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Seaweed [poem] by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

The House In Paris (Vintage Books, No. V-48) by Elizabeth Bowen

Elvis Presley (Penguin Lives) by Bobbie Ann Mason

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Member: civitas

CollectionsYour library (3,182), books (1,823), works (1,354), films (18), music (13), books borrowed (74), books deleted (155), To read (1,147), have read (932), Currently reading (5), LoA (25), Modern Library (263), ML Giant (56), ML Illustrated (1), ML Chronicles (4), Everyman's Library (46), EL (new series) (33), Imprint Society (4), LEC (15), Heritage Press (18), Easton Press (13), Franklin Library (5), Folio Society (9), Oxford W Classics (10), Loeb (10), Penguin Lives (30), other series (44), ml excel (88), authors (295), temp (7), do (365), Wishlist (6), Favorites (86), All collections (3,448)


Tagsfiction (2,246), .edition (2,081), .work (1,863), =book (1,825), century: 20th (1,709), fiction-non (1,198), literature: American (1,086), _cover (eh) (1,004), _cover (lt) (970), =binding (hc) (815) — see all tags

MediaNot set (1), Book (2,058), Paper Book (1,898), Paperback (542), Hardcover (703), Journal (paper) (1), Ebook (1), Sound Recording (13), CD sound recording (13), Video Recording (18), Reel-to-Reel/Film (18), Other (6), Printed music (3), Printed music, Paperback (2), Printed music, Hardcover (1), Software (1), Manuscript (1), Unknown (1,352), n/a (1,352)

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meI live in New Hampshire and write computer software.

The postcard above 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     compendium: 2011        novella: 1960             programming: JS           mystery: 2017


page: 0708 / 1132      page: 078 / 456            page: 026 / 124          page: 170 / 280           page: 049 / 236

About my libraryA disparate lot of classics, modern literary and genre fiction, essays, history, computer science and various and assorted of other classifications. About the only books I buy new are the computer science ones, as they have a limited shelf life and do, in theory, pay for themselves. For the others, I’m happy to discover them by chance at used book stores or on-line. I collect a few publisher's series, viz., The Modern Library, Everyman's Library, The Library of America and New York Review Books Classics. I do so with the intent of reading them and, as a consequence, I read more widely than I would otherwise.

I have a thousand books unread, but with justification:

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. --- Albert Einstein (interview in the The Saturday Evening Post, Oct 26, 1929);

Dr. 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);

One half of it (one's library) should consist of books we have read and that have meant something for us, and the other half of books which we intend to read and which we suppose might mean something to us. --- Italo Calvino (Why Read the Classics? in The New York Review of Books, October 9, 1986).

Star Ratings are one dimensional, but quality is not — the innovative novel may still be unreadable. A work is a constant, but the rater is not. L. P. Hartley observed in The Go-Between that The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there, and so it is that I may rate an older work more highly than it deserves simply because I enjoyed the view afforded, even when it's not the one intended (often true of silent films). Ratings across genres are not entirely comparable — a five star mystery borrowed from the library is probably not another Stoner.

The average rating in the comment field is a weighted average from LT and Amazon. I rate what I read as:


My LibraryThing Catalog

LT has no books, but millions of catalog entries. Mine represent the physical books and recordings I own and the works (novels, short stories, plays etc.) contained therein. I also keep track of books I've read that I don't own - those borrowed or now discarded.

Recognizing LT as a collection of relations instead of a pile of books provides a more interesting path to its potential. My catalog is a model of my collection.

If you notice anything in need of correction, please let me know. Note though, formatting discrepancies are probably best considered as historical artifacts. I frequently change the way I do things and I usually don't go and update all 2500+ entries (or at times, unfortunately, this write-up).

Catalog Structure:

To Add books in LT parlance is to create a single catalog entry which combines the edition and work level information. Discussions over the years about adding catalog support for the concept of two levels have not resulted in anything useful to my purpose. The addition of the User Call Number field provided a hook allowing me to implement my own support.

This catalog can have separate entries to represent either the edition or work level information. The books, CD's and DVD's in the collection are produced by publishers and are represented by edition entries in the catalog. An edition is a container of one or more works. Works are created by authors, editors or performers and can have their own entries in the catalog. A work can be published in multiple editions.

The edition entries have links to their contained works and for those works, links back to all editions of that work. This additional layer of entries allows contained works to be part of the wider LT catalog and to be read and rated individuality. It also makes it easy to keep track of works owned in multiple editions in different translations and collected series.

As a practical matter, edition entries often don’t have associated work entries. Typically, a single copy of a novel, or a collection of short stories will have a single combined edition and work entry — this is LT’s existing single level model. However, if I get a second edition of the same work, I’ll create the work entry, so the work and its editions can be represented properly in the catalog.

Here's an example: The Prince (Everyman's Library, No. 280) =►

This edition is titled The Prince and actually contains a collection of three different works. Look at the comment field in the edition entry where the contained works are listed. At the bottom of the field there is a link that says that there exists (∃) 3 work entries related to this edition. Clicking that link will bring up a new page with this edition and its three works.

Now look at the work entry for the The Prince. There are three different editions listed, each with a link. Clicking a link will bring up a corresponding page with that edition’s entry and all its work entries.

Special Characters: In a collection entry, listed works having their own work entries, are marked with an '*'. Clickable links to other entries are marked by an "=►". A '' (there-exists) symbol indicates there are related entries. A '' marks works read. The characters "(1)(2)(3)..." identify the works contained in listed editions. The characters "(a)(b)(c)..." identify notes. A '' ending a location tag, marks doubly shelved items.

