Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Two million books!

LibraryThing has topped two million books!

The 2,000,000th book, Elizabeth Moon‘s Winning Colors, was added at at 10:19 pm. Congratulations to Kiesa, who takes home a free gift account for her luck.

Press: Cover this!

I hoping that this milestone gets some press attention. LibraryThing is one heck of a cool story—28,000 users adding two million books, finding people with similar interests, getting recommendations, doing crazy new Wikipedia-like things with cataloging, etc. Something is really going on here.

I recently read a story on, one of the new pay-for-swapping services. According to the AP, Lala has has “250 members trading some 12,000 CDs”! (It also, apparently, has four founders, as well as employees.) You can imagine my consternation, heightened by a WSJ article on other swapping sites. Maybe I should start pretending LibraryThing is venture backed.

Incidentally, as soon as I can swing it technically, LibraryThing will be adding:

  • A FREE loan/swap service. Let’s talk about how to do this on the discussion group.
  • Cataloging of CDs, DVDs (at least). Don’t worry, books will remain the center.

Fun Size Facts

  • According to the American Library Directory, LibraryThing is now larger than the public libraries of Atlanta, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Antonio. It tops state universities like Colorado State, Illinois State, New Hampshire, Arkansas and Maryland, and private universities like Fordham and William and Mary.
  • According to the American Library Association, LibraryThing is 634,375 volumes away from being the 100th largest library in the United States.
  • The American Library Directory lists 181 libraries larger than LibraryThing.
  • The 2 millionth book makes LibraryThing far-and-away the largest of the 16(!) cataloging services that have sprung up since LibraryThing’s launch, the largest of which has 249,000 “items.”
  • If laid end-to-end LibraryThing’s collection would extend from Boston, MA to Pennsylvania, PA. (Maybe.)
  • LibraryThing is now larger than the Boston College Library (an even 2 mil. according to the American Library Directory). And Boston College was founded in 1863! Those people don’t read much, I guess. But as an alumnus of Georgetown—the original and better Jesuit university—I already knew that.
  • OCLC, the world’s largest library consortium, has 1 billion records in its database. But the OCLC adds only 8,640 books/day, whereas LibraryThing adds 10,152 books/day. This means that LibraryThing will come out ahead in 3815.
  • LibraryThing has more than twice as many books by J. K. Rowling as Thomas Jefferson gave to the Library of Congress after the British destroyed the first collection by fire. There’s a joke in here somewhere.

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