I described using Librarything.com in my last post, which is an inexpensive online system to catalog and sort your book collection.
Although I use LT, my favorite cataloging software is Collectorz.com, which can be used either online or a computer, and has apps for both iOS and Android phones and tablets. Collectorz is based in Holland, and started as a hobby for some friends who wanted to catalog their extensive comic book collection. It is now available for Books, Movies, Comics, Video Games, and Music. The basic cost of the PC or Mac version is $29.95, while a Pro version, for $49.95, allows you to create user-defined fields, add multiple books at once using a scanner,
either from a phone or external scanning device. If I have only one or two books to add, I type in the ISBN number, but if you are entering a lot of books (or music, etc., at once), the Pro version and a barcode scanner really speed up the process. Minor updates, which are frequent, are free, but occasionally Collectorz will do a major update and charge a fee for this new version, although the older versions are supported. The price includes free online cloud storage, so you can back up your collections, and access them from a web browser, although it does not allow you to manipulate or add books on the site. The different programs, for videos, music, comics, look and work the same way as the Book edition. You can get a 30-day free trial of the Pro version here.
I also like that Collector automatically adds genre and category tags, which you can easily change, allows you to enter personal data more quickly than the LT version, downloads plot synopses, and has an easy sort feature. For instance, my default sort is to keep my unread books on the top of my list, which is useful when I am trying to find a new book to read.
If you don’t care for a machine-based software, you can use their online product called Collector Connect, which is more like LibraryThing, in that you can do everything online. The cost for this product is $24.95 per year, which is more than the lifetime price of LT for $25. I tried the 30 day free trial, and found it more versatile than LT, but it lacks the social aspect of reading other reviews, see who might have similar libraries, and looking for club meetings in your area. If those are important to you, the annual fee and flexibility of the paid version might not be worth it to you.
The last feature of Collectorz that I use quite frequently is the iPhone app, which is also available on Android. I sync my collection with my phone. When I’m wandering through a book store, I can quickly see if I already own a particular book that catches my eye. You can also create wish lists. Another useful feature is the Loan Manager, where you can note where, when, and to whom you lent your books, and create reminders when the books are past due.
Although slightly more expensive to use than LT, I’ve found that this is my favorite system, and the one I’m most careful to keep up to date.
Categories: book review