Abebooks.com have bought a 40% interest in LibraryThing.com, launched last August by Tim Spalding. Spalding himself was 100% in the Abebooks booth and said that the site has some 35,000 bibliophile members who catalogue their books--either what they're reading or their personal libraries or both. Already members have catalogued some 2.7 million books.
Members can tag the titles in their catalogues and write reviews. Based on all this information, the site makes suggestions for members, and those selections can be books that were published long ago, an example of Long Tail theory in action. "They're deeper in time than Amazon," Spalding said. "They're not just what's selling now."
Spalding sees the site as a social thing. "Books connect you with others," he said. "You can relate with others who have the same interests, and if you find someone who has the same unusual book you have, it can be very striking."
A member's first 200 books can be catalogued for free. After that, fees are $10 a year or $25 for life memberships; most people choose the latter, Spalding said.
Abebooks intends to help LibraryThing by exposing the Web site to its customers, most of whom are also book lovers. "A lot of members already use Abebooks," Spalding said. "The overlap is very strong."
From Shelf Awareness