Monday, March 31, 2008

Library Thing

(I'm cross-posting this at the other blog so sorry in advance to those of you that read both)

Have you heard about Library Thing? The idea is to list your books in a virtual library and see what other people with similar books are reading. For us, it is a great way to at last catalogue our many thousands of books. So uh, two bookcases down! You have no idea what an enormous time suck this thing is. I’ve had to actually limit the time I devote to registering our books or it would leave few hours for little else. It also forces me to admit I’m not as good a housekeeper as I’d like to believe-how do books manage to get dusty between volumes when wedged in tightly on a shelf?

There are a couple ways of viewing the collections-as a list or as a bookshelf. The bookshelf option shows you the dust jackets. It was only as we’d entered a hundred books or so that we realised so many of our books were obscure so that no picture was available. You have to admit, that’s kind of cool.

I guess my attraction to Library Thing is that it reminds me of flipping through friends record collections as a teenager. You could tell so much about a person by their records and by their books as well. OK I know what you’re thinking and yes, it did cross my mind as well, but I look at it this way: if "they" want to know what I’m reading there are plenty of other ways to access that information already. Yes, a listing of a person’s library absolutely does provide insights about the person…but so does five years of blogging. I own a first edition of Nova Express and Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book-draw what conclusions you will!

Is anyone else doing this? It’s a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself with books in your collection long forgotten. I had no idea I owned The Structure Of Complex Words. See what you unearth when cleaning the bookshelves?

This will probably take months to complete, but I’m looking forward to it and if little else, it is a complete listing that would be helpful for insurance purposes if (God forbid) it ever becomes necessary.

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