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SantaThing 2010 - LibraryThing does Secret Santa

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Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 12:04pm Top

We're going to announce the details of the 2010 SantaThing event soon. Please wait until you read the announcement before posting questions.

Edited to add: link to SantaThing

Nov 15, 2010, 2:29pm Top

Can we do a little dance of joy before reading the announcement? I've been eagerly anticipating it for almost a month now. :D It's my favorite part of the season, and I had a niggling worry that maybe this year would be the year it's too difficult/expensive/whatever to put together.

Nov 15, 2010, 2:56pm Top

We managed to simplify the work we need to do (triple-yay), so please do a dance of joy!

Edited: Nov 15, 2010, 3:15pm Top



Nov 15, 2010, 4:21pm Top

I want to be a mongoose ;)
That is nice Keristars! I can't wait for the announcement!

Nov 16, 2010, 4:18am Top

"soon" is that as in "Two weeks" ?!

Nov 16, 2010, 8:49am Top

Ha! Hardly. It feels good to be able to say that!

Nov 16, 2010, 11:54am Top

"Hardly" as in "if that long"? Or "hardly" as in "if that short"?

Nov 17, 2010, 11:38am Top

Reeeeeeeeeeally soon.

Nov 17, 2010, 12:46pm Top

Yay! Now I can get my festive Santa hat out of storage for 'tis the season & all that.

Nov 17, 2010, 5:38pm Top

Woohoo! Time to go clean up my wish list. :)

Nov 17, 2010, 7:34pm Top

Well, it looks like it wasn't today. Which is a good thing since I have a nasty cold that would probably limit how much sense I make at the moment.

Nov 18, 2010, 10:51am Top

This makes me stupid excited. I love SantaThing!

Nov 18, 2010, 1:17pm Top


Nov 18, 2010, 1:22pm Top

um, where?

Nov 18, 2010, 1:23pm Top

yeah, I can't seem to find it either.

Nov 18, 2010, 1:23pm Top

On the roof!

Edited: Nov 18, 2010, 1:34pm Top

Nov 18, 2010, 1:37pm Top

>18 cal8769: Ah, fixing. Thanks!

Nov 18, 2010, 1:40pm Top

Hooray! I love LibraryThing!

Nov 18, 2010, 1:41pm Top

I'm glad you decided to go with BD!
One note: you may want to tell the Santas to check the right version of BD for the person they're ordering for. Sometimes a book shows up as "out of stock" on the American website when what it really means is that the book hasn't yet been published in the US and they aren't allowed to send a British copy.

Nov 18, 2010, 1:49pm Top

21> I like BD, but you have to watch them. I've ran into issues where they've marked some books as hardcover that are actually mass market paperback. I had to email them back and forth to get them to fix it on one. They finally did fix it, but only in that they fixed the label - they still had the image of a different edition than the one they were shipping! I've noticed it on some other books (ISBN not matching the edition they claim), but after how much trouble it was the first time I didn't bother trying to fight with them.

Moral of the story - check their ISBNs against their cover image/format label if the actual edition matters to you!

Nov 18, 2010, 1:52pm Top

Already signed up!! Now I need to finetune my request/suggestions.

Edited: Nov 18, 2010, 2:09pm Top

It seems that line breaks have disappeared again. (ETA: though they can be inserted manually.)

Nov 18, 2010, 3:07pm Top

Signed up!

It is slightly ridiculous how happy SantaThing makes me.

Nov 18, 2010, 3:55pm Top

I'm signed up - let the holiday season begin!

Nov 18, 2010, 3:57pm Top

#26 Feel free to make comments on mine, Sandy.

Besides planning what I'm going to pick for my santee, I love visiting other people's wantlists and all that tiptoeing around trying to figure out who wants what.

As CatyM said, it is a bit ridiculous how happy I feel when Santa Thing rolls around.

Nov 18, 2010, 4:22pm Top

#27 Linda, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be given you for my Santee! But I had already planned to make suggestions, just in case someone else gets you.

I love Caty's comment about how "It is slightly ridiculous how happy SantaThing makes me". I've had a silly grin on my face this afternoon ever since I saw the announcement!

Nov 18, 2010, 4:23pm Top

I do love making recommendations more than any other part of the process... SantaThing season is always terribly bad for my productivity.

Nov 18, 2010, 4:32pm Top

Not having been active on LT this time last year, I didn't know about SantaThing. Sounds as if those of you who have taken part before now would recommend it?

Nov 18, 2010, 4:36pm Top

#30 Absolutely, Genny. One plus is that they somehow match people with similar interests, as much as possible.

Last year, a woman who likes history and mystery got me. I got a guy who loves mysteries. Both are now friends and I didn't know them before Santa Thing.

Nov 18, 2010, 4:49pm Top

So do you get to find out who has sent you the books? I haven't absorbed all the detail of how this works. Is it a mutual exchange with the person you are matched with, rather than sending to one person and receiving from another?

Nov 18, 2010, 4:57pm Top

It is a chain of gifts: A choses books for B, who choses books for C, etc.

Nov 18, 2010, 4:58pm Top

Genny, after Christmas you can look up who sent you the books, but not before. It's not a mutual exchange.

Picking out gifts and making lots of suggestions on the signup pages is great fun.

Nov 18, 2010, 5:00pm Top

#32 No, not mutual, though I suppose it could turn out that way. I could have you and you could have Sandy, for instance.

It is a secret while it's going on but, in the end, we do find out who had us. I seem to recall leaving a note in the suggestions page, which you can't see til Christmas Day or so.

Nov 18, 2010, 5:03pm Top

I just signed up for the first time - very excited!

Nov 18, 2010, 5:04pm Top

Ok, I get it! It does sound fun. Will probably have a go...

Nov 18, 2010, 5:13pm Top

I'm in.

Nov 18, 2010, 5:42pm Top

One other thing that we haven't talked about here (but it might be discussed elsewhere) is that, in these tough economic times, the sign-up fee might be too much for some.

Last year, at least, people in that position would note their interest in participating and then someone in a better situation would offer to pay their sign-up fee for them.

Nov 18, 2010, 6:01pm Top

I was thrilled to see the Santa Thing when I came home from work tonight. I am tickled pink that I will be getting books this holiday season.

Edited: Nov 18, 2010, 7:18pm Top

I really hope I can participate! I'll have to see if I've got $25 to spare within the next couple of weeks; sadly, sign-ups are coming at the same time as my course registration/winter quarter tuition payment, so things are a bit tight. It was a lot of fun last year, though, and either way, I'm sure I'll be stalking the wishlists and offering suggestions. ;)

Nov 18, 2010, 9:11pm Top

It is the most happiest time of the year! I have signed up, let the nail biting anticipation begin.

Nov 18, 2010, 9:14pm Top

Oh, I had forgotten about the matching to similar libraries! That makes it even better. I just hope they'll match based on our "include in connections/recommendations" collections, not All Books, but I suspect I'm out of luck on that one.

Nov 19, 2010, 6:23am Top

Yay. A very short two weeks indeed!

#43 yes I suspect so.
#29 "SantaThing season is always terribly bad for my productivity." Me too.

Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 10:31am Top

Yes -- last year I was sponsored and have every intention of returning the favor this year... haven't yet seen discussion of this on the main santathing page?

Nov 19, 2010, 11:36am Top

Last year I was able to participate in SantaThing only on the basis of being sponsored, but it was one of the highlights of my whole year. I would love to be involved again -- especially since I now have a three-month-old daughter and haven't been able to afford books for her -- but it would still require charity. :(

Will the sponsorships be happening again?

