A Short Introduction to LibraryThing
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Signing up for LibraryThing is fast and easy. All you need is a member name and a password. We do not require any other information.
To sign up on LibraryThing, go to the home page. Create a member name and password. You have the option to add an email to your account. Choose your account type — Personal or Organizational from the drop-down menu. Click Join now.
Your home page shows announcements, books recently added to your library, local events in your area, your top tags, your collections, and links to much more. You can customize the look of your home page by reordering and showing specific sections of text on the page. Click the customize this page link located next to your member name.
- Connections links to your connections, including your friends list, interesting libraries, private watchlist and top 50 similar libraries. Use Connections News to follow your reviews, ratings and other updates.
- Recommendations shows you lists of book recommendations automatically generated from LibraryThing data, recommendations from other LibraryThing members, and unsuggestions of books least likely to coincide with your library.
- Reviews shows the reviews you have contributed to LibraryThing and reviews of the books in your library written by other members.
- Statistics/Memes shows you interesting statistics that have been compiled relating to the books, tags and authors in your library, common knowledge of book awards and series included in your library, and other interesting comparisons and highlights about your library collection.
- Clouds shows text clouds of tags and authors in your library, tag mirror of what other members are tagging the same books, and a collection of all LibraryThing tags, authors and common knowledge.
- Gallery shows the authors in your library and allows you to upload pictures of authors.
The profile page contains an overview of you and your library. It also highlights members with similar libraries, and lets you keep up with your friends' recently added books, reviews and ratings, and much more.
When viewing another member's profile, you see how many books you share with that person. You can also choose to add other members to your friends list, your interesting libraries list, or your private watchlist to keep track of them.
- Your Comments allows members to leave messages for one another.
- Edit profile/account settings allows you to upload a picture, write a little bit about yourself and your library, and set some account preferences. All the profile fields are optional — you choose how much or how little you want to share.
More: See Profile FAQ or Help.
Your books displays all the books that you have added to your catalog. You can choose to show your books as a list or display just the covers.
You can create and edit collections within your library with the All collections menu. Choose Edit collections to add, remove or edit collections within your book list.
- Double-click a box to edit the information in it or click the pencil icon.
- Customize which columns you want to display by choosing a display style. You can save up to 5 display styles. Edit them by clicking the pencil.
- Sort your catalog by clicking on the name of the column (e.g. Author, Title, Date). Click once to show in ascending (i.e. A-Z) order or click twice to show in decending (i.e. Z-A) order. A little blue triangle will appear next to the name of the column that you are sorting. You can also use the sort button.
- Click the printer icon to create a printable list of your catalog
- Use PowerEdit to edit several books at the same time.
- You can search through your library using the search box. You can limit your search to a specific field (e.g. Titles, Authors, Tags, Reviews). Choose a field from the drop-down menu at the right of the search box.
More: See Your library and your books FAQ or Help.
Start your LibraryThing library by adding books to it. Click the Add books tab. In the green search box, enter a title, author or an ISBN. Books will appear on the right side of the screen. Click on a book to add it to your library.
If the book you entered does not show on the screen you will need to add it manually. Click Add the book manually under the heading Other ways to add.
- LibraryThing takes its book information from Amazon, the Library of Congress, or one of more than 680 other libraries worldwide. See Search where? to change your information source.
- Many members like to tag their books. What are tags? To tag your books as you enter them, fill in the Tags to add field before you click search.
- Use Universal Import to import an outside list of books.
- Click (more) under a book title to display more information about a book, such as the edition.
- Click show quick edit to add and edit tags, ratings or reviews of the book right after you add it. To edit more information, click the pencil icon.
- For faster entry, use the * key on your numberpad instead of the X in an ISBN.
- Use a CueCat barcode scanner to enter your books quickly.
More: See Adding books FAQ or Help.
Each book you add to your library connects you to other people on LibraryThing through its work page. The work page gives you library-quality data about a book and shows you who else has the book and what they think about it.
- Click on a book title to visit its work page.
- Click details to see more information about a book.
- Click Edit book to edit the book's data, or to add a review, rating or tags.
- In the Common knowledge section, double-click a box to add and edit facts about the book or click the pencil icon.
- Click Change cover to upload your own cover image, or select a different cover.
- To delete a book from your catalog, click the red
More: See Your library and your books FAQ or Help.
Each book in your library is also connected to an author page for that work. The author page gives you personal information about an author, events for an author on LibraryThing Local, books they have written, links, member ratings, related tags, and much more.
- Click on an author's name to visit their author page.
- In the Common knowledge section, double-click a box to add and edit facts about the author or click the pencil icon.
- Links associated with the author (e.g. an official web page, a Facebook profile, a publisher's web page). These links can be listed in the green box on the right side of the screen.
More: See Author FAQ or Help.
All the group forums are connected through Talk. Talk is a special sort of forum system. With Talk, you can see the conversations happening in all groups, or just those conversations in your groups. You can also find conversations that mention books cataloged in your LibraryThing library.
- In Talk, you can select which conversations you'd like to view by clicking one of the options under The World or Your World.
- Add touchstones to your posts. Touchstones are works and authors touched on by a message you left in a group message board or a talk posting. To add a touchstone, put [square brackets] around the works and authors you mention in your message — single brackets for [works], double brackets for [[authors]]. Adding touchstones helps you and others find the conversations that interest you most.
More: See Talk and Groups FAQ or Help.
Connect with other members by joining or creating a group. You can make a group for a club, a place, a subject, or even a private group for just your friends. You can talk in the group forum, search all group members' libraries at once, or check out the Group Zeitgeist to spot shared books.
All the group forums are connected through Talk.
- To keep tabs on a Group without actually joining it, you can "watch" a group. It will show up in your list of groups, but you won't appear on the list of members.
- Click on a topic to read all of the posts written by other members on that particular subject.
More: See Talk and Groups FAQ or Help.
LibraryThing Local connects you to local bookstores, libraries and book festivals—and to all the author readings, signings, discussions and events they host. Anyone can add a venue or an event.
- Local Home shows you venues in your area. By default, Local will show the location you entered, if you entered one on your profile page. Click the pencil icon to put your exact location in or choose to keep your location hidden from view.
- Click the star to mark a venue as a favorite. Click the star by an event to indicate that you are interested in attending the event. You can also see other members who may be going to the same event.
More: See Local FAQ or Help.
You can search for a book in your library collection, members and libraries on LibraryThing, authors, tags, groups, talk messages and venues by location or name.
- Double-click on a search box to enter information.
- Use keywords to search in the corresponding box (e.g. Work, Author, Tags, Venue) on the page.
- Separate author name or book title with spaces and do not use punctuation when searching.
LibraryThing collects all sorts of data that is compiled from our members and their libraries. We show the largest libraries, a list of authors who LibraryThing, top books, top 25 books by star rating, top 75 authors, 25 most reviewed books, top languages used, and much more.
More allows you to connect to your account options, gives information on how to add a widget to your blog or LibraryThing Mobile to your cell phone, instructions for importing and exporting data to your library from other files and web pages, stuff you can buy from LibraryThing, and much more.
- To create a blog widget that displays books that you're currently reading, tag those books currently reading and use the standard blog widget to only display books with that tag.
- Create a Search widget that will let people search your LibraryThing library directly from your blog.