Of Shelfari and the Library Thing

This morning’s mail in my inbox contained an invite to join Shelfari. Initial instinct was to go for the ‘delete’ button. And then I saw it was from my young friend Anand Balaji.  I don’t know him as a compulsive ‘forwarders’ of serial mail. So I chose to open, to find it was about books; about networking one’s book-reading contacts. I reckoned Shelfari would be a window to show off my collection. Plus, I could browse other people’s  book-shelf, and engage the interested few in a chat on our mutual collecions, readings and book gossip.

Though I haven’t been reading much of late I boast of a sizeable collection. I am among those who like bragging about my books; and, to get listeners, I am even willing to loan them, even though I know most borrowed books are rarely returned. A few months back I discovered the Library Thing, where I catalogued my books. But then, after listing a score of books there (which was labour-intensive) I found something else to do. And my Library Thing list  remained un-updated for a while. Now I am into Shelfari. And I have made a fresh start at listing books….I know what you might be thinking. Wouldn’t be surprised if this list goes the way the other ‘Thing’ did.

The thing about my collection is that I picked nearly all titles on my shelf from pavement spreads in Delhi, Hyderabad; from used-book sales abroad, for 50 cents or a dollar a piece; some have been gifted by friends; or sent to me for review. Admitedly, there are a few titles I had neglected to return to its rightful owners.

Over the coming days and weeks I hope to catelogue them online in ‘My Shelf’. And my e-contacts could count on finding in their Inbox a Selfari invite. Hopefully, we could put in place a  network to access one another’s book-shelf online.                          


6 Responses

  1. Thanks for mentioning Shelfari. Don’t know if you’ve seen that you can import your Librarything catalog to Shelfari.

    If you’re logged in at Librarything, you can export your books from http://www.librarything.com/export-tab

    Then go to your Shelfari page and click “Build Shelf” on the left side, and find the “Import from File” section and import from there.

    Let me know how it goes.

    –Dave from Shelfari

  2. Me too! I have a little personal bookshelf at home and it is my pride. I lend books a lot, and some don’t come back, but I lend them anyway. And I love the second-hand book stores, I admit, I am thrifty, and I think buying books first hand is a waste of money. I know all the second-hand book stores around town, very well. And when libraries sell off old books, I am the first one to buy. After reading this blog, I became a shelfari user and catalouged my books too…but I have a question…how and where do I attach my sherfari book list on my blog?

  3. Its a nice site, shelfari is, with some insightful reviews. The only downside is almost all the reviews are excessively positive. I’m planning to remedy that. I recently read a tres stupid book called “The Da Vinci Code” on which I am planning to heap scorn and contumely.

    Nice to know there are so many bibliophiles still around. Maybe the world isn’t so hopeless after all. Thanks, GVK.

  4. lakshmi – once you sign into shelfari, you will find above ‘notes’ a button called – put your shelf on your blog.
    Choose the style you want on basic settings and then copy the HTML script to the blogger site of yours – i.e customize, add HTML script etc as usual..
    i am on shelfari as well..

  5. I am a shelfari user too!May be i could send you a friend request.You being an experienced and voracious reader can motivate me to read good ones!

  6. Thanks for mentioning Shelfari (even if it’s from way back over the summer) 🙂

    At any rate, we just launched a new blog widget at http://www.shelfari.com/widget

    Try it out and let me know what you think.


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