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LibraryThing.com Review

March 25th, 2008

library-thing.gifThis article by Ashley Ludwig is a review of the website LibraryThing.com, an open source book sharing platform that allows readers and collectors of books to share their personal favorites with other literary enthusiasts.


The Thing is no longer just the infamous billboards that grace I-10 between the Arizona and New Mexico borders, but a craze that is sweeping the nation’s bibliophiles.

Created by Tim Spalding, who keeps an interesting and informative blog on the site, LibraryThing.com is a phenomenon in its own right. LibraryThing.com is a unique open access website that allows its members to catalog, review, share, and discuss their personal library shelves with the world at large. The novice user can upload 200 titles for free, unlimited titles for $10 a year, or for a $25 investment, users can register an unlimited number of texts in their online library for life. The question remains, how does this website benefit the average book lover?

Through the magic of a highly functional online application, users simply copy the ISBN (International Book Serial Number), or Title/Author combination of the books within the collection, and LibraryThing.com searches out the matching bibliographic data that is available from libraries worldwide. A savvy user can determine which libraries or websites to draw from, limiting your choices to your top three selections. Your online library and profile is created and then the fun really starts.

According to the site, users can enter books they’re reading or their whole library in an easy, library quality catalog to connect users with people who read the same things. With the novel use of tagging and word-clouds, site users and visitors can find out which topics, titles and authors are all the rage across the globe. Titles are matched to cover images, and if no image is provided, users are encouraged to scan in and post their own cover images to share with the general LibraryThing population.

LibraryThing.com encourages users to generate their own reviews and even acknowledges well-written or starred reviews for other users to read. The user friendly platform allows users to easily tag their titles with keywords. The tags then allow you to search comparative titles within their growing database of books and can be viewed in the general Zeitgeist section of the site, which needs to be viewed for its wealth of information. Users can also rate the books in their collection and arrange bibliographic information in predetermined formats or in a unique manner. In the spirit of the open source movement, users can also share titles with other members, and ultimately join forums of discussion on an array of topics.

Whether for personal or professional use, LibraryThing.com is a tool that is changing the way that people interact with books and fellow book lovers online. It’s definitely worth the trip.



2 Responses to “LibraryThing.com Review”

  1. comment number 1 by: turnem

    these are some great tips thanks for sharing

  2. comment number 2 by: Christina

    This site is so informative. Thanks!

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