It happens to everyone who loves books and buys books. You eventually accumulate so many books in your personal library that you forget what you have. When this happens, it might be time to consider cataloging your books. There are different methods you can take to organizing books, but cataloging puts all of them in order, so you know what you have. This can prevent unnecessary purchases of books you already own, and it can be useful when purchasing renter's insurance. Books, especially first editions, can be pricey, so take the time to care for them.
Create a digital catalog of your personal library. If you own a smartphone such as an iPhone or a Blackberry, download a bar code scanner app. There are several apps available on either the Apple App Store or Blackberry's App World, such as RedLaser Barcode Scanner and QR Code Reader or Bakodo Barcode Scanner. Open the scanner app, and scan the bar code that is usually located on the back of a book.
Scan all the books in your personal library, and email yourself the list. A good reason to consider digitizing your book catalog is that the bar code scanner will include the name of the book, the author and the ISBN number.
Copy the information contained in the email into a spreadsheet, such as Excel. Save, and you now have a digital copy of your book catalog.
Catalog your books without a smartphone app. If you don't have one, you can still create a catalog of your books. Organize the books by author's last name and start separating even further by genre. Take down some basic information about each book. Record the title, author, year purchased, edition and copyright year. Input this information on Excel. Continue taking down this information until you have gone through all your books. Save the spreadsheet and title it, "My Books."