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Member: civitas

CollectionsYour library (2,586), To read (1,048), have read (757), Currently reading (4), authors (544), books owned (1,653), books borrowed (41), books once owned (248), works collected (928), works duplicated (170), Library of America (23), Modern Library (250), ML Giant (55), ML Buckram (60), ML Illustrated (1), ML Chronicles (4), Everyman's Library (46), EL (new series) (29), Imprint Society (4), LEC (14), Heritage Press (18), Easton Press (13), Franklin Library (5), Folio Society (9), Oxford W Classics (10), Loeb (10), Penguin Lives (30), other series (49), music (13), Wishlist (6), Favorites (83), do: weed (12), temp (8), do: era (213), do: info (259), do: cover (114), do: ex lib (43), do: sell (13), ml excel (87), All collections (2,891)


Tags.entry (edition) (1,700), fiction (1,675), .book() (1,600), 20th Century (1,334), fiction-non (1,167), {cover: EH} (945), .entry (work) (930), {cover: LT} (864), a: novel (775), literature: American (741) — see all tags

MediaNot set (399), Book (2,471), Paper Book (1,727), Paperback (468), Hardcover (487), Pamphlet (1), Unbound paper (1), Magazine (paper) (2), Journal (paper) (1), Chapbook (2), Audiobook (3), CD audiobook (1), Cassette Audiobook (2), Ebook (9), Sound Recording (12), CD sound recording (12), Other (4), Software (1), LT Catalog Entry (2), Manuscript (1), Unknown (5)

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meI live in New Hampshire and write computer software.

The postcard is a night view of downtown Nashua, NH, postmarked Feb. 7, 1910. Night views like this one started out as black and white, daytime photos. They were artistically updated to add color, the lights in the windows, the characteristic full moon and clouds, and to improve the composition of the shot. Note the electric trolley running without benefit of overhead power lines. Nashua started running electric trolleys in 1895.

Here's what I'm reading:

compendium: 1621     essays: 1928-1949     novel: 1990                   programming: Javascript      stories: His Last Bow


page: 0090 / 1382      page: 805 / 1369        page: 186 / 263             page: 765 / 895                 stories: 03 / 09

About my libraryDr. Johnson advised me to-day, to have as many books about me as I could; that I might read upon any subject upon which I had a desire for instruction at the time. -- James Boswell (The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 1777, Ætat. 68)

Classics, modern literary and genre fiction, history and computer science with a lot of other subjects as well. About the only books I buy new are computer science, as they have a limited shelf life and do tend to pay for themselves. For the others, I’m happy to discover them by chance at used book stores or on-line. I collect The Modern Library and Everyman's Library with the intent of reading them - which makes me read more widely than I would on my own. Books I otherwise wouldn't consider often prove to be excellent.

My LibraryThing Catalog

LT isn't a library. It has no books, just the catalog entries - tens of millions of them. My entries represent the physical books I own (hundred of them, as yet, unread) , and entries for the virual novels, short stories, and plays contained therein. I also keep track of books I've read that I don't own - those borrowed or now discarded.

Viewing LT as a catalog/database representing a collection of relations instead of a pile of books provides a more interesting path to its potential. I use links in the comment field to tie related entries together. LT needs to add a bit of support to make this representation convenient for its users. A catalog entry type field would be a start: this is a book (a container of works) or this is a novel, short story etc. I do this now with tags.

If you should happen upon anything in need of correction, please let me know.

Star Ratings: There are problems with star ratings: they are one dimensional, while work quality is multi-dimensional - the interminable novel with passages of brilliance; the carefully researched but unreadable history, etc. Works are constants, while the tastes and perspectives of the rater change. The ratings assigned can be misleading. None the less, here’s how I now rate things:



It would be nice if you could define a collection as a set of other collections or better yet as a Boolean expression involving other collections. But for now, each catalog entry has a set of collections explicitly assigned as follows:

Your Library - A set of sets. All entries belong to one of these collections as well:

.... Books - Each entry represents one or more physical copies of a specific edition of a book containing a version of a single work or versions of multiple works.
.... Books Unowned - books in my long-term possession which I don't own but expect to eventually return, e.g. books paid for by my employer.
.... Works - an entry represents a titled work contained within a book. If a book contains a single work, there is only one catalog entry for it in the Books collection. But, if a book contains, for example, three novels, there will be four catalog entries: a book entry in the Books collection and three novel entries in the Works collection. Note: I've stopped adding works for a couple of weeks to see what LT is going to support in this area

Read but unowned - books read and returned to their owners or otherwise removed from the collection

To Read - The ever growing set of books I haven't gotten around to reading.

ps: series name - Books in various publishers' series, e.g. Modern Library.

