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Ask Slashdot: High-Tech Ways To Manage a Home Library? 230

DeptofDepartments writes "With Kindles and ebooks on everyone's lips (sc. hands) nowadays, this might come as a surprise to some, but besides being a techie, I have also amassed quite a collection of actual books (mostly hardcover and first editions) in my personal library. I have always been reluctant to lend them out and the collection has grown so large now that it has become difficult to keep track of all of them. This is why I am looking for a modern solution to implement some professional-yet-still-home-sized library management. Ideally, this should include some cool features like RFID tags or NFC for keeping track of the books, finding and checking them out quickly, if I decide to lend one." For more on what DeptofDepartments is looking for, read on below.
DeptofDepartments continues: "One problem seems to be the short lifetime of RFID tags (only 5-10 years). Given that many books will probably only be read or checked out once or twice in this period at best, the administrative effort seems very large. I have also been largely unsuccessful in finding tags or solutions that go beyond the cheap 5 to 20 item 'starter kits', yet still remain affordable and below the industrial scale.

Also, what would be suitable and affordable readers/writers for the tags in this context?

Finally, as many of the books are old folios or fairly precious first editions, everything must be non-destructive and should be removable without damage to the books if need be.

(Note: Scanning ISBNs with a hand-held barcode scanner is not an option, as many books are old (pre-ISBN) or special editions).

Software-wise, I would like to have a nice and modern-looking, easy-to-use software that can interface with the hardware side as described above. I do not necessarily need multi-user or networking capabilities at this point.

I hope the CSI (Combined Slashdot Intelligence) has some helpful ideas and pointers for me on this!"
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Ask Slashdot: High-Tech Ways To Manage a Home Library?

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  • The book for you (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:50PM (#41995531)

    Deep & Simple []

    You have too much shit, Dude.

  • Keep it simple. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:56PM (#41995597)

    Put them in alphabetical order. Use a ledger to record lending.

    You're welcome.

  • Kodak moment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:56PM (#41995601)

    I would reccomend taking a polaroid of the person you are loaning the book to and then leaving the picture on the shelf in the place reserved for the book. Other viable database options include a chalkboard log of the Dewey Decimel numbers or scanning each book to a tape drive for safe keeping.

  • Re:Keep it simple. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @05:13PM (#41995807) Homepage

    Grouped by author, ordered chronologically by date of author's first major work.

    Only way to go.

    A friend of mine independently came to use a similar system, but he does it by author's birth (a bit easier) and does a bit of grouping by category (philosophy, literature, etc.)

    Either system works great. Stats to fall apart near WWII, as in most people's libraries the dates get denser the nearer you approach now.

    It's awesome having an ordering system that acts as a teaching tool. Better for idle browsing than simple alphabetical ordering, too, since works of similar style will tend to be near one another.

  • by anarcat ( 306985 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @06:15PM (#41996523) Homepage

    I did the inventory of my 500+ book collection here and while it took a few days, the upkeep is minimal, and gcstar [] allows me to also keep track of people I lend the book to. The interface is awful, but it does connect to Amazon and so on to get book details, including cover pictures, if you have an ISBN. If you don't, then it's likely that Amazon doesn't carry it and you'll have to enter the details by hand anyways, but that's still fairly easy.

    I do not label the books with stickers, RFID or bar codes of any kind. I simply rely on the book name for reference, and since I have very few duplicate books, this usually works. Duplicates can usually be told apart by printing dates or something similar. The library itself is physically arranged by loosely defined categories - I did *not* bother with Dewey.

    I have written a complete article [] about this that may be useful to you. You may also want to contribute to that wiki page [] which compares different software offering.

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