Jan 052013

scan0005 Friday I started on updating my Library Thing book database. For those of you unfamiliar with the Library Thing it is is an online service to catalog books where I can type in a title, author, or the ISBN number to enter a book. Sounds easy and it really is but – you knew the but was coming, lately I find it harder and harder to read the little ISBN numbers on the back of the books or correctly type in the title or author.  I searched for a solution – perhaps a bar code scanner?  They cost money.  I could order one reasonably priced from the Library Thing  but it would take awhile to arrive and I want instant gratification!

I tried one suggestion using my webcam with crummy results. Then it hit me. I wonder if there is an app for that? I searched the android market and found one that uses my cell phone camera to scan the ISBN number and then connects to the website. I downloaded the app and found it quite satisfactory.  It locks onto the ISBN bar code searches amazon, library of congress, or over 700 other databases and finds the book.  I hit the book on the list it comes up with and it automatically updates my Library Thing database.

The only snafu I ran into was with a book that was purchased by a friend in the United Kingdom and when the app searched the British Library it came up with zero matches. I finally ended up entering it and then editing the info directly via the internet. All and all I was pretty impressed. It sure was a time saver.

Every year I promise to add books as I finish reading them and I do so for a bit and then I get lazy about it.  I more than once have had to sit down and enter a lot of books. You think I would learn ha ha.  I have boxes of books ready to enter and more to read.  I have a closet with so many books stacked in it there is no room for anything else. I go back and forth whether or not to donate them or keep them. Keeping them has won out so far. I do not think there is a wall large enough for a bookshelf that would hold them all. Maybe if I just kept the autographed ones, my favorites, the rare ones .  …

My database has 400+ books in it.  I started entering books into it after a gave away most of my books and needed a way to keep track of what I was reading/had read so I did not repurchase a book I had already read.  Kind of a starting over thing. Well here is to hoping I can remember to keep up the database. I think it will be easier with the new app. I can scan the ISBN when I finish the book right then and there. Time will tell.

Here is a screen shot of some of my books covers I took today:


If you want to check my list out click on the widget at the bottom of the sidebar.




  9 Responses to “Is there an app for procrastination?”

Comments (8)
  1. That’s a big project! I was never a book keeper, just special or rare ones. I use Kindle now, so I can keep everything I read, it stores 3,000 books.

    • I do not know why I am a book keeper I guess it is a way of marking an accomplishment – dunno. I still have all my expensive and rare books stored safely in my friends storage unit. Not enough room here for them. Someday I hope we live somewhere where I can display them.

  2. And here I thought I was anal! I have seven bookcases/shelves, and I haven’t catalogued a one! I keep them for no known reason. I don’t have a nook, kindle, or smart phone, so I have no apps. I still go to the library rather than purchasing books, which I used to do — a lot. If I can get it for free, why pay? I’ve never counted the books I own, and I don’t keep track of the ones I read. If I re-read one, oh well, no problem. Is there something wrong with me? Here I am, an English major, a Masters in English, and a former English teacher, and I never kept such information. I never even knew I SHOULD have been keeping track. Oh, woe is I… You’ve put me to shame!

    • I purchase some of my books from the Goodwill and get many from friends that pass them along to me. One man that KRP works with is an avid reader and has similar likes in genre that I read for fun. I gave up checking them out of the library because I dislike driving there and would put off returning them.

      Re-reading is not really the issue. The classics are meant to be read and read again do you not think so? I am sure you do. For my non English major mind it is the waste of money I try and avoid. When I keep the list up others can find books for me. This may surprise you but I used to be able to remember.

      Many of my English teachers from grammar school thru college had us keep reading journals – maybe it is a west coast thing? My grandparents kept them when they were young in North Dakota, Oregon, Kansas.

  3. I miss my books… oh how I miss my books.

    I was “forced” to part with them when we moved. I had them all in a rented storage unit because they wouldn’t fit in the tin can. I had 972 at last count. I had them cataloged on a spreadsheet and was gradually getting them added on goodreads but failed miserably at that.

    If I lived in a situation where I could’ve kept them, I would’ve. I miss them every day. Not sure why but I do….

    • I have no idea how many books I have parted with through the years. They are fun to collect. When my closet starts over flowing like it is now I eventually end up donating them to the church or another non profit. My special coffee table, reference, and collectors stay in storage for now.

      I still have my first books from my childhood as my mom kept them safe and sound for me. What is it about books that we miss them when they are gone?

      • they are like old friends… something we can go back to for comfort… something we can open up and smell the pages. most especially those books that transported us to another place where we have fun or feel good or find comfort in… i miss those books

        • Yeah and they all have a different smell depending on the ink and paper used. I remember when we would order books at school – when they came we would all sniff away. When a catch that smell somewhere it takes me back.

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