In my holidays, I discovered LibraryThing, which is a cross between a user-generated personal library cataloguing tool and a social networking site for book lovers. I then spent far too much time adding listings for books I own (or, in a few cases, don’t own but have read). The worrying aspect of this is that I have 59 books listed in my library after my late-night efforts; many people have well upwards of 1000. You can list up to 200 books before having to pay to join, so I’ll stealthily approach this limit and then decide whether I want to take my relationship with LibraryThing to the next level.
Every LT user gets a profile, and if you’re an author, you can also have an author page. Since authors write books, and LT users enjoy and even buy books, creating an author profile makes sense to me – even if, with a name like Tim Jones, I will forever be embroiled in the toils of disambiguation.
Once you’ve loaded some of your books, there’s plenty more to do – tagging the books, loading covers, giving ratings, and writing reviews (which seems to be one of the most pressing needs). And there’s groups to be joined – “New Zealand Thingamabrarians”, for example – and many wondrous highways and byways of literature to explore.
This is the sort of thing that only appeals to a certain personality type. But I have that personality type. You may have guessed that by now.