I just ran across a cool little program called Booxter. Booxter is an OS X program for keeping track of books. Of course, there have been book databases for almost as long as there have been recipe programs (the killer app for computers in the home, if you believed the 1980's hype). There are several things that made this program stand out for me:
- Most impressive is its use of an iSight or other camera for scanning ISBN bar codes from books. I scanned half a dozen books in under a minute.
- Once it has the ISBN, it fills in most of the rest of the information you'd want to store from online sources including Amazon, Books Online, and the Library of Congress.
- There is a handy section for keeping track of who you've lent a book to and where it is. I have over 1000 books and I sometimes forget which books are home and which are at work, leading to some wasted time or trips.
The camera scan worked pretty well just holding the book up in front of my iSight camera, but it would be faster to have the camera mounted so that its looking down on the desk and just slide books under it for scanning in volume. It also can be finicky when its not in focus or square to the lens.
If you're a book lover and collector, like me, you'll like the idea of just having a record of your collection. I've resisted up until now because I was not willing to type all the relevant information into the computer. Now, I don't have to type anything. Works for me.