LibraryThing 📚

On 25th November 2011 I paid the princely sum of $25 for lifetime membership of LibraryThing. At the time I think there was a free membership with a limit on the number of books logged. Although I hadn’t yet reached that limit I wanted to support the developers because I was making good use of the site.

When I first joined, a couple of years earlier, my need to catalogue things had been there for a while. I stumbled across LibraryThing when I was looking at options for cataloguing books. This was in a world before Goodreads. To begin with, I took some time to try to remember everything I’d read. Of course I must have missed some titles but I’m confident I remembered the most important. Aside from some guessed reading years I think My library is pretty accurate.

Collections are one way to organise your books. Currently I use collections to differentiate between fiction and non-fiction. I also use them to indicate ownership status and to highlight favourites. LibraryThing also offers tags which I use to record whether a book has been read and if so in what year. I also use tags to identify genre (or subject in the case of non-fiction), format, and what I want to do with a book after I’ve read it.

It’s always a work in progress though. I like to tinker with the structure and organisation. At the moment I’m cleaning it up (again), ensuring that media for each title is correct, book covers are accurate and publication dates are the original ones. I’m also updating the tags I use.

Since joining I’ve started to use Epilogue to track books I finish and, following the example of others on and elsewhere on the web, I now have a reading page and another which lists books I’ve finished by year. At some point I’d like to add some sort of rating system.

It’s over 11 years since I became a lifetime member. I’m very happy with the site and although I’ve been tempted to migrate over to Goodreads a few times I’m very glad I stuck with it - Amazon already owns enough of me and LibraryThing looks more indie web anyway!

Paul McCafferty @paulmccafferty