Integrating Bookshelves – Libraything & Shelfari

15 Feb

Like many people out there, I too have (as in possess/own) a lot of books. They seem to multiply on their own. As you can guess this poses a few challenges starting with storage, cataloging & duplication. The biggest problem is keeping track of books I have read so that I don’t buy them again (I’m stupid that way!) So I keep a list of books I want to read/buy handy on me at all times.

The other issue arises with respect to sharing booklists with friends. Also, there are times people ask me for suggestions. At such times, my mind goes blank. A list of books with a brief summary/review would be handy (something like Shefaly has done).

Since I borrow a lot of books from various libraries, keeping my booklists online is better than scanning my own bookshelf. But this will take a while to get done. I will not get here into a comparison of various book cataloguing sites, but there are really 4 of them out there: Librarything, Shelfari, Goodreads & Google Books. I’m currently on the first two, and like a lot of you have issues of integrating the two bookshelves.

1. Adding your books to Librarything in bulk

a) Scan the ISBN barcodes of your books to a .txt file using a barcode scanner.

b) Logon to Librarything. Go to

c) Upload the .txt file

2. Adding Shelfari books to Librarything

a) Logon to Shelfari. Go to

b) At the very bottom, you see “Download a list of your books”. Click on the download link. The file will be saved.

c) Login to Librarything. Go to

d) Upload the Shelfari file.

3. Adding Librarything books to Shelfari

a) Logon to Librarything. Go to

b) You’ll see an export option on the right, near the bottom. Export your booklist (any format)

c) Open the exported file. Replace ‘[‘ & ‘]’ by blanks. Save as a tab delimited text file.

d) Logon to Shelfari. Go to

e) Upload the txt file & import.

Some of your books on one site might not upload to another due to differences in their ISBN lookups. Given that both of them are part owned by Amazon, you’d expect this to be resolved by now. But so it is, and so it goes. Do let me know your experience.


Posted by on February 15, 2010 in Biz/Tech, Books, Links


2 responses to “Integrating Bookshelves – Libraything & Shelfari

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