Nov 19, 2010, 12:51pm Top

I certainly intend to sponsor someone. It's part of my fun.

Nov 19, 2010, 1:11pm Top

Last year, I think an anonymous generous donor sponsored 25 LTers and some others pitched in on a case at a time basis.

Nov 19, 2010, 1:43pm Top

I've started a sponsorship thread for this year, along with my offer. It's at:


Nov 19, 2010, 4:40pm Top

Is there a way to edit what I put on my Santa sign-up?

Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 5:19pm Top

>50 Menagerie:

Yup! Under the rules section on the SantaThing page, there's a green line that says "Your SantaThings:" and below that there is your listing, with an (edit) link.

Nov 19, 2010, 7:03pm Top

Wow! 202 signed up already. SantaThing is going to be massive this year!

Nov 19, 2010, 7:50pm Top

I just signed up and I'm SO EXCITED!!

Nov 20, 2010, 3:48am Top

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Nov 20, 2010, 10:31pm Top

It's been ages since I've been on LibraryThing (moving and starting graduate school will do that to a person), and I was just thinking about how much I miss it here. I'm super excited to get back into the social side of LT starting with SantaThing. Yaaay:)

Nov 21, 2010, 4:34pm Top

>55 monarchi:
I'm in the same boat, actually - I've been absent for too long, and this is a great excuse to get back into things. :)

Nov 21, 2010, 4:39pm Top

For anyone looking to get more into the social side of LT, I recommend the 75 Book Challenge group and the TIOLI Challenge within it :)

Nov 21, 2010, 5:37pm Top

Is there a reason that SantaThing_thing.php?id= is visible to people not logged in? I was sad that in my messing around, I was able to see the comments left. I kind of hoped that at least the comments would be invisible to people logged out and also to the person the thing belongs to.

(It's my own fault for testing it, but I'll thinking of it as rattling the boxes under the tree...)

Nov 21, 2010, 6:25pm Top

I'm doing it this year, after watching from the sidelines last year. Whoot!!

Edited: Nov 21, 2010, 8:33pm Top

O.K. I need help. I bought a SantaThing for someone, but I did it incorrectly, because now they can't get in to edit their likes, etc. and I'm afraid they won't get the notice of who to pick books for. It shows up with my name and the person's name I purchased it for in parenthesis.

Is there any way to fix this? I tried emailing Sonya, but received the answer that she has left the building and that someone else would be checking her emails now and then. I'm just afraid it won't get fixed in time. :(

Nov 21, 2010, 8:59pm Top

Right, that's because presumably, the person putting the PayPal code and everything into the form is the one who wants to be the Santa and receive books for the Santee. When sponsoring someone else, you give them the code so they can fill out the page themselves.

I think I heard that Dan is taking up for Sonya now that she's no longer staff, though I don't know if that's for SantaThing or just Early Reviewer. You might try emailing him?

Nov 21, 2010, 9:03pm Top

>60 MrsLee: One way to do this is to leave the PayPal receipt number in a private message on the profile page of the member you're sponsoring for Santa Thing. Then that person can complete the sign-up for SantaThing, fill out their likes and dislikes, and pick books for someone else.

I wonder what would happen if you cancelled the entry you made for the person you're sponsoring? You would need to make sure you have a copy of the PayPal receipt number before cancelling the entry. Then the person you're sponsoring could use the PayPal receipt number to enter their own information.

Nov 21, 2010, 9:07pm Top

#61 & 62 Thank you, yes, in my eagerness, I hit submit before I realized how it was done. I think I'll wait to cancel until I hear from someone official though. I'd hate to loose the whole thing.

I sent an email to info@librarything.com, but I don't know how to reach Dan, or even if he is the one I should reach. Patience, patience. I'll give it a couple of days then do some more emailing. :)

Nov 21, 2010, 9:36pm Top

So out of pure curiosity, when do we find out who we get books for? This is my first year and I'm totally excited!

Nov 21, 2010, 9:58pm Top

@63 Dan's email is

Nov 21, 2010, 10:21pm Top

So. I think I am confused by this whole thing.
I think I want to sign up twice (one for me and once for a friend)

I guess the first time I read it, it seemed to me that we sign up and then our 'santas' look at our library (like the wish list?) to make picks. But now I think that is not the case??

Secondly, it said something about the picks? Does that mean we pick who we want to buy for of the users that signed up? Or just pick the books we want to give for someone we are matched up with?

Thirdly, I was reading the comments (around comment 60 or so)...and...confused myself yet again...If we want to sign someone else up, we have to pay and then give them the code and they actually have to do the signing up thing?

That's all really...I think. Some help please, because once I figure out all the kinks I have created in my mind over this, it sounds like a wonderful idea!


Edited: Nov 21, 2010, 10:48pm Top

>66 OodsAteMyDingo:
You sign up and are assigned to another person who can choose ANY books for you (up to $20). Your Santa will use your library as a guideline, but typically people try to choose books not already on their Santee's wishlist.

As to signing someone else up, you can indeed just do it yourself and fill in their relevant information if you'd like it to be a surprise, but if you give them the PayPal ID number it gives them the freedom to fill out their own SantaThing profile to their liking.

Nov 21, 2010, 11:01pm Top

64> The sign-ups end on the 28th. That means we should be notified of our Santee on the 29th or 30th, and then we'll have until the 8th to make the final decision.

66> Regarding your first two questions:

When you sign up, your name is in the pot. The algorithm will match someone up with you, and you will choose books for your Santee to receive. You can do so however you like, by using what they listed in the sign up, by referring to their catalogue (library, wishlist, whatever), by reading posts they've made in various talk threads, by surreptitiously following them on Twitter to see what they talk about, or by using recommendations other people have made in the comments...however you want to go about picking books for your Santee, you can do so.

Then, you will post a comment with your final picks for the Santee. Usually Title + Author and a link to the BookDepository page where the book can be found, and repeated for each book chosen. The LibraryThing staff uses the links to order the books, and having link + title + author helps ensure that they get the right one.

After the 25th of December, the SantaThing pages will be opened and everyone will be able to see the comments left on their page and see who it was that chose the books for them.

I really like making recommendations in the comments even before knowing who my Santee will be, because I know that it's very likely that the LTers will see those comments and might appreciate a recommendation just for them, based on their reading tastes, you know? And it also helps for a Santa who isn't really sure what to pick for their Santee, and also if the Santa is a slacker who forgets to actually make the choice. So while technically, you're picking for the person assigned to you, there's nothing wrong with making comments on other pages, and it can even be helpful or appreciated! I know I was really pleased last year when I saw three or four books recommended in addition to the ones my Santa chose for me. (Plus, I scavenged some recs from other comment pages. :P)


67> This year, the limit is $25, since BookDepository offers free shipping. :)

Nov 21, 2010, 11:44pm Top

>68 keristars:
Really? That's awesome news, thanks for the heads-up!
And I second what you said re: commenting with recommendations on other Santees' pages. I have fun reading the wishlists and making comments, myself, and I know I love checking to see what other people have recommended for me at the end of the season. ;)

Nov 22, 2010, 12:08am Top

Last Year I want'ed to do a "completely" anonymous "Santa Thing".
ie. I wanted to make a gift but NOT receive one myself.
Since I never got any acknowledgment from the LT staff (did it happen?)
I will just do an "ordinary" Santa Thing this year.

