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.