I’ve had a LibraryThing account since 2007, and while I love it, I confess that my use is sporadic. That’s mostly because I look at that towering stacks on my built-in shelves and get giddy at the thought of hoisting myself upon my step-ladder to get tiles off the shelves for cataloging. So my new method is: add new titles immediately and add five more.
Now I don’t buy a whole lot of books anymore (particularly fiction). I use my local public library. It saves me money, and helps the circulation statistics of the library. Everybody wins! But, I hear you cry, then you’ll never add anything to your LT collection?
SO I have recently started to add titles that I’ve borrowed (from the library, from friends and family, or wherever), and simply added a notation ‘borrowed copy’ to indicate that I don’t personally own a copy. Now, for those who don’t know what LT is, it’s a site that allows to to catalog your books, write reviews and connect with readers who share your reading interests. It can be a good way to discover new titles. For example, I discovered a nice piece of historical fiction (one of my favoured genres) called Warrior of Rome through LT (which my local library happily also had on the shelves). Reviews, rating etc help you decide whether that unknown book might be worth trying.
LibraryThing offers budding reviewers the chance to receive free advance copies of titles for review. The selection for reviewers in Australia tends to be limited, and I’ve not yet been lucky enough to be selected, but I remain hopeful 🙂 In short, LT offers the bibliophile the chance with with like-minded readers regardless of geographical location. membership is free for libraries of 200 titles or less. I suspect that I will at some point pay for lifetime membership ($25 U.S, which entitles you to catalogue 5000 volumes).
Organisations pay the same price, so a small, specialist library might well consider using LT as its catalogue. Aside from price, the specialist may benefit from the LT network in building its collection.