Duck Software's Organizer series of home database programs build on a flexible core optimized for various specific uses. Book Tracker - Collector Edition is for home librarians, bibliophiles, book collectors, or anyone who has a lot of printed material to manage. Of course, books don't write themselves, and they won't find their own way into your database, either; you have to enter or, if you're lucky, import the data. You don't need to enter everything at once, though, and once it's done, updates are easy.
Book Tracker shares the Organizer family's efficient interface, roughly divided into two parts. The left half is a tabbed list view that can be sorted by title or author, with an image display for book covers, a counter, and some other options. The tabs sort titles by genre: All, Fiction, History, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Science Fiction. The right half of the display is a data field that acts as the equivalent of a card catalog system, with full customizable field labels as well as fields for purchase price, condition, and other data of interest to collectors. A series of colorful icons for adding and editing entries includes a Library button that tracks books out on loan. Buttons labeled from A to Z run along the bottom of the interface and give quick access to titles or authors. The program's sample entries do a fine job of showing how Book Tracker works; but of course it's easy to delete them. Book Tracker can also print various labels and generate reports, and it can convert data to and from CSV files for compatibility with a wide range of programs. Some users running 64-bit Windows editions have had trouble opening the Help file, but you can download and install the required WinHlp32.exe from Microsoft to fix the problem. Book Tracker is easy enough to use without much assistance, and in any case it offers plenty of documentation via its Web site link.
We'd like the ability to add or rename the category tabs and more options for sorting the database, such as by location or date, and an updated Help file couldn't hurt, though we had no trouble accessing all the assistance we needed. Book Tracker - Collector Edition proved a powerful and flexible free way to organize and manage an extensive library of print materials.