Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cataloguing My Books with Goodreads

Following my Kindle housekeeping on Christmas (after everyone's gone to bed), I'd wanted to organize my physical bookshelves as well. I thought about scanning bar codes for this bookish project for speediness and Goodreads came to mind. I usually use Goodreads to report on the status of my readings but this time I decided to also leverage it as a catalogue for my personal library. I can also export my catalogue to MS Excel. Here's what I did:
  1. Group books into categories (or for Goodreads, “Shelves”) for easy scanning. In my case, I grouped my books into languages (Italian, French, Spanish, etc.) and because I have heaps on Italy, I made a pile for that category too.
  2. Scan barcodes of all the books in the segregated categories (or “Shelves”). I used my iPhone to do the job.
    Scanned books.
  3. Once the books are scanned, click on "Shelve" and select the desired "Shelve" to add them into. This is why pre-grouping the books into categories is recommended so that adding them into the folders one-shot will be a painless exercise.
  4. Click on “More Shelves” if customized shelves have been created. The default bookshelves are "Want to Read," "Currently Reading," and "Read" and I've created a few more customized ones.
    I have created more categories or folders and can be viewed under "More Shelves".
  5. When this batch is done, click on “Clear” to remove previously scanned books.
  6. Continue to scan books in piles of other categories. Repeat the above steps. If there is no bar code available or if the scanning does not return any result, you'll have to manually add the book. Check to see if the book is already available or would need to be created.
This is how my Goodreads page looks like for now. You'll be able to see all my customized "bookshelves" on the left navigation pane.
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Here's how one of my shelves looks like for the language section. My dictionaries are on the top with the other languages such as Japanese and Chinese at the back. Romance languages such as Italian, Spanish, etc. are the ones below them.

This will be an ongoing project. I'm working through all my bookshelves and although it's a backbreaking exercise, I'm loving every moment of it!