iPhone Life magazine

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.

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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