Shelfari vs LibraryThing

With online applications (meaning: things you can do online) multiplying at such a rapid rate, there comes a time when one has to start whittling down the competing apps. I belong to so many online groups and have so many applications that I am beginning to see a lot of duplication in them, and wonder if I should be making a choice and sticking with it.

You know what I mean.

If you want to trade books online you can belong to BookMooch, TitleTrader, PaperbackSwap, and a dozen others. But if you have the same inventory listed at all of them, sooner or later you’re going to promise the same book to two people! It has happened, not to me, but to others.

So, in the interest of clarity, I am beginning to think about all of these online things (apps, clubs, groups, whatever!)

Beginning with Shelfari and LibraryThing. First, these are both ways to catalogue your book collection online, as well as interact with other ‘bookies’ in groups. I’ve joined both, and both have their pros and cons.

Side by Side ‘Duke It Out’

Appearance: Personal preference only, of course… Shelfari is primary colors, chunky text, very kindergarten. LibraryThing has muted tones, real-size text. Winner: LibraryThing, hands down.

Reviews: I haven’t found the way to do book reviews on Shelfari, yet, but on LibraryThing it is easy, and I’ve already done some. Winner: LibraryThing.

Ease of use: Adding books is pretty simple with both. I joined LibraryThing first, and easily imported my catalogue to Shelfari, but I still prefer LibraryThing’s method. On Shelfari you don’t add books, you ‘build your shelf’. What? Oh, never mind. My preference could be influenced by joining LT first, but I don’t think so. Winner: LibraryThing.

Groups: LibraryThing has a lot more groups, the groups have more members, and the groups are more… intelligent? Dare I say? Winner: LibraryThing

Online Accessibility: both are certainly easy to get to, easy to join. Winner: Dead Even.

Applications (can be used with blogs, Facebook etc.): It’s simple to put Shelfari on MySpace & Facebook, at least (if I can do it, anyone can do it) and I can’t find any comparable utility on LibraryThing. I can’t figure out how to put either utility on my blog, but that seems to be a WordPress problem; no html. Sigh. Winner: Shelfari

So… overall, for me, LibraryThing is my favorite. I like its look, and… well, they let me be an LT Author… what can I say? I’m a pushover. More than that, though, it just feels more substantial, while Shelfari feels more… clunky.


Filed under Books, Online

3 responses to “Shelfari vs LibraryThing

  1. Hi, Donna

    I’m a member of both too. Must say I prefer LT…it loads so much faster and easier to use.

  2. Thanks Donna.. 🙂

    Informative post.. Was on the look-out for which one to use ..!

  3. I LOVE LibraryThing the best. It’s intuitive and sensible and more ‘grown-up’ than Shelfari – not that ‘grown-up’ is always necessary. I just think it has a much better and more elegant interface. LibraryThing has my vote.

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