But perhaps "staff" might look into an "anonymous" ST, with at least some minor feedback.

Yes, I should check my credit card statements more carefully.

Nov 22, 2010, 12:49am Top

>70 guido47:
Since SantaThing is mutual, it seems like it would throw off the matching algorithm to have a user giving but not recieving. If you want to donate but don't want to participate yourself, a good idea might be to sponsor one of the users too poor to participate in SantaThing on his/her own dollar, or sign up for a family member/friend and give the books you receive to that person instead of keeping them.

Nov 22, 2010, 8:06am Top

#70 -- You could also request that your Santa select children's books for you, and then donate them to a charity that provides Christmas gifts for needy children.

Nov 22, 2010, 8:15am Top

Also, for anyone wanting to make a gift but not receive one: http://www.librarything.com/topic/102812

Nov 22, 2010, 9:08am Top

Wow. Thanks for the response guys! I feel so much clearer now. =)

Nov 22, 2010, 11:37am Top

If you want to make a gift of a Santa Thing membership for someone (but not get books for yourself), click on the pay by paypal button and pay for a membership. You can then send the paypal number to the recipient and let them sign up for themselves.

There are always plenty of people who, whether due to unemployment, medical issues, or other things, can't afford it but would love to participate.

Nov 22, 2010, 9:21pm Top

#65 - Thank you!

Nov 23, 2010, 9:04am Top

I just signed up for my first ever SantThing. I am so excited!

Nov 23, 2010, 2:20pm Top

Very excited! I just signed up for myself and I'm going to sign up my fiance, who is not a LT member. I want to make myself a wishlist...I'm not sure how to do that but I will persevere and figure it out.

Nov 23, 2010, 10:51pm Top

#78, abuschmann, just add books like you normally would, but click 'wishlist' instead of 'library' :)

Nov 24, 2010, 11:45am Top

#78, that's click 'wishlist' instead of 'library' in the Collections checkboxes on the Add Books page, right under the Tags box!

Nov 24, 2010, 7:36pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 25, 2010, 8:06pm Top

Just bought my ticket on the SantaThing 2010 bus. Let the adventure begin.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Nov 25, 2010, 11:56pm Top

I just wanted to publicly thank lindapanzo for starting the SantaThing charity thread this year, and for sponsoring me. Actually, for sponsoring my four-month-old daughter; I can't afford much and I lost my library in a storage unit years ago (my LT is almost entirely historical), so I'm only requesting for her rather than me.

It will be so nice to have books for her to look at and for me to read to her. My mother is a librarian and books were an immensely important part of my childhood -- thanks for helping me make them an integral part of hers.

And to all of LibraryThing who participate in charity SantaThing, thanks for showing such generosity and humanity. It's truly heart-warming in these tough modern times.

Nov 26, 2010, 3:05pm Top

I live in Istanbul, Turkey and feel really sad that I am not able to participate (since Turkey is not included).

Nov 26, 2010, 3:12pm Top

84> Maybe there is someone who would be a ship-to address elsewhere in Europe who could forward the package to you? (I'd offer, but I'm in Florida and it might be easier/faster for it to go through a European country, and besides which, you might actually know someone closer but not in Turkey, instead of having to give your info to a stranger.)

Nov 26, 2010, 4:09pm Top

any volunteers in europe?

I wish librarything simply added Turkey as well

Nov 26, 2010, 4:22pm Top

86> It isn't LibraryThing, it's Book Depository. They have free shipping to a large number of countries (and most of the EU), but there are many that they still can't offer free shipping to. Because the way SantaThing is done this year relies on the free shipping offer to work properly, the countries for which BD can't provide free shipping must be excluded.

Nov 26, 2010, 4:33pm Top

keremix, I don't think that omitting Turkey was LT's call as they are using Book Depository for the supply of books and are restricted to where BD ships.

And Hooray!! I'm signed up for this year. I'm tremendously excited by being surprised by a book. My friends and family are wonderfully tolerant of my book-thing, but presents are either giftcards or books I wouldn't read except now I have to (you know, touching cat stories or The Shack).

Nov 26, 2010, 4:46pm Top

Is anyone else bothered by people who have no books listed in their catalogues, who have not signed up for SantaThing themselves, and who only very recently created account, and who go around commenting on various SantaThing pages with the same exact book recommendation, with the wording apparently a bit of copypasta? Sometimes with a bit extra tacked on, maybe.

I was browsing through, somewhat at random, and saw at least 5 comments from the same person with the same wording for the same book. They seemed to all be for people who had "children's" in the bit of visible text, though I haven't tested to be certain.

(To be fair, I will admit that I have kind of high standards for what I think makes a good SantaThing recommendation comment, so I wasn't going to say anything about this. I know that not everyone is as picky as I am, and I'll keep my whining about it to my tweets (and mostly my complaining is because I like to look at lots of comments for recs, even those of tastes not similar to my own >.>) But it kept coming up, and it just feels like spam by a shill to me.)

Nov 26, 2010, 8:22pm Top

89: I was wondering about that as well.

I am worried too - it is diminishing and devaluing our SantaThing with spam IMHO; not that crass commercialism isn't standard for Xmas, but I was hoping to avoid that here. *sigh*

Nov 26, 2010, 8:35pm Top

90> I'm not a big fan of thumbing the recommendations on work pages, but because the comments on SantaThing pages are often effectively personal recommendations, I could really get behind thumbing up and down. Even with names attached. I'd feel a lot better about the spammy comments if I could thumb them down.

Also, a thumbs up would be nice to see if other people agree that this is a good recommendation for the person in question...either to help the Santa or for other folks dropping by to see what's being recommended, or just for the person receiving the comment, especially if it's an unfamiliar book/author.

Nov 26, 2010, 8:53pm Top

I can't wait! I love SantaThing!!!

Nov 27, 2010, 4:13am Top

I just signed up this morning, it's my first participation. I'm french-speaking and hope the comments and recommendations will help me to choose correctly.

Nov 27, 2010, 8:32am Top

I have signed up by the way, I was registered with an address of a friend in London :)

Nov 27, 2010, 9:37am Top

> 94

I was registered with an address of a friend in London

That was a clever solution. I'm glad you get to join us after all!

Nov 27, 2010, 9:08pm Top

94: That's fantastic - and what makes SantaThing even better IMO. I'm so happy for you!

I wish I knew how to add a cute *happy dance* animation - like keristars in msg #4 (apart from it being the biggest time sink EVER for me, as I sit here and watch 'it'/him dance ...and dance...and dance every time I visit this thread - heh)

Nov 27, 2010, 9:50pm Top

96: {img src=address of the picture}

You can get the address of the picture by right-clicking (or control-clicking) an image to bring up a menu. Then choose "copy image address/location/target/URL" or something similar.

Replace the curly brackets with triangular brackets

Nov 28, 2010, 12:39am Top

For more details, click on 'Help' on the top right of this page and scroll or use the green menu to get to "Including pictures in messages" (or similar).

Edited: Nov 28, 2010, 1:22am Top

Thanks to both of you - I meant more where to find these cute animations - I never seem to find any on a search. :) My poor prose... I see them all the time in lots of different places, but I cannot find a site or how to get them (which is what I meant in my post).

I found out how to add images from christiguc's HTML thread a while ago. :)

Nov 28, 2010, 6:15am Top

http://www.animatedgif.net/ is a particularly rich source of royalty-free animated images.

