Personal Library

I spent the day yesterday being a complete geek – I catalogued all my books and it took a good two to three hours! I sorted and dusted, and found old loves and double copies. It was a bibliophile’s bliss. Crouching by the bookshelf with my laptop, tapping titles into excel was quite exciting. I guess this is a good indicator that I will quite likely enjoy cataloguing books.

Here are the stats: I have amassed 386 books and I have read 189 of them which isn’t bad. I did not include boxed books from my childhood that are somewhere in the garage.

Some books I thought I had do not exist and I found others that I had forgotten I had bought. Many of the unread are the pile of books I buy (at low, low, LOW prices) from the twice-a-year book sales at uni where they’re practically giving such good quality books away at the price you’d find with Mills and Boons.

I use to have a similar database. I downloaded the inventory database from that is meant for a book business but I used it instead to catalogue my books. I lost the whole thing when a virus ate up my old computer. I think I’ll stick with something simpler this time.

Do any of you catalogue your own books and what sort of method do you use?



  1. I use GoodReads – because you can customize your shelves you can keep a list of books you OWN as well as books on your to-be-read list that you don’t own.

    I think it’s because I work with Excel on a daily basis. I cringe at having to do it outside of work.

    386 books is a great accomplishment, by the way! You should be proud!

  2. Lena – I’ve tried using online databases, such as shelfari, but…it never works out for me and it becomes tiresome. It will work well if I was a frequent traveller and away from home, I suppose.

  3. I’d like to catalog my books, but I have so many that whenever I think about it, I get daunted and walk away. I have a Goodreads account, which has about half of the books I own on there and that’s about as far as I’ve gotten.

    Over a hundred unread books, eh? God, now I don’t feel so bad. I started counting my unread books last week and stopped when I got to fifty. It was depressing me. 😉

  4. i m new here.i m a voracious reader and a book lover and quite a bibliophile myself.yes i catalogue my books and i use goodreads now.earlier i used to maintain a diary keeping a track of what i m reading n sometimes when.i still do it sometimes now.goodreads is ok to a extent but nothing beats the pleasure of doing it yourself n maintaining it in a evokes such found memories when go u back through them at a later stage in life.

  5. I have a GoodReads and Shelfari account (why both… I don’t know) but I also catalogue my books/books I’ve read in Excel.

    I’m not a great Excel expert so I’d be interested in seeing how you keep your records. I basically have a couple sheets – Books Read, 2009, Loaned out, To Borrow from Library.

    For the main “Books Read” sheet I have a column for: title, author, page number, year published, date read and isbn. Though I am now considering putting in date/place purchased.

    What about you? Is this similar to yours?

  6. Sujata – welcome! 🙂 I tried to keep a written reading diary but I found it a little tiresome since I also keep a journal.

    Rebecca – I’m not an Excel expert too. I only have one sheet, mainly to keep track of my own collection, and I columns where I mark whether I have read it, duplicate copies, edition (if it’s important). Tres simple and basic. 🙂 And I rarely loan books out so it’s always easy to keep track of that. I used to have a complete system when I was younger…

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