Stuff on Sunday: BookCollectorz for Book Collectors

 

I probably tried close to, if not more than, a dozen book catalogue software/app options in my first few years as a book blogger. At the time, I was specifically in need of a catalogue which I could access offline via an app (because mobile internet access was prohibitively expensive and public wifi wasn’t a thing) and that could also handle a large database. It was a tedious process, none of the PC software I trialed was particularly useful, (though they would allow me to print a txt document which at one time I did on a dozen or more pages, and keep in my bag), and all of the apps eventually crashed after the database reached a listing of about 1500, sometimes far less. I gave up eventually.

 

 

Then I finally stumbled upon BookCollectorz, one of a suite of cataloguing apps developed in The Netherlands. They had just released a companion app for their desktop software and I decided it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. They offered a free trial, and because I could populate the database with a CVS file, I could import a file from my Goodreads account, and immediately test the limits of the app database. I was thrilled to find it worked, and within days I’d bought it all (At the time, the desktop software was required to populate the app database, though that’s no longer the case). I’ll admit that It took a few months to build and customise the catalogue. Initially I’d opted to add not only all the books & ebooks I owned, but also those I had read, and wanted to read. Eventually however I decided to use it just to track ownership of my my own collection, and my wishlist. Books I have read (that I don’t own) are recorded on Goodreads.

 

These days I actually use the app (CLZ Books) almost exclusively on my iPad, though I have Book Collector (the software) installed on my desktop, which offers several additional features that aren’t available via the app. I regularly sync the catalogue across my various devices, which includes my iPhone, so I always have access to it, online or off. If you don’t have the room on your device to install the catalogue, Collectorz also offers a cloud based only option, Book Connect. I have all three because I purchased BookCollectorz when it was a single product, and as such was ‘grandfathered’ in to the newer individual subscription model. At the moment this means I only need to pay for the annual Book Collector service plan.

 

 

Adding a new book to the catalogue is generally a fairly simple process.

You can opt to ‘Add by Searching Online’ which allows you to search the database by a manually entered ISBN, or by using your devices camera (or a handheld scanner peripheral for a desktop) to scan and capture the ISBN via the barcode, or by Author/Title. You then select the book, and add it either to your collection, or your wishlist.

If the book is not found in the database, you can ‘Add Manually’, entering the details to a blank form to create an entry. I run across this occasionally, particularly with very early ARC’s, however the good news is that the information is submitted to the central database, so if any user of the software has created an entry, it will automatically be found for the next user.

 

 

Once you’ve added a book to your catalogue, you can then edit it. Many of the book details will already be filled in, provided by the online database, but you can modify every field, to change, or to complete the information. However, the main reason to edit your book entries, is to add information that is specific, or important to you.

My setup is pretty simple, along with the basic information (page count, series, blurb, genre etc) I record the physical location of the book (eg. Shelf, Kindle, iPad etc), and the source I obtained it from (eg. Netgalley, publisher, gift, Book Depository etc). However there are plenty of other generated fields you can populate, and you have the option to create your own.

 

 

Your catalogue is searchable by author or title. You can also sort by any field, including, but not limited to series, genre, publisher, format and location.

Once my catalogue was established, I found it to be a simple thing to keep it updated. I try to add books as soon as I get them, or at least try not to let them stack up. I have a routine where I add books (in whatever format) to my goodreads shelf, then Collectorz, and then for ARC’s to the review schedule I list on my blog, and then to my calendar.

I really like Book Collectorz (and just to be clear this not a sponsored post), and when I asked I don’t hesitate to recommend it. It’s main benefit for me (as an admitted book hoarder) is to keep track of my book collection (which numbers around 7000), I can pull up the details and know if I have a print or ebook version, and where to find it. Being able to access the catalogue offline on my iPhone also means I avoid accidentally buying duplicates when out shopping. My parents and kids also have access to my Book Connect account, and use it as a reference…there is no point in them buying a book I already own which they can borrow, and vice versa, and I can even easily make a note that the book is on loan, and who to, when I eagerly press great reads on friends. Essentially I am my own happy librarian.

If you are interested in Book Collectorz, it’s available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. I strongly suggest you browse the website to learn more, and take advantage of the free trial, though if you have a question, I’m happy to try and answer if for you.

Do you use Book Collectorz or another cataloguing software or method? Feel free to recommend your favourite system in the comments.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Theresa Smith Writes
    Jul 28, 2019 @ 08:21:23

    Thanks for this post! A few weeks in and I am loving Book Collectorz. I wish I’d had it ages ago, it’s made my reviewing and blogging so much more organised. I just have the app, I don’t have a computer for the desktop version, but so far, it’s doing everything I need it to. I’m not sure though if you can import lists into the app? It would be handy for ebooks where the scanner isn’t an option. I really appreciate your recommendation of this! It’s no exaggeration to say it’s changed my reading life!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 28, 2019 @ 13:20:50

      It’s a simpler process with the desktop software, because you can search your computer for ebook collections and it adds them, however you can import a txt or cvs file into the app. Instructions here
      Likely the best way to do that is via Goodreads, the only problem is you have to export your entire library…you will then either have to import the entire list and then edit the book files in CLZBooks, or edit the CVS list before importing it.
      The only other work around I know of uses Calibre, but you would need a desktop/laptop for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. Trin Carl
    Jul 29, 2019 @ 00:02:37

    I might need to look into bookcollectorz . I’ve been meaning to go to Barnes and Noble with my iphone and scan all the books I’ve read before with an App. I love finding similar books to ones I’ve read before.

    Like

    Reply

  3. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  4. Tracey (Carpe Librum blog)
    Aug 06, 2019 @ 22:28:17

    Loved this post, and while I don’t have a need for this I love that it helped changed yours and Theresa’s cataloguing abilities. Brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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