Nov 28, 2010, 8:04am Top

Yeah, I did a Google search for "dancing gif" and popped a few in from sources made for hotlinking and they were all too big or didn't animate right, so googled for "gir dance gif" and found that one. Took longer than it should've, but I wasn't going to leave an ugly mess at the top of the thread. ;)

Also, don't forget! If anyone was delaying, I do believe that today is the last day to sign up!

Nov 28, 2010, 8:19am Top

100/101: Thanks.

Oooh - it's a girl! LOL.

Nov 28, 2010, 8:23am Top

102> Not a girl, it's a GIR. Literally, its name is GIR. It's a robot slave thing from Invader Zim which got hit on the head during creation. It wears a dog-suit when going out among humans, like camouflage - that's what it has on in the dancing gif. :)

Edited: Nov 28, 2010, 8:47am Top

Phew...I was worried I had been staring at this little robot (I thought) and had got it all wrong! But I'm glad I know its name now...

It's still a time sink. *sigh*

BTW: the sign-up closes Nov 29th 8pm Eastern time; so only two more days or so. Then we start picking.
(see msg#4)

Nov 30, 2010, 1:53am Top

Oops. When I signed up for Santathing a few days ago, I intended to fill in the "About recipient's book tastes" and related columns later. Well, it's later now, and I can't figure out how to access my info! Can anyone help?

Edited: Nov 30, 2010, 2:03am Top


Go to "Your SantaThings:" and there'll be your name and (edit). Under that is the list of almost 600 participants. But if you click the edit for the one line, you'll be able to fill out the info.

ETA: this appears to be the specific link for you, FN: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_signup.php?id=318

Nov 30, 2010, 11:41am Top

A small request:

There are a few private libraries signed up for SantaThing; if you're one, please consider making your library public for the next week (so you don't end up with a book you already have) or at least posting something about your taste so that your Santa isn't completely in the dark! (There's at least one person there with a private library and nothing filled in.)

Nov 30, 2010, 1:14pm Top

Good suggestion, lorax. That would be frustrating to try and pick books out for someone that you know nothing about!

Nov 30, 2010, 1:14pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 30, 2010, 4:37pm Top

I still haven't received a message yet. Did anyone already?

Nov 30, 2010, 5:47pm Top

It's now gone out. I can see the message on keremix's profile, so I think s/he's got it too.

I posted a note in New Features: http://www.librarything.com/topic/103555

Nov 30, 2010, 5:47pm Top

Hey, can I ask a favor?

Can someone post on mine that although my library is showing up as private, I'll make it public in a day or two? Thanks.

Nov 30, 2010, 5:57pm Top

Edited: Nov 30, 2010, 7:34pm Top

Hmmmm, I got a tough one...I got matched up to an account that shares a lot of books with me, but they were entering for someone else and the (tiny) description they left doesn't match my tastes at all. In fact, I know nothing about the books described. :(

So, does anyone anything about sports books?

Nov 30, 2010, 8:03pm Top

I'm tickled. I am the Santa for someone with whom I only share one book. At least she left me some clues about what to get her... :)

Thanks to anyone who makes comments. I've gotten names of books and authors I would never have tried from the SantaThing recommendations, not necessarily recommendations for me either. I like to read what others recommend looking for something good!

Nov 30, 2010, 8:05pm Top

Besides picking out the books for my Santee, I think the most fun of Santa Thing is looking at all the lists (600 people strong) and trying to come up with ideas.

Reading the suggestions from others is great. Lots of book ideas that way!!

Nov 30, 2010, 8:08pm Top

Yup, I agree that the suggestions are the best part. I just wish there were more of them.

I'm a bit disappointed that my Santee wants to get books from his short wishlist, so I think I'll do some more recommending for other people.

Nov 30, 2010, 8:14pm Top

Fortunately, I've got a 1,001 book ideas for my Santee this year. The hard part this year will be narrowing those down to $25 worth of books.

Nov 30, 2010, 8:23pm Top

Hi I paid "paypal" and have a receipt, BUT on the SantaThing page it says I missed out on SantaThing. My receipt is dated 25/11.
Yours Guido.

Nov 30, 2010, 9:00pm Top

I got matched up to an account that shares a lot of books with me, but they were entering for someone else and the (tiny) description they left doesn't match my tastes at all. In fact, I know nothing about the books described. (#114)

I had that happen to me last year. I looked through my Santee's library and came up with one helluva short list to choose from -- and then reread the notes left more carefully. (Whoops!) I posted a similar plea for help and a few users were saintly enough to leave me some ideas.

Nov 30, 2010, 9:34pm Top

My daughter has been given the same person that she had last year. It's a bit odd, no?

Nov 30, 2010, 9:41pm Top

#107: I signed up for SantaThing & have a private library.

What I did is got some friends who are on BookMooch & Paperbackswap (& who know my usernames there) to help my Santa. I also have a friend who has access to my LT account, who will help with info, such as if I already have a book.

I know private libraries are frustrating for a lot of people, but I will keep my library private.

Nov 30, 2010, 10:59pm Top

Okay, this is my very first time doing A) Santa Thing or B) shopping at the Book Depository site. Do I need a secret password or my own account or even a fancy handshake in order to have the good people at BD recognise me as an LT Santa, and send my choices to my Santee? Did I miss the detailed instructions somewhere?

Thank you in advance for your patience, I'm a good elf, but not a technologically inclined elf.

Nov 30, 2010, 11:00pm Top

Hmmmm, I got a tough one...I got matched up to an account that shares a lot of books with me, but they were entering for someone else and the (tiny) description they left doesn't match my tastes at all. In fact, I know nothing about the books described. :(

Sorry. It didn't actually consider your books if it was marked as being for someone else. But anyway, try asking around for help on the topic.


Sorry. You had to sign up at the same time as you paid. Unfortunately, I can't deal you in after the sign-ups. Send me the PayPal receit by email (tim@libraything.com) and I'll refund it.

(Also sent by message.)

My daughter has been given the same person that she had last year. It's a bit odd, no?

Let me know if you want me to swap. There are going to be a few such situations.

Nov 30, 2010, 11:45pm Top

Laura, if I'm not mistaken, you just go to the Santa Thing page and add in the ISBN numbers of the books you want your Santee to have. You look at the Book Depository for prices and availability (and ISBNs) but you don't do the actual ordering. LT does it.

Edited: Dec 1, 2010, 12:50am Top


I have picked one book out already for my santee. Can I submit that one ISBN and add the rest later? Or is it a one-time submit thing?

It seems like my santee and I were matched on one of my collections which has "do NOT include for recommendations" checked (because it's my bf's section of books), and I can match one book from that common thread, but in general my santee asking for stuff I wouldn't even be in the same section of the bookstore for, so I have NO IDEA.

Dec 1, 2010, 12:53am Top

You can submit and update as many times as you like.

Dec 1, 2010, 5:08am Top

One tip I found useful is to look at your santee's Recommendations via their profile. Anything that appears on most of the Rec algorythms has a better than blind guessing chance of being appreciated!

Doesn't help if they've asked for a gift for someone else though.

Dec 1, 2010, 6:03am Top

#128 Thanks for that, it's very helpful. My Santee enjoys a genre that I'm not into- I've been asking people at work all day about their reading tastes to try to get ideas!

In regards to the Book Depository, what if we choose an item today that's on sale, but no longer on sale at the closing date?

Dec 1, 2010, 8:41am Top

> 128

One tip I found useful is to look at your santee's Recommendations via their profile.

Excellent suggestion!

