26 October 2008

Sunday Salon: Social catalog sites

Do any of you use a social catalog site to keep track of your books? Why or why not? I don't buy a lot of books, but I like keeping track of books I've already read and my TBR list. I've mentioned before how Ravelry has helped me organized my knitting and how I hope Goodreads will do the same for my reading. However, I wanted to check out the other two services, LibraryThing and Shelfari, to make sure I was picking the best one for me.

After testing all three, I'm still trying to decide between Goodreads and Shelfari. Although I've had an account on LibraryThing for over a year, I abandoned it almost immediately. I've read that librarians love it, but it is loaded down with way more information than I need. I've been using Goodreads for a couple weeks and I like it a lot. It has all the functions I want and several of my online friends use it.

The biggest reason I am thinking about switching over to Shelfari is that my kids prefer it. The interface is the simplest to use out of the three sites. M, my 15-year-old, likes the fact that her collection looks like books on an actual shelf. If they maintain a TBR list on Shelfari, it would keep me from losing all the little pieces of paper they hand me with titles scribbled on them. There are several negatives for me, though. I can't get Shelfari to import my Goodreads library file, so I would have to add all my books by hand. Many of the books on my list can't be found when I search in Shelfari. Also, the community doesn't seem to be as active there. I don't hang out in groups a lot on these sites, but I like there to be a lively community available when I do want to discuss a book.

Another factor that will play into my decision is how many of my online acquaintances use these sites. So if any of you use these sites and want to send me a friend invitation, my email addresss is godchick1967 AT gmail DOT com. Let me know here in the comments that you are going to add me. I'd love to have a lot of book bloggers on my friend list so that I can keep up with you guys are reading and get some recommendations.


Audrey said...

I'll be interested in what you find out. I signed up with Library Thing but never got into it...besides, I'm convinced that I'll read less if I get too organized about it. :)

Dani in NC said...

Goodreads and reading challenges are the two things that have helped me read more. The challenges help me find books to read and having a TBR list up on Goodreads keeps me from feeling guilty when I don't get around to a book. There were times before Goodreads when I found myself rushing through books just so I could read a few chapters of every book in the stack before they all had to go back to the library. Now I know that I won't forget the title, so if it has to go back I can check it out later.

Anonymous said...

I've never tried Shelfari, but I love GoodReads. I do post reviews on LibraryThing occasionally, and I am signed up for their Early Reviewers program, but I agree, it's got too much information that I don't need.

Anna said...

I've started using Goodreads lately because of our blog comment discussion, and I must say, I enjoy the social networking aspect of it much more than what is available on LibraryThing. LT is a lot like a regular library catalog, which I appreciate, but for keeping up with my friends and what they're reading, Goodreads seems to be a better resource.