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Topic: How do you keep track of your books

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Holly B. - ,
Subject: How do you keep track of your books
Date Posted: 7/13/2010 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 437
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My books are killing me.  Between  mass market, oversized mass market, trade sized and hard cover, not to mention ebook formats, how do you know what you have versus what you want?  Of course I'm assuming that you care, I know some people recycle, resell their books as soon as they've finished reading, but I talking to the rest of us "hoarders".  I was doing ok with print books by just keeping them in alphabetical order in boxes but them I started buying anthologies and ebooks.  I really like to read series.  Many of the series that I was trying to follow would publish a short story and I would get a copy only to find I already had it in another version or an earlier anthology or a different format.  Nothing makes me crazier than to find that I've already read something when I thought I was getting a new "story".  Then there's the series that can can have years between books.

Anyway now I've been keeping track of everything on a spreadsheet so I can list stories in collections, series in order, same book but retitled, same book but reissued, etc.  It also allows me to sort by author or title or collection or date or whatever.  I'd really like to hear from people as to their "systems" of keeping inventory.  I don't mean on someone else's site like pbs or goodreads or shelfari but on your computer or whatever.  Anyone have a recommendation for (good or bad) software package?  I'd like to be able to update my information more automatically from the various book databases.  I've looked at calibre but based on the discussions on mobilereads it sound like a person would need a lot of computer savvy to work with it.  All suggestions welcomed~

Date Posted: 7/13/2010 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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I posted this in another thread here in this forum:

I did not care for the online things, because I do not want to always login somewhere just to see my own list of books. I went with free software that suits my needs. It has several things that I have kind of repurposed... like you can have the publisher name, but that is not important to me, so I put in that section "Own-Yes" or "Own-No". I don't usually have trouble remembering if I've read a book based on the description but did decide, after buying two books twice, that I needed to keep track of what I own and what I do not own. :) The software is BookDB2 from Spacejock Software. It's free, if I didn't say that already... And I did use an Excel spreadsheet to type in all my titles and authors and such, and then imported that data to the program. It works great for me.

I am still using that program and it still does exactly what I want. :) You can do backups, too, which I like.

ETA: You can import from LibraryThing, I think, too.  Here is the link for information on the program: http://www.spacejock.com/BookDB.html

Last Edited on: 7/13/10 4:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/13/2010 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Date Posted: 7/13/2010 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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I use the Notes here with PBS to remind myself if I have the same book with a new ISBN or if I have it in ebook, etc. Also I use goodreads to list ALL my books, whether ebook or print.

Date Posted: 7/13/2010 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2008
Posts: 120
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I use Fiction DB and also LibraryThing. I also have a ScanCat scanner so when I get a lot books piled up I can scan them into my accounts and put them into categories myself :)


Date Posted: 7/13/2010 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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i am using Goodreads.

Date Posted: 7/13/2010 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I use Lotus Approach which is a database but after losing all my information in 2008 when my computer crashed I rebuilt much of my list on Approach again as well as LibraryThing. It's a little extra work to have it in 2 places but I feel safer. I figure I have to log into my computer anyway so what's another log-in at LT.

LT will flag on me if I enter a duplicate (which I seem to have plenty of.....) plus it will show the series a book might belong to along with where it stands in the series - I think the other sites like GoodReads have similar set-ups. I'm also tracking my SERIES books (e.g. Palmer's Long, Tall Texans; or Kleypas' Wallflower series, Patterson's Women's Murder Club etc) at fictfact.com which is terrific. I know, a lot of computer backing & forthing but I'm always online anyhow.

I think there is much positive in any site people use and you have the extras like having book covers show up all over the place with the online places - sometimes a title will elude me but as soon as I see the cover I'll know I have the book. Strangely enough I don't use PBS for any kind of tracking. I have a reminder list but it's there mainly to check how many of a certain book are in the system. I don't have any tags, or anything like that here.

Date Posted: 7/14/2010 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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Last Edited on: 8/15/10 1:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/14/2010 7:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2006
Posts: 173
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I use romance database of Byron Reference; it is a subscription service/software, but comes preloaded will all (okay most) information on books included author, publisher, description, related books, pen names, etc.  The database goes back decades, and is updated with newly published books every month or so.  You can keep you own notes, read status, various lists, etc.  Once you get over the initial cost ($120) the annual updates are affordable ($30).  I've had it for years.

Date Posted: 7/14/2010 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,551
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I just use the TBR list on PBS, and I have my bookshelves organized by genre... makes it fairly easy to find what I'm looking for... Neat bookshelves work.   I'm not a "techie" sort of person, so a spreadsheet would be a total headache for me.

I use the reminder list for the stuff I like & will "get to eventually".

IDK... it works for me :)   (And my TBR is 600+)

Date Posted: 7/14/2010 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't reread so I trade or donate anything I've read.  But I have a TBR of about 900.  I use the PBS TBR pile, goodreads and fictfact.com.  You can really log TBR books into fictfact but it helps keep track of which series books you've read and what books are next.  I like using the PBS TBR  pile because you can search key words, author name and it also denotes WL books.  I like goodreads because I can make my own shelves and lists there.  Like I have a 1st in a series shelf, 2nd, 3rd etc, a Next and Stand Alone shelves.  I'm going to use those lists to help me sort my books when I unpack them for moving.  My method of sorting by author last name isn't working for me anymore although It would if I bought another bookshelf but I'm trying to avoid doing that.  But right now I can't go by author last name and have maximum capicity on my shelves with trades, hardcovers and mmps.  I end up with mmps from 1 letter stacked in front of trades and hardcovers of another letter.  Alpha by title won't work either because I need to line the  backs with large books and stack the mmps in front. 

Holly B. - ,
Subject: Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond.
Date Posted: 8/1/2010 12:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 437
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For now I've decided to keep using my spreadsheet.  Every software program I looked at had more drawbacks than advantages.  I do "hear" all of what you've said about online sites, just very wary of losing my data.  Thanks again & if anyone has more information and want to post it here or pm me, I'd appreciate it.  Happy  reading.