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.