Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Just what I needed

Well, I'm sure what I needed to be doing was spending MORE time in front of my PC! Tim will just die when I tell him that now I've discovered LibraryThing via Juju loves polka dots.

For the last 18 months I have been saying how much I wanted to catalog all our books. Seriously catalog, like make a database and arrange the books on the shelves as you might find them in an actual library, but using the Dewey Decimal system instead of Library of Congress as I am a WIMP and would like to take the elementary school library approach as opposed to the college library approach that never seemed intuitive to me.

Tim and I each had a ton of books when we got married, and since then our library has probably doubled again, at least. We have two huge bookcases in our bedroom (again with the stuff in the bedroom!), two good-sized bookcases of children's books in the playroom, built-in shelves downstairs in what used to be the living room (now the LI-brey when I want to be pretentious) in addition to two floor-to-ceiling bookcases that are also in there. (That would be in the LI-brey, where all the books go, of course!) (Oh yes, and the piano so it can also be a music room. I told you I was pretentious.)

I had actually started a database last summer, but it was slow going, since many of our books are old and/or out of print since we get them at the Goodwill sales, in attics, and things like that. Many don't have ISBNs or really much else past title, author, and publication date. It was also slow going since I have so many other demands on my time during quiet periods of the day when I can sit down and type things out. I think I had gotten to maybe two dozen books in the last year using this method.

HOWEVER, this wonderful LibraryThing website allows you to enter a title and it will pull up all the pertinent info on a book in its many manifestations. You just click on the one you want and BINGO, it adds it to your personal catalog. I will say that I have had to make some concessions and select a book in paperback when we have it in hardcover, but I think that is a small price to pay. I can go back and edit it anytime I want. So far I've put in 70 of our books, in just the last hour.

Problem is, you only get 200 with the free account, as I'm sure some marketing genius realized that if you are geeky enough to want to catalog your books, no doubt you have WELL OVER 200 of them.

Brilliant.

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