Book Collector

My Christmas wish came true! (possibly because I copied the url and emailed it to my husband, saying, “I want this for Christmas.”) I received the Book Collector software and bar scanner. (thanks to Diane Whiteside who told me about this software)

This is really cool and easy to use. You can enter the data in a variety of ways: by swiping the barcode on the back of the book (most new books have this), by entering ISBN, or, if there is no ISBN, the title and/or author. And if that doesn’t bring up the book automatically, then you can enter the data yourself. The database they have for books is HUGE so there aren’t many I’ve had to enter all the data myself.

Here’s what the screen of the database looks like:

Here is the barcode scanner, called a “Cue Cat,” perfect for me! It attaches to the computer by that wire.

I’ve put 129 books into my database so far, including the top two shelves on the left in this photo:

But I have sooooo much more to do!

You may have guessed; this is my infamous “Book Room.” Amanda has seen it (and survived). Most of the books on those shelves are double-shelved. Please, you librarians among us, do not have a fit of vapors!

More good news for me! The Unlacing of Miss Leigh was one of the top ten best selling ebooks at Waterstone’s, the big UK book vendor. I even beat out a book by Stephanie Meyer!

Have you been playing with any Christmas toys like I have? Tell us!

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Jane Holland
12 years ago

Great gadget. These shots are kinda like my own shelves, though rather tidier, except that – having been a secondhand bookseller some years ago and having kept a fair amount of stock when the shop closed – I have vast leaning stacks of books in every room, plus boxes of books in every available corner, or under tables, or in cupboards, and books strewn on the floor, and books in the bathroom, and books in the kitchen, and books … and books …

Christine Trent
12 years ago

How ironic, Diane. My husband and I were just talking this weekend about upgrading the book software I have, and he was musing about whether or not we could get something with a scanner. Now I have my answer!

And I’m trying not to get the vapors… 🙂

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Well, Christine, I read about your home library – on two floors, with a spiral staircase….I’m very small potatoes compared to that! For you “pros” there is a fancier scanner for a bit more money.

Jane, those photos are carefully cropped so as NOT to show the floor!!

Stephanie J
12 years ago

That is one nifty piece of software. I need to check it out. And I need to alert my mother!

My bookcases look quite similar and while I keep the floors somewhat book-free (I have a small apartment, I wouldn’t be able to walk otherwise) my kitchen counter is a whole other story. It turned into a bookshelf…

Jane Austen
12 years ago

I am planning to buy Bookcollector, but getting the DVD version too since I have an extensive DVD collection. (Basically if it’s been on Masterpiece Classic in the past 20 years I must own it). I’m a librarian and I’m not having a fit of vapors. My book shelves look similar and are double stacked too. I’d love to have a gorgeous two level library with a spiral staircase (I’m jealous Christine), but as of right now that’s just not possible.

Leslie Carroll
12 years ago

Diane, your bookroom looks a lot like mine! At least I know I’m in good company. And your new toy’s mouse that resembles a cat is very clever!

I don’t have book software, though. I have everything organized on the shelves by category and then within the category I may chronologize them — particularly with my theatre books — plays stretching from Aeschylus and the Greeks through Medieval Miracle Plays, individual Shakespearean scripts (my big hardbound volumes get their own shelf), through Jacobean, Restoration, and 18th c. dramas and comedies, and into the 19th thru Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw, Schiller, etc. and on to O’Neill and up through the 20th c.

My poetry books and some of the novels on the shelves are chronologized, at least by century, as well.

Several boxes of my books are in storage, though, as I’ve got no more shelf space for them. It’s frustrating because I need to box up many of the books I use for my nonfiction research on the royals, and then suddenly I’ll find myself needing to refer to one of the volumes and have to make a special trip about 3 miles away to hunt for it and dig it out.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Jane Austen, I don’t have enough of a DVD collection to warrant a database, but I think it is another great use for the software.

Leslie, I think I’d go nuts to have to travel three miles to find my books! I do admire your organization skills! my next goal after cataloguing the books is to organize them better.

Leslie Carroll
12 years ago

Diane, I DO go nuts! It’s one of my dreams to have enough space for all my books; not just to have them all in one room, or even under the same roof, but with enough shelf space to organize them so they’re not double shelved or stacked vertically and horizontally wherever I can find a square inch of real estate on the shelves.

Megan Frampton
12 years ago

Whoa, your shelves are crazy, Diane! Have fun with your Xmas gift.

I got–hm. Nothing to play with, but plenty of sweaters, maybe so I’ll shut up about being cold all the time (not likely, tho).

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

What a cool gadget!! I may have to get one! I am in the process of cataloguing my books in LibraryThing, but going through the books I owned before I started LibraryThing is going to take FOREVER! I mean I have an ornithology library that covers and entire floor to ceiling bookcase.

Your shelves look great compared to mine, O Divine One. There are bookshelves in every room and hallway in the house, including the bathroom. One day I will build an actual house out here and it will be built around the library. Everything else will be superfluous!

12 years ago

You can use your “cat” for http://www.librarything.com too. I actually prefer librarything because you can add in review’s, comments and get a sense on how other people enjoyed the book as well.

There are actually a lot of authors on LB.com and peeking in to see what books they’re reading is just a really awesome bonus.


Barbara Monajem
12 years ago

Sigh. My bookshelves look a lot like yours, but they’re in several rooms. And then there are the books in boxes, and on the floor, and beside and under my bed…

Congrats re The Unlacing of Miss Leigh. Beating out a Stephanie Meyer book is quite a feat!

12 years ago

Very cool! And wow, that looks familiar. No new toys but enjoying DVDs and books received. Congrats on Unlacing!! And Amazon shows it being published in an anthology, in April, so I’ll finally have it in proper book form. 🙂

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Me, NOW you tell me about the Cue Cat and LibraryThing!!!

O Doggie One, you have to get that big book contract so you can build a library like Christine’s.

Barbara, love your Undone cover!!

Judy, it is so nice to have you here. You’ll hear more about Pleasurably Undone as April comes closer. It is a thrill to be among the first ones in print.

12 years ago

Well, this librarian has shelves just like yours at home. I just have too many books to fit my shelves. My office at work is worse. The boxes started piling up and now it is hopeless.

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