I’ve used Library Thing to catalogue my books since about 2011 and I love it. I like the way the website looks and how it works and I love their stats pages – which tells me useless but fascinating stuff like that I need 5.08 Billy Bookcases if I want to shelve all my books and that if I stood them all up in one stack they’d be slightly taller than the Sphinx of Egypt but only about half as tall as the Statue of Liberty. That stuff’s great. Plus, they’re really good for events listings – book festivals, signings, author Q&As. I don’t get as much time to go to these things as I’d like, but this is definitely a good place to find out about them.
Hell, they even offer the occasional free early copy of new books for people to review. I’ve never done it because I’ve only been into sharing my reviews online fairly recently and because you need to be pretty quick off the mark to get a copy, but I think that’s a really cool service to offer your members. Maybe one day I’ll have a go.
The only place Library Thing really falls down is in its social media connectivity. Now, I don’t need it to be a social media platform, it’s already the best platform for cataloguing books that I’ve been able to find. However, since I am now sharing more book reviews and similar stuff, it seems like kind of a shame that I’m not connecting it to Facebook, Twitter or even to this blog. There is a Library Thing friend finder, but I’ve never been able to get it to work properly and, more importantly, I know that most of my friends who use this kind of service prefer Good Reads.
I did once set up a Good Reads account (at the same time as I set up my Library Thing account – I tend to do that, I try a few services at the same time and then settle on one). I didn’t really get on with it at the time but now I’m dusting it off to give it a second chance. I’m currently struggling to import my library and hoping that the Good Reads team will reply to my email soon. Incidentally, if anyone knows what causes the error, “invalid byte sequence in UTF-8” then feel free to let me know because at the moment I don’t have anywhere near all my books listed and I do not want to have to re-list them all manually.
[Edit: 24/03/16, 14:23: Turns out GoodReads can only accept comma separated data at the moment. That didn’t solve the problem either, but someone at GoodReads got it fixed for me, they’re a helpful bunch. A few books a wrong or missing, but I’m nearly all set up now.]
So, I’m not abandoning Library Thing. I never will, it’s too good at what it does. I am moving to Good Reads for its social media stuff, though. Slowly. If you’re on Good Reads and we should be friends over there then let me know. I can be found here: Becky’s Good Reads profile. Also, since I’m singing Library Thing’s praises today, I can be found here: Becky’s Library Thing profile.