Favorites - The only collection with "Include in recommendations" set

do: task - sets of books or catalog entries needing something done

Wishlist - I've moved this to Amazon

Tags: Useful and interesting. I use a lot of them. My tags can be categorized as:

Content Tags which describe the content of the book or other item referenced by the LT catalog entry - the subject, genre, time frame, when the work was created, sub-topics etc. These are classifications anyone looking for a book or other item, based on its content, would find useful. The tags all begin with a letter or number and sort at the top of the tag page.

Volume Tags which describe the physical item in the collection: where it’s shelved, when it was read, the source of its LT cover image etc. These tags provide information useful for managing the collection and its LT catalog. All these tags are surrounded by {}s and sort after the content tags on the tag page.

Series Tags which describe the item as a member of a collectible series. ~ML is Modern Library information: Teladano’s volume and binding numbers. ~EL is for Everyman's Library. All these tags begin with a tilde (~) and sort at the bottom of the tag page. Also note that series in this context is not LT’s author series, but rather the publisher's series.

Here are some of the tags I use:

Location: {L:whereWherein} where where is: Home, Office, Box, or Library (public) and the otional wherein subdivides the where. For most of my books, the wherein is the shelf holding the book, so: {L:H03} is at home, on shelf (0,3) of the build-in bookcase. For public library books (actually, there's only one of these for now), it identifies the public library: {L:LN} is a Nashua Public Library book.

Tagging books at the shelf level makes them easy to find. Clicking a tag with a shelf identifier returns an image of the shelf. There’s no need to arrange books physically by some attribute such as the author’s last name, no need to leave gaps on the shelves and no need to physically shift books around to make room for new acquisitions. Instead, just fill the shelves, arranging them in a visually pleasing sequence. There are topical areas within the shelves, but the system doesn't break down when a book is shelved in an alternate area. Many books could be shelved in multiple topical areas - but, that’s what tags are for. Optimizing the set of topical areas and locations of books across the various topical areas within a collection is actually an interesting problem in its own right.

Have read: {read: year} where year is the year or decade read. For example: {read: 2007}, or {read: 198.} read sometime in the 1980’s, I just don’t remember the exact year. I do have a books-read log that starts in the early 1990’s, so a lot of the years aren't that far off.

Now reading: {read: now} I’m usually reading a number of books at a time and try to balance the subject matter, typically: a computer science book, a non-fiction work - generally history or science, and some sort of fiction - often a classic or a mystery.

Yet to read: {to read: priority} where priority is a digit from 1: read next to 9: likely never to read. I have a lot of unread books. When it’s time to find a book to read, I start looking at the 1’s, then the 2’s etc., until something looks good. Books change in priority with my changing interests.

Cover image: {cover: source} where source is: no, Amazon, LT, or mine. For example: {cover: no} - No cover image is available, I'll need to supply one. {cover: Amazon} - An Amazon cover, needs to be replaced. Amazon’s covers can change without notice for a given ISBN, so the goal is have all covers be LT user supplied covers.

My Library at LibraryThing


These links pay for the counter: Dell Computer Coupons
N.B.: It's a coupon web site - NOT DELL, so caveat emptor.

Also note: This profile isn't as popular as the count might suggest. The counter increments whenever anyone views this page. As I return to it frequently, the count gets incremented frequently as well.

Groups1001 Books to read before you die, 18th Century British Literature, Awful Lit., Baker Street and Beyond, BannedBooksLibrary, Bestsellers over the Years, Book Care and Repair, Bookcases: If You Build/Buy Them, They Will Fill, Books Compared, Bug Collectorsshow all groups

Favorite publishersNYRB Classics, Seven Stories Press, The Library of America


Real nameEric Hanson

LocationNashua, NH, USA

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/civitas (profile)
/catalog/civitas (library)

Member sinceApr 29, 2007

Currently readingEssays (Everyman's Library - Knopf, No. 242) by George Orwell
The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
Professional JavaScript for Web developers, third edition by Nicholas C. Zakas
His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle

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