Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tip #10: Managing book collections

Recently, I've become as addicted to book content management as I have to the books themselves! I've never been one to list my books or keep a database, but with the flood of places available online to manage them, I'm mentioning a few of my favorite:

1. The obvious Manage My Kindle page. Here I can keep track of Kindle editions purchased as well as Blog & magazine subscriptions.
- Manage subscriptions
- Books arranged in date order
- Quick link to product details, to view or add review on Amazon
- Search by title or author

- Nowhere to write personal notes
- No way to include non-Amazon downloads
- Limited to reading material only

2. Personal Kindle reading list (login required)
Keeps a record of all your Kindle purchases, including any notes & highlights you've made within your Kindle eBook (requires Whispernet).
Let's you add personal ratings of books as well as see customer ratings & reviews.
Using search, you can add books that aren't just on Kindle.

Doesn't allow you to add more notes.

3. Amazon's My Media Library
- Automatically includes all Kindle editions, paper books, music, videos & DVDs purchased on Amazon.
- Allows you to add to your collection with non-Amazon purchases
- Add personal notes, add tags - such as "To Be Read" to help you manage that ever growing list & quickly sort through what you want to read next. Or read again.
- You can share content with other people or make select items private
- Sort by particular items, type of items, tags
- Add items to a gift list
- Print sorted lists

4. My current favorite: Visual Bookshelf on Living Social which I have added as an application to my Facebook.

This isn't limited to media at all - you can have collections of books, music, restaurants, TV shows, movies, iPhone apps - even beer! So far I am just using it for books.

Within books, it separates out my Already read, Currently Reading and Want to Read selections. I can write reviews or just give a personal start rating. Within that you can select if they are books you own, had on loan, want or don't want.

Even better is importing & exporting. This tool allows you to import your own personal lists either from Amazon Wish Lists (as long as they are not private) or entering ISBNs. (Coming soon: Quick CSV import of your own database.
As for exporting, you can get an RSS feed for your blog, or simply make a csv file of your collection, as back up or to add to your existing database.

If you use it within Facebook, you can select your privacy settings so everyone, only your friends or no-one at all can see your collections. And depending on your friend's settings, you can view their collections, what they recommend.

So far, I seem to be adding more and more to my Want list each day with this application, either from seeing what my friends are reading or from the automatically generated recommendations list!

Related posts:
View more Kindle Tips & Tricks
Organizing your Kindle

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