Search civitas's books

Random books from civitas's library

The Practice of Zen by Garma C. C. Chang

The Scarlet Letter, A Romance (Modern Library, No. 93) by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Code Complete, Second Edition by Steve McConnell

Years of Minutes by Andrew A. Rooney

What Is Relativity? by L. D. Landau

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers

Members with civitas's books

RSS feeds

Recently-added books

civitas's reviews

Reviews of civitas's books, not including civitas's

Helper badges

Common KnowledgeCover UploadingHelperWork CombinationWork RelationshipsExterminatorWork SeparationsCoverGuess

Site design selection

Use the new design

Use the old design

The old design is no longer fully supported nor does it get full attention when we roll out new features. We strongly recommend using the new design.


Member: civitas

CollectionsYour library (1,685), To read (945), Currently reading (4), Books owned (1,512), Books borrowed (41), Books once owned (233), Have Read (588), authors list (404), 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 (28), Oxford W Classics (9), Loeb (10), Penguin Lives (30), Misc Series (48), ML Chronicles (4), Duplicates (1), Series Duplicates (111), Music (14), Wishlist (6), Favorites (85), Work Duplicates (83), do: weed (11), do: era (334), do: info (397), do: cover (123), Works in Books (167), do: works (120), do: ex lib (75), do: poets (6), do: sell (18), temp (8), ml excel (88), All collections (1,975)


Tagsa: book (1,552), fiction (981), 20th Century (970), {cover: EH} (854), {cover: LT} (796), fiction-non (710), a: novel (594), {to read: 1} (394), literature: American (366), 19th Century (294) — 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: 1990                 Software: 2013                   Fiction: 2000             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. -- Jame Boswell (The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 1777, Ætat. 68)

Mostly computer science, history, and literature with a lot of other subjects mixed in as well. About the only new books I buy are computer science, because they often have a limited shelf life and they 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:



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


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


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
The Ice-Shirt by William T. Vollmann
City of God : A Novel by E. L. Doctorow
The Art of Unit Testing With Examples in C# : Second Edition by Roy Osherove

Leave a comment


Thanks, Eric, makes perfect sense. I am just wondering how to distinguish the volumes of the Everyman's Library New Series from the older Everyman's Library series. I may have made the same error on other publisher's series. If I find any I will correct them. Anthony
I hear ya -- I have a daughter in college as well. I hate to think what our grandchildren will be paying for textbooks...
I’d like to change the name of the publisher’s series which you’ve entered from: 100 Greatest Books Ever Written to “Easton Press: 100 Greatest Books Ever Written

By all means change them (but without the unmatched quotation marks, which I assume was unintended). I originally considered something similar, but backed off simply because it was so much longer than the short labels being entered for most publisher series. But I agree, the publisher's name should be in there.

I own a little over 600 Easton Press books (there are twenty or so that I haven't catalogued in LT yet) and have not yet tagged them all with their series name. I need to go through the list systematically and find all the strays (I just looked at your tags and discovered that I hadn't yet tagged Gulliver's Travels as being part of the 100G series -- I'm sure that there are others). At any rate, I also hope to enter Publisher's Series data for the various EP series as needed.

It was nice of you to give me the heads up before changing this -- CK etiquette certainly doesn't require users to do this. It is appreciated.
Thanks for adding BannedBooksLibrary to your interesting libraries. Happy Reading!
Hi. My copy's a different edition, so I won't be using your cover, but I appreciate the thought.
Hi - thanks for the "Interesting Library" linkage.

- Bob
Thanks for the interesting vote and for chiming in on Currently Reading Is Acting Funny thread on Bug Collectors.
I'm afraid I haven't read all of the books in my library! many are for research, many have just come my way and I couldn't turn them away, and many many I want to read when I find the time...
Thanks. Unfortunately I only have the book and not the cover. Isn't it fun collecting Modern Library books?
If you're serious about weeding the 1986 book "Programmers At Work" I would be happy to take it off your hands, as it is quite out of print & hard to find, yet as worthwhile now as it was a quarter-century ago.
Thank you for the heads-up about the Beer cover. I know it's silly and slightly OC but I like to have accurate covers.
Thanks for the cover scan of Renaissance Painting. I loathe the generic covers but don't have time right now to scan my own.

