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Monday, May 16, 2011

Media Monday- LibraryThing

What’s on your bookshelf?

LibraryThing is used by its members to store and share book catalogs on-line. It is also a social cataloging web application where the members can communicate with other members and can join different groups.  It is based in PortlandMaine, and went live in 2005.

LibraryThings primary feature is cataloging books.  Members can add books to their catalog by typing in book information such as the ISBN and downloading the books information from an online source, you can manually enter books information or you can import information.  The import feature allows you to import books from your wish list so you can track those too.

LibraryThing also gives you some interesting statistics and facts about your library.  We have 2968 books in currently in our collection, out of those books 2936 are distinct works, 2023 are in English, 3 are in Urdu and one is in Italian (I have some Turkish books, but they are translations of English books, so they seem to be considered with the English books.) Out of our collection 1420 were published between 2000 and 2009.  If our collection was stacked in one large stack it would be 281.1 feet tall, which is taller then the Taj Mahal, but shorter then Big Ben.  It would take 18.43 IKEA Billy bookcases to store them or 97.1 U-Haul book boxes or 5.9 bathtubs.

There are also Legacy Libraries which are the personal libraries of 188 famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members.  Here you can see if you share any books with these libraries and what those books are.  We share 46 books with Ernest Hemingway.  Also, it is interesting to note that everyone seems to have a copy of A History of The Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides.

You can join groups and ‘meet’ other LibraryThingers who share your interests.  Some popular groups are: Librarians Who LibraryThing, Science Fiction Fans, 50 Book Challenge, and the 75 Book Challenge.

I am a member of the 11 in 11 Category Challenge (read books in 11 categories in 2011, so far I have read 11 books in 3 of the categories, and almost finished a 4th.) I am also a member of the 75 books Challenge for 2011 (read 75 books in 2011), this is where I put books that don’t fit into one of my 11 for 11 categories, or if the category is finished. I am also a member of the Early Reviewers group.  Members of this group can sign up to get Advanced Reader Copies (ARC) of books each month.  If you are lucky enough to ‘win’ a book you just need to read and review it.  I have gotten some very nice books this way.

You can also take a peek at other member’s libraries.  One way to do this is pick the library of a member that has some of the same books that you have.  LibraryThing has a ‘members with your books’ feature so you just have to go to this section and click on the library that catches your eye.  Another way would be to pick a book that you like and look at the libraries of other people who also have the book.   If I have a really new or obscure book that I like and I am looking for something similar to read I will look at the libraries of some of the other people who also have the book.  Speaking of obscure books, they also tell you your “median/mean book obscurity”, ours is 107/878.

Do you want to know how many male or female authors you have? LibraryThing tells you! We have 835 male authors, 650 female, 2 ‘other’, 68 n/a and 337 that do not yet have a designation.  How about dead or alive?  70.78% of our authors are alive.  There is also ‘vous et nul autre’ or Books shared with exactly one member section which tells you what books in your library are shared by only one other person on LibraryThing.  We have about 45 books on this list.

So if you have a lot of books and want to keep track of them check out LibraryThing.  If you read a lot of books and want to keep track of them check out LibraryThing.  I know that there are several people who use it to track the books that they have checked out and read from the library.

You can also have the option to keep your library private.

Happy Reading!

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