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Software for tracking your book collection

Submitted by on April 4, 2005 – 7:04 pm 134 views No Comment

Last year I started looking for a better way to keep track of all my books. Over the last 10 years, I’ve accumulated dozens and dozens of books. Most of them are currently at home, however I have a number of books at my office, my home where I grew up, and have lent many to co-workers and friends. I was interested in finding a simplistic inventory/book database that could easily show how much my books were worth, what type of books I had, where they were located, and books I wanted to add to my never-ending highlight.

I was surprised that there were a ton of low-cost shareware hobby/collector/librarian style software packages out there, but none really appealed to me (visually or feature-wise). I came across a web-based application called SingleFile (ala archive) that was pretty impressive. The service was free up to 25 books and cost $19.95 per year up to 500 books. Since I didn’t need yet another online subscription service (already having O’reilly Safari, RealOne Pass, Rhapsody, RealStarz) I decided to just test drive the service for a while. As luck would have it, the day that I truly needed to lookup some books that I thought I had lent out, I discovered to my irritation that the SingleFile website was no longer available. So, needless to say I had to find another preferably non web-based application to track my books.

A friend/co-worker of mine actually recommended a package that he’s been using for a number of years. This software, called Readerware, not only tracks books, but also Music CDs and DVDs.
I’ve been using Readerware for about a month now and am very pleased with it. Some of the key features include:

  • A powerful search interface
  • Ability to “drag” Amazon URLs into Readerware to automatically populate book info
  • Barcode reader support (the licensed version even came with a CueCat)
  • Cross-platform support for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Palm

I do have to say that while I am happy with Readerware, I am very interested in a product called Delicious Library. The UI looks very intuitive and the graphics are visually stunning. This nifty program will even generate a virtual bookshelf and actually display your books, CDs, DVDs, and games. The downside is that it’s currently only developed for Mac OS X. Maybe this is my chance to break down and buy a Mac Mini ;)

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