I like night view postcards and have a few in my collection.
Thank you. That was very kind of you to share your cover with all of us. It's very much appreciated.
Thanks for the cover. It's perfect. As you can tell, it's been awhile since I used librarything. Summer is good for catching up. Happy reading! J
Thanks so much. That's very kind of you :)
Just now, while reading through my old Comments to archive/delete, I came across the thoughtful note you left me last August (!) about adding a cover for one of my books, "The Machinery of the Brain." I don't think I thanked you then, so I'm happy to do so now.

Thanks for the suggestion about tagging the original publication date rather than changing the date in the book record. I shall endeavor to do that. I like the idea of tagging decades for modern literature (which is most of my library). When I started on LT almost 2 years ago, I didn't understand the distinction between "book" and "work" and it seemed especially odd to have a book which displayed a publication date twenty years later than when I originally read it. At the same time, I find it fascinating to compare books by publication date to see, for example, what was being published (and, one presumes, read) in Europe, Great Britain, and the USA at roughly the same time. Using the publication date column for that is simple-- I can just click and sort on that column. Now I do believe I should start thinking more creatively about tags and how they can be used for the same purpose.

And kudos to you for making cover images available (I see you do that from your other comments). I keep a flatbed scanner right beside my computer(s), so when there's a cover I can't find, I just lift the scanner lid, drop in the book, and scan it in.
Thanks for the cover for Modern Logic
Thanks for the cover. I used it!
Thanks for the note about the Galloway title. My copy is on loan at the moment but I checked an Access file I keep on books at my office and my copy apparently is also titled "Illustrated Coin Dating Guide for the Eastern World". I think I pulled the variant title from a cover picture I found on the Internet, but the cover of my copy matches yours so I'll change my catalog. Thanks again. --mikej
Hey! Thank you for the Hodgkins cover- I've added it to my site.
Thanks for the covers. How do I get them onto my site?? Bill
Thank you for adding the cover! (sorry about the tardy reply)
Thanks for the cover!
Thanks for the covers! --David
Thank you!
Thanks for the cover!
Thanks for the cover. Every so often I fill in some of my gaps, but any help is appreciated!
Thanks for the rare image of an old book.
Thank you for letting me know about the cover image for Zen of Code Optimization! I've added it to my entry. Good work!
Thanks for the note about the cover of Abrash's Zen of Code Optimization. I found your location tagging scheme interesting. I may have to borrow it in some future leisure time.
Brilliant under-Cover work. (We share Pacifist Conscience). Thanks.
is that postcard for your pic, is that buffalo by night?
Awesome work with the covers!

Thanks for letting me know about the cover. When I can find some time I'm going to scan some of my other missing covers.



Nancy Mulvany
Eric: Thanks for the cover. You're the best.
Thanks for the cover image.
Excellent -- thanks!

Thanks! My copy of "The Machinery of the Mind" is buried along with other books from my student years (although I unearthed them when I entered them into LT), so I'm not 100% positive that the cover is the same as mine, especially since you provide an ISBN and my copy dates to 1964 and thus is pre-ISBN. When I next dig it out, I will check. Thanks again.
Thanks! Cover images really improve the overall experience of using this site.

-- Thorn
Thanks for the cover for Katzan. My copy of that book is at work, meaning I haven't been able to scan it myself yet.

Again, thank you for providing the cover for an oldie!

Steve Seeskin
Thanks for sharing the Numismatics cover! Just discovered LibraryThing and I love it!
My cover of Brand's book is more grey, i think, but this is certainly useful. Thanks!
Thanks for the Brand cover - cleans up things nicely!
Thank you for letting me know about the cover!

Alicia V.
Thanks for the cover!
Thank you. I've added the cover's image to my entry for this book, most useful when reading ancient history.

Very clever! Thanks for sharing this.

Steve Seeskin
Eric - Thanks. I greatly appreciate it. Somewhat older books are hard to find cover images for. May I ask how you got this one?

Steve Seeskin
Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,715,640 books! | Top bar: Always visible