Librarything.com

Librarything.com: add your books to an online database. You can see who else is reading the same books, and find out what’s similar. You can tag each book, and view everybody’s book by tag. Simple, yet brilliant. Also totally sodding addictive. The one problem is that it only just works atm.

For example, you enter books into the database via keywords which are used to search the US Library of Congress, and any of the Amazon flavours. I type the ISBN number and it works most of the time, but I couldn’t find Noughts and Crosses by any selection of keywords, and ended up entering it manually. The comma delimited tag handling isn’t perfect either – be sure to enter a space after each comma. Entering ‘monkeys,camels’ will work fine in some areas of the site, but will appear as one single tag in others.

These are minor glitches, though, and I think they’ll get sorted quickly. The site’s only been up and running for two weeks, and today Lifehacker linked to it, which must have put quite a strain on the server.

I’ve added a selection of the most easily accessible books from my room – the catalog is here. Note: entering ‘read’ as a tag is a bad idea, because it makes you realise quite how many books you never went back to…

Update: The Author Cloud page shows the authors in larger text sizes according to popularity, and is fascinating. Look at Douglas Adams and J.K. Rowling!