Organization Tricks: Quick Entry of Book Purchases in LibraryThing

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I like to keep our personal book collection cataloged for three reasons. First, because I love cataloging and categorizing. Second, because I like to know how many books I have. Third, because it’s handy having a go-to spot where I can quickly tell if I already own a book before starting my homeschool shopping. If I would keep up on it, it would also be handy for knowing which books I have lent out, but I haven’t maintained that system.


But when the book orders are placed, the boxes start arriving, and the stack of books piles high, it can be a daunting task to enter them all in.

For me, it used to involve making a stack on one side of the computer, picking up one book at a time, finding the isbn (because usually finding the right edition just from the title can be a pain), typing it in (ugh), clicking the link to add it, then moving the book to the stack on the other side of the computer. With a small book order of 3 or 4, this is a pleasant little ritual where I get to handle and get to know my new acquisitions, and I do not begrudge the process.

However, when you’re dealing with 20+ books, most of which are for the children anyway, I just want it done with ASAP so I can get on to the planning part.

So here’s how I do it now!

1. Pull up the Amazon or other bookstore order details page.

The titles show up there, with a pretty picture. Highlight the top book’s title and hit control/command-C to copy that text.


Amazon.com Order Page

2. In a separate tab, right next to the order page, pull up LibraryThing or whatever catalog site or program you use.

Now hit control/command-V to paste that title into the search bar and hit enter. In the box pops up the book, which you click to add, and you’re done!


Add books quickly on LibraryThing

3. Repeat with each book from each order.

Now this becomes a quick, computer-shortcut-key process which you can get done even before all the books arrive!

And now, from you:

  1. You can also import books, which I did a couple of months ago, but I don’t remember the procedure now, but it was pretty easy. I hadn’t added any books in a year, so it was really helpful, and I didn’t have to worry about it importing books I’d already entered, though I don’t know how it knew the difference.