As you can see from looking at this site, I’m a big fan of LibraryThing, which I honestly call the world’s greatest website. Perhaps it’s not good that I’m so obsessed with it. Since joining in May of 2008 I’ve catalogued all the books in my house, my ebooks, and other books I have read that I don’t own or have given away. I have also written reviews of every book I have read, as well as lots of older ones I had read before. I’m up to almost 1500 reviews.
There is another site you may be aware of called Goodreads, which is now owned by Amazon. Although I’m a great fan of Amazon, I am not a fan of Goodreads. First, it is just an ugly looking website. Where LibraryThing is elegant, a bit old-fashioned in its typography, Goodreads is just a slick, modern, boring site. I don’t get an ounce of pleasure from using it, although I am a member. On LibraryThing, I spend hours helping out as an amateur librarian, standardizing book titles, combining editions, combining authors (for instance an author who writes under several names), and generally making the site better for everyone. I am obsessive about making the cover of my book in LibraryThing match the cover on my actual copy (either physical or ebook). I have scanned in hundreds of covers myself.
So here’s my plea: If you are a Goodreads user, please take a few minutes and step up to LibraryThing. A lifetime membership is just $25 and it will reward you many times over. I would also suggest getting lifetime memberships now for your kids. It will encourage them to read and give them a place to record their thoughts on a lifetime of books. I only regret that LibraryThing wasn’t around so many years ago when I would lie in bed before breakfast on Saturday morning reading my latest Hardy Boys adventure, back when they were real books; not the rewritten, shorter travesties they publish today.
Your membership(s) will help to support a site that is not part of some corporate conglomerate. You’ll have the chance to score free books from their monthly giveaway. And you’ll end up loving it as much as I do. You can start using it and catalog a few books without a membership, by the way.
LibraryThing is constantly improving. It will also let you catalog music and movies if you want to do that. I haven’t done so yet, but I’m sure I will. Please check it out.