Dec 1, 2010, 8:53am Top

128> One tip I found useful is to look at your santee's Recommendations via their profile.

No, don't do it!

My recommendations are 50% books I've already read, 25% other editions of books in my library, and 25% books I don't want. Or so it seems sometimes as I page through them. :(

But going to the recommendations page for specific books works a bit better, also if I look at tags on it. This is best if the Santee lists specific books in the request, or specific authors.

(It'd be nice if there were an author-to-author recommendation, somehow.)

Though I guess I'm lucky that my Santee has very similar reading tastes to my own, if I toss out my fondness for fantasy. It's still a lot of fun exploring authors I don't normally seek out, but whom I know I would enjoy reading if I just went down a different path than my usual one (since they're related to other authors I have liked and which we have in common).

Edited: Dec 1, 2010, 8:56am Top


Be very careful if you do that. Most of my recommendations are for omnibus editions of things I own separately, or vice versa. Most of the rest are for things I already know about and have chosen not to get for one reason or the other.

Dec 1, 2010, 9:01am Top

Tim: I have a question...I notice many books on the site are marked down, X percent off and whatnot. Does BookDepository change these often? Could it be possible for someone to add $20 worth of books only to have a book's discount change and push the price over the limit?

Dec 1, 2010, 9:50am Top

#131-132: I hope everyone is sufficently familiar with LTs recommendation problems not to blindly follow them! A certain amount of weeding out the obvious is required, but they can provide a base for further investigations.

However "Most of the rest are for things I already know about and have chosen not to get" and "50% books I've already read" does require the santa to be a mind-reader!

RE the discounts - I've made good faith suggestions at today's prices. I'll let LT staff do the final maths and cut books as necessary.

Dec 1, 2010, 10:25am Top

I have a question for you Tim: do we have the option of choosing more than 3 books if the prices allow for it?

Dec 1, 2010, 12:34pm Top

Dec 1, 2010, 3:32pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Dec 1, 2010, 4:18pm Top

I've noticed people talk of $20 worth of books. Is this also old language from previous SantaThings where $5 was reserved for delivery charges? The actual Santa page says $25.

Dec 1, 2010, 4:32pm Top

138: Oh, it's $25 dollars this time, I just threw a number out as an example. Sorry about that!

Dec 1, 2010, 4:42pm Top

134> As for myself and the recommendations feature being fairly useless - that's part of the reason that I yammered on and on in my SantaThing form. It's also why I created a "use for recommendations" collection and linked to it, so that whoever is picking for me can click from there.

(I do plan to eventually add the already-read LT recs to my catalogue, but I'm very lazy about it while it's so time consuming. I'm about ready to put out a bounty for an application that only requires me to input Title and Author, auto-fills the tags and collection from a list (that can be switched -say, if I'm doing wishlist additions or read-a-long-time-ago additions), but doesn't require me to select a specific edition on the add books page or use ISBNs or anything. Basically, something that auto-fills the Manual Add form for me, and can do several at once. As I understand it, the bulk import doesn't work if you don't have ISBNs or if you want a generic edition.)

Dec 2, 2010, 3:24am Top

Librarything may want to change their guidelines: "Pick only from new books, not used books or the new/used books (yes, they might be cheaper, but the book might be gone before we order it). Don't pick ebooks unless the member specifically says that's what they want." HOWEVER The Book Depository states that "Can I give eBooks as gifts? eBooks can only be downloaded by the account holder, and the DRM used on the files will prevent the files from being printed, emailed, or shared - and so eBooks are unlikely to make a suitable present." http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/help/topic/HelpId/52/Christmas-FAQs#helpContent
Possibly no-one has requested ebooks but it would seem that the guidelines should be modified to ban them altogether.

Dec 2, 2010, 7:17am Top

I can't see the books others have picked....
What am I doing wrong?

How can we help if we don't know what has been chosen? *wants to snoop*

Dec 2, 2010, 8:18am Top

>142 Lman: And how can I see if anyone took my suggestions? :)

Dec 2, 2010, 8:20am Top


Wow, it never even crossed my mind that someone would be so clueless as to order me an ebook! Do you think I should edit my request to add that specifically?

Dec 2, 2010, 9:16am Top

yeah... I agree w/ #142... can the ISBN's be altered into book names so that others can see the proposed choices? :)

Dec 2, 2010, 10:44am Top

Ok, I don't know the right way to ask this question.

They claim that they try to match people with those of similar interests. They weren't too successful with that this time in my case.

I know absolutely zero about the topics my "Santee" is looking for. Is there any way to encourage people to add suggestions without disclosing who I'm buying for to the world (especially the person I'm buying for)?

Also, this page in and of itself is hard to get to. Can a link be added to the page with all the Santee's listed to get to this page?

Anyone that is willing to help, please send me a private message so I can inform you of who my Santee is so that you can go to his or her wishlist profile and possibly post a suggestion. So that I give nothing away, I'll respond back with the other half of the issue I'm having.

Any help from any person would be greatly appreciated.

Dec 2, 2010, 11:50am Top

Is anyone else getting paranoid by reading other people's "Don't Get This" lists? I mean, I'd assume people aren't going to buy me things completely disjoint from my library, but then I see suggestions for what should be obvious -- "no ebooks", "no sexist or homophobic stuff", etc., and I start worrying that what I mentioned was only the less-obvious!

Edited: Dec 2, 2010, 12:14pm Top


I only added the no Ebooks part this morning after reading messages posted yesterday and earlier today. I would have assumed they would follow the rules, but apparently they don't.

Otherwise, most my don't get stuff (other than Romance, Westerns, and Older Books/Classics) is specific authors or series that I've already read or already possess in my TBR pile.

For the most part, I tend not to put generic categorys in my "Don't Get" list as there can always be something good out there except for categories you TRULY have no interest in.

If you look at my library, you may notice that every fiction novel in my library is written by a male. I didn't put "No Female Writers" because there may really be a couple out there that have written my type of novel. I just haven't found any yet. Most female writers I've tried reading tend to be more touchy-feely, personal life, G-rated, novelists. If there is a female writer out there that isn't afraid to kill half the cast in a book, spill out the f-bombs from characters, and avoid more than maybe 1 or 2 pages in a 500 page book of "consentual sex", then hey, I'll try her. I haven't found one yet. When I was a teenager, and what I read was monitored by my parents, I read Lilian Jackson Braun's first 13 books, but if you look at my library, I would hope people would know not to get something like that.

Now I guess it's time to get paranoid, and figure I'm receiving "The Cat Who Could Read Backwards" by Lilian Jackson Braun (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!) LOL!

Dec 2, 2010, 1:16pm Top

#148: Put in your preferences that you prefer male mystery or science fiction or romance writers.... although some writers write under assumed names that make you think they are male, but are actually female... or female names when they are really male!!

Dec 2, 2010, 1:47pm Top


I don't think you quite got the point of my message. I was responding to 147 about common sense and paranoia. He talked about people being paranoid with some of the things they put in the Don't get this list. I was just saying that I usually put specifics, not general topics in the don't get, EVEN THOUGH I happen to have all male authors, you never know, possibly there IS a woman out there that writes the style I read, and so in response to 147, which seems to imply that many people "pigeon hole" themselves into not getting 80% of what's out there. In other words, I have nothing against female authors...I just haven't "found" one that is any good. Possibly there are a few out there, and that's why I specifically DID NOT put "Male only".

And contrary to your statement, I did put "NO ROMANCE" in mine. I'd almost rather get hooked on Cancer Sticks before reading a romance novel.

