The adrenaline starts pumping when I start to hear the hubbub of the Conference Exhibit Hall. I rehearse my resolve not to pick up any free advance reader copies that I’ll just have to lug around all day. They’ll wear a dent in my shoulder from the weight of them. I don’t really need them, since I have stacks already back at my library. I don’t want to seem like a grabby book glutton (heaven forbid!) to publishers. So I think I’ll just stroll leisurely through the aisles of the more than 1500 booths, admiring all of the new books coming out and avoiding eye contact with the friendly vendors who want to catch my attention and promote their wares. But wait! Check out that fabulous tote bag. I could really use a new one, and notice how huge it is! And that booth has a desk calendar that my co-worker back home could certainly use. And actually a few pens would be good to pick up, since we’re always running out at the Reference desk. Oh–there’s a galley by a favorite author that I’ve been eagerly awaiting. Well, I have this tote bag; what could it hurt if I just pick up one or two arcs to put in it? I know you’ll understand that by the end of two hours I’ve picked up enough books to solidly fill a box to mail home, enough tote bags to satisfy any shopper (is it a conspiracy that they’re bigger than ever this year?), and enough gimmicks to stock our teen prizes for weeks. And that’s after covering only half of the Exhibits. Good thing I found the Post Office way off in the right hand corner of the Hall, an important component of conference strategy.
As I set off for the day this morning I congratulate myself on collecting so much great stuff yesterday that today I can breeze through the rest of the exhibits without picking up a single book.
Oh sure!

I know librarians are supposed to be orderly, organized types, but that’s one stereotype I KNOW is wrong. please tell me I’m not the only one who loses track of books. It’s not unusual to forget the title and author of a book I read a few weeks ago when I’ve read a dozen since then. Is it?

So LibraryThing this terrific web-based resource for organizing your books and your reading. It’s easy and fun and free! Just go to librarything.com, take half a minute to decide your user name and password, and you’re in.

You can use LibraryThing as an actual catalog or as a log for your reading. If you’re on an award or selection committee, it’s a great way to keep track of the books you receive from publishers, the nominations, your own opinions, and feedback from teens.

One of the features I like best about LibraryThing is its “tag” category, which allows you to use any keywords you want to for each book, and then you can search by tag. For example, you could use “arc” as a tag for all of your advance reader copies, and then call up a list of all your arcs. Your tags can be as personal or standard as you like. I also like that you can sort your list as you like, by title or author or date for example.

LibraryThing combines the best aspects of an online book community with a useful organizing tool. Take a look and see if you want to join in the fun.