One of my 2013 bookish goals is to get back into using Bookpedia as a way of keeping a book inventory. A couple weeks ago I spent a Saturday adding all my books to the program, and of course now I’m as in love with it as ever.
What is Bookpedia?
Bookpedia is a software program that lets users catalog their personal libraries, keep track of books they’ve lent out, and create wishlists. You can set due date reminders for books you’ve lent to friends, add notes to individual books (it was a gift, it’s signed, etc.), or simply use it as a way to keep track of the books you have and/or want.
There’s also some exporting features that come in handy — next time someone asks me what books I want for my birthday, I can export my wishlist as a spreadsheet and mail it to them.
There’s a free version available for download, but it’s limited, and the full version is well worth the $18. Note that Bookpedia is currently only available on Macs (Apple) — sorry, Microsoft/Windows users.
Check this out:
I’m on “Library” here, which lets me see every book that I’ve entered. I’ve also selected an individual book, The Mark of Athena, and I can see all kinds of info like number of pages, plot summary, and even other books in the series.
You can customize which columns appear in your Library. I’ve added a Comments section, as well as a place to indicate which books were gifts, and a column that indicates when a book is signed.
There’s also a search bar that comes in handy when I wonder, “Do I still have that book?” or “Wasn’t this a gift from someone?”
All I have to do is hit the “Add” button at top left, enter my book, and Bookpedia searches through around 20 databases (mostly Amazon-related) and presents me with books that match my search. You can search by author, book title, or ISBN.
Sometimes a search by title or author will generate hundreds of options. It’s annoying to have to cycle through them all to find the one you want, so I’ve always found it faster to search by ISBN. You can find a book’s ISBN by searching for it on websites like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and GoodReads, and of course on the back of the book itself near the bar code.
If a search turns up no results, or a book doesn’t have an ISBN, Bookpedia will also let me manually add a book.
I don’t lend books very often, but people who do so frequently will get a lot of use out of the “Borrowed” tab, where you can see a list of all the books you’ve loaned, to whom you’ve loaned them, and when they’re due back to you.
There’s also a “Wish List” tab, where you can enter books that you’d like to add to your library. Want to add a book that hasn’t been released yet? Bookpedia will do it, and will show you the projected release date as well.
How I use Bookpedia
I love Bookpedia because it lets me see at a glance what books I’ve got, as well as which ones are loaned out. Unlike a site like GoodReads, I don’t have to have an Internet connection to see what books are on my shelves.
On the other hand, I don’t use the “Wish List” feature very much because I like having a list of books I want right at my fingertips (in case of an unplanned shopping trip). If there was a Bookpedia app for my phone I’d used it, but for now I keep an online TBR list using Listography so I can access it any time.
I also like the fact that I can add comments about a book, remind myself who gave it to me and when, and whether or not it’s autographed.
Bookpedia is a great way to manage your own library, and can be used in lots of different ways. I highly encourage you to check it out.