(For those that don't know, "Cancer Sticks" are the term a friend of mine and I use to refer to cigarettes.)

Dec 2, 2010, 2:02pm Top


(That's "she", just so you know.)

Author gender isn't something that would register; I was thinking of something like "gee, this person has a lot of LGBT-themed books, I know, I'll get her this nasty homophobic screed! Merry Christmas!" as being too-obvious-to-need-saying.

Dec 2, 2010, 2:02pm Top

On the other hand, I was careful to avoid specifying particular genres, and now I see that I sadly haven't received many comments. I didn't want to restrict my Santa unnecessarily, but I would have liked some recommendations.

Edited: Dec 2, 2010, 2:22pm Top


Sorry about that. I didn't see a specific name on your profile, and so both sex and gender were unknown.

Traditionally, "he" is the third-person pronoun when referring to a living being where the sex and gender are both unknown.


I can see your take about avoiding specifying genres, but that only works for those that read just about any book you put under their nose. Some aren't like that. If there isn't a lot of action going on, whether it be exploring unknown places with dangerous creatures/diseases/people, terrorism in other countries, political battles, courtroom drama, or some other hair-raising event that keeps you up at night, quite frankly, I get bored reading it. I can't read more than 2 or 3 pages of some 12-year old girl's life story about being the "teacher's pet" all thru 7th grade and how boys make fun of her and she lives a depressed life at home. I'll fall asleep in 5 minutes reading that.

That's why I am genre-specific, but not author-specific except for avoiding those I've already read, or already tried and didn't care for (which that amounts to only 2, the rest in my don't get list are because I own or have read them).

For someone that can sit down and read some hair-raising tale about terrorist plots, and then follow that up with some book where 80% of it takes place in the bedroom, then sure, not being genre-specific gives the secret santa more to select from, but don't let secret santa get you something that you are going to hate every minute of reading.

Dec 2, 2010, 2:44pm Top


Don't worry about it. I'll argue more if you insist on "he" as the proper generic pronoun for someone whose gender is unspecified or unknown than if you thought I was a guy, though! :-)

Dec 2, 2010, 2:54pm Top

>153 ThrillerFan: Well, I figured my Santa would at least look at my library to get a sense of what I might like. Ideally, they would then find something that was similar to other books I had enjoyed but not actually in one of my usual genres. For example, I don't typically read mysteries, but I recently purchased The Crocodile on the Sandbank for myself because 19th-century archaeologists in Egypt appeal to me and because it's been compared a lot to the Parasol Protectorate books that I've enjoyed recently (and that are in a completely different genre again).

Of course, I'm not saying that everyone should leave the choice of genre wide open; I just thought it might work for me.

Dec 2, 2010, 5:08pm Top

#150: for years, my mother would only read mysteries by male authors & she could tell if a female writer used a male pseudonym. Now, my mother will occasionally read a mystery by a female author, but only if someone she knows has assured her it is very good.... even then she will put it down unfinished if she doesn't like it.

Dec 2, 2010, 5:39pm Top

Hi, on bookdepository, there are some discounts on books. Should the 25 dollars be with or without the discounts??
Thank you in advance for your answer!

Dec 2, 2010, 6:05pm Top

157: There is an answer for there on this thread, in posts 3 and 4.

Dec 2, 2010, 6:09pm Top

>157 OpheliaAutumn:
I would suggest discounts are good.

I am using the price listed - discount or no - as indicative of the total cost. TBD had better leave my discounted one until the order has gone in (most likely) or I'm over $25.

That way I managed to get three. Heee

Dec 2, 2010, 6:14pm Top

On the other thread, Tim said if the discounts expire before Dec. 8 you will get an alert that you books have gone over the limit, but don't rely on this alert in case it doesn't work.

I think of your choices go over the limit, the last on in the ISBN list will get cut, so...you might want to make sure on Dec 7th that your choices still qualify!

Dec 2, 2010, 6:48pm Top

@ 158, 159, 160 thank you for your answers, I have managed to get two books for 21.29 dollars, but if the discounts end, the total is 25.34 dollars :(

Dec 2, 2010, 8:29pm Top

I put in four books, for a total of $24.96, with the discounted prices.

It is a good idea to check one last time, just before the selection period closes.

Dec 2, 2010, 11:44pm Top

Question: will there be taxes on the order, and are we supposed to take that into account?

Also, it would be nice if there were icons on the main page showing whose Santas had already picked their books, so that we could focus on the ones that still needed recommendations.

Dec 2, 2010, 11:52pm Top

This automated ordering thing is making me nervous. Will there be any warning if the order ends up coming in significantly under the limit because something has gone wrong? (Say, one book goes up in price by $1 so another book has to be eliminated completely.) Is everyone adding back-up choices?

Dec 3, 2010, 12:30am Top

I sort of added back-up choices, but I get the impression that all that's going to be used are the ISBN lists.

So what I did was made and posted my short-list, then chose so that there's a good-sized margin between the total and the limit (about $5). And then I filled up the gap with an extra book that I thought was worth reading, but which wouldn't be problematic if it got bumped. I figured the short-list would work as a back-up, plus it's extra recommendations for my Santee in the end.

(I agree about a little icon showing whose Santas have already picked. I'll probably go down the list this weekend, when it's slow at work, to make recommendations for folks with only one or no comments, and it's a lot faster to not have to wait for a pageload for someone who doesn't need the comments. LT runs pretty slowly on my office computer sometimes.)

Dec 3, 2010, 12:34am Top

It would also be really nice if we could see what books the Santa has selected.

Dec 3, 2010, 2:08am Top

I would really appreciate if we could go back and edit our comments. I wrote comments on my Santee's page revealing what books I've chosen so far so that those making suggestions can have a look, but forgot that everyone will be able to see their comments on the 25th. I was kind of hoping my Santee would only find out what books I've chosen for him/her once they receive them in the mail...

Edited: Dec 3, 2010, 9:54am Top

I would like to suggest not only a completion flag, but the option of an alert flag. You turn it on if you "need" help. I've been doing it via private posts to those that responded to my post on this page so that I could tell them who my Santee was without my Santee coming on here an seeing that I was his or her Santa.

That way, those that are putting in suggestions (I put suggestions in to maybe 5 to 10 profiles thus far) can not only tell who is finished, but of those not finished, who really needs the help, and who doesn't.

I've gotten many suggestions via private message, but this is definitely worth thinking about in the future years.

I also think that the whole concept of not making it public is stupid. Many people need the help from other people with suggestions, especially those that get matched up with someone that knows nothing about the topic. This flag should not be available, and a disclaimer should be that all Santa Thing profiles are public so that comments can be made by other users.

This is my 2nd year doing this. My first year was easy, got matched with someone of similar interests.

This year, I'm assuming it's because I signed up last minute, and got paired with what was left, that I ended up with a Santee that has an interest in topics that I know nothing about.

BTW, to all of those that have helped me, I must say thanks a lot, and I will be looking at all of your suggestions over the weekend when I have the extra time (probably be my task while watching football on Sunday).

Dec 3, 2010, 10:49am Top

I don't know so much about making the Santa's book choices public in case they don't get them before the 25th, but I do like Thrillerfan's idea for "completion" and "alert" flags. They sound like they could be very useful. Maybe next year?

Dec 3, 2010, 10:51am Top

I don't think it's too late to add completion and alert flags now.

