How to Create a Book Database

By Bonnie Conrad

A database is a great way to track books.
i BOOKS image by Nadya R. from

Databases can be used for everything from keeping track of your household possessions to tracking thousands of employees across your enterprise. But no matter what you plan to use the database for, the fundamental building blocks of database design are the same. Databases use tables to store their information, with each table containing a number of related fields. In the case of a book database you need to make sure your table contains enough identifying information to find the books you need, quickly and easily.

Log on to your computer and open your database program. Click on the "File" menu and choose "New" from the list of options.

Click on the "Tables" tab and choose "Create table in design view." The design view option gives you maximum flexibility when building your table and entering your fields.

Determine which information is unique to each record. In the case of a book database this will most likely be the ISBN code, since every book will have its own unique ISBN.

Enter ISBN as the first field. Highlight that field, right-click and select "Primary key." This will make the ISBN the index for the database and make searches faster. It will also ensure that no new record can be entered without a valid ISBN.

Enter the rest of the fields. For a book database the fields might include "Author Name-First," "Author Name-Last," "Title" and "Publication Date."

Click on the "File" menu and choose "Save" to save your table. Give your table a descriptive name like "Books."

Click on the "Forms" tab and choose "Create form by using wizard." This is the easiest way to create a data entry form.

Select the "Books" table and click on the fields you want to include. It is generally a good idea to include all fields in the database when building a data entry form.

Choose the appearance options for your form and click "Finish" to complete your form. The form will open so you can preview it. Enter your data into the form as you get each new book. The data entered into the form will automatically be saved in the underlying table.