Sharing My Bookshelf


A book­store is one of the only pieces of evi­dence we have that peo­ple are still think­ing.
- Jer­ry Sein­feld

For the past sev­er­al weeks, I have been mulling over adding a “Read­ing Room” wid­get to my side­bar where I can list the books I’ve just read and plan to read in the near future. I firm­ly believe you can tell a lot about a per­son by the kind of books the per­son reads.

Even in real life, I’ve found that talk­ing about the books one has read helps me con­nect with peo­ple. If you’ve read the same kind of books, you can make excel­lent close friend­ships with peo­ple, which oth­er­wise wouldn’t have hap­pened.

While I was con­tem­plat­ing this for a while, I received an invite from a friend to join Shel­fari, an online book-shar­ing site. Then, I came across Ergo’s post shar­ing his book­shelf. I too think it is a great con­cept and a great idea. Much bet­ter than adding a wid­get list­ing just a few books!

Think of Shel­fari for books as what Blog­lines is for Blogs, or Deli­cious is for book­marks. Just as we like to share the blogs we read with each oth­er through our Blogroll, we can share the books we read through Shel­fari.

So, here is my Shel­fari book­shelf. Feel free to add me as a friend, if you decide to sign up, so that we can share.

Note that all the books on my book­shelf are those that I’ve read and per­son­al­ly own. I’ve not yet got­ten around to adding every­thing I’ve read! In some cas­es I chose hard­cov­er edi­tions as they had a title pic­ture, where­as I actu­al­ly own the paper­back edi­tions (which were with­out a title pic­ture). Need­less to say, the list is not exhaus­tive — I have sev­er­al books with­out even an ISBN num­ber that I did not find in Shelfari’s data­base. Also, a cou­ple of tries to search for books using ISBN num­bers didn’t suc­ceed. Oth­er­wise how­ev­er, the site does a good job, as far as I’ve seen.

Hap­py read­ing!

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  • Well. This theme sure looks bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous one 🙂
    Shel­fari uses Ama­zon web ser­vices under­neath to retrieve book details. If Ama­zon does not have a book that you have, I think you should keep them reaaal safe. Those could be valu­able on Ebay one day

  • I firm­ly believe you can tell a lot about a per­son by the kind of books the per­son reads.
    Part­ly true. Addi­tion­al­ly, I think it’s also impor­tant what one thought of a book. Two peo­ple read­ing the same book can have dia­met­ri­cal­ly oppo­site respons­es to it. 🙂

  • @ Amit:

    Two peo­ple read­ing the same book can have dia­met­ri­cal­ly oppo­site respons­es to it.”

    And the per­son, who did not like a book, about which reviews are only ga-ga in the web uni­verse, can spend a whole life explain­ing her point of view… 🙂

    @ Mahen­dra:

    I have been on Shel­fari a while. I soon found that many books only appear on my shelf and nobody else’s 🙁 I also found that it takes an awful long time to find, add, tag a book. And that if I put my entire shelf online I will be there enter­ing and tag­ging books for at least 2 years. Links ot my shelf are on my blog (right side­bar).


  • Krish: thanks! Besides the look, the ear­li­er theme didn’t load cor­rect­ly in WLW, and that real­ly was a pain!

    And oh yes — Ama­zon is an investor in Shel­fari so no sur­pris­es there!

    //Those could be valu­able on Ebay one day//

  • Amit: Of course! I thought that goes with­out say­ing! 🙂

    She­faly: Yes, it was some­what a pain to add books…I went through the process as I fig­ured it would be a one-time thing as part of ini­tial set­up. Your shelf looks pret­ty inter­est­ing already…if this is a par­tial shelf, it’s obvi­ous that you’re a vora­cious read­er!

  • Mahen­dra: Thanks. Glad you found it inter­est­ing. I have 4 book cas­es (each with 6 shelves and 2 lay­ers of books) yet to add to Shel­fari so you can see why it is only par­tial… I do not shop for any­thing fash­ion­able but I do invest in a good PC, super-fast web access and books. 🙂

    I have a back­log of 17 books in the last 2 months that I have been work­ing hard at the the­sis. Plus I have many in my shop­ping bas­ket on Ama­zon so I can see busy days ahead.

    I also review on Ama­zon UK and have some­how man­aged to stay with­in the top-1000 review­ers (link on blog too). As you can see there too, I review books that prob­a­bly nobody reads 🙁

  • //Those could be valu­able on Ebay one day//

    I think they could get a price on eBay one day but their val­ue to you prob­a­bly exceeds that price tag vast­ly.

    I have a Cal­lig­ra­phy book from the 1890s which was my grandfather’s. The oth­er old­est books I have are out of print, first edi­tions or rare gems on ear­ly soci­ol­o­gy of the infor­ma­tion age. I am nev­er going to sell them, and am plan­ning to have a cou­ple restored here in Lon­don by mas­ter restor­ers. 🙂

  • I see that among all the books you have, there are just 3 I also have, among which only one I have read ful­ly 🙂 🙁

  • I love to read.

    In fact, I can spend a small for­tune on books. Just ask my hus­band, he thinks it’s crazy.

  • I think they could get a price on eBay one day but their val­ue to you prob­a­bly exceeds that price tag vast­ly.
    Very true. In fact, I go around scour­ing for old books and there is this street­side shop in Chen­nai that is a moth­er­lode of such trea­sures. I even found a 1930s trav­el­ogue by a S Mahade­van who accom­pa­nied Gand­hi on his tours on the coun­try.

  • She­fali: I must try and get around to read­ing your reviews some­day!

    Arun: In that case, why don’t you build your own book­shelf so I can learn about some new books? That’s the whole idea!

    Ashok, She­fali: yes, the charm and price­less­ness of antique books in par­tic­u­lar can be very addic­tive. Some­what sim­i­lar to how the lit­tle book store in You’ve Got Mail sounds more appeal­ing than those Ama­zons and Barnes & Nobles…(not exact­ly, just roman­ti­ciz­ing)

  • BG: Thanks for stop­ping by!

  • Books are my way to live and think vic­ar­i­ous­ly. They also are my muse.

  • JV

    I havent used shel­fari but in past I had used and is based on wiki con­cept library­thing works on the same con­cepts as shel­fari. I have nev­er able to update such site as being lazy.

  • Bib­liomom: I don’t know how you stum­bled upon my blog…you’re most wel­come! I can see from your avatar that you’re a real book-worm. Also saw some pho­tographs of your books in a quick tour of your blog. Nice to have you here.

    JV: I can ful­ly empathize. I start­ed out with a txt file (80s), then an XLS (90s), then gave it up. So, I’m try­ing to reju­ve­nate myself all over again with Shel­fari! 🙂

  • I stum­bled here through your Intel­lec­tu­al Blog­ger Award for Cafe Phi­los.

  • Ah! Thanks for let­ting me know. Make your­self com­fort­able here! 🙂