HelpThing was written by members like you, with some help from LibraryThing staff.
View a list of all of the HelpThing topics.
The first rule of HelpThing is "be bold!" If you can add or edit it, go ahead. We also have a HelpThing Style Guide.
Each work on LibraryThing has its own "work page". Works are compilations of different editions, translations, printings, etc. of a books - for example, a hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a different edition than a paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but they are both part of the same work.
URLs for work pages have the form /work/WORKNUMBER. Each book entered in your library has a unique book number that's assigned to it when you add it. If you're viewing the page of a book you have in your catalog, the URL will appear as /work/WORKNUMBER/book/BOOKNUMBER.
Book cover If you have a copy of this work in your catalog, this will show the cover that you have selected for this book. Otherwise, it will show the most popular cover for a work. Clicking on the cover takes you to the main work page.
Main page This is where you are.
Details Goes to the details page.
Edit your book Only visible if you have a copy of this work in your catalog. Goes to the edit page where you can edit the information about your copy of a book.
Covers Only visible if you have a copy of this work in your catalog. To see other people's cover images, to change yours, or to upload a new cover, click this link to go to the covers page.
Member Reviews Goes to all of the reviews of a work.
Recommendations Goes to a page with detailed recommendations of similar works.
Descriptions Goes to all member-entered and other descriptions of the work.
Common Knowledge Displays the Common Knowledge information for a work on its own page.
Members Goes to a page with more information about members of LibraryThing who have added this book to their catalog.
Currently Reading Goes to a page listing what users have this work in their Currently Reading category.
Wishlisted Goes to a page listing what users have this work in their Wishlist category.
Editions Goes to a page with a list of all editions that have been combined into this work.
If you have a book in your library, the title on the work page reflects the title you gave the book in your library. If you don't have a book, the title on the work page is the most common one used for that book.
Similar to the title, the author will reflect what's in your catalog if you have a book, and majority rule otherwise. Clicking on the author will take you to their author page.
- Members - The number of LibraryThing members that have this book in their library. Clicking on the number takes you to the members page.
- Reviews - The number of reviews that LibraryThing members have written about this work. Clicking on the number takes you to the reviews page.
- Popularity - A ranking of how popular this book is based on how many people have it in their library; lower numbers are more popular. So, for example, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has popularity #1, and any book with a single copy will be tied for popularity number #2,353,566 (at the moment). More than three million books are tied for 2,353,566th place.
- Average Rating - The average rating that this book has received, ranging from 0.5 to 5. Clicking on the stars takes you to the members page where you can see more detail.
- Conversations - The number of times that this work has been mentioned (using touchstones) in HelpThing:Talk). Clicking on the number will take you to the conversations page for more detail.
- Recently Added By - A list of the members who have recently added this work to their library, with the most recent first. Clicking on a member's name will take you to their profile page. The "see more" link will take you to the members page.
If you don't have a book in your library, you will see a small green plus sign and a link to add to your library. Because a work is typically an amalgamation of different editions, ISBNs and publications, this link does not immediately add a book to your catalog - there's no way of knowing which edition is correct. Instead, it takes you to the add books page and does a search on the book title, allowing you to select which version of a book you'd like to add.
If you have a book in your library, you will see a small pencil icon , a small red X icon , and a listing of your book's title, author, and publication information. Clicking the pencil will take you to a book's edit page. Clicking on the red X will bring up a dialog box, asking you to confirm that you really want to delete that book from your catalog. Clicking on the title will take you to the book details page.
If you have more than one copy of a work in your library, you will see both (all) of them listed in this section. Clicking on the title will take you the relevant book details page, as well as change the cover image that's displayed on the page (if your two editions have different covers). If you have inadvertently cataloged a book twice, you can use the red X to delete one of them. A listing of all of your duplicated works is available on your duplicates page (here).
The top combined recommendations for this work, based on "members with this book are also likely to have X" as well as similar tags. For more (and more detailed) recommendations, click on the more recommendations link. For really bad suggestions ("members with this book are really unlikely to have X"), click on the anti-recommendations link.
Shows three member reviews, sorted either by most recent first, or most helpful (i.e. most "thumbs up" votes) first. You can change or reverse the sort by clicking on "date" or "votes". If there are more than three reviews, clicking on "show all" will expand the list within this page; alternately, clicking on Member Reviews in the top stats bar or the left navigation bar will take you the reviews on their own page. For more information about reviews, thumbs, flags, and sorting, see the review FAQ.
Shows reviews from notable external sources, as entered by LibraryThing users.
Shows published references from external sources; currently, Wikipedia.
See HelpThing:Work/References for more detail.
Common Knowledge is a fielded wiki where members can contribute facts and data about books. For more information about data formatting in each of the fields, see the Common Knowledge FAQ. Clicking on the gray pencil will allow you to add or edit data in a field. Clicking on an entry in a field will search Common Knowledge for other books with that same information (i.e. other books that have won the Booker Prize).
LibraryThing members' descriptions
This is a specialized Common Knowledge-esque field in which you can enter a description of the work.
Pulls descriptions from Amazon for books with matching ISBNs. Clicking on the "See all XX descriptions" link will take you to the work descriptions page, where you can see professional and member-contributed descriptions.
Buy, borrow, or swap
Provides links to this book on a variety of external book-selling, lending, and swapping websites. Click on the pencil to edit which sites appear.
The "Swap This Book" link leads to the work swap pages. The numbers after the link indicate how many copies of this book are available on swap sites that integrate with LT, and how many copies are wanted by people on those sites.
Clicking on any of the covers or on the "see all" link will take you to the work covers page, where you can see Amazon-provided and member-uploaded covers used for this work, as well as change the cover of your copy (if you have the book in your library).
A bar graph of the distributions of ratings. For more information on who gave a book what rating, click on the Members link in the left column or on the average rating at the top.
This will only display if the work was written by a deceased author whose personal library was cataloged as part of our Legacy Libraries project. You can click on the link to the I See Dead People's Books group to find out more about Legacy Libraries. You can also find links to the "legacy author profile" page and the usual author page in this box.
LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum
This link will only appear for books which have been offered through the Early Reviewers program, which offers free books to LibraryThing members in exchange for a review on the site.