Thursday, March 03, 2005

Books for home book cataloging

In a sudden moment of shareware craving, I decided to get a few of the home book cataloging shareware proggies and give them a try. Bookpedia is overkill and nothing I need, though nice. Books is perfect. Small, works well, and will import some information from Amazon if the ISBN is entered. But the ISBN is the only web search field, and the information resulting is not as complete as I would like. I also found that a nifty addition to Books is to scan your own dust jackets because most of us with many books have books whose editions are not those readily available on Amazon, or if they are listed, no jacket is available. One more reason to scan your older books - it is fun! I am watching the size of this program and the speed of saves to see if as books are added there is a point of slowdown.

Did I mention that Books is FREE? A nice feature. There is a newer version for Mac OS X 10.3, and the looks are even better. Very nice UI, quite intuitive if you know your book data. The format is XML, which is exportable of course. As a library cataloger, I could wish that the book date were a bit more complete, the edition statements are not as LC would have them. In fact I wish the LC editions, genre, and subjects were used. Would it be too much to ask for a mini MARC record? That would be a great standard. But for home use, this program is the best. I am not motivated to put all my books in the database, but selected items will go in there over time.

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