How can I describe this…MySpace for book junkies? Paradise for obsessive-compulsive listmakers and neatness freaks? One of the world's biggest ego stroking sites? The answer to this would be ALL OF THE ABOVE, plus a whole lot more.
On LibraryThing, hundreds of thousands of users have come together to put their book collections online. They're not trading, selling, or giving away their books; rather, they're simply listing them and making them available for the entire world to see. In other words, it's a huge crowd of people engaged in a mammoth bragging section: "I've got all of these books here in my library and YOU DON'T! Nyahh nyahh nyahh!" And that, of course, is what makes this site so much FUN.
At LibraryThing, you get to put your book collection online and brag about it. You can see how many other people own the same books that you do…and get a lot of useful information about your books, as they are reviewed and cross-linked by user-made tags. What's more, you can browse other people's book collections and drool over them. Any book lover is guaranteed to get ideas on what new books to want and buy after browsing the collections of people all over the Internet. They're also encouraging people to review books, though the review process doesn't seem to be as widespread as what you'd find on Amazon.com or other book selling sites.
With a combined catalog of over 15 million books, LibraryThing already boasts of being the second largest library in the United States. (Of course, you can't actually borrow books from this library; it's just the sum total of all the book collections entered by LT's users.)
And for the record, here are the contents of my own book collection: www.librarything.com/catalog/modemac
Furthermore, membership at LibraryThing is a bargain: $10 per year or $25 for a lifetime membership.