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Member: civitas

CollectionsYour library (2,594), books (1,651), works (938), films (13), music (13), books borrowed (41), books deleted (150), To read (1,034), have read (762), Currently reading (5), Library of America (23), Modern Library (250), ML Giant (55), ML Illustrated (1), ML Chronicles (4), Everyman's Library (46), EL (new series) (31), 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), ml excel (87), authors (544), temp (8), do (606), Wishlist (6), Favorites (84), All collections (2,815)


Tags.edition (1,862), =book (1,836), fiction (1,682), .work (1,508), century: 20th (1,287), fiction-non (1,108), _cover (eh) (897), _cover (lt) (829), a: novel (772), literature: American (746) — see all tags

MediaNot set (448), Book (2,336), Paper Book (1,662), Paperback (433), Hardcover (474), Unbound paper (1), Magazine (paper) (2), Journal (paper) (1), Chapbook (2), Audiobook (1), CD audiobook (1), Sound Recording (12), CD sound recording (12), Video Recording (10), DVD (1), Reel-to-Reel/Film (8), 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: 1993                  programming: JS           novella: A Study in Scarlet


page: 0144 / 1382      page: 857 / 1369        page: 015 / 342            page: 094 / 280            page: 63 / 91

And here are a couple of justifications for my owning a thousand unread books:

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)

About my libraryI have classics, modern literary and genre fiction, history, computer science and various and assorted of other classifications. 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 a number of publisher's series: The Modern Library, Everyman's Library, The Library of America and New York Review Books Classics, with the intent of reading them. As a consequence, I read more widely than I would otherwise.

Star Ratings are one dimensional, but quality is not -- an innovative novel can still be unreadable. The work remains constant, but the rater does 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.

The average rating in the comment field is a weighted average from LT and Amazon . Here’s how I now rate things:


My LibraryThing Catalog

LT isn't a library. It has no books, just tens of millions of catalog entries. My entries represent the physical books and recordings I own and entries for 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.

Catalog Structure:

The Books, music recordings and movies in the collection are Editions. An Edition is a container of Works. Editions are produced by publishers, while Works are created by authors. An Edition contains one to many Works by one to many authors and a Work can be published in multiple Editions. To Add books in LT parlance is to create Edition level catalog entries.

This catalog has entries at both the Edition and Work levels, tied together by links in each entry’s comment field. Discussions, over the years, of adding catalog support for this concept have not resulted in anything useful to my purpose. So, I decided to take the addition of the User Call Number field as license to implement my own version.

Here's an example: the entries for The Prince (Everyman's Library, No. 280) ...

This edition of The Prince contains two Works. Look at the Edition entry’s comment field – the two contained Works are listed with ellipses indicating that they have their own Work entries. Clicking the link at the bottom of the field will again bring up the page you are on, with this Edition and its two Works.

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.

These links allow you to see all the Works in an Edition and from there, all the Editions with containing these Works.

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 Edition entry with the Work information listed in the comment field (this is LT’s existing single level model). However, if I get a different Edition of the same Work, I’ll create the Work entry, so the Work and its two Editions can be linked properly.

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 - augmenting this one deserves more of my attention.
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 completely 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 books may not be favorites per se.
series name: individual collections for various publisher's series
Wishlist: this is now on Amazon
Your Library: The Edition and Work entries for books. There are no film or music works 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 six groups, with a naming convention, arranged in this order:

Entry Tags – prefix ‘.’ Describe the level of the catalog entry. There are only two:
.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.

Entries can have both tags. For example, a story collection with a novella and additional short stories might be entered as an Edition entry for the book and its short stories and a separate Work entry for the novella.

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, often the year first published for lack of better information. It can happen that a work is not published until years after being written.
nth Century – same as written:, but groups by century instead of year
era: period of the subject matter, generally of a history
a: content type categorizes the work. There is some overlap with genre: e.g., a: novel
language () - the work's original language. English is the default language and is not tagged.

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

Collectable Series Tags – prefix ‘~’ used for publisher’s series information:
● ~series (seriesName) e.g., ~series (Modern Library)
● ~seriesIdNumberInSeries e.g., ~ML124 – Modern Library number 124

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


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 the page - a page I return to frequently.

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, New No. 242) by George Orwell
The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
Async & Performance by Kyle Simpson
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Vurt by Jeff Noon

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