Catalog books you own - and bookswap!

Posted by Otis Chandler on December 9, 2009
We're proud to announce two very big new features - the ability to catalog books you own, and bookswap.

Cataloging books you own is a big shift for Goodreads, which has thus far been all about what you've read. Though it was telling that the most popular shelf after the default shelves is the own shelf. Clearly people have a strong desire to distinguish what they own from what they've read — and now you can do both on your my books page!

We're really excited about bookswap, as now you can easily share books with your friends or other Goodreads members. There are plenty of bookswap sites out there, and we thought long and hard about just integrating with them, but in the end we felt that in order to make the best possible user experience we had to build it ourselves. And of course, once we built books you own it was just another checkbox on top of that! Well, maybe it's a little more complicated than that :) One unfortunate complication is that in order to properly do the shipping labels we had to restrict the feature to members in the United States. We hope to add global support over the next few months.

We have a theory with bookswap, and it's that members are more interested in getting free books and getting rid of books they don't have shelf room for than they are in participating in a credit system. Instead of credits, Goodreads works on honesty and karma. Members who request a book get a book for nothing more than the price of shipping & handling. Members who send a book get that good feeling of having passed literature on to another person—and they can feel ok about requesting a book from another member. All member profiles will show how books they have sent, received, and listed, so if someone is a mooch it will be apparent.

To get started with bookswap:

Here are some popular titles available:

We'd love any and all feedback in the Goodreads Feedback group!

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is Cool!

And then the moon flew up....... A good move from a great site.

Please do inform the members out of states when will the site be able to swap books in the international arena.


message 3: by Dorrit (new)

Dorrit This is great, but can you add an "electronic" category to the condition list for those of us that are doing more and more of our reading on Kindle or other ebook readers?

message 4: by Shannon (new)

Shannon The bookswap thing sounds great, but I don't see the benefit of cataloguing books you own - isn't that what we already do? Sorry to be slow, but is the "own" thing a shelf or something else? What's the difference?

I would rather it went the other way around - books you want to get could be added separately, with links to Amazon etc., without interfering in your own book collection (until you acquire them). I find it funny to see "buy this book!" next to my to-read books, since naturally I've already bought them!

message 5: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz What about those of us who don't live in the US? Why can't we participate too??? I'll happily send out books to a reader in another country if it's reciprocated eventually. You should give people the option.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, it would be very hard.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

AWESOME!!! Cant wait till it comes out in Australia, if it does!!!

message 8: by new_user (new)

new_user Cool! I also like the sort options, but is there a way to sort so I see books I own first? Maybe I'm missing it...

message 9: by Shawn (new)

Shawn Now, if you had an iPhone app where I can take a photo of the barcode of the book and have it automatically get logged into my Books I Own shelf, then that would be fantastic.

message 10: by Qb (last edited Dec 09, 2009 10:47PM) (new)

Qb This is great and you are great..Face book zindabad.

message 11: by Kinga (new)

Kinga Please make it available worldwide!

message 12: by Clouddancer (new)

Clouddancer Wait, so there's no "import my (books-owned) shelf into (owned) view" function?
You're suggesting I should click "add this book (as owned)" five hundred times?
...I should think myself lucky I've only begun cataloguing my library.

message 13: by Labeeb (new)

Labeeb Xaman cool

message 14: by Parker (new)

Parker i like pencils

message 15: by m_forooz (new)

m_forooz agreed, hope to have the option in the uk

message 16: by Anita (new)

Anita I'm glad Goodreads has added this feature! I've sent off 2 books so far and it's a great feeling knowing that I'm sending these books to people who want them! Thanks, Goodreads!

message 17: by Donna (new)

Donna OK I just ordered 2 books lets see how this works! I will attempt to try and trade my bokos but it may be hard to part.

message 18: by Terri (new)

Terri Thumb up for goodreads team...

message 19: by Alex (new)

Alex I'm with Clouddancer, if the most popular shelf is the "own" shelf, then please add a feature that lets me pull all the books out of my i-own-it shelf and mark them as owned. But thanks for a great new feature GR!

message 20: by Otis (new)

Otis Chandler Alex - you can! Go to my books, then choose your own shelf, then choose "own view", then go nuts :)

message 21: by Lady (new)

Lady I think this is a great new feature. I'd like to suggest an additional field to be able to give notes as to the condition of the book.

message 22: by mona (new)

mona thank you! i needed a good way to get rid of books and i can't bear to toss them out into the nether; i want to help books find readers. and thank you for not messing with a point system. i don't need points, just karma.

message 23: by Jo (new)

Jo Neat idea .. I currently use bookmooch for swapping books since it's available for anyone in any country. Hopefully you make this available internationally very soon.

message 24: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa What a great idea. Now I have to decide which of my dusty books I want to pass along.

message 25: by Allisa (new)

Allisa Great!

message 26: by Alessia (new)

Alessia Great idea! Can't wait till you extend the feature to a global scale, so that people (like me) who live outside the US can participate.

message 27: by Carlos (new)

Carlos Good idea, but it´s already been done in bookcrossing for a long time, and there you can go international

message 28: by Ben (new)

Ben This is such a great idea! I didn't even know that I wanted you to do this, but I will probably be participating!

message 29: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly This is great!

message 30: by jesse (new)

jesse hm ... i want to participate too in the swapping, hopefully it'll work for europe soon, if not sooner!

message 31: by Nathaniel (new)

Nathaniel hmmm......this seems likea fantastic idea cuz theres a BIG difference between books u own/read i know that myself and itd b cool to c how many i have. i dont know if ill swap books. but ill definitely list the ones i own! this is gonna b awesome!

message 32: by Emma (new)

Emma Audsley Is this available in the UK?

message 33: by Bex (new)

Bex soooo excited about the book swap! you guys rock! :D

message 34: by Tiare (new)

Tiare There needs to be a FAQ about this, so do the books go media mail? Also, what if you want to get more than one book from a person, to save them on shipping, how do they combine the two shipping labels, and I would have to put in my CC twice, but hopefully only be charged once. What if you swap with a local friend and DON't have to pay shipping?

message 35: by Chaz (new)

Chaz Count me in!!!!

This is awesome... I do this on SwapTree now...but what a great idea to make it happen here in Goodreads!

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

ssounds like a .plan!!!!!

Bjorn-The Last Viking i like the swap idea

message 38: by Zoe (new)

Zoe I like the idea (once it's for the UK too), but I have a rating on another site so not sure I'd want to start again... is there a way of showing whether you have a rating on a different site as well as this site?

message 39: by Shannon (new)

Shannon I started clicking on the "own" function before realising my mistake: this is solely for swapping books. I'm not interested in that feature. But I don't want to click on "remove" because it seems like it will remove the book entirely from my library.

Is that what will happen? I want to de-own the books I already added, because this isn't what I thought it was.

message 40: by Otis (new)

Otis Chandler I started clicking on the "own" function before realising my mistake: this is solely for swapping books.

I'm not sure I understand this comment - owning and swapping are related, but very separate.

message 41: by rivka, Goodreads employee (new)

rivka Clarice wrote: "There needs to be a FAQ about this"

message 42: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Otis wrote: "I'm not sure I understand this comment - owning and swapping are related, but very separate."

Ah, then I was really confused by your original post!

Doesn't matter. But my question remains: what happens to the book if you click on "remove"? Does the "own" thing go away or does the book - and review - get deleted from your library?

message 43: by Sewa (new)

Sewa Genset incredible I am very impressed with your ideas

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