Log in

No account? Create an account
AKICILJ: Book cataloging - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
December 6th, 2008
10:08 am


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
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.

Tags: ,

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Readerware. Has the bonus of being able to handle audio and video cataloging, as well (same engine, separately run programs). They also have a nice listing of barcode scanners of various prices on their webpage.

We've been using it for several (9 or so?) years, and I'm pretty happy with it. Biggest issue has been books that don't have an ISBN (say, printed in the early 60's and before). You can enter those by hand, but it takes a bit more work.

Any barcode scanner that is not a "contact" scanner should be up to the job. It's really nice to have a scanner that you can carry to the books, instead of having to bring the books to the scanner (ie, look for a "non-tethered") scanner. Downside is that the ones you can carry about cost more :-(

For the record, I'm using an old CCD type scanner that connects using a keyboard wedge (you plug it into the PS2 port, and connect the keyboard to it). And at last look, our cataloged library numbered over 3500 books (and my count is way off now, because I haven't been keeping up with scanning incoming books for the last year or so - too many other things to be done!)
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
Exactly what I was going to say.
My copy cost around $75 (maybe a bit more) 3 years back.

They *used* to come with a "Cue cat" tethered scanner, but that was a "while supplies last" deal and I have no idea whether they still have any.

Some books without an ISBN number have a Library of Congress Catalog number; you can type that in and get the automatic entry.

OTOH, a good many pre-1970's science fiction paperbacks (especially anthologies), and ALL SF Book Club volumes, do not have either ISBN numbers OR LC numbers.
My strategy there is to stack up a bunch by the same writer, enter all the basic data that I truly want (nowhere near as much as the system yields using the autocataloging function) and then just change the title after each "save entry" click.
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
LibraryThing is free. I don't have a scanner, but you can get one for something like $15.

To find bibliographic info for things that don't have an ISBN try worldcat.org.
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
There's BookCollector (www.collectorz.com if memory serves) which also offers a bundle with a scanner ($29.95 Standard edition, without scanner, and a "get it free" option all the way up to $99.95 with scanner). I've used it for years. And I also recommend LibraryThing - which has a free membership, or a paid lifetime membership.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
I got 3 packages (book, music, comicbooks) with the scanner from collectorz.com a few years back, so yes, that's the right name. They also offer about a dozen other collector-stuff -- including movies.
[User Picture]
Date:December 8th, 2008 06:29 am (UTC)

AKICILJ: Book cataloging

the best software i know of comes only for macs, alas.

but i'd second librarything, which doesn't cost anything to try out. i've got a lifetime membership early on, which was the best $10 i ever spent (it's more expensive now, but not extortionist). it also has a great community.
Powered by LiveJournal.com