Recently I've been acquiring a lot more books and also trying to repurchase some as a hardcover when I can. I tend to get confused at times trying to remember what I already purchased, if I got this or that edition, or what volume of which series is the one I'm missing.
I turned to Twitter and a friend tells me, "Well there's an app for that, silly!" And my life was changed.
Okay, maybe it hasn't really changed my life, but it's made things much more convenient. I looked up various reviews of book catalog apps such as Good Reads, iBookshelf and others, settled on Book Crawler and purchased it in the app store for $1.99. (It's a fair price considering all it does!) And I'm so glad I did.
The interface is smooth and pleasant to look at, not to mention it's simple to enter everything. I don't have a scanner accessory for my iPad, but all I need to do is input the book's ISBN and everything comes right up (alternatively, I could input a book title and choose from a list after a search). After that, I have options to mark the book as owned, loaned or add comments about anything else. In my case, if the book was a gift I leave a comment about it.
Besides the book tab, there's an author tab to look up books in my catalog/library by author, a community tab and ample settings to play with. I'm really loving it so far, though I've only entered 88 books into the thing. Once I get past the 150 threshold I'll have to start backing it up on their server, since it looks like it won't save on the device by simply backing it up on my computer.
I don't really see any drawbacks to using this, particularly because I know I'll have hundreds of books entered. I don't have all my books in one place, either, so I'm happy to have an easy way to keep track of everything. It might seem unnecessary, but I've been at a book exchange or shop or even online looking at things and sitting there wondering whether I already own a copy. The best example I can give is I have a bunch of eBooks I'm working towards purchasing hard copy, so I lose track of which ones I already grabbed.
If you want to give it a try, there's a free version of Book Crawler that lets you catalog up to 25 books (something like that) to test it out. It's not quite enough to really get the full effect of organizing things your way or creating specific sections/groups for certain kinds of books, but it gave me a feel for the program before I went for the purchase.
More on this later when I've cataloged more of my library!
(images are screenshots I took from my iPad)