How do you keep track of books you own on paper, Kindle, Audible & Nook?
November 17, 2016 10:59 AM   Subscribe

OK, I have ended up with a library of about 125 paper books (after down sizing), 35 Kindle books, 100 Audible books and 15 Nook books (legacy), for a total of 275 books, not counting PDFs, magazines, etc. What is the easiest way to keep track of all this?

I am starting to find it difficult to keep track of when I last read a book, how much I liked it, where that book lives (paper, Audible, Kindle, Nook), etc.

I realize there is Goodreads and various Android apps, so my question is really "what have MeFites found to be best?", so I don't have to learn by trial and error.

It would seem there are two criteria:
#1 - system that is easiest to convert to (ideally there would be some way to scan bar codes on a physical book, and import the titles/authors from Audible, Kindle and Nook), or is that just wishful thinking?
#2 - then, after the conversion, are any apps/sites better than others?
posted by forthright to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know what's best, but I use GoodReads, and have shelves to track categories I care about; such as bought but haven't read, did not finish, want to buy, audiobook, etc.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 11:11 AM on November 17, 2016

LibraryThing is the other major site for this, but I don't think you can scan barcodes. Also, it's 10$/y.
posted by Trifling at 11:16 AM on November 17, 2016

I use three shelves on Goodreads: owned-audiobook, owned-ebook, owned-hardcopy.
posted by kidbritish at 11:20 AM on November 17, 2016

LibraryThing allows you to catalog 200 items for free, and I'm pretty sure GoodReads is fully free to use.

GoodReads has an iPhone app with a barcode scanner (2011 blog post when they added the feature), and they also have an app on the Google Play store, which also has a barcode scanner.

For ebook conversion, there's Calibre, a multi-OS ebook manager. It handles a lot of ebook formats, but not audiobooks.

For that, here's an open source converter that changse AAX and AXX to MP3. I have used calibre and it's wonderful, but I can't comment on AAX to MP3, though there are a number of positive reviews on the site, and Sourceforge is generally a reliable source for open source software.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:25 AM on November 17, 2016

LibraryThing allows one to scan barcodes (they even sell a basic scanner, the CueCat).
posted by davemack at 11:39 AM on November 17, 2016

Goodreads is my choice. Works great. Plus I get to see what other MeFites think of the books they are reading, and I can maintain a list of books I want to read there. Last but not least, Goodreads syncs nicely with my "reading" and Kindle reading, because Amazon now owns 'em all.
posted by bearwife at 12:01 PM on November 17, 2016

Library Thing's iOS app also allows you to scan barcodes.

I've used LT (with a $25 lifetime membership) for more than a decade and am a big fan; I have about 550 books in my library. LT allows you to create multiple collections of books and to use those collections to tag the books in multiple ways at once.
posted by urbanlenny at 12:04 PM on November 17, 2016

Another bonus feature of GoodReads is that it will sync with your amazon purchases. So if you buy most or all of your ebooks through amazon, GR will capture them and add them to your shelves. Additionally, it will pull any print books you may have purchased as well. It doesn't, to my knowledge, do this continuously. It's something you have to manually do, but it is a nice feature.
posted by teleri025 at 12:13 PM on November 17, 2016

LibraryThing and forget it.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:04 PM on November 17, 2016

> I've used LT (with a $25 lifetime membership) for more than a decade and am a big fan; I have about 550 books in my library.

Same here, and I have over 5,000 books. It's really worth the money, which is pretty trivial for a lifetime membership.
posted by languagehat at 1:54 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks all for your help. However I admit to being somewhat uncertain on some points. Some of it is my fault for not emphasizing I was in the Android arena.

- I am signed-up for Goodreads and I told it to go out to Amazon to get my purchases and it did not show Audible books, though it did show my Kindle books, though I realize Amazon owns Audible. Bearwife, am I missing something?

- It appears that the Android app for LibraryThing is called LibAnywhere and is only rated 2.8? On the other hand, the Web site seems to say that as of 2015 it only has an iPhone app.

Calibre and AAX Conversion
- filthy light thief: I get the impression (?) that you are saying that Calibre on Android will help me identify/import to its library ebooks on my device. But it seems that using "Calibre Companion" is a bit involved (or maybe you meant this would be for Kindle or Nook books downloaded to my PC). Also, with regard to AAX to MP3 conversion, are you saying that would expose metadata about the title, author, etc., the SourceForge description is a bit vague?

I downloaded the Goodreads Audible app and was able to easily scan some paper books into my library, so that's a plus. And it's free (though LT is not expensive). So if it could get to Audible books it would be a slam dunk.

Sorry in advance if I'm being thick on any of this.
posted by forthright at 3:39 PM on November 17, 2016

I don't think you'll need to mess around with the Calibre Android app. I think filthy light thief was recommending using it on your computer for getting your ebooks converted from one format to another and organizing ebook metadata and managing categories and all that.

LibraryThing is great. I've personally never found a reason to use anything but a browser for it, and unfortunately I don't think they have an official app or any good unofficial apps.
posted by christopherious at 9:41 PM on November 17, 2016

Ran out of time before I could clarify that I meant Android, in the last sentence.
posted by christopherious at 9:49 PM on November 17, 2016

Thanks, christopherious. I delved deeper into the LT Web site and eventually found this page that certainly lists an awful lot of ways to do a mass import of existing books. I think some of them may depend on my Linux skills to suck out ISBNs or ASINs, plus maybe using a web cam on my desktop for the bar code scanning the physical books, but it might save me having to enter 275 titles manually.

Thanks also to others who replied.
posted by forthright at 7:48 PM on November 18, 2016

Hmmm. For anyone interested, the following Linux command got me the titles of my Audible books (doing Developer - Page Source on each of my 5 pages and saving that as AudibleRaw1 through 5). Of course, if Audible changes their page formatting it will probably break.
cat AudibleRaw*.txt | grep -P -o 'https.*SL80.*jpg" alt=.*"' | cut -d\" -f 3 | sort

posted by forthright at 8:37 PM on November 18, 2016

Nice! Throwing out a couple more tools I used during my library reorg project a while back: Excel and the FF TableTools addon. Might be a little late now, judging from the above. :)
posted by christopherious at 9:24 PM on November 18, 2016

« Older Modern short stories with a clever revenge twist.   |   80s songs that suddenly seem oddly relevant? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.