I like books. My mom used to take me to used bookstores, where we would trade in a whole laundry basket of dad's used sci-fi & fantasy books and I could spend the credit. When I was having a rough year at BYU and things weren't going well, one of the places I took solace was a used bookstore there. The smell of old books, the stacks of volumes not as neatly arrayed as Barnes & Noble or Borders, the joy of discovering a secret backroom and some great old book about Freemasons or something - these are what I love about used bookstores. I like new bookstores, too. I like that you can (in the right section, anyway) pull a random volume off the shelf, sit down and start learning about something new. I've always felt you could learn a lot about people by looking at their bookshelves, and have occasionally been guilty of 'bookshelf cultivation'.
There's a couple of ways to catalog/cultivate your book collections online. For a while, I tried reader2, but the interface is weird & nonintuitive, and it wasn't doing it for me. It's been around for years, but I finally got around to trying LibraryThing last night and so far I like it much better. I added a little widget over on the right that'll show a few random book covers from my library. Obviously, I've only cataloged/tagged a small portion of my books (mostly those I can see on my work bookshelf), but its the kind of information organization that appeals to me, so there'll probably be some more additions, at least until I hit the 100-book free limit. Its the kind of thing I might even dish out the $25 lifetime fee for, in part to support small-business web development and in part because its useful to me.
I'd like to hear from some of you about your bookshelves, favorite bookstore experiences, and other bibliophilic errata.
edit: Also, I know there's tons more of these 'put your books on the web' things, like Shelfari and others. Anyone have any experience with those? like them? think I should use them instead of LibraryThing?
6 days ago