when you have as many books as we do, you need a way to keep track of them for our own edification as well as insurance purposes.

for the last three months we`ve been making an effort at creating a definitive catalogue for our insurers, it`s been difficult entering each of books by hand in an excel spreadsheet but this weekend to my great joy, i have discovered a new tool that has made my life infinitely easier.

it`s called Books, it`s a tiny little application that; provided with the ISBN and internet connection; will pull in all the book information from a variety of sources not limited to Amazon, the Library of Congress and the British Library. from title to publication date, original price to current price, books provides an fantastic resource for anyone with a library. you can if you so desire acquire a barcode reader for entering your books into the database. the database itself is proprietary but exports to a number common formats including HTML, XML and tab delimitated text

there is even a lending details feature, you can keep track of who has what, for how long and when it`s due back, keeping someone like me who anxiously loans books out extremely happy.

however, the best thing about this wonderful application is that is it completely free. it is mac only but was created under the GNU Public License which means the code is readily available if desire to port it to another platform.

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