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Member: civitas

CollectionsYour library (1,728), To read (976), Currently reading (4), Books owned (1,556), Books borrowed (41), Books once owned (235), Have Read (601), authors list (447), Modern Library (250), ML Giant (56), ML Buckram (60), ML Illustrated (1), Everyman's Library (46), EL (Knopf) (28), Imprint Society (4), Limited Editions Club (13), Heritage Press (18), Easton Press (13), Franklin Library (5), Library of America (22), Folio Society (9), Vintage Buckram (29), Oxford W Classics (9), Loeb (10), Penguin Lives (30), Misc Series (49), ML Chronicles (4), Duplicates (1), Series Duplicates (111), Music (14), Wishlist (6), Favorites (85), Work Duplicates (83), do: weed (12), do: era (330), do: info (392), do: cover (121), Works in Books (167), do: works (119), do: ex lib (75), do: poets (6), do: sell (18), temp (9), ml excel (88), All collections (2,021)

ReviewsNone

Tagsa: book (1,595), fiction (1,063), 20th Century (1,011), fiction-non (903), {cover: EH} (881), {cover: LT} (815), a: novel (619), {to read: 1} (423), literature: American (385), 21st Century (297) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meI live in New Hampshire and write computer software for a living.

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 now missing power lines - the electric trolley in the image has no visible means of support.

Here's what I'm reading:

Fiction: 2006                   Software: 2014                     Fiction: 1996                 Biology: 2002

         

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, more modern literary fiction, history and computer science with a lot of other subjects as well. About the only new books I buy are computer science, because 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 e-bay. 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. It does have library catalog entries - millions of them. Currently, my LT catalog entries refer almost exclusively to books that I own (a couple of hundred of them, as yet, unread) and to some of the novels, short stories, and plays contained therein.

Lots of people have created catalog entries describing books they’ve read but don’t own, books they want to own but haven't read, books they no longer own, comic books, magazines, CD’s, movies, and more.

If you consider LT as a catalog instead of a library then this all make perfect sense and all the postings about how one should enter only the physical books one owns can be safely ignored. LT just needs to add a little bit of support to make this generalization convenient for its users. A catalog entry type field would be a start: this is a book or this is short story within a collection etc. I do this with tags, but Collections may work as well.

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

Star Ratings: There are a couple of problems with star ratings: stars are one dimensional, while work quality is a multi-dimensional thing - 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:

Exceptional
Good
OK
Bad
Unreadable

Collections:

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 other wise 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 unsupported 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

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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

Homepagehttps://sites.google.com/site/civitasbooks/

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 Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould
Infinite Jest : A Novel by David Foster Wallace
Apathy And Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan
Adaptive Code via C# : Agile coding with design patterns and SOLID principles by Gary McLean Hall

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