Esther and I had a brainstorm today. We have a very large collection of books (over 1600), and most of the time they just sit on the shelves looking pretty. Or messy, depending on who has been rummaging! I’ve been wishing there was a way to loan them to people who would enjoy them or be encouraged by them, and I think we’ve found that way.
In January, I discovered LibraryThing. This is a website for cataloging your books. You enter your books in the search. A box brings up a range of matches from Amazon or a number of different national libraries, and you choose the correct book. Then, you can put the title in collections however it suits you, and add tags that work for you. I’ve always wanted to have a list of our books, so I spent my spare time for a couple of weeks in January entering all our books. Now, we can figure out what books we have for any given subject, easily!
Today’s brainstorm had to do with loaning them to people around this country. I was in the process of finding some books on our shelves that someone had requested to borrow through an email list I get. Then, it occurred to me that probably more people would like to read our books, and maybe we could use the catalog in LibraryThing for that. I went and looked at the website, and lo and behold, within the past two months they have come up with an easy way to share your catalog! They also have a way to check out books, which we had already discovered. So, we have a lending library.
If you live in New Zealand, I am willing to mail you books that you want to borrow. I will ask you to pay the postage both ways, and to replace or pay for books that are lost or destroyed. If you would like to pay a little more for the service, I will put that money in a fund for buying more books–just pay whatever this is worth to you. To see our books, please go to my TinyCat page, here. They don’t yet have a way to browse the collection, so search for what you are interested in. When you find one you want, click on the “Ask About This” button and fill out the form that pops up; it will send me an email and I will email you back about it. You can borrow the books for two months and then either return or renew.
One caveat: All of our books are listed on here, including a couple hundred I haven’t read yet. That means there are a few that I probably won’t like when I read them, and will get rid of at that time. So, if you see one that you think doesn’t seem like something we’d read, that may be why!