Building a Book Crawler personal library using Goodreads

I LOVE using Goodreads to track our reading, both for myself and the books we read in our homeschool. But a recent online discussion got me thinking about tracking my actual personal library in a catalog app. I had never considered doing this before but the more I considered it, the more I realized what a great idea it was! Being able to look through an inventory of our home library to see what we already owned (digital or print) is helpful for so many reasons.

It provides a master list for future book shopping. Knowing what we have and what we don’t can help prevent buying duplicates. This is also helpful if there are missing books in a series.

Over the past few years, we have had to make the hard decision to keep many, if not most, of our fiction books packed away. We just have too many books, even though we pared down our collection to only the ones we “really” wanted to keep. Having a library inventory provides us with a means to keep track of which books are currently out (and where) and which are currently boxed (along with box number and location).

This doesn’t happen often, but if someone borrows a book, I can keep track of who has what book, and how long it’s been “checked out.”

So… After some online discussion and a little searching, I decided to take the plunge and try Book Crawler.

I have invested a lot of time in Goodreads, keeping track of my personal reading, as well as the books we read for our homeschool (Curious about how we use Goodreads for our homeschool booklog? Check it out here). I plan to continue using Goodreads for tracking our reading, posting reviews, etc. Thankfully, Goodreads integrates really well with Book Crawler!

There are a fair amount of books that I have logged into Goodreads that I actually own, so rather than have to go through and enter these books individually into Book Crawler, I used Goodreads to import them. Here’s how I did it.

1. In Goodreads, I created a new bookshelf called Books I Own.

2. Under My Books -> Bookshelves, I select All – this pulls up all the books I have entered into Goodreads.

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3. If you scroll down, you can set how many books to display to Infinite Scroll. This is a personal preference, but for this task I find it helpful to have all books displayed on one screen rather than separate pages. As you get to the bottom of the screen, more titles will load.
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4. At the top of the list, you can then choose to Batch Edit. This makes your entire book list appear with check boxes to the left.
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5. After scrolling through the entire book list and checking the books I actually own, I then select the Books I Own shelf from the drop down menu. Then I click Add Books To This Shelf. Boom. Done.

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6. On my tablet, I open up Book Crawler. I click on Community, located along the right side of the screen.
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7. At the top of the screen there is an upload icon (a box with an up arrow). When you touch that, it pulls up a small profile menu. You can sign in with your Goodreads account info here. Under Goodreads, there is an Account Transfer option. This gives you an option to upload (from Book Crawler to Goodreads) or download (from Goodreads to Book Crawler).

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8. Selecting Download will display a scrollable list of all your Goodreads bookshelves.

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9. I simply scroll down and select my Books I Own shelf, which appears as books-i-own, and then tap the upload icon (the square with the arrow) to the right of the word Goodreads. A Downloading status bar appears in the lefthand corner as titles are downloaded.
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10.  After books are downloaded you can view your Books, and select various options, adding to Collections, adding Tags, etc.

So this is a great way, if you use Goodreads, to build up your Book Crawler library. Here are two more reasons I love having the two integrated.

1. I can import books from Amazon! Goodreads can link to my Amazon account and I can directly import all the books I have purchased, whether they are print or digital, into Goodreads. I can also select all the shelves I want them in at the point I add them, including my Books I Own shelf, so it’s one easy step.

2. I can scan books into Goodreads using my iphone and the Scan option in the Goodreads app. This tool alone will make adding cataloging my personal library SO EASY!