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I have loved to read since I was about 8 years old. I remember starting to read novels around 12. My first novel was a hardcover huge book by Stephen King called The Stand.

Since reading that, I have been addicted to reading and have amassed a huge collection of literary titles and some crap, unfortunately. I have so many books, I never know what I kept and what I tossed.

So when someone asks me if they may borrow the book I was talking about last week, my answer would be, “Yeah, if you can come and find it!”

Now, I stumbled upon this small portable application called BookTomb and it not only stores all your book loving data – it also has the ability to retrieve book covers, ISBN numbers, descriptions and a bunch more from Amazon, ISBNdb and BookThing. So entering your collection into should be a snap! Let’s see how easy it is to use BookTomb.

The portable application is 2.7MB and consists of the executable and a database file. You can put them on a thumb drive or virtually anywhere. Upon launching the program, I had to modify one setting in the tools/preferences menu to allow Amazon to communicate with my database. I will show you that as I go along.

On first launch you will see this:

book1

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Next thing you should do if you want the Amazon search to work, go to Tools. Then you will see this screen:

bookPrefs

I changed the Amazon Access Method to “via bookTome” and I choose Amazon at the bottom for “Default description service provider”. Now you are ready to enter some books!

Click on Authors or any other link on the left so that you can see the Add New Book menu option again – then hit it.

book2

I just filled in the Title and Author. I choose Stephen King’s The Cell that I read a while back. Then, I hit the Import from Amazon button at the bottom and it brought me to this page:

book3

I selected my book, which was the second choice and I checked the boxes next to all of the fields. If you don’t want all the information simply leave the box next to that field unchecked. Then hit the Import book button on the bottom right.

BookSummary

Now all the fields you chose will show up when you highlight or open your book. You can hit View all books to see everything you have added to your database. Some of the other features I like about this program include the ability to mark a book as read, search by author or title, add books to your wish list and even track your reading.

The program keeps a history of everything you modify in a book from when you added it. So if you added a book as soon as you bought it and a week later you mark it as read, all of that is recorded. You can see this by selecting a book and then choosing history like so:

BookHistory

This is an awesome portable application for any book aficionado! Do you have another way to catalogue your book collection?

Have you searched our directory? We have a lot of interesting posts regarding books and reading. If you can’t decide on which book to read next, let Stefan help you out by showing you the 8 best book review sites The 8 Best Book Review Sites The 8 Best Book Review Sites Read More .

  1. IbeFredrick
    August 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Saw BookTome in MakeUseOf.com newsletter. Looks useful but – how do I change the “Started reading” and “Finished reading” dates when entering books from and existing library where these dates are in the past and I know what they are from an Excel workbook that I maintain?

  2. Peter
    July 21, 2009 at 2:58 am

    Thank you ever so much. This is what happens when people are in a hurry I suppose. As I again am. :-) Again thank you.

  3. Peter
    July 19, 2009 at 6:54 am

    I've downloaded but not extracted because I noticed this is an installer. My problem is that I don't want to clutter up my registry with unnecessary entries from bloatware, aside from my portability criteria.

    Does this thing extract without tinkering with my registry?

    • Shane McAliece
      July 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Peter, I'm the author of bookTome. Please make sure you're downloading the right file. One is the standard version, which is an installer. Further down the download page is a portable version, which is just a zip file that can be extracted and will store all data in the folder you put it.

  4. thewinemaestro
    July 19, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Just gone to the BookTomb site and am delighted to see that it is actually called bookTome, which sounds happier! I don't mind keeping my wine in a cellar but wasn't enamoured with the idea of entombing my books...

  5. Haplo
    July 18, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Or you can use Shelfari.com

  6. thewinemaestro
    July 19, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Ha! Ive just started to use LibraryThing too librarything.com but will also start with BookTomb as well. Both seem very useful sites with lots of interacitivity which you can choose to use or not. I will find them very useful to remind me of the books that I've read and would like to read. Thanks.

  7. Rachelia
    July 18, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    This looks like an awesome program! I recently just inputted my entire small library of 200 books into gurulib.com because it had many of the functions that this program does. However gurulib.com tends to go down often (and last time it was out for almost a month I believe). This is much more reliable. Thanks for the review of it - I'm off to download it now! :)

  8. DrWeb
    July 18, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Looks interesting, and the import feature is handy, will save a lot of time with input.. there's a Web site I enjoy called LibraryThing.. librarything.com/ ..input library of books, mark as reading/read.. share with others, groups discuss books they've read online.. makes books and reading = community.. best, DrWeb

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