Virtual Bookshelves

Book-related websites are a penny a dozen, and one of the more important ones that every literature aficionado should have is a virtual bookshelf to display the books s/he has read. There are nine websites that offer such services to bookworms:

1. reader2
I have an account here, displaying all the titles I have read since 16. What I like about this site is that I can put in unlimited titles. What I don’t like about this site is that the layout is quite disorganised and it takes quite long to load on my dial-up.

2. LibraryThing
I have two accounts here, one for my personal Top 200 books, and one to display my personal bookshelf. What I like about this site is the clean, bright layout. What I don’t like about this site is that you have to pay a fee if you register more than 200 books – it’s a lifetime fee, though.

3. Shelfari
I just discovered this, but I don’t have an account here because I don’t need one, though I wish I do. It looks like it combines the best of reader2 and LibraryThing; I’d recommend giving it a try before the previous two mentioned.

4. Gurulib
I have an account here, but I have yet to use it. The layout is exactly as Gmail, which I thought was cute. This site offers more than a virtual bookshelf – you can also put in titles of the movies you’ve watch, or dvds you own, etc. It loses points on layout and I thought the system was complicated, which was why I wasn’t interested in using it. It does win some points for being more than a virtual bookshelf.

5. All Consuming
The tagline of this site is What are you consuming? Similar as Gurulib’s format, but besides recording “consumptions” of book, movies and the like, you can also record consumption of food and drink! (But when I click on Food and Drink it strangely brought me to movie titles that were “consumed” by members.) Layout seems to look better than Gurulib’s, though I can’t say for sure as I don’t have an account here.

6. Delicious Library
If you like to keep log of your books, video games, movies but do it offline, this site offers a program you can download. At the front page, it keeps mentioning the Mac, so I suspect this might only be good for Mac computers.

7. Bookpedia
This site has also a downloadable program to keep an archive of books you’ve read. I like this concept; you don’t have to be online to update your reading log. I’m going to download it.

8. goodreads
It is touted as the “Friendster for bookworms.” It is a concept that enables you to compile a booklog and keep track of your friend’s booklogs. Should be a great tool to keep up with what your friends are reading and at the same time yours.

9. revish
Looks like a very book-centred site, unlike the others where you can archive titles of movies, video games and whatnot besides books. Besides keeping a log of your books, there are other book-related activities in the site that promotes a community feel, such as book reviews. A clean, appealing layout. I won’t try it out just yet, but I just may in the future.

If you know of any other similar website that I have missed out, please leave a comment and a link there.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sassywho
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 01:40:19

    oh crap, like i need more book sites to become addicted to. in fact librarything was the only one i was aware of, and now i get to “explore” all of the others.

    nylusmilk: explore as you please, but i have a feeling you’ll just end up appreciating your librarything even more! i think it’s still the best. feel free to leave your thoughts about the other sites here, i’d love to hear them. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. aloi
    Oct 23, 2007 @ 19:19:03

    wow! i’m overwhelmed! i recently moved from librarything to shelfari, and you’re right, librarything seems to have much more to offer but am loving the shelfari the layout.

    *wanders off to check out the other sites* thanks for the reviews!

    nylusmilk: i’m glad you enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Trackback: Catalog your books online! « aloi reads
  4. Netty Gritty
    Oct 26, 2007 @ 11:04:15

    good job! it will come in very handy if i ever choose to do a virtual bookshelf thing.

    thanks for the hard work!

    nylusmilk: thank you for you kind words! ๐Ÿ˜€


  5. ejsfifield
    May 16, 2008 @ 04:39:07

    I’m looking for a site that I can catalog my work library. Most of these items are not published books but reports we’ve done or related pamphlets/newsletters. Any suggestions on which one would be the best for that kind of thing? Thanks for this research by the way!

    nylusmilk: glad you found this post useful. ๐Ÿ™‚ i have only used reader2, librarything and shelfari, so i can only personally recommend reader2. librarything, while it is arguably the best in this field, needs payment if you catalog over 200 books. reader2 can be unreliable (inaccessible sometimes) but you won’t lose your catalog data or anything. i also see a lot of unconventional titles there, so perhaps people are using it to catalog reports or something too. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Cat
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 20:13:43

    Thanks for this. I’ve been asking on Twitter and on a few forums I’m on regularly and still can’t decide.

    I think I’ll have a closer look at Goodreads and Shelfari as most people have recommended it.

    Thanks again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    nylusmilk: yeah, i heard shelfari is good and it looks good too presentation wise. good luck in deciding! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  7. nylusmilk
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 20:36:41

    another similar site


  8. Laura
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 23:30:42

    Another great one is GuruLib.

    nylusmilk: that’s number 4 in my post above. ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. museditions
    Jul 18, 2009 @ 15:12:39

    How did I miss this one??? (By not paying attention, I expect.) This is a great list! Now, I want you to do a post about how to manage all your social networking and bookie sites, and remembering to read them, and commenting and friending everyone! I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    nylusmilk: well, this post was quite some time ago! ๐Ÿ™‚ oh no, i didn’t sign up for all of them haha, just librarything and reader2. gosh, that would be crazy! librarything is the best, as you probably know. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  10. MB
    Aug 26, 2009 @ 22:59:16

    Thanks for posting this list. So helpful. I’m looking for clean, organized & easy. I want to catalog all the books I’ve read, not only own. I’d like a place for notes, dates, storage location, etc. And it would be great to be able to sort that way too. I don’t care about social aspects, but I wouldn’t mind a small amount. As far as entering the books, I don’t own most of the ones I’ve read so I’d love a way to search & enter. Do you know if any of the sites you review offer these features? I’m leaning towards Shelfari, but maybe Delicious Library (I have a Mac). Also, what is your expanded opinion on the downloads as opposed to the online catalogs? Thanks for your thoughts!

    nylusmilk: i’ve only used librarything and reader2 from the list i compiled above. i think librarything’s the best, though shelfari seems to be its nearest rival in that aspect.

    personally i prefer anything done online than downloads. if your computer were to crash at least the information you painstakingly compiled will be safe! ๐Ÿ™‚ my two cents.


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