When we put our house back together in December, we saved our library for last. The reason was two-fold.
First, we had our bookshelves re-stained and they weren’t finished until late December. Second, we wanted to take our time re-shelving our books, including cataloging them.
This is the result! It’s almost completely done. We still need a round rug and a set of steps to allow us to reach the high shelves. (We originally purchased a ladder and rail set for these shelves, but somewhere in our 3 moves we lost a wheel to the ladder that we can’t find a replacement for, and we evidently lost some of the rail hardware because when we tried to install everything the railing sagged, making it unusable.)
Still, we are quite pleased with the way it all turned out. We like the darker color of the shelves (They were originally a light cherry.) and the gray (versus the light green) of the room. And yes, we know there is a completely empty shelf. That’s for all those “to read” books in our bedroom after we’ve read them!
But perhaps my most favorite part of putting the library back together was the cataloging. Truly, if I could choose any other profession, I would have been a librarian. The cataloging kind, not the deal with the public kind!
After several searches, I chose the Book Buddy app for my cataloging. (Note: you do have to pay $5 if you enter more than 50 books, but I considered that almost free.) Book Buddy had two big things going for it in the beginning: it has a “physical location” field and a “loan” feature.
Those two things made my heart sing. But once I started using Book Buddy, I discovered more wonderful things. Like the robust ISBN search and the online search feature. In a previous app I’d played with, I had to enter manually the information for almost all of my books without scannable barcodes. And I have a lot of those kinds of books! But in my first almost 1300 books, I only had to manually enter 2. Wow! Once I got in a rhythm and knew how best to search, every book went pretty quickly into my database. The only “extra” step I had was adding the physical location field to each record. I put the room (L), the bookcase #, then the shelf number where each book is housed. Consider this conversation we had the other day:
Jeff: Do we have a copy of Shane?
Me: Yes we do. Tap, tap, tap. L5.4. It’s in the library on the 5th case on the 4th shelf.
And within moments, he had it in hand.
I still have books to catalog in other rooms. All the “to read” books in our bedroom and all the research and writing books that live in my office. But the majority are in. I’ve let friends and family know my library is open for lending—especially now that I can keep track of who has borrowed what!
The other bonus? No more accidentally buying a book we already own! Notice I said accidentally. We have been known to buy 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) copies of certain books on purpose.
That’s our library! Do you have a place dedicated to your books or are they scattered about? Have you used a cataloging app for your books? Tell us about your experience!