LibraryThing App

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<< back to Help and Frequently Asked Questions

About the App

Blog posts: iOS and Android.
Download the app: iTunes and Google Play.

The LibraryThing App©(2015) is currently available for:

  • Apple iOS devices (anything earlier than iOS8/iPhone 4S is not supported)
  • Android devices "(running 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later)"

Using the App

The app can only be used if your device is connected to the internet (or your data service of choice), and you are logged into your account on the app. You can also register for a new account using the app. Anyone who registers for a new account or who logs into an existing account on the mobile app gets a free lifetime account.

Creating an Account

  1. After downloading and opening the LibraryThing App, tap the "Sign In" link from the App's Home page.
  2. Tap "Join Now for Free".
  3. Fill out the "Create Account" page, creating your Member Name, Password, and entering your Email address (recommended for password purposes). Then tap the "Join" button. Keep in mind: you cannot use spaces in your member name, and the only characters other than letters and numbers you can use are ".", "_", and "-" (the characters in quotations). Member names have a 20-character limit.


Your Catalog

A list of all of your books, shown by collection.

Search Your Catalog

Search Your Books in the search bar at the top, or tap on one of your Collections to search that Collection. Collection order depends on your collection order on the site (editable from the Collections drop-down menu on Your Books. Also displays total number of books in each collection.

Book Pages

Tap on individual titles—in List View or Cover View—to view individual book pages.

Here you can add or edit Ratings for each book (tap twice on stars for half-star ratings), edit your book's Collections*, view key fields for your book like barcode (if enabled on https://www.librarything.com/settings/barcodes LibraryThing.com barcode settings]), publication information, and open links to Amazon and LibraryThing. You can also delete your books within the app or tap to edit your books on LibraryThing.com.

*While you can change which Collections a book is in via the app, adding and removing Collections must be done on LibraryThing.com.

Add to Catalog

In addition to two options (Searching and Scanning) for adding books to your catalog, you'll also find a list of all your Recently Added books here. Tapping on a recently added book takes you to that book's details within your catalog.

Search to Add

Use the search bar at the top to search by title, author, ISBN, etc. Search results will display cover image (if available), title, author, and datasource in a list view. Tap on one of the results to see more details. On the detail page for your selected search result you'll find:

  • A larger cover image. You can tap on the cover image to view a full screen version.
  • Title
  • Author
  • Your currently selected collection(s), to which this result will be added. The "Edit" button to the right of "Adding to your collection" allows you to adjust your collections to which this book will be added.
  • Add to Catalog button. Tap to add to your catalog!

Scan to Add

Your device's built-in camera can scan ISBN barcodes on the back of books, DVDs, etc. for lightning-fast adding to your catalog. To use the scanning feature, head to Add to Catalog, then tap the barcode icon in the upper-right corner (to the right of the search bar). This will take you into your device's camera, within the LibraryThing App. From there, you can scan multiple items in quick succession.

To scan books to your catalog

  1. Tap Add to Catalog.
  2. Tap the barcode icon in the upper-right corner.
  3. Hover your device's camera window over the barcode of the book you'd like to add.
  4. Wait and listen for the beep (this indicates the barcode was successfully scanned).
  5. Once you hear the beep, you'll see your result appear above the camera window within a few seconds.
  6. You can either wait until your result displays, or continue scanning more books after you hear the beep.

Details about the various options and settings within the Scan window are below.


At the top of the Scan window, you'll see "Collection: [Your collection name here]" along with an "Edit" link. This bar lets you choose which collection(s) your scanned items will be added to. You can change your collections at any time in a single scanning session, for example: if you have 10 books to add, and you'd like five of them to go into Your library, and five of them in Read but unowned. Simply make sure your Scan window is displaying the correct collection in this bar before you scan that barcode.

In the camera view, you'll see most of the window greyed out, with a white highlighted rectangle toward the bottom. Within this rectangle is where you'll want to position the barcode to be scanned. Hover your device over the book, lining up the barcode with the highlighted window, and listen for the beep. This sound indicates that your device has successfully read the barcode.

Scanning to add to your catalog works just like searching by ISBN, only you don't have to type in anything. So, scanning a barcode triggers a search of our data sources for a match to the ISBN you've just scanned. Once you've scanned an item, another section will appear above the highlighted window—just below your collections setting. Depending on your data/wifi connection, your scanned item may take a few seconds to return a search result. While it's still working, you'll see something like "97818xxxxxx, Searching" appear in this section, along with a blank cover. Once the search is complete, you'll see the true cover image, title, and author of the book you scanned appear in this space. This indicates that the book was successfully added to your catalog.

