Okay, I admit it. I was briefly tempted to get a Mac. The Mac has this really cool software, called “Delicious Library” that takes advantage of the webcam in the computer to read ISBN codes, and build a database of your personal library. Thankfully, that temptation is gone.
At Gurulib you can enter books from a web interface, which moves you away from a specific OS, and allows for that whole “open community sharing” idea. This free site not only lets you enter books into the online database by scanning the ISBN (or entering by hand, or searching on the title, or… you get the hint.) It also allows you to share, if you wish, your library with others. Both virtually (a “hey, check out what I like to read” sort of sharing) or literally, by allowing others to request to borrow a book, and allowing for a real exchange. This is another great way to have some “social networks” that connects people with like interests, and enables you to share those interests.
But that’s not all. How about entering other things. Videos. Games. Software packages. Yup, you can do that too! You can even put the items on different shelves. Some actually create virtual shelves that mimic their real ones making physical search and retrieval possible. Others create “different” linkages that make sense for their arrangement.
As I mentioned, it works right off their website. If you have a webcam that can be focused to within a few inches, it will use a flash plugin to read your ISBN/UPC codes right from the page. Heck, you can even send a photo of an ISBN using a cellphone, and it will scan that and include it in your “Wishlist.” Imagine that, you are at a library or a bookstore, and see a few books you are interested in. You snap a shot, send it to the site, and when you get home you can read reviews and order from Amazon.com directly (most likely saving a significant amount of money as well!)
So what sort of other magic does this site do? Well, once you enter the book ISBN (or title) the site then uses that to pull down all the information available (usually from Amazon) for that item, and includes that. This means that you have access to reviews, summaries, and even current “used prices” for these items. Hey–it even will tell you what your library was worth new, and used! Care to learn how much money you have spent on DVDs, or how much you could get in that “get rich quick” liquidation?
I could go on forever, but let me just mention one other “cool” feature. You can build a wishlist right there on the site, and your friends and family can work off of there for those big “gift giving” events. (You know the ones.. that come around every year… and you always have to ask for a list…) Just put those items right into the wishlist and there you have it. In fact, you can order right from the wishlist using Amazon.com (I suspect that is the way http://gurulib.com is able to remain a free resource–they make money by providing us with this great way to purchase more cool things–similiar to my amazon ads here on this blog.)
I have loaded many, many items already. I love the site. Go check it out–and find my library.