September 19, 2008

aNobii – The Site For Bookworms


aNobii derives its name from the Latin word for bookworm and bookworms are indeed the target audience. It takes only a few seconds to set up an account and start creating a book catalog. You can add books by searching for individual authors or titles, or do a mass import from Amazon, LibraryThing, your Google Library, an Excel spreadsheet, or a web page. Once you begin the import, your shelf will be complete within a few minutes. It’s then easy to add reviews, ratings, and comments and to see what others have thought of the books you’ve read.

Like similar sites, aNobii also has a social component, so you can fill out a brief profile and include a photo. There’s a facility to discuss books in groups, but it was difficult to see if any groups actually existed. However, one of the killer features in aNobii is the ability to add books in several languages and to buy books from several third-party sites. That means that if a book is recommended for you, you can purchase it from your nearest bookstore in the language that you feel most comfortable.

Something aNobii gets right is the ability to filter what you see based on your location. It’s evident that the developers have put a lot of thought into making this a useful online catalog for everyone, and it’s definitely one to watch.

Practical Uses

  • Start a book club by locating people near you who share similar tastes
  • Keep an online catalog of all the books you have read or are planning to read
  • Use your friends’ online catalogs as a way to get gift recommendations

Insider Tips

  • Change your location (under the aNobii logo) to widen the pool with which you share book information
  • Vote for readers’ comments and reviews to change the order in which they appear on the book page
  • Each book page contains links to editions in different languages or other forms of media and a simple click helps you to find the one you need

What We Liked

  • It was very easy to import books from other services and within minutes there were hundreds of books on our aNobii shelf
  • The aNobii location filter makes it easy to find people in your part of the world with similar tastes
  • The built in compatibility filter on each profile makes it easy to assess at a glance whether you share the same taste in books as other users
  • Purchasing books from different third-party sites directly from the books page

What We Didn’t Like

  • Importing book information did not capture personal book review data
  • The home page does not show the current list of most popular books (this is a key feature in competing sites)
  • Discussion features are less refined than at similar sites


Company Info

  • Launched: 2006
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Hong Kong
  • Founded by: Greg Sung
  • Website:


  • Free


  • 3 out of 5 (good)

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