Monday, July 16, 2007

200 Book Limit? Please.

My sister-in-law just turned me on to my latest hobby: LibraryThing. It's a way of cataloguing, rating, and reviewing the books in your library. The other fun part, of course, is getting to see the catalogs of people who have done the same. With luck, you can find your reading soulmates who will eagerly join you in a debate on whether Maddie in Tell Me Lies is Too Stupid to Live and happily provide a lifetime of spot-on reading recommendations.

The system lets you call up the databases at, the Library of Congress, and other sites to add to your catalog, but the interface is a little clunky. There doesn't seem to be a way of adding more than one book by an author at a time. So if you want to, say, list every book Barbara Hambly ever wrote (damn, she's prolific), you have to link them one by one, tediously scrolling through the same screens again and again.

The biggest catch, the one they're counting on, natch, is that only the first 200 listings are free. What avid reader, the kind who would be interested in this kind of site, could stop at 200? It's like telling King Kong he can only climb to the third floor of the Empire State Building. I've barely begun to scratch the surface of my wall o' paperbacks and I'm just about at the limit already. *sigh* I have a feeling $25 of my hard-earned dollars will soon be winging their way to the geniuses who started this genius idea.

I'll be adding to my catalog sporadically as time and attention span permit. If you want to see what I've read and am hanging onto, visit the site and look for MuseofIre.

Edited July 18 to add: Yup, had to cave and pay for the lifetime membership. Am up to almost 400 books. Also joined up to get the chance to receive advance copies of new books to review. If I ever receive two books, there's my membership paid for.


Jill said...

To further prove the value of LibraryThing as a networking tool, I just visited your blog because of an overlap in our collections. Between LibraryThing and Blogspot, you can meet all kinds of people!

Muse of Ire said...

Great to hear from you, Jill. Just took a quick look at your blog and LT profile, and I'm sure I'll be visiting again. I see you're even a Philadelphian -- we could meet IRL! And may I add what excellent taste in books you've got ;-}