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!