Collections: Some of my LT collections are:
books: those physically in my library
books borrowed: mostly from the public library.
books deleted: those I’ve managed to get rid of - this one needs to grow.
films: basically a log of moves seen. I don't watch that many, but still it'll be interesting to accumulate a history.
music: I have a few CD's cataloged out of a couple of hundred. Spotify has almost eliminated my interest in CD's. This is curious, as I don't care for e-books at all.
works: entries for Works contained in Editions. A book containing three novels might have four catalog entries: an Edition entry in a books collection and three Work entries in the works collection.
Favorites: the only collection with Include in recommendations set. The works may not be favorites per se.
series name: individual collections for various publisher's series editions.
Wishlist: this is on Amazon
Your Library: the Edition and Work entries for books. There are no film or music works included at present

There are rules that govern the handling of entries in collections:
- An edition entry in books can move to books once owned
- An edition entry in books once owned is deleted upon final disposition (donated or sold) if unread. (tbd)
- An edition entry in books borrowed is deleted if it's returned unread
- A work entry in works may be deleted when an edition entry is deleted. The reference to the deleted edition is removed from the work entry and if there are no remaining references to other editions, the entry is deleted.

Tags: In seven groups, with a naming convention, arranged in this order:

Entry Tags – prefix ‘.’ Describe the level of the catalog entry:
.edition - an entry with publisher level information. For context, the entry usually includes a couple of work level tags such as century and literature: country. Most of the library management tags are also at this level.
.work - an entry for an individual work with author level information, such as genre:, date written: etc.
.work (collection) - an entry for a composite work e.g., a collection of novels assembled by an editor. The editor's introduction would be at this level. It hosts the collection's summary information, at a level between the edition entries and the .work entries for the collection's constituent works.

Entries can have both .edition and .work tags. For example, a story collection with a novella and additional short stories might be one entry with a .edition tag for the book and a .work (collection) tag for the collection of short stories and the novella. The novella might have an additional related entry of its own with a .work tag.

Work Tags – no prefix describe the work. Most are self-explanatory, but some need comment:
literature: (country) - the author’s country of residence. When an author is foreign-born, it gets more complex. If writing in the language of the country of residence, the work is assigned to that country. If writing in his own native language, the work is assigned to the literature of his native country. To document foreign cultural influence, the native country is added to the tag: literature: country (author’s native country). For example, Nabokov’s Pale Fire is tagged literature: American (Russian), while his earlier Russian language works, written while living in Germany, would be literature: Russian.
written: year - used for a work and is often the year first published for lack of better information.
published: year - used for work collections, e. g. short stories often appear in periodicals years before being republished in a collection. May also be used for a work when there is a large difference between the dates written and originally published.
century: nth - the same as written:, but groups by century instead of year.
era: period - used to classify the time frame of the subject matter, generally for a history.
language: name - the original language of the work. English being the default, is not tagged.
a: descriptor - categorizes the work e.g. a: novel. There is some overlap with genre:

Edition Tags – prefix ‘=’ describe the edition:
● physical attributes: =book, =recording (music), =recording (video), =binding, =slipcase, etc.
● publisher content: =illustrated, =limited edition, =collected works etc.
● translations:
- =translated (to language) - the translation is from the original language to the given language.
- =translated - the translation is from the original language to English (short for =translated (to English) )
- =translated (no) - no translation was done, the work is in its original (non-English) language

Collectible Attribute Tags – prefix ‘~’ used for information about publisher’s series and other catagories:
● ~series (series name) e.g., ~series (Modern Library)
● ~series:number e.g., ~ml:124 – Modern Library number 124
● ~tradelabel (type) the volume has an attached label from a book seller or binder
● ~bookplate the volume has a bookplate

Author Tags – prefix ‘—’ literary prizes etc

Management Tags – prefix ‘_’ used to manage the collection:
- - _L The location of the book down to the shelf level; at which point they’re easy to find. Samuel Pepys' bequest of his library included the instructions that placement of the books strictly reviewed and, where found requiring it, more nicely adjusted. And so it is that these tags allow my books to be shelved in any convenient order. There is never a need to shift a lot of books or leave gaps to accommodate a new book because of its inconveniently named author or call number. I just fill the shelves in a visually pleasing sequence. It’s rarely necessary to update more than a book or two when fitting in a new one. While there are genre and series concentrations and I do try to shelve some authors close together, the system doesn't break down when a book is shelved elsewhere.
● _duplicate (edition), _duplicate (work)
● _to read: priority 0 to 9, _read: now, _read: year
● _cover (source) - the LT cover image's source

To Do Tags – prefix ‘•’ mark entries needing work.

My Library at LibraryThing


This link pays 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 the page - which I often do.

GroupsBook Care and Repair, Bookcases: If You Build/Buy Them, They Will Fill, Bug Collectors, Combiners!, Everyman's Library, Fine Press Forum, Folio Society devotees, George Macy devotees, I Survived the Great Vowel Shift, In Translationshow all groups

Favorite publishersNYRB Classics, 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 readingThe Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
Async & Performance by Kyle Simpson
Robert Hartwell Fiske's Dictionary of unendurable English : a compendium of mistakes in grammar, usage, and spelling : with commentary on lexicographers and linguists by Robert Hartwell Fiske
The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia
Murder, Stage Left : A Nero Wolfe Mystery by Robert Goldsborough

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