How do you keep track of all of your books? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a lot of books. We like to take the "living" approach to almost every subject so we have a lot of history, science, and math books.

Last night I was getting my list of books that I plan to buy this week in order. I realized that there were books on the list that I was pretty sure we already had, so I had to consult our "library" and lo and behold, we did have them!

So I got to thinking, I need to come up with a way to keep track of the books that we already have. Especially for the purpose of getting around to actually reading them! I'm thinking of typing up a list of all the books that we have and keeping them in my "mom binder". Or cataloging them somehow.

What do you do?

What have you thought about doing?

Does it work well for you?

Would you make any changes?

Thanks!!

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#2 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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There are some good computer programs designed for keeping track of an extensive home library. I don't have experience with any of them, but I've wanted one.

We have so many books, we have the Dewey Decimal system going on in our living room, ha ha. I definitely NEED a catalog!

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#3 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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I started keeping an excel file for my books but I never remembered to update it.

The easier thing for me is to arrange by genre/subject and keep a list of books to buy.

Before I add a book to that list I scan through the corresponding section to see if I already have it.
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#4 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 04:00 PM
 
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subbing -- i need a good system

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#5 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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We have tried all different methods, including electronic cataloging. We had a cool barcode reader that automatically imported into an application. My husband has tried some others, including an app from our iPhone.

But, the only time we'd use it is if I wanted to verify if we had a book already. As it turns out, except for about 2 years when I boycotted them, I'd say 99% of our books purchased from 1996-present have been bought from Amazon. Amazon keeps all your records so I have a pretty good hit rate if I just look through those.

Mostly though I have a fabulous memory when it comes to books so I rarely have to look them up. We did have to organize our books better so we could find them once their poor souls entered our chaotic lives.

So, all our books are divided into different categories. For example, all my parenting and adoption books are in a bookcase in our bedroom (we have multiple bookcases in every room of the house). For our books specific to homeschooling, we have all our crafting books in the craftroom. But, most everything else is in our homeschool room (used for more than homeschooling and rarely is homeschooling done in there but all our supplies are in there). We used magazine holders to organize books thematically on the bookcase. This works really well for the most part. There are always books that won't fit so we stick them nearby. But, I cannot tell you how nice it is to just be able to grab the books labeled "horses" or "plants" or "space", etc. Some categories are that specific and some are broader like "social and emotional issues".

It has worked pretty well I think.

Holli
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#6 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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I've started using LibraryThing to keep track of my homeschooling books. I find it especially useful when I'm at a used book sale and want to find out if I already have something, as I can use my cell phone to check and see.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#7 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I second Library thing.
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#8 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skueppers View Post
I've started using LibraryThing to keep track of my homeschooling books. I find it especially useful when I'm at a used book sale and want to find out if I already have something, as I can use my cell phone to check and see.
what is this?

We will be putting a lot in storge -- soon i hope -- to make moving / selling our house a lot easier -- it would be nice not to loose gtrack of all the book i have (Austin novles, and so on) that i won't have out (4 tubs packed all ready)

I buy a lot from amazon, but also lib sales / paperbackswap / and evey yard sale and so on i do buy -- i am a book addict. Thrft store .....

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#9 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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http://www.librarything.com/

It is way to catalog all your books online.
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#10 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses everyone!

I created an account at LibraryThing about a year ago and totally forgot about it! LOL I wonder if there's a way I'd be able to print my LibraryThing list out so if I don't have access to the internet, I could still look at my list. I'll go look...

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#11 of 18 Old 04-15-2010, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oohh... there is a print option at LibraryThing! I think I'll stick with this... and try not to forget about it this time!

loveeyes.gif Loving homeschoolin' mama to CherryPie modifiedartist.gif and KiwiBoy eat.gif::: wife-y to my high school sweetheart partners.gif
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#12 of 18 Old 04-16-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splendid View Post
http://www.librarything.com/

It is way to catalog all your books online.

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#13 of 18 Old 04-16-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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i need a good system too. right now i have them organized by topic. i have my own shelf for books that our resources, etc. then, i have the other bookshelves divided by subject (science readers, nature books, history readers, five in a row books, sonlight books, leveled readers, chapter books, etc). it's really a bit maddening though. to top it off, my daughter just pulled a ton of books off the shelves yesterday to play "library" & now they are all over the floor with "for sale" signs. some are even in bags because my son purchased them, lol.

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#14 of 18 Old 04-16-2010, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
i need a good system too. right now i have them organized by topic. i have my own shelf for books that our resources, etc. then, i have the other bookshelves divided by subject (science readers, nature books, history readers, five in a row books, sonlight books, leveled readers, chapter books, etc). it's really a bit maddening though.
Yeah... this is how my books are organized right now. I'm just finding out, though, that I'm forgetting which books I have. So I think I need to make a list. LibraryThing should do the trick if I remember to use it this time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
to top it off, my daughter just pulled a ton of books off the shelves yesterday to play "library" & now they are all over the floor with "for sale" signs. some are even in bags because my son purchased them, lol.
Awwww... that's too cute!

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#15 of 18 Old 04-16-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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We use Book Collector software from http://www.collectorz.com/book/

Granted, I didn't know Library Thing existed when I purchased Book Collector years ago. I probably would have used it if I had known it was there. Is it new?

Our fiction is alphabetical with childrens lit in a different area than adult lit. Our non fiction is just grouped on the shelves in general categories. With the handy dandy ikea bookshelf we have it is easy since it's a whole bunch of squares. We are both book junkies and Ikea junkes so......... Over 700 books and a living room full of shelves. The Book Collector software allows for shelf location and customizable subject/genres as well as a whole slew of other things such as keeping track of value, purchase info, notes on reading it, etc.

Co-creator, Joyful Wife, and Grateful Mama to angel3.gifenergy.gifand sleepytime.gif
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#16 of 18 Old 04-17-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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Hi!
I'm glad you found your LibraryThing account. I wa in the same situation like you and needed to organize my books to know what I had. I couldn't peruse through my shelves everytime wondering if I already had a book--I needed an organized list. And LibraryThing has been working great for me (in fact, I'm thinking about becoming a lifetime member b/c once you get over a certain amount of books...)

For books or any printed material (or even ebooks, lapbooks or unit studies I have) that is not found through the system, I manually enter them. this way I know all my recources in case I want to pull a bunch of things together for a particular topic/study. Then I don't have to worry about missing out on using something in a lesson b/c I forgot I had it. And I use the tags to categorize them so I can then sort by a certain category and print only that category. Like I have history and then also American history, colonial America, etc I find it really helpful. We don't have a cellphone linked up to anything so I just use my printed lists.

Have fun!
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#17 of 18 Old 04-17-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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I buy too many books from Amazon, so when I pull up all my books I've purchased, it's simply too slow. So I need something faster and more flexible. I use LibraryThing, but if I'm going to build a book database, I want a more robust program. I've heard wonderful reviews from homeschoolers with big book collections that love this:
http://readerware.com/

I intend to get their barcoder and then go to work scanning everything.

- Angela
mama homeschooling Satori, dd6 in the beautiful CO Rockies
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#18 of 18 Old 04-19-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dotnetdiva View Post
I buy too many books from Amazon, so when I pull up all my books I've purchased, it's simply too slow. So I need something faster and more flexible. I use LibraryThing, but if I'm going to build a book database, I want a more robust program. I've heard wonderful reviews from homeschoolers with big book collections that love this:
http://readerware.com/

I intend to get their barcoder and then go to work scanning everything.
i take it you scan the code already on the bvook, you don't have to "make them" for each book?

How costly?

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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