03 December 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #48 - Personal Genealogy Library

Google Books has been my virtual library for about six months. It began when I decided I needed to pare down my home library to make room for my new genealogical additions in the form of family binders and reference works. As an avid reader who falls in love with stories, the prospect of giving away any of my books was, believe it or not, painful to me. My sister suggested that I make a list of all of the books and a few thoughts about each one so that I would remember the books and have something to go back to for reference, but with the number of books I have, the thought was daunting.

Along came my new Android phone and the Android market for applications! There is an Android phone application called Book Mobile, which includes a bar code scanner. Using the phone's camera the application has the ability to scan a book's bar code and then upload the information to Google Books. Once in Google Books, you can further identify and categorize your books. Some of my categories include Genealogy - Connecticut, Genealogy - DAR, Genealogy - Jewish, etc. The possibilities are limitless and best of all, it is free.

That said, I was still interested in checking out Amy Coffin and Genea-Blogger's suggestions to look at LibraryThing, Good Reads and Shelfari. Tonight I had only a few brief minutes, but I noticed right away that I would have to pay with LibraryThing as their limit for the free account is 200 books. Also, I did not see a way to import my Google Books list. Upon further investigation I discovered that it is possible to export a list of my books on Google as an XML file, which is a format that LibraryThing can accept for import. If this same possibility exists with either of the other two options, Good Reads or Shelfari, I may be calling a new library home. It makes me nervous that I have so much information invested in Google. 

Thanks for reading!

Scrappy Gen


  1. I was browsing around your blog after your lovely comment on mine. You have so many interesting links and information. I noticed on your places tab at the top, you listed Kilkenny. I was there this last summer. I highly recommend a trip to Ireland. I think I need a second trip.

    I don't really understand the Android app you mention, but then I have a plain jane phone. Does it keep a list of your book titles? I think I am on the verge of getting an ereader so I can store my genealogy resource books on it - could I do that?

  2. Thanks for playing along with the 52-week challenge!

  3. It was fun Amy, thank you for your challenges!

    Margel, How wonderful you were in Kilkenny. I definitely plan to go someday. The town is Freshford Village.

    On my phone, my books appear as a simple list without categories. It doesn't upload the actual text of a book. I am currently using the Amazon Kindle application on my phone and on my computer for several digital books I have. My husband has the actual Kindle and loves it.

    Thank you both for your comments!!


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