Books, books, books… What do they say about the reader?


Do you use Library Thing? If you read, you should. I signed up when they first began in November of 2005. It was a young company – and idea. It is an online book catalog… sort of. It is one of the first personal clouds – but it’s interactive. I catalog my books there. The software (algorithm?) looks at other people databases in the system who have read that book, and creates a list of recommended reads… It’s good stuff.

Periodically, I add books and discover that they have added some new sort of thing to it. I’ve written reviews/annotations about books over the years and there is a place for me to enter them into Library Thing, so I am adding that to my project list (like the one I wrote about Hogfather). The goal is to write an annotation about every book that I read, and hopefully by reviewing things I have already read I will be encouraged to do so. It will automatically post my reviews to Facebook and Twitter.

Library Thing has also added an interesting statistics page… My list is, by no means, a complete catalog of everything I own, or have read. However, by looking at these stats I can see trends in my reading… I have entered 582 books into the catalog, 106 of those belong to a series of one sort or another (I’m guessing Fantasy here: Tolkien, Kurtz, Eddings, Pratchett), 255 of them have won awards. There are 2,434 characters in 516 places. And although all of my books are in English, the original texts hail form 19 different languages. Some of the books are textbooks, there are dictionaries, and pseudo-dictionaries (501 Latin Verbs [I have French, Spanish, and English Verbs as well, yes I am a dork]).

Subject matter varies, there are a lot of historical and religious tracts, as wall as a large number of fantasy novels. Of course, there are those people who would tell you that there is little difference between fantasy and religion. Most of the religious books are from a historical perspective; mostly the evolution of Christianity as it pertains to the development of Western Culture as we understand it. Lots of classics. I am a classicist. Shamelessly so.

While perusing my catalog yesterday I noticed several books were missing from my shelf – that were actually in the catalog:

Hogfather and Good Omens (Terry Pratchett) N, from work has both of those. The Lost (Daniel Mendelsohn) I think B has that. J, from work has Shit My Dad Says. But there are other books that are apparently just missing

I’ll know it when I see it, Alice Carey.

Thank you for not Smoking, Christopher Buckley

Literary Criticism, Charles Bressler – this one has tons of notes in it and I will miss it. L

Wicca, Scott Cunningham

Will in the World, Stephen Greenblatt

Traveling Mercies, Annie Lamott

Master your Metabolism, Jillian Michaels

Spunk & Bite, Arthur Plotnik

Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris

Monstrous Regiment, Terry Pratchett

The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien…

Some of my Whitman is missing as well.

What started this quest was a search for a specific book of poetry, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex by Jillian Weise. I can’t find it anywhere – and don’t remember lending it to anyone… It is one of the books on the list to read for my retreat in May. If it doesn’t materialize, I will have to replace it.

If you have any of my books, please contact me and let me know. I am going to begin replacing them if I cannot find them.

You can view my Library Thing Here.

Word Count: 602

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