December 6th, 2008

AKICILJ: Book cataloging

I asked this on the GT list, but putting it in front of more eyes can't hurt.  My apologies to people who see it twice.

My mom has a fairly large book collection by fannish standards, or an insane number of books by mundane standards.  She has far more books than she can keep track of.  She's not exactly computer-phobic, but she's pretty unsophisticated.  And to be honest, I'm only so-so at sorting out new applications and making them dance.  I'd like to get her set up with a bar code reader and library database software that will be simple enough that she'll actually use it.  Ideally it would support tagging by categories and know without being told which books were mysteries and which ones were SF, but as long as it can be searched by author and/or title and show her what she has and whether it's paper or hardcover, easy to use is more important.  Reasonably cheap, but the bar code reader should be solid enough that it won't wear out before scanning a few thousand books.  Software has to be Windows.

Any advice is welcome.  Bonus points for specific recommendations on where to buy something and how much to pay.