As for seeing the choices on the 25th if they hadn't yet arrived, I don't remember complaints about that in the past. No one is forced to look at their comments page as soon as the option becomes available.

Edited: Dec 3, 2010, 10:57am Top

Zoe: True. At worst I suppose Tim could make the submitted ISBN codes visible, so the Santee could check on the 25th and see the comments and not have the titles visible in case they haven't recieved everything yet. (I could see someone getting 2 books, then viewing their comments only to have a 3rd one spoiled because they weren't expecting it.)

Dec 3, 2010, 11:16am Top

#170 - About the completion flag, we are allowed to change our mind up until the deadline I believe, but a completion flag might discourage anyone from making perhaps the perfect suggestion that the Santa hadn't thought of?

Dec 3, 2010, 11:28am Top

168> This year, I'm assuming it's because I signed up last minute, and got paired with what was left, that I ended up with a Santee that has an interest in topics that I know nothing about.

Nah, the matching isn't done until after the sign-ups close, so it was just a bad-luck match, probably.

Dec 3, 2010, 11:32am Top

>172 MrsLee: Sure, that's always a possibility, but we can't read through all the listings anyway. So I'd rather focus my efforts on people whose Santas hadn't come to a decision yet.

Dec 3, 2010, 11:50am Top


Just for clarification, I don't mean make it public to the Santee. There was a checkbox when I registerred where I could have made it so that ONLY my Santa can see my profile.

That should NOT be an option.

My profile should be kept away from me until the 25th, but I think there were 612 people, I should automatically be able to see the other 611.

That way, "Santa" can get the help he needs.


The completion flag won't stop messages, but for someone who hasn't completed yet, they need more help. Which is more important? Improving John Doe's Christmas gift, or making sure Jane Doe gets something at all?

Dec 3, 2010, 12:15pm Top

>169 Ape: Yeah, I agree that that shouldn't be an option.

Edited: Dec 3, 2010, 3:03pm Top

Be very careful with the prices of the books. The one I chose for my santee was at 21.15$ this morning, 23.75$ at 4 p.m. GMT and 20.25$ just now.
(When I bought a book for my son earlier this year it went up and down between 32€ and 53€ during two days. Luckily I catched it at 36)

Edit: the book I chose is at 22.52$ right now (8 p.m. GMT)

Dec 3, 2010, 3:43pm Top

>177 Louve_de_mer: Agreed. Though I'm thrilled to have discovered the BookDepository and have already made several purchases there in the past couple of weeks (have an unopened package from them sitting right next to me right now!), their prices fluctuate faster than the stock market! I'll be playing it safe and checking with them again right before the deadline on the 8th and then choose the 3rd or 4th selection with the knowledge that it might very well have to be dropped by the time the order goes through.

Dec 3, 2010, 3:50pm Top

I had no idea that the Book Depository prices fluctuated so much. Thanks for the warnings.

Amazon closeout prices tend to disappear but the book prices there are far more stable.

Edited: Dec 3, 2010, 4:55pm Top

Hopefully, there will be a Book Repository Crash 2 minutes before they decide to purchase, kinda like the Stock Market did for 20 minutes back on May 6th of this year. Then everyone's stack will be pretty steep, and the no less than $2.50 per book rule will be heavily violated! :-)

Dec 3, 2010, 5:52pm Top

I hate that I can't see the titles of the books that were chosen by the Santas. :(

Dec 3, 2010, 6:18pm Top

>181 SqueakyChu: Tim said he would add it back :)

Dec 3, 2010, 6:18pm Top

My Santee is not too difficult in what he likes, but has specified only hardcover, which knocks out about 90% of the choices I would love to select for him. grrr!! Also means I can only select one book so I have to make that one book a really good one. Just letting off steam here!

Edited: Dec 3, 2010, 6:26pm Top

ask an LT friend to PM your Santee if you could add a paperback to the hardback you chose so you could make better use of the SantaThing money....

Dec 3, 2010, 6:33pm Top

184> I do have a $2.69 paperback lined up for my last slot.

Dec 3, 2010, 7:00pm Top

I posted earlier and didn't get a response to my question...
I goofed and made a comment divulging the book titles I've chosen for my Santee so that people making suggestions can see them, not thinking about the fact that Santees can read the comments on the 25th. Any chance an 'edit' and/or 'delete' function can be added on comments??

Dec 3, 2010, 8:23pm Top

I feel a little silly asking this.... and feel free to tell me if it is just me & the books I'm looking at....

are there a lot of books that say "notify me"? in other words they are temporarily out of stock...

should I put a book that goes in & out of stock on my Santee's picklist?

I'm tempted to put my picks in order of importance with an extra one (or two) in case there is a shortage.

How is BD going to handle the out of stocks for SantaThing?

Dec 3, 2010, 10:37pm Top

I'm not very happy hearing about the variances in BD prices and availability. I simply don't have time to keep running back to check on things! Nor do I have a good head for dates and deadlines. I'm kind of crushed at work and home right now, I was hoping this would be a simple and enjoyable exercise which would hopefully bring another some joy. I suppose if things are really goofy at BD my Santee will at least get one book. :S

Dec 3, 2010, 10:55pm Top

As someone who buys frequently from TBD I would strongly suggest not picking any books out of stock. It is down to publisher availability and the chance it may return to stock is fraught with the many and varied vagaries of the publishing world - it may become available again in a week; and then again it may not!

As everyone keeps suggesting - perhaps check back just before orders close (sounds like a pub - hee) but have another option ready in case it is still not back in stock. :)

MrsLee - if you haven't chosen any books on discount, then prices will not vary; so you won't need to check. A lot of differences I find are due to using different currencies and thus changing exchange rates. The prices don't vary that much I have found for those; the free shipping makes it a very valuable shop for those not able to afford other high postage costs.

Edited: Dec 4, 2010, 6:44pm Top

A question: should we get some sort of acknowledgment when our choices have been submitted? I just filled in my ISBNs and hit "submit," but it doesn't seem to have done anything other than refresh the page -- no "mission complete, go you!" message or anything -- and I'm feeling paranoid about whether it went through or not.

ETA: OK, when I open the page up again, the ISBNs fields are still filled in, so I guess that's good, right?

Dec 4, 2010, 6:45pm Top

Nope, it looks like that's all you do. does it list the ISBNs as having been confirmed as valid? Mine do, but I checked the validity before submitting, so I'm not sure if that's going to happen for everyone.

I checked it on a different computer that hadn't visited SantaThing.php since before the matches were made, and the ISBNs showed up there, so I'm guessing it's done correctly.

Dec 4, 2010, 6:47pm Top

Yep, they are listed as valid. I think I am OK, after all. Thanks!

Dec 4, 2010, 7:57pm Top

>183 avatiakh: In the comments field you can leave your hardback-loving Santee a list of all the books you would have liked to buy him had he liked paperbacks. Or just disregard his preference!!

Dec 4, 2010, 9:35pm Top


I assume you're joking, but really, deliberately disregarding someone's preferences is in very poor taste, no matter how much you disagree with those. I'm sure the hardback lover is not stupid, and knows that it means fewer books.

Dec 4, 2010, 11:53pm Top

I've added showing the titles, and check marks by people who have been selected for.

See http://www.librarything.com/topic/103872#2345090

Dec 5, 2010, 12:33am Top

I just noticed something that could possibly be a pretty big issue.

