Tools for Readers: Library Management

Delicious Library is an excellent tool for anyone with a large amount of media.  It enables you to easily record, categorize, and share your library.  Whether your media is music, movies, video games, or books, Delicious can handle it.  I first started looking for ways to manage my library when my wife and I first decided on getting renter\’s insurance. For the insurance to really be worth it, we needed to have a good idea of the value of our possessions.  Even tougher, though, was that we\’d probably have to provide an itemized list were we ever robbed (or you know, had our house burned down).  That got me thinking about my library. I have a large library, especially for someone in my stage of life.  What can I say, I\’m a bibliophile! Other kids would spend their money on movies and video games, I always spent mine on books.  So, looking for options (as well as helping my manage my over-grown collection) I found  Delicious Library.  I\’ve got a friend who keeps the entire contents of his library in an Excel spreadsheet, but that seemed like a lot of work at this point in the game.  I really wanted something easier.  
So, how is Delicious easier?

Delicious Library Window
Delicious Library Full Window View

If you have a camera (or built-in iSight for all of those Apple users like me) then there is a \”scan\” mode that works just like the scanner at a store.  Simply hold your media\’s UPC code up to the camera, center the code, and beep!  The program automatically downloads all of the information from Amazon. If, as will happen to those with much older books, your book doesn\’t have a UPC attached, you can use the simple search function using the ISBN (or, for those very rare cases when your book doesn\’t have an ISBN, the title, author, or other identifiable characteristics) and go through the same process.  

On the right, you can see what the full window of the application looks like.  Clearly, it took some hints from the iTunes design.  
section of BBH
Now, I haven\’t actually finished uploading all of my books (as you can see here, I\’ve only got about 50 books, and over 100 movies and tv shows loaded, as well as all of my iTunes library, which uploads automatically), but you can still see a good representation of what the application looks like in usage.  In the center are your books.  If you click on one of them (in this case, Adler\’s excellent \’How to Read a Book\’) it pulls up a side bar shows you the downloaded synopsis and material from Amazon.  If you click on one of the other side-bar options, instead of a synopsis of the book, it provides added details. 

For example, when I select Pratico and Van Pelt\’s \’Basics of Biblical Hebrew\’ and then \”details\” on the side-bar it pulls up this image (right). Aside from the synopsis and details, you can also download amazon reviews, leave personal comments, edit any of the include fields, or leave your own personal rating.  Pretty useful stuff.
One of the more handy sorting options is the  “bookshelves” that you can create and use to sort your collection (visible in the first photo, on the left-hand side), as you can see I’ve several shelves so that I can sort my library digitally the way I have it sorted physically. 
Perhaps best of all, this tool is on sale currently for only $25.  You can also download a free trial (worth 25 uploads) so you can see how it works for yourself before you dish out the money.  
The only thing I wish this tool had that it doesn\’t is a mobile app.  However, we can hope that such is on the way.
How about you guys?  Any tools for helping you manage your books and other media?

Published by Jared Saltz

Biblical Studies Faculty (Florida College). PhD candidate at HUC-JIR. Husband, father, student.

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