Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Book Suggestions from LibraryThing

LibraryThing is a website where members can make a catalog of the books they own. Anyone can easily sign up for a free account, add up to 200 books by title, author or ISBN (international standard book number) and produce a rudimentary library catalog of their very own book collection which can then be searched and shared with other people on the website. After 200 books there is a nominal fee charged to the user. LibraryThingers (LibraryThingites?) can also see which other users own the same books. Members can review and rate books. Books can be tagged with subject terms which makes the books searchable by that term.
I couldn't really imagine that there would be so many people out there who wanted to catalog their books, but there are currently almost 250,000 users who have collectively entered almost 17 million books into the website. LibraryThing offers many features that result from all this classifying and organizing of books. Under "Zeitgeist" it lists the most popular books, the most reviewed books, the biggest collections: one user has almost 15,000 books cataloged.
The website describes itself like this:
"If you want it, LibraryThing is also an amazing social space, often described as "MySpace for books" or "Facebook for books." You can check out other people's libraries, see who has the most similar library to yours, swap reading suggestions and so forth. LibraryThing also makes book recommendations based on the collective intelligence of the other libraries."
One feature not to miss is the book suggestions. Enter a title and lists of similar titles or works you might like pop up.

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