Continuing with my book month theme; today, and continuing next week I will review the two best social sites for book lovers. Amazon.com is the king of internet books sales and reviews, but it just doesn’t offer a satisfying social experience. LibraryThing.com and Good Reads on the other hand offer great tools for tracking your home library, reading lists and social experiences.
Library Thing calls itself a “home for your books,” and it is truly the best online tool for cataloging your home library. A free account allows you to enter up to 200 books, but a lifetime membership with unlimited entries is only $25. By far it has been the best $25 we’ve spent on the internet.
You enter books by ISBN or Library of Congress catalog number, or by a title search, or you can manually enter your books. You can add tags, ratings, reviews, and common knowledge such as characters and places to the entries. Ratings and reviews can easily be shared via Facebook, Twitter or an RSS feed.
As you enter your books they go into a personalized, searchable catalog like the one below. You can also add pictures of your collection and show off your library.
LibraryThing also has an early reviewers program where you can win free books. They ask that you review them in return, but it is not a requirement. I’ve been very pleased with their program, so far I’ve won 6 books. Including two very nice NOLO Legal Guides which retail for $20-30 each. Books ship from the publisher, and usually arrive in 2-3 weeks.
There are very cool Zeigeist’s on LibraryThing that list stats about your library and the entire site. It shows you how many books, tags and reviews you have, how many of those books are part of a series, lists characters and places that your books have in common and more. The site one lists things like the 25 most reviewed books, and largest librarys, most tags, etc.
LibraryThing has tons of fun statics and memes on your books. My favorite is Pages, dimensions and weight. Where you can find out, for instance that my library would fill 1.9 bathtubs, and is 0.0965% the circumference of earth if all the pages in all the books were laid end-to-end… and take a look at the chart they made of how high my books would be if put into a stack.
There are so many more features on LibraryThing; discussions, groups that host “do nothing but read days”, efforts to catalog legacy libraries, authors, lists of local book events and stores, widgets, clouds, backup features, you can even download all your book covers and turn them into a photomosaic, and they keep adding features. It is defiantly my favorite place on the web for books.
Coming next time my review of Good Reads.