Personalized Library in Google Book

Geek alert! Read at your own risk!

I just learned of an interesting thing in Google book where you can create your own library. You can add reviews etc. Unlike LibraryThing, if the full text exists (or even just selections), you can get to it easily. However, books published since 1923 don’t have full text so it isn’t too useful for my actual books. In order to do a quick test, I exported my LibraryThing titles. To begin with, I had to ignore 15 of the books because they don’t have an ISBN. I then added the 95 ISBNs to google book.

I then got this message:
Added 29 books [specific titles listed]. Could not add 66 items.

Presumably the ones it couldn’t add were not in Google book. I guess a different edition with a different ISBN could be in Google book — I don’t think it is using an xISBN to link titles.

A whopping 4 of the books have a limited preview available, not that I need online text for a book I actually own.

You can see my library here:

It would be a nice way to keep track of interesting books you find in Google book, but for an inventory of my own books, LibraryThing is still better.

If more current books were in there, it might be a good way to track books I want to read/review from the public library, especially if I could easily get titles from the library catalog selected into mylibrary (without suffering through the horrible effort of title by title cut and paste of an ISBN. Can’t I just click a button?). Serously, it would be nice to export the results of a search or selected books in my basket and get them into google book like you can with things to manage citations. Maybe this is all I really want anyway since I don’t expect full text for the titles I’m interested in. The other problem is that the Public Library may not have made much effort to get books into citation managment programs because that isn’t what normal people want to do with entertainment reading.

On further reflection — books published prior to 1923 aren’t likely to have an ISBN (unless assigned retrospectively), so I don’t know of any way to feed in a list of books that would like be in Google book in full text. When searching, you could add a specific book, but this is losing some of the whizz bang coolness. I did try to add all the knitting books from the library closer to where I work (i.e. not the public library with all the good knitting books) and most of them matched an ISBN but none of them had any full text availability. I tried searching my library and I couldn’t find a word within the text (you are supposed to be able to search just your library), so i have yet to find a really cool application for this yet. But it is good to keep in mind.


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