If you have a large collection of books, you already know how difficult it can be to find the book you want at the moment you need it. Libraries solved that problem years ago with card catalogs, and many private collectors have done the same. You can create your own card catalog of your books on 3-by-5 index cards, in a spreadsheet, or in a piece of software designed for the job.
Readerware is a card catalog database for book lovers, collectors, researchers, or anyone else who has to catalog and maintain a library. It is easy to use, yet powerful enough to manage the largest collections. It works on the major operating systems: Windows, Macintosh OS X, Linux, and Palm. Best of all, Readerware can dramatically reduce the tedium of entering data.
With most book cataloging systems, the user must manually enter every bit of information: title, author, publication date, description, and whatever other bits of information need to be stored. With Readerware, the user enters the ISBN number of a book, and the program does the rest. It will automatically search a number of web sites, extract the relevant data, and import it into your local database. If the book you have is listed on the Library of Congress, the British Library, any of the major online book retailers, or on any of a number of other web sites, Readerware will automatically import the full title, author(s) name, publication date, and even a brief synopsis of the book, all without you needing to enter any more keystrokes. In addition, Readerware can automatically extract cover art from web sites and add the images to your database. You can also scan in your own images.
The ability to import data will reduce your keyboard input by 90% or more. To be sure, you will still need to manually enter the shelf location where the book is stored in your personal library. You will also note that older genealogy books do not have ISBN numbers although modern reprints of older books often do. In any case, you can forget about spending days or weeks to manually enter your collection into a database. Readerware will do most of the "grunt work" for you.
It gets even easier: with Readerware bar code reader support, you don't even have to enter the ISBN. Simply scan the bar code, and Readerware automatically enters the ISBN for you. Bar code readers are available for under $100 if you shop around a bit. The developers of Readerware will even give you a free bar code reader at no extra charge if you purchase a Readerware bundle of programs on CD.
If you already have a list of your books in a database or in a spreadsheet, Readerware can import that list from standard Comma Separated Value (CSV), files and TAB delimited files. It can also export to the same file formats, making it easy to send your data to some other application.
Readerware stores all its data in a powerful, full-featured SQL database. This means that Readerware can easily store your full collection; literally thousands of titles are no trouble for Readerware.
With Readerware, you can even publish all or parts of your catalog on the Internet. This is a great tool for a small, specialty library: it keeps track of the books available and even publishes the complete card catalog on the web for all to see. For a genealogy society or library with a significant book collection, use of a tool such as Readerware can greatly increase publicity and usage. You can also print the card catalog for use by library visitors, should you wish to do so. Readerware will also track your books out on loan and includes overdue reporting.
Readerware is available for Windows, Macintosh OS X, Linux, and Palm operating systems. You can carry your library's card catalog in a shirt pocket-sized computer. There is even a new Client/Server edition that allows multiple users to simultaneously access your database on a local network. This is in addition to the web-based version for the Internet.
Finally, Readerware can even simplify the process of acquiring new books: it has a fully integrated shopping cart with price comparison. This feature allows you to search of all the major online retailers around the world. If available from more than one retailer, Readerware will perform the comparisons for you to instantly find the best price. If a desired book is found, you can quickly and securely purchase that book online.
If you have a serious private book collection, or if you work at a genealogy society's library, you might wish to investigate this $40 program. (Palm and client/server editions are more expensive.)
Readerware even offers trial versions of the program for all the operating systems. These are full versions that will operate for 30 days. Once the trial expires, you can purchase a license to "re-activate" the program and then use it as long as you wish. Any data that you entered during the trial period is preserved so that you do not need to enter that data again.
For more information about this inexpensive library automation tool, or to download the 30-day trial version of Readerware, go to http://www.readerware.com