"Google My Library Bookshelves"While many of us are aware of the legal wrangling going on with the Google Books settlement, this doesn’t take away from the virtual cornucopia of materials available for your reading device.  Through their mobile version, http://books.google.com/googlebooks/mobile/, or regular ePub/PDF download, there are lots of options to consider.  However, there might be too many options if you don’t get your saved resources organized….  

What I’m talking about is customizing your Google Books materials for your device via the My Library and Bookshelves options.  Recently reworked and updated, this can prove a great way to customize and sort your saved books by subject, type, and even device (phone, notebook or other reader).  Let’s take a closer look.

Getting started is quite easy.  From the main Google Books page, login to your account.  If you don’t have a Google account, then it’s a simple matter of creating one to get started.  (Unfortunately, if you don’t want an account, then the Bookshelves and My Library options will not be available to you).

The My Library option is available on the top left of the page.  Clicking the link takes you to the library page where Google has pre-selected some sample shelves. Feel free to use these or create your own.  Creating your own personal shelf is as easy as selecting the create bookshelf button and deciding on a name, description of the resources saved to it, and your public/private options.  Now as you browse materials and find resources that might fit on your shelves, the link on the left side of the book will quickly save it for you.

Besides the mechanics of how things work, the practical implications for readers like us is that you can create resource lists for your different devices, bookshelves for your group or club, or even work-related materials.  On a personal note, I’ve included shelves for my main eReader device (mostly ePub resources to download later to my Sony) as well as shelves dedicated to my Android phone.  This way, if I’m on a business trip somewhere, I can hit the shelf for my mobile reading.

On a more technical note, Google makes available an API for accessing your personal library and more.  If you develop for Android or other mobile device, consider an app that would utilize this API for a more customized reading experience.  There are lots of other options for the My Library service, so take a look at the links below and let us know in the comments below of any experience with this service–good or bad.


Google Books My Library FAQ



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