How to inventory your library without feeling overwhelmed

used book store

Jake and I have spent many dates wandering up and down aisles of used book stores. We’d often purchase a few, and then read each other the summaries and chapter titles on the way home. Super booknerd love.

Needless to say, soon after we married, we had our first very serious problem on our hands.

How do we fit 2 home libraries into 1?

Our first solution was making one of the bedrooms in our duplex a library. It was one of my favorite rooms.

Before we moved to Kenya, we sold most of our stuff, but NOT OUR BOOKS. Solution #2: We packed them into boxes and stored all 1500+ our parents’ houses. They totally loved that. 

After we moved back to the states we came to realize our books were way too heavy to keep moving across the country, so we dressed in black and spent a painful weekend paring down. One thousand books were donated to a lucky library in Philadelphia and we were left with 500 favorites.

I’ve forgotten most of the books we gave away (time is the best medicine for these types of things), but every now and then I’ll find myself at a library sale or a free little library wondering if I actually own a certain book.

Hey! I’ve been wanting to read this book! Oh, but wait, do I already have it? I think I used to… but do i still?

I wish there was some way I could just look at my library on my phone.

Oh wait. There is :).

After some time researching #alltheoptions, I happily settled on Libib because 1.) So much white space, 2.) Easy upload of books with the Libib app, and 3.) It’s free.

You want to inventory your books but you feel super overwhelmed? Start here.

1.Sign up for a free Libib account.

This step is easy and simple and takes 60 seconds.

2. Download the app.

Also easy- available on iPhone or android. Login to your account and you’ll be invited to start adding to your library.

3. Start small by scanning in a portion of your books- one shelf at a time.

Using the app, scan the ISBN barcode on the back of your book. The book will automatically add to your library! Be mindful of the books as they scan in. Most of ours scanned in correctly, but some of the older ones registered as different books.

4. Add tags.

There’s an option to add a tag, which are searchable. So far I’ve used tags like classics, fiction, memoir, theology, leadership, women and the church, and parenthood. If needed, I can narrow down my long list of books by simply searching for the tag.

5. Share the link with your friends and them to borrow a book because books are meant to be read.

You can also add a little note to indicate who is borrowing your book and when you loaned it out. No more lost books!

 How to inventory your library without feeling overwhelmed

4 thoughts on “How to inventory your library without feeling overwhelmed

  1. This is so great to know! I’ve used LibraryThing to keep track of series since it’s limited to 300 before you pay (and I have way more than 300 books). That way I can have some idea if I already own a book when I’m at a sale. But THIS would be such an improvement! Can’t wait to set it up. Thanks!

  2. I’m glad that this might work for you (I hope you love it!).. let me know what you think about it after you try it out. Happy book organizing!

  3. I want to go super old school and organize through a card file and bullet journal. When my husband and I conjoined our libraries, we had thousands of books. After two moves and a pregnancy when I found “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (There should be rules about giving such books to pregnant nesting ladies), we got rid of over a thousand, and we still have more books than anything else.

  4. Kate- old school sounds pretty fabulous too! Do you regret any of those books being given away, or do you feel like it was freeing for you?

    I also read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I must admit that I was a bit horrified when she suggested that we would do well to rip out the few pages of a book we like, and just keep that- throw the rest away. 🙂

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