Book Cataloging, Are You Doing It?

October 7, 2016 Reading 0

I saw an article a little while ago about various ways to catalog books and it’s honesty not something I’ve thought about before.

My bookcase ranges from very organised to very messy every few weeks and that seemed like for than enough effort for me without having to make a catalog of all my books too.

But then the article mentioned apps, and I don’t know about you but I LOVE apps! If there is an app that will somehow make my life a little easier, even in the smallest of ways, then I have it! So I did a bit of searching, downloaded about twenty different cataloging apps (and then realised this was way too many and brought it down to just 3!) and tried them all out so I could give you my opinion on which one is the best!

What Do I Want From the App?

  • Firstly I want it to be free. I’ve not got tons of money and I knew that there would be more than enough free options available .
  • I want to be able to see which books I have as physical books and which are eBooks.
  • I want to be able to filter my books and look at them by genre
  • I want to be able to see which books I have on my shelf and which I have lent out to people and when.

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Library Thing

Does it have what I want?

  • Free? Yes
  • Book format? Yes
  • Filter by Genre? No
  • Check out books? No (but could write it in comments)

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Things I Liked:

Firstly this app had it’s own barcode scanner, for free which works really well and is super speedy (as long as you have a good internet connection!) but if you don’t have a barcode on your book then you can also search for the book instead. Also on this app you are able to edit the book cover so if you don’t like the featured one, or your copy is different then you can take a picture of another cover and use that instead.

Things I Didn’t Like:

There is a lot of information you can edit on this app (see list below) which some people may love, but for me it was just WAY too much. To edit you are taken to a new page on which everything is tiney tiny and if you are using it on your phone it meas a lot of zooming in and fidling with tiny boxes. I updated everything I could but was disappointed to see that only a 3 of things came through and everything else I would have to view on the page with tiny text!

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Editable info on this appcover, title, author, tags, your rating, your review, other authors, media (format)-tons of choice, pub date, publisher, isbn, number of volumes, number of copies, pagination, dimensions, language (primary, secondary, original), reading dates, date acquired, classification, comments, identifiers (barcode, ean, BCID etc)

My Rating & Reasons Why:

3-star

I couldn’t arrange it by genre nor did it let me “check out” lent books. I found editing information really difficult with the tiny text. Plus WAY too much information for just one book!

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Book Buddy

Does it have what I want?

  • Free? Yes
  • Book format? Yes
  • Filter by Genre? Yes
  • Check out books? Yes

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Things I Liked (Sorry, there’s a lot!):

Multiple ways to add a new book: scanner, search online and add manually. All of which are super easy to use.

You can change the book cover image. But they actually provide you with different images for it (eg. the different editions) so you don’t have to search online and find it yourself. You can also use your own photo if you want.

Everything I wanted to know about my book was there and easy to edit. There are default fields that automatically appear with the book and then others which you can add (see list below). The list of fields you can add is pretty substantial so you could think I’m going to complain about too much information again, but I got to actually choose which field I wanted, so it didn’t feel like too much at any point.

There were so many ways to view my books: by title, author, genre, tags (that I created), rating…basically any field that you have added to your books you can search for them by that!

You can add books that you have borrowed (from the library or friends) to the ‘Borrowed’ option which is pretty cool. The app also has a ‘Wish List’ which you can add books to by barcode scanning, searching online or adding manually. This would be perfect for a bookstore trip!

You can link the app and your list to a dropbox account, so it automatically saves there, no hassle on your half.

As well as viewing your own information, there is an option to view ‘Online Info’ which when clocked on takes you to Google Books, and shows you tons of reviews and ratings from other people who have read the book.

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Things I Didn’t Like:

Only one thing, I couldn’t figure out how to remove a field once I had added it to the book. I think that this is something that you can only do with the full app (which costs £3.99). To get around this with the free app I had to delete the book and then re-add it to my list.

Sometimes when you search for a book (to add) it brings up the same book multiple times. I was slightly confused at first why this was and which one I was meant to choose I quickly discovered that whichever one you clicked on didn’t matter because they all ended up selected but would appear as just 1 boo on my library. I think maybe they were different editions?

Editable info on this appcover, title, favourite, series, subtitle, author, publisher, genre, rating, status, loaned to (can chose phone contact or add a name), date added to library, tags, notes
All of the above are default fields but the following additional fields can be added:
illustrator, narrator, translator, date published, edition, editor, summary, guided reading level, lexile measure, grade level equivalent, DRA, interest level, word count, original title, number of pages, format, dimensions, weight, list price, language, dewey decimal, LCC, OCLC, physical location, quantity, condition, reconmend by, purchase date, purchase place, purchase price

My Rating & Reasons Why:

5-star

It has everything I wanted. It is clear any easy to use, looks nice and has bonus stuff on it which I never even thought of but LOVE!

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Libib

Does it have what I want?

  • Free? Yes
  • Book format? No
  • Filter by Genre? No
  • Check out books? No (but could write it in notes)

libib-1 libib-3

Things I Liked:

It looks nice and is pretty easy to use.

You can add reviews to each book which would be great for remembering what you thought of each book if you can’t remember.

The app is also great for cataloging your movies or games.

Things I Didn’t Like:

There is the option to scan, but if don’t want to or can’t scan the barcode of your book (eg. ebook) then you have to enter the information manually. There is no other option and it takes ages.

There are no book covers, nor any option to add any kind of image to your book.

There are not enough options for information to add (see options below). Even basic of things like book format or date read.

There is the option to allocate each book a group, which I used for genres, and it does list them alphabetically by genre/group, but they are not separated in anyway so the different groups don’t stand out, it’s just one big list and so the grouping just doesn’t help in the slightest.

libib-4 libib-2

Editable info on this apptitle, author, description, ISBN 13, ISBN 10, Pages, Publisher, Date Published, status (read/unread), rating, number of copies, notes, review

My Rating & Reasons Why:

1-star

I don’t feel like this app would be useful in the slightest. It would take me forever to add all my eBooks to it manually and even then it doesn’t feature any of the information that I would want or find useful.

My Thoughts Overall

The above thoughts for each app are mine alone and are based on what I would be looking for in an app, however I do think that from my thoughts you are able to see all the various features of all three apps and what does and doesn’t work.

For my Book Buddy was the stand out app by far. It had everything that I wanted, plus more. But even my favourite app came with it’s drawbacks and there are a few minor limitations that can only be fixed by paying for the full app. At the beginning of this post I said that I wanted a free app, but looking at Book Buddy and seeing just how useful it is I would be happy to pay the £3.99 in order to fix this minor thing should it become more problematic down the line.

Libib just felt empty of anything helpful and was about as useful as a list of books written on a piece of paper. But it was laid out nice and easy to use, unlike Library Thing which I found fiddly and hard to use when it came to editing my options on a page with tiny writing.

These are only 3 apps of many and if you are wanting to start cataloging your books using an app I would definitely suggest downloading a couple and having a play before committing to one to make sure you find the best fit!

Do you catalog your books? Do you use an app?

If not, would you consider using any of these? Which one?

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