Can you recommend a program to catalog real books?

Tilman November 13, 2010
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Hello again :)

I have started a long-term project of making a huge catalog/database of all the books that I have. Please note that I would NOT call myself an active reader, though. I just am not the person who reads a book after another. However, I do have a pretty large book collection, perhaps 500 books or so spread over many shelves, which I use as a reference material. However, my main problem is that I don’t even remember what books I have! Thus, I need some electronic help :)

What I need:
– As fast as possible adding of new books. I can’t afford to spend 500 times a long time to put in every book that I have. (I guess there is no way to automate the process of typing in the name of each book, sigh.)
– Possibility to tag/categorize books
– Possibility to write notes (a summary or something like that)
– Full-text search of all fields

What would be nice to have:
– Possibility to export the book database into PersonalBrain.
– A way to mark the location of the book, i.e. to know where in the shelves the book should be located
– Possibility to browse through multi-level categories (like in a big library) in order to find related books where I didn’t even remember that I have them
– Possibility to differentiate easily between books that I actually have myself and that I have recorded in my database for other reasons
– Filter by language
– Automatic download of book cover and other details

What I do not need is a community of book readers, reviews, forums, and whatever other bells and whistles (unless there is something useful that i didn’t think of right now)…

Hoping to get some good suggestions!

Thanks in advance,


  1. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    You can get CueCat barcode scanners on LibraryThing ( for about $15.
    Scan the book's ISBN, and it uniquely identifies the book and its editionf you want to scan in your library, then scan all the barcodes into a single text file. The Notepad program that comes free with Windows works fine for this.

    Once everything is scanned, you can upload that file to LibraryThing, and it creates a digital catalog of your entire library automatically. LibraryThing ( pulls info from both and the United States Library of Congress, so it can recognize just about any book.

    Possibla also you can import the database into an adequate format then you can look which windows desktop catalog soft can accept it.

    Book Collector:


    Librarian Pro 2

  2. Tina
    November 13, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Tilman,would an online tool work for you? If yes try BookBump. It let's you add books by various criteria, including ISBN number. You can of course search your books and add comments.The tool can also create a bibliography, but I'm not sure whether the data can be exported. Supported formats are MLA, APA, Chicago, CSE, and Harvard formats. The service has tons of featuers you didn't ask for. Review all of them on the Manual page.Also have a look at this article, which talks about Libra, a desktop app to catalog your physical media collection: 4 Great Ways To Keep Track Of Your Expanding Book Collection