15 great book cataloguing apps

For those who want to explore the world of online book cataloguing apps, here is an alphabetical list of the main contenders, current as at October 2021.

It’s not always easy to find the book you’re looking for, even at home.

BookBuddy (free up to 50 books; $5.00 one-time fee for Pro version; iOS)

Add items via barcode or by searching Google Books. Import data from other book catalogue apps. Sync your library data across all your devices on iCloud or Dropbox. Share on social media or email and keep track of books borrowed by others. 

Book Catalogue (free; Android)

A simple open source app. Input via ISBN or barcode scan, and sort in various ways.

Book Crawler ($4.49; iOS and all Apple devices)

Searchable, user-friendly interface. Input via ISBN or barcode scan. Connects with Goodreads, and exports to Dropbox for easy backup. This is apparently the highest rated book database app in iTunes.

CLZ Books (free download, in-app purchases. 24.95/year)

Input via ISBN or barcode scan or search online by typing author/title. Data may include book cover art, Dewey number, purchase date, price, current value and more. View statistics in graphic form (e.g., proportion of your collection in hardcover vs. paperback).

Delicious (free and premium options; iOS, Android)

Great for large collections of up to 10,000 books. Similar to Libib. Graphic displays including the estimated value of items or your entire collection, and the number of pages on your shelves. 

Gerty (free; iOS)

This e-reader allows you to organise your print and ebooks on virtual shelves. Includes note-taking and journaling features.

Goodreads (free; iOS, Android)

Search the huge Goodreads database of books, annotations, quotes, and reviews. Input via ISBN or barcode scan. See what books your friends are reading, and track books you’re reading, have read, and want to read.  Use the search box to find books within nominated subject areas. See also this article by Justin Dunnavant.

Home Library ($2.99; iOS, Android, Mac OS X)

A lending library app for your collection. Catalogue and track the loan status for each item, send “polite reminders to friends who haven’t returned your books.” Includes wishlists. 

iBookshelf ($1.99; iPhone, iPad)

Input via ISBN or barcode scan, including updated bibliographic information. Record the status of borrowed books.

iCollect Books Pro ($2.99; iPhone, iPad, iPod)

Input via ISBN or barcode scan. Download automatic cover art and bibliographic information via Google spidering. Sort by genre, track loans, create wishlists. 

Libri ($1.99; iPhone, iPad, iPod)

A basic cataloguing app allowing you to input simple information about each item (author, title, publisher, year, ISBN, simple annotation).

LibraryThing (free; iOS, Android)

Similar to Goodreads but with a stronger focus on cataloguing. Input via ISBN, barcode scan or searching online. Add most media including DVDs and CDs. Track borrowing and browse the collections of other users. The app sources bibliographic information from Amazon and thousands of institutional libraries. Links with Tiny Cat (see below).

Libib (free up to 5000 books; iOS, Android, web)

Allows you to organise up to 100,000 of your books, movies, music, and video games. Input via ISBN, barcode scan or CSV. Display your collection in list form or by cover image. Includes tools for tracking how much you’ve read, and options for note-taking and reviewing items in your library and making those reviews public. 

My Library ($3.99; iPhone, iPad, iPod)

Similar to iBookshelf. Input via ISBN or barcode scan, up to 8,000 items, various media. Features include loan tracking and rating of items. 

Tiny Cat (free; web only)

Web-based app allowing you to transform your collection in LibraryThing into a small library catalogue (“the OPAC for tiny libraries”). Great for small community and church libraries. 

And the verdict? Of all these apps, the ones most attractive to me are LibraryThing and Libib. But I’m going with LibraryThing because it’s completely free, and I like the TinyCat functionality. 

How do you organise the items in your home library? Have you tried any of these apps? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what works best for you. 

For more information:

Abi Johnson, 8 Best Apps for Cataloging Books in Your Home Library

Grace Plant, 6 Home Library Apps for Cataloging Your Book Collection


This article was written by Rod Benson on 15 October 2021.

Image source: LibrarySoftware

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