Book Shopping is More Fun with xLibris

I love books. The problem is I forget which books I have. Consequently, on too many occasions, I’ve bought the same book more than once. But not any more!

Now, I have xLibris by Option-X (v 1.2.1) installed on my iPhone. xLibris is a full-featured book database that sorts my books by title or author. I can easily search my book database while at the bookstore, and no more duplicates!

xLibris is easy to use and very flexible. To enter a book into the database, I only have to enter the ISBN number. Once entered, the program itself adds all the other information as well as the cover image.

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My older, collectible books often do not have an ISBN number. In that case, I can manually add the book information, including any or all of the following: title, author, publisher, edition, cover type, dimension, Dewey Classification Number, and number of pages. It took me awhile to figure out how to do this, but I finally read the manual. Hint: Click on the ISBN icon, hit spacebar, and it brings up a blank record.

I can add a cover image to my collectibles by taking a photo of my book with my iPhone and manually adding it to the database.

I really like how I can add searchable notes to each of my books. With this feature, I add categories such as mystery, biography or marketing. I also add subject categories such as Civil War, Rome or Algebra. When I want to know what books I have on say, the Civil War, I simply do a search to find out.  

Another feature I like is the statistics showing the number of books I have for each author. I find this is a faster way to locate which books I have from my favorite authors.

I can export my full database or just the search results as a text file or to another iPhone that has xLibris installed.

The only problem I have had with the app is that I have to be really careful to hit the plus+ sign after I’ve typed in the ISBN number. I’ve gone along thinking I’ve added books only to discover that I really didn’t. I hope the next version makes adding books a little more failsafe.

So far I’ve entered 511 books. I have a long way to go to finish my library, but it’s already something I use almost every week. 

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