If you're using the app on a tablet, be sure you're in a well-lit space, as some tablets do not have a built-in flash. On an phone, you can use the "Light" button (lightning bolt icon) in the lower right corner of the camera window to turn on your phone's flash.


Once you've successfully scanned at least one book into your catalog, the "Review" button becomes available in the upper-left corner from the Scan window. Review will give you a list of all the books you've scanned in your current scanning session, and will indicate whether any of them are still actively searching for results. Again: if an item in this list appears as a blank cover next to the ISBN, labeled "Searching," this indicates an on-going search for the book you've scanned. Once the true cover image, title, and author have appeared, the book has been successfully added.

Tap "Done" to return to Add to Catalog. Once you leave Review, your scanning session will be ended, and you will not be able to return to that list.

Cover Explorer

View your books by cover type. Improve the quality of your library by uploading custom covers for your books, covers to books with no covers, replacing low-quality covers, etc.

Uploading New Covers

You can upload new (higher quality) covers using your Apple device's built-in camera. Tap to view your list of books within each cover type (No cover, Amazon cover, etc), and go to each book page to upload new covers:

  1. From your book page, tap the camera icon below the cover image.
  2. Take a close-up photo of your book cover, or go to your Photo Gallery to pick a saved photo.
  3. Crop your photo to the edges of the cover, either manually or by tapping the "Auto" button.
  4. Edit your cover photo's brightness, contrast, or saturation to your liking. Tap "Ok" to upload the cover image for your book.

If your cover upload fails (or you choose to cancel it), you will be given the option to either Save your cover photo for later or Discard it.

Uploading From Your Photos

If your initial cover upload failed, or you have a photo already on your device you'd like to use for your cover:

  1. From your book page, tap the camera icon below the current cover image.
  2. Tap the pile of photos icon (to the right of the shutter button.
  3. If you haven't already given the app permission to access your device's photos, you'll be prompted to do so now. Tap "Allow."
  4. Select your image.
  5. Once you've selected the image, you'll be able to use the app's built-in photo editing tools to adjust it to your liking.
  6. Tap "Ok" in the lower-right corner to confirm.

Tips for Cover Uploading

  • Keeping your book flat on a table or the floor (instead of in your hand) will keep the photo from looking tilted.
  • The right lighting is everything—this will mean the difference between being able to read your titles if it's too dark and getting glares or shadows in the cover photo, etc.


Read up on LibraryThing's latest News topics, with direct links to the site. This is mostly the same news items you'll see on the right-hand side of the [www.librarything.com/home LibraryThing home page] when you're signed in.


Here you can view and edit all of your app settings for your Account. This is also where you sign in and out of the app.

Cover Upload Size

Just as it sounds. When you upload covers within the app, they will get saved to our database in either medium, large or full size. Sizes are measured by the number of pixels on the longest side of the image.

  • Medium: 1000px
  • Large: 2000px
  • Full-size: 3000px

Add Books Sources

Select and reorder your sources to add books within the app. You can search OverCat (LibraryThing's own database of high-quality records from over 3,000 library systems worldwide) and Amazon.com.

To reorder your Add Books sources, hold and drag the icon to the right of the listed sources in the order that you want to search them.

What's the Quick Find Feature?

Quick Find is turned on for you automatically when you download the app (it's the default setting). If Quick Find is on, Add Books will stop searching once it's found a source that has results for your book. This makes searching for Your Books much quicker. If Quick Find is turned off, the app will search for your book through all of the sources you've selected, until the search is complete. You'll see all search results for your book this way, instead of just the results from the first successful source. If you have a lot of books to add in a short amount of time, we recommend using Quick Find.

Account Information

See which account you're logged into, if you use more than one account. The account username will display, along with a "Sign Out" button below. Again, if you're using the app, your account type should be listed as "lifetime." If your account was not automatically upgraded to a lifetime account when you signed up/signed in via the app, contact LT staff to let them know (info@librarything.com).


Gives you the version and build of the app on your device. Got a bug? Check to see which version/build of the app you have on your phone, and add it to your report.

Bug Reports

If you're experiencing trouble with the app, search the Bug Collectors Group to see if it's been reported yet. If not, go ahead and post your bug report for developers and staff to investigate.

Things to include in your bug report

  • LT App version and build number
    • from your LT App's Account page
  • which type of device you're using, remember to be specific
    • don't just say "iPhone," or "Android," but tell us whether you're using a iPhone 5, HTC, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Sony, etc.
  • what OS (operating system) you're using
    • for iPhones, you can find this under Settings > General (looking at your software)
    • for Android, this varies a bit, but can generally be found under Settings > About phone > Android version
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