Shelfari – My Bookshelf

I was having coffee with TPN host Nick Bruse this morning before he and his partner leave tomorrow to travel around South America for six months (anyone want to take over the Cleantech Show on TPN? Ping me). We were talking about the application of nanotechnology to building a cleaner world and I asked Nick if he’d every read K. Eric Drexler’s classic “Engines Of Creation”. He said he hadn’t and told me I should post my library up online. It got me thinking…

As I’m once again packing up my book collection into boxes, I thought it was a good time to make a database of the books I’ve got. Bronwen pointed me to this online tool called Shelfari which is pretty bloody good. You enter the title or author of the book and it searches a database and presents you with some options. You click on the “Add To My Bookshelf” button and search for the next book. You can share your collection with others and they have blog widgets, etc. Very nicely done!

When I was about 19 I met a self-made millionaire called Peter Daniels. He gave me this piece of advice: “Spend 10% of your income on your brain for the rest of your life.” Astoundingly simple but how many of us do that? Do you get that message drilled into you from the media, the government, the education system, the church? It’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received.

Tonight, as I peruse through my library, I have such fond memories of so many of these titles. I could probably tell you what lesson I learned from each one. Every book I’ve kept holds a special place in my library and in my life.

If you are what you read, then the below widget contains my brain. I am just starting to add them – check back over the next week to see my entire library.

http://www.shelfari.com/ws/shelf.swf

13 thoughts on “Shelfari – My Bookshelf

  1. According to the Librarians on Twitter Shelfari is “pure evil spam” – so use it as your perile 🙁
    It was the only one I had heard of before now.
    librarything.com was recommended.

  2. Rich – thanks, Delicious Library is the one I was actually trying to think of, I’d seen a demo of it some time ago. But I’ve started using Shelfari and I like!

    Bron – why do they think it’s ebil? Any idea?

  3. Cam – from what I understand something they are guilty of spamming all your contacts with invites and you with Bacn.
    But as long as there are options to turn those off I can’t see how it should be a problem.

    Rich – Delicious Library looks great. Must file that one away. Thanks 🙂

  4. Looks pretty…but can I download the data to an Excel file or something that I can store on my computer?

    Also looks like a good way for the creators to sell books via an Amazon.com bookstore as well as other spam… I was playing with iRead on FB, but it has started sending me junk so I went and turned a bunch of it’s permissions off. The last thing I need is some bot telling me, “If you liked this book, you’ll like THIS one… and you can buy it on Amazon.com if you click this link…” No thanks.

  5. @Cam: I just had a go at downloading the data. That’s exactly the sort of stuff I was looking for…I was keeping a list and entering data by hand. I wonder how far back their database goes, I have some fairly old books.

  6. Hi Cameron,
    This is Amanda from Shelfari. Just wanted to say thanks for mentioning us in your blog (and showing off our widget). After reading through the comments that preceded this comment, I wanted to clear up a few questions/concerns. In November of last year there was an article written by a competitor about our invitation system. Our entire team responded to the complaints received, updated the invitation system and you can see our CEO’s response here: http://shelfari.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/11/invitation-desi.html.

    Shelfari has made some recent additions to the site with an Edit Multiple Books feature, mobile site, friends activity feed and the ability to show off book reviews on your widget. If you love to read, come check us out!

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  7. Hi Amanda, thanks for weighing in. After using Shelfari for a couple of days, I can’t see any problem with it currently. I haven’t invited any friends to join therefore I haven’t spammed anyone. I think your CEO’s post was pretty clear and I congratulate him on his transparency. I agree with some of his commenters though that if you haven’t changed it to Opt-In, you really should.

  8. I use the My Library function on Google books. It’s not that great though. You can create an RSS feed but you can’t share your whole library from what I can see.

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