If you’re in the minority, who feel like they need to waste just a little bit more time each day, then I invite to check out LibraryThing. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s addictive.

For years, I’ve cataloged and inventoried my CD and DVD collections, but I’ve never gotten around to doing my books. The wait is over. I began using LibraryThing on July 23, 2009 and I’ve already added 200 books to my library. Free memberships are only allowed to add up to 200 books. Paid memberships are allowed an unlimited number of books. The paid memberships are very affordable and they even offer a $25 lifetime membership, which for a book lover, possibly bordering on hoarder, that’s right up my alley.

My favorite part of LibraryThing is the ability to tag all of the books in your collection. This means you can search your library for books sharing the same tag or you can search other users’ tags. While browsing my library’s author tag cloud, I realized that I don’t diversify in my personal reading as much as I want to–I saw a lot of the same authors and  I’m not reading nearly enough non-fiction.

Plus, you can search through the entire LibraryThing author tag cloud. It’s like digging for buried treasure. The great thing about their author tag cloud is you can discover thousands of authors you’ve never heard of or re-discover authors you might’ve forgotten about. For example, by simply scrolling down the page, I was able to see that Neil Gaiman is super popular as are William Shakespeare and Terry Pratchett, and I found an author I’d never heard of, Orson Scott Card, simply by scrolling down the page and seeing his tag was huge, meaning a lot of users had added books by him.

Now, if only WordPress would allow scripts, then I could embed the LibraryThing widget directly in my blog.

Check it out! Let me know what you think about LibraryThing or similar services.

WARNING: If you decide to visit the LibraryThing website, please consider that once you start, you won’t be able to stop. I’ve spent probably a total of 8 hours on the site so far, which is great for my growing list of “to read” books, but not so good for my [selectively ignored] daily “to do” list. Please realize the site might possibly be one of the biggest time sucks I’ve run across. But it’s fun and informational. Just consider yourself warned 🙂


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