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As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm loving the LibraryThing.… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
November 13th, 2006
08:36 pm


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As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm loving the LibraryThing. (Thanks, Cassie!)

I told myself I'd get a total of 1000 books scanned in by today, and I managed to hit that mark - but now I have boxes upon boxes of books out in my living room, as I've been mostly taking the books out of the library. I know that some of the books will make it back on the shelves, but I'll get to / have to use discernment, as I don't have enough shelves for everything.

And really, how many books on Applesoft assembly or Windows 3.1 user interface guidelines does a man need to have at hand?

While sifting through long-untouched boxes, I stumbled across a cache of novels I read when I might have been 14. A bunch of Isaac Asimov, a few novelizations of movies of the day, and stuff I'm even more ashamed of. Piers Anthony, for one. Shudder.

LibraryThing has a fun little data-mining tool; for any book, they'll look through their lists of people who have that book, and make guesses as to what books are unlikely to share a shelf with the book you asked about. If you read Wittgenstein, you probably don't read James Frey. If you have "Wuthering Heights" on your shelf, chances are you're not referring to "ANSI Common LISP". And it seems like there's a few keywords like "Jesus", "Bible", and "Church" that tend to not coexist with much of anything. I guess not everybody can be a well-balanced reader, taking a little from a diverse selection of topics. Even if there was broader topic-diversity, there'd be a tendency for "high brow" and "low brow" to separate out.

And I'm not setting a great example myself. Looking at their pairs, I would have to be in traction with somebody reading to me before "Ella Enchanted" or "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" got into my head.

At some point, I'll have to make a pie chart of my books to indicate how balanced my geekiness is. It's not very balanced, this much I know. I have a lot of programming books, a lot of games books, quite a few games programming books, and some computer books besides. Also, I own several books in each of science fiction and fantasy. This, as described, does not make for a well-balanced diet. There's a dash of other stuff in my library, but by and large, we know who we're talking about here.


[User Picture]
Date:November 14th, 2006 05:03 am (UTC)
I can't say that I'm impressed:

First try: Does the Center Hold? by Donald Palmer. Only 19 people had it. OK, I can accept that.

Second try: Godel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid. Zero people have it. Total disbelief.

Third try: 1984 Unrecognized. Doesn't recognize 1984???? Fugeddaboutit.
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[User Picture]
Date:November 14th, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)
I've found that sometimes I scan a book, and it can't find it by ISBN, or by Library of Congress number, but it eventually finds it by some other means. And sometimes, it truly is obscure, and I have to enter it by hand.

For your examples:

Does the center hold

I've taken a small bit of enjoyment at the obscure books in my library:

Manette Pioneering
Advanced Global Illumination
a book by Minsky on robotics

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