Finally signed up with a few days ago. My USB barcode scanner arrived today, which sped up the cataloging process a bit. I’ve seen complaints from folks that their scanners “don’t work”; I have to wonder if they are scanning the UPC code on books where the UPC doesn’t encode the ISBN; for years, the ISBN barcode printed on the inside front cover.

I was reminded why I don’t much like PHP, though, when the LibraryThing web page spewed at me: “Warning: session_start(): open(/var/lib/php/session/sess_blah, O_RDWR) failed: No space left on device (28) in /var/www/html/home.php on line 17…”

Steve Burnett November 17, 2011 13:29

I’ve been trying to decide how best to catalog my library, especially now that I finally broke down and ripped the CD collection. I’ve looked at LibraryThing.

Michael K Johnson November 17, 2011 13:33

I have only one real complaint so far, which is that it doesn’t highlight duplicates while presenting candidates matching a search. That’s a problem when the library gets resorted by the rest of the family while you are cataloging! I don’t see the dups until after entering them, and deleting them is slower than not adding them, and when things are working well (ISBNs being found) it’s easy to miss the notice of duplicate ISBNs.

Tanner Lovelace November 17, 2011 16:53

I’ve got most of my CDs and DVDs and some of my books in Delicious Library. It does a really good job of scanning barcodes using the built in camera on my MacBook Pro.

Michael K Johnson November 18, 2011 20:46

+Tanner Lovelace FWIW I’m not sure I’m ready to use LibraryThing as another social media site—I’ve never been on facebook or twitter, and didn’t start using LinkedIn until I was writing recommendations for ex-coworkers… Mostly I just want an online catalog that I don’t have to maintain and deal with backups, and hand-entering a few books might make things easier for the next person who comes along… ☺

Steve Burnett November 20, 2011 09:49

A couple of years ago when I looked into solutions, the two recommended by friends (one a professor and academic researcher, the other with a very large spec-fic collection) the first used Readerware, and the second had switched to LibraryThing from a custom dBaseIII+ app he’d been using. RW was extremely customizable, and LT was good for exports. The second said LT had trouble working smoothly with multiple editions of the same title at the detail level he preferred, but that was addressable with comments for him. I should revisit the tools and get started as the collection isn’t going to catalog itself, or shrink and make the curation easier.

Michael K Johnson November 20, 2011 15:49

+Steve Burnett In the weeks between getting married and getting my first job, I decided to write a custom book catalog application for Linux. I wrote a database schema, then spent a day reading up on curses (this wasn’t recent!). The next day, there was an advertisement for a job that required curses expertise, so I applied and was hired.

Somehow, I never got back to writing that catalog application.

My first test for LT was to enter a few dozen books in and then look at the exports. Seeing CSV, TSV, and MARC as export options gave me more confidence to use LT; if I decide I don’t like it later, I can check out. But I like it enough so far to have bought a “lifetime” membership.

Steve Burnett November 20, 2011 22:06

When I looked at LT in 2009 I recall one of the reasons I didn’t like it was the lack of a lifetime membership. So I just signed up for one thanks to you mentioning it. Spiffy!

Karen Storey November 24, 2011 12:42

I’ve been a member of Library Thing for several years. Not for cataloging my personal library, but it’s a good place for me to record what I’ve read and reference books I’ve found useful and what I want to read.

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