Post Published on June 16, 2010.
Last Updated on November 29, 2017 by davemackey.
I’ve been using Visual Bookshelf from LivingSocial for quite some time now, but have been disappointed with it for the last several months – and things only seem to be growing worse. I’m looking for a replacement. Can anyone recommend alternatives they prefer for managing a digital bookshelf? Here are a few of the features I consider necessary (some VB has, some it is lacking):
- Facebook Integration.
- Amazon Associates Integration.
- Under Ongoing Development.
I’m willing to compromise on some of these, but you get the idea. 🙂 I’ve begun doing a review and here are my thoughts thus far:
- LibraryThing – Only supports two hundred books in a free account, then $25/lifetime membership. I’m more than willing to pay for something good enough…but two hundred books doesn’t begin to handle the collection I just exported from Visual Bookshelf (around 1700)…so, unfortunately, I’m not going to spend time on LibraryThing…I’m unwilling to pay for it unless I know I’ll use it.
- Goodreads– User interface is fairly nice. I like the “test” to see what kinds of books I like from the start. I’m not happy that there doesn’t seem to be an option like VB has “Not Interested” – one can rate or add to bookshelf.
- Does the whole “reload entire page when you delete a page” rather than being AJAXian.
- When you click “edit” to choose what “shelf” you want to place a book on it doesn’t auto-close the overlay window when you choose a new shelf.
- You can’t mass edit the books (e.g. there is no checkbox to choose multiple books and delete them or to change their status from read to to-read).
Shelfari – Nice user interface, but not happy that they want me to change my csv into a tab-delimited in order to import my VB library.(redirects to Goodreads now) weRead – A slightly smaller number of my “friends” on Facebook utilize this application than VB.
In case LivingSocial cares, here are the issues that have been driving me away from them:
- The application is really, really slow and it doesn’t use AJAX on things like removing books – meaning there is a complete page reload each book removal…way too much wasted time.
- The application lacks an easy way to operate on a large number of books at one time.
- Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of broken images instead of book covers when using Visual Bookshelf.
- Visual Bookshelf lacks full exporting capabilities – for example, one’s rating/reviews don’t get exported in the CSV.
- It isn’t easy to sort my books by one’s I’ve read versus want to read, one’s I own versus want, etc.