We’ve all been there. Standing in our favorite used book store, or carefully hunting through Barnes and Noble, or even perusing our local library. We see a book that looks amazing and we buy it and bring it home and slide it on our shelf (or stack it next to our full bookcases…) only to realize at some distant point in the future that we already had a copy.
I finally had enough of trying to remember which books I owned and which I didn’t. Plus, I’m a total control freak and list connoisseur so not having a record of my books was about to drive me crazy. A few years ago I’d tried to make an excel spreadsheet that had the book’s title, author, series or standalone, and ‘status’ (ie. read or unread), but it was a bear to keep up with and a book haul or two later it was beyond updating.
So this time around I knew that I needed some sort of online database or app to help me keep track. Basically, I wanted something to do half of the work for me and make it appealing to keep up with.
I had three main requirements:
1. I needed to be able to upload my books quickly and easily. Scanning capabilities preferred!
2. I needed to be able to mark whether my books were ‘read’ or ‘unread’
3. I needed to be able to access my book list on my phone, whether through an app or in the browser.
I scoured the internet and read a ton of articles about keeping track of books and settled on Libib. Libib has both an app and a website, the ability to mark the status of your books and add different tags and categories, and a built-in scanning feature.
The scanning feature is AHMAZING. If you’ve got a lot of books scanning the barcode is going to save you sooooo much time it’s ridiculous. But make sure you pay attention when you’re scanning. Every now and then one of my books would scan incorrectly and I’d have to delete it and re-scan…
But most of the time when I re-scanned it still popped up wrong. When I first started scanning books I would just enter an errant scan manually, typing the book title and author in by hand. Then I realized you can type the ISBN in when you’re on the scanner screen! That’s was a huge plus because I have a fair amount of used books with stickers over the barcode and a handful of books that were so old they didn’t have barcodes at all.
It only took me a couple of hours to get all my books added. I started to edit the status of my books (whether they were read or not) and tag my reference copies from school and work, but it was pretty slow going on my phone. I popped the website up on my computer and found it was much, much easier to alter books on the website.
And now… now I will shame myself.
I currently own 523 books and I’ve only read… wait for it… 137. To be fair at least 21 of those books are reference, which makes it better right? RIGHT?