Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Import your LivingSocial/Visual Bookshelf books and save your reviews

LivingSocial announced last week that they’ll be shuttering their Books section, formerly called “Visual Bookshelf,” as of August 10.

Living Social recommends migrating to another site, but if you do it you’ll lose all your reviews. Living Social splits your data up into multiple files and only the main one can be imported, the “collections” file. We’ve cooked up a better option that preserves your reviews as well.

As a bonus, anyone importing 25 books or more will get a lifetime account on LibraryThing!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to and click the “Join Now” button to create a LibraryThing account.
  2. Sign into your Living Social books account; you’ll see the large black box in the center of the page with three export buttons (Collections, Ratings*, Reviews).
  3. Click the “Export Collections” button and save the file to your desktop; then click the “Export Reviews” button and save that one too (they’ll be called “collection_books_….csv” and “review_books_…..csv”).
  4. On LibraryThing, go to the Import Books page (via the “More” tab at the top of any page on LibraryThing).
  5. Click the “Choose File” button and choose the “collection_books” file from your desktop, then click “Upload.”
  6. On the Import Options page, select the options you want and then click the “Import books” link at the bottom of the page.

To add your reviews:

  1. To add your reviews: once your titles have finished importing, return to the Import Books page and click “Choose File”; select the “review_books” file and click “Upload.”
  2. Under “Handle duplicates” at the bottom of the Import Options page, select the radio button for “Sync ISBN duplicates, importing user data,” and tick the “Replace Reviews with imported info.” Then click the “Import books” button and your reviews should import right into your LibraryThing catalog.

Come talk about it on Talk. And if you have any problems email

*Ratings: The Living Social ratings export option doesn’t seem to be working at the moment. If it starts working in the future, we can work through adding it too.

Labels: features, import


  1. KC_in_KS says:

    504 Gateway Timeout. You guys having problems the traffic this is sending you?

  2. Rich says:

    I just received the 504 Gateway Timeout as well.

  3. Janice says:

    I had actually done you guys first and uploaded to Living Social.
    When are you going to have your app for Facebook up and running? I did meet other readers on Living Social Books plus I could easily upload up reviews to my Facebook page. I feel like you all are losing a great opportunity as Living Social Books did that, though since they got involved in their deals they did not put forth the same effort and there had started to be issues.

Leave a Reply