books I've read since I was a kid.  Back when we were in elementary school my sister and I started listing the books we read -- an offshoot from one of our favorite games, "Library."  (Almost all of our childhood picture books have crayon-drawn library "stamps" from when we took turns checking books in and out and recording them accordingly.)  For years, I kept notebooks and dutifully recorded what I'd read, the date I finished it, and my personal rating for it.

But some point some years ago I came across LibraryThing and GoodReads.  Being the exploratory and book-obsessed person that I am, I signed up for both of them and have used them both intermittently.  They are both online cataloging systems, where you can not only keep track of your own "have read, am reading, want to read" lists, but also see what others are reading too.

Lest you think it's odd to catalog books online, there are actually a lot of good reasons to explore these sites.  You can remind yourself of what you've read, and look back to see your own reading patterns, pace, etc.  You can find other readers who like the same sorts of things you do, and you can get book recommendations based on what you've already read.  You can read and write reviews, and keep an easily accessible list (say, from your Iphone when you're standing in the library or a bookstore trying to remember what it was you wanted to look for) of what you want to read.

I've loved both sites, for different reasons.  But really, I'm thinking it's kind of silly to be using both. So which one to choose?

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