I have been looking for a method to catalog, organize and manage the family library .. Right now I am talking about a physical library, I don't know if I mix the ebooks here, but I think I will continue with Caliber for that.
I have a few books, I don't know how many, in addition to magazines, technical books and other supports. All this comes together with those of my wife and my daughters and makes us have an interesting family library.
But it is disorganized. We do not have a record of the books, nor do we know on which shelf or room they are and in many cases this is very frustrating, because unfortunately we cannot have all of them in view and many are inside closets or in second rows of shelves.
I've been wanting to tidy up for a long time and have found some methods that can be quick and effective.
Be careful, I'm not talking about digitizing, for that I have an article by how to digitize books. Here we talk about having a software to manage our library.
This is what I need and based on what I have chosen options.
- It has to allow adding books by scanning the barcode to speed up the whole operation.
- It has to allow me to export the library to CSV and import files
- What allows to register in addition to the common data (Title, etc.) notes on the opinions, and to create different categories and labels.
- It has to be free and if it can be Open Source or free software, much better.
Searching the Internet, I have found a vast amount of specialized software for cataloging "home" libraries. I'm not talking about municipal libraries.
I have discarded most of them for not meeting any of the requirements.
Of all the mobile applications that there are and that there are many. I recommend Book Catalog which we will talk about now. It is true that almost all of them do the same, but Book Catalog is Free software and we can see and modify its code, so for me it is a very good choice, even above My Library, an application that has been downloaded more than 1M of times.
After much research and discard I am going to go ahead with Book Catalog. It is not the prettiest option but it is the one that best suits what I need.
Manage the Library with Book Catalog
It is just a mobile application. But one of the most complete I've seen. Although visually it is not the one I like the most, the fact that it is free software gives me peace of mind that the project can be continued.
It can be downloaded from
It allows exporting CSV with what I know I can have a backup and not lose my data and also migrate to GoodReads and / or LibraryThings (although I will not use this option)
As I mentioned, you can add books by scanning the barcode. You will have to install one of the applications that indicate for this, in my case I have used Barcode Scanner.
Book Catalog is very configurable and I really like the option it has to define the physical location of the books, who you lend a book to, generate different libraries, in addition to adding categories and labels, purchase prices, etc, etc.
I leave a gallery of images with screenshots to give you an idea of what it looks like and what you can do.
With this option you will only have the library on your mobile. I have started to catalog it, because it is very good for me to be able to scan the barcodes with my smartphone. When I have it all, I'll check what I do.
I leave more alternatives that I have discarded but that still interest you.
While preparing the entry Good Reads has decided to restrict its api, so that third-party applications will not be able to review the book catalog, this causes the cataloging of many applications that based their search on Good Reads to collapse.
GoodReads is the largest and most well-known social network for readers out there. It belongs to Amazon. We can access it via the web or with the App. The application allows us to scan barcodes or covers and enter ISBN to search for our book.
It works based on tags, so if I want to create 2 libraries to separate, for example, books from my daughters and relatives, it is based on tags
I have mixed feelings with the idea of uploading my library to a social network and especially to this one that belongs to Amazon and that I know how it will use that data.
It is an option very similar to GoodReads. Access via the web or by App. The benefits and drawbacks are the same as GoodReads, the only thing that in Librarythings there are much fewer people I know and therefore the social part is lost if this is what we are looking for.
It is a smartphone app similar to Book Catalog. Downloaded by more than 1M people. It is much prettier and has many options, but, but
If you know of any other good option please leave a comment.