Manage your book collection


Walter Isaacson yarns words into images of the man in Steve Jobs, an authorised biography.

Charles Arthur tells the complex tech story of Apple, Google, Microsoft and the battle for the internet in ordinary and everyday language in Digital Wars. And there are more.

The wordsmith Kahney Leander is poetic in John Keats’ style when he pens Jony Ive, the genius behind Apple.


What is all this about? Borrowing a phrase from the man of language, the late Jika Nkolokosa, all I am trying to say is that I have enjoyed reading such international best sellers.

Books such as these are hard to get. They are not cheap either. If you have many of such, consider yourself wealthy; at least in linguistic terms. Bean counters use accounting and finance packages to track wealth. What are accounting packages if not database management tools?

Database management tools are available that manage a book collection and many good ones are for mahara.


One such is BookTome. Coded by Shane McAliece between 2003 and 2010, the Windows App is a beautiful Christmas gift for book worms.

BookTome lets you enter ‘bio’ information about a book: title, author, publisher, international book number, number of pages and year of publication. It also captures book management profile like the bookstore where you purchased the book, price, the date of purchase and the subject matter.

The app prompts you to indicate whether you are currently reading the book, finished reading it or you have simply shelved it.

The reporting structure is amasing. Apart from telling you the obvious like how many books you have in your collection, BookTome informs your most adored authors and the kind of stuff you love to digest.

Most importantly, BookTome evaluates the wealth of your Library in US dollars. This is in form of total purchase price and list price; the difference between what the books in your library are really worth and what you actually paid for them.

BookTome has a facility to capture your eBooks. You simply load your eBook files and BookTome purportedly seizures the data. To my displeasure, that feature did not seem to work with my Adobe pdf eBooks. I may need to convert them into EPUB.

As we say in the technology world, every piece of software, no matter how good, is work in progress. So is BookTome. Shane McAliece provides contact details and invites users to make suggestions or point out flaws in the system. Download and enjoy it and don’t forget to send me a ‘thank you’ note.

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