Apparently Bookdepository.com shows different prices, depending on what country your IP is from. I was just browsing a few Santathing profiles to see what other people were getting, and in almost all cases the total of the prices was significantly over 25$. After googling for "bookdepository prices ip", I'm now pretty sure that that's because I'm viewing the page from Germany. (Just verified this using an anonymous proxy, with the proxy books are between 0.50 and 5$ cheaper)

It makes sense that they include the delivery costs somehow, but I'm now concerned that, due to the higher prices I chose the books by, my Santee may not get their money's worth (and possibly, that I might not get all the books my Santa picked for me). This would obviously affect all cases where Santa and Santee live in different countries, so perhaps someone from LT could contact Bookdepository, to check which prices you will be paying for deliveries outside the US.

For everyone picking books from outside the US, I'd recommend rechecking the prices with a proxy (for example www.zend2.com) to avoid having to compromise because a book is too expensive.

Dec 5, 2010, 12:40am Top

Just use the regular one. We'll try to figure it out on Monday, and see if we need to make any changes.

Dec 5, 2010, 1:23am Top

I went to check on my books for the one I am picking for has has 2/3 of my books out of stock. I had a hard time picking to begin with and I really need help. Private message me someone help.

Dec 5, 2010, 2:55am Top

Question: How do we know if the books we chose at BD (their ISBNS) were sent?
I chose several and saved them, but did not receive any message/confirmation that my books were saved. Where ought I to look?

Dec 5, 2010, 4:25am Top

I noticed that the prices are not the same on www.bookdepository.com and on www.bookdepository.co.uk Some prices are higher on the .com site and some are higher on the .co.uk site.

Edited: Dec 5, 2010, 7:50am Top

>200 Louve_de_mer:

Yes I've noticed that too, but that's not what I mean. If I go to www.bookdepository.com and scroll down to recommendations, for example I'm Dreaming Of A Black Christmas is 15.04$, if I go to zend2.com and to BD from there it's only 8.99$. For the exact same book, on the exact same page.

Without the proxy: http://i53.tinypic.com/xbzo6o.jpg
With the proxy: http://i52.tinypic.com/9pp654.jpg

Dec 5, 2010, 8:52am Top

I think that we just need to trust the system on this.

BookDepository is getting some 'free' publicity on this & a chunk of business (large or small chunk depends upon your point of view)

I think that they will do well by the SantaThing business.

....and the price differences might be tied to shipping costs being included in the price of the book... they are figuring the shipping cost based upon the IP location.

Dec 5, 2010, 10:23am Top

Blech, I just had to add a different book because one of the ones I'd selected has gone up by $1.

It's especially not fun because I'm working from the person's very limited wish list. I wonder if in future years, the sign-up could have options for "choose books from my wishlist" and "I don't want to choose books from a wishlist", so that people could end up with a Santee whose preferences matched their picking preferences? I'm sure there are plenty of people who are happy for the guidance of a wishlist, but I'm not one of them.

Dec 5, 2010, 10:31am Top

I ordered books for my recipients yesterday but they are not checked off on the main list.

Is this because you haven't had time to actually place the order yet? If not, let me know ASAP so I can attempt to recreate my requests!

Edited: Dec 5, 2010, 10:32am Top

203> One of my books went up by $0.70 yesterday, but it dropped back down today. So keep checking?

Dec 5, 2010, 10:34am Top

>205 keristars: That's encouraging :). I'll keep checking out of curiosity, but I don't think there's anything more I have to do at this point: the three books I wanted initially are still in the first three slots, with one cheaper one in the fourth, so hopefully that will be good enough.

Dec 5, 2010, 11:30am Top

Hmmm - that "save ISBNs" button wasn't there yesterday. Ok, have re-done my ISBNs, saved them, and they seem to have taken. I think I missed a book or two but the amounts come out ok so...

Edited: Dec 5, 2010, 12:19pm Top

I think the "save ISBNs" was "submit" or something.

I like the new link and title, but the titles all say Coming Soon for my pick. I guess it takes time to fill it in. Or maybe it's like that until the 25th.

Dec 5, 2010, 12:30pm Top

I don't know if I'm lucky or just clueless, but I thought this really seemed to be working quite well. I picked 2 books on the first day - I chose slightly more expensive books on purpose because I thought my Santee would like them better than the cheaper ones. I put the ISBN's in the boxes, clicked "verify" or whatever, then clicked "submit". Nothing happened, but when I went back later my numbers were still there. Then I started seeing all this talk about changing prices, so I went back to Book Depository, and my prices are all still the same as when I selected my books. However, room for more books had been added, so I filled them up with the next 3 on my list - just in case. I will say, though, that I wish we could see what each Santa has ordered. But's that's just me being nosey, and wanting to be able to taunt my friends a little that "I know what you're getting!"

This is my 3rd year participating in SantaThing and I think it's great fun. Last year I was assigned someone whose book tastes were totally different than mine, and I stressed about that a little. I solved the problem by asking for help from some of my LT friends who like similar books, and by going to my Santee's LT friends and asking for help (one of whom turned out to be a RL friend, so that was really good). I got lots of great suggestions from all of them and was able to choose books with at least a little confidence.

I hope my Santa isn't stressing over what to choose for me.

Dec 5, 2010, 12:34pm Top

Whatever, however - and I certainly don't wan't to put anyboby down. But remember: this is supposed to be FUN - and I do think that's rule #1.

Edited: Dec 5, 2010, 12:41pm Top

> 209

However, room for more books had been added, so I filled them up with the next 3 on my list - just in case

Is this really a good idea? It looks as if you're choosing a book total more than what was specified.

ETA: That's not the reason extra boxes were added, to my understanding. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought they were added just in case there was more room for another book choice within the specified price of $25.

Dec 5, 2010, 12:45pm Top

Room for more books in my appartment would be highly appreciated though ;-)

Dec 5, 2010, 12:52pm Top

>211 SqueakyChu: I added an extra book, based on Abby's comment about pre-orders: If you choose a pre-order, we'll skip it and just order the other book(s) you've picked, and your Santee will probably cry. If the policy is just to skip books that don't work out (as opposed to, say, adding another random book, which I believe is what they did last year), then it seems far safer to add a back-up book or two.

Edited: Dec 5, 2010, 1:12pm Top

> 213 : Absolutely makes sense. Surely nobody would want their santee ending up with : nothing at all.

Edited to fix Dutch-isms, Sorry.

Dec 5, 2010, 1:43pm Top

#214: Dutchisms are ok with me... I usually can figure them out... if not, I PM you.

regarding extra book 'spaces' & in-stock & pre-orders

I have a book that I want to request for my Santee, but it is in & out of stock regularly (I keep getting the email saying it is in stock. I go to check & it is out of stock... )

I want to say, "If this book is out of stock, please order this one by the same author & approximately the same price." The first book is preferred, but I think my Santee would like the author.

Dec 5, 2010, 2:28pm Top

#213 This was my thinking. However, when I checked this mornng to see the changes that were made in displaying titles, I see that my over $25 books are not showing. I'm not going to worry about it - If one of my chosen books suddenly becomes unavailable or too expensive, then I have to trust that they will not leave my Santee with only one $12 book. Either they will go down my list and order the next one or two, or they will choose something or contact me to choose something.

Dec 5, 2010, 3:05pm Top

>215 skittles: I once had an issue where a book I wanted was listed as out of stock, but I kept being notified that it was in stock. When I contacted them about it, it turned out that the book actually was in stock, but just not allowed to be shipped to my country. You might be having the same issue; it's probably safer to pick a different book regardless.

>216 sjmccreary: Yeah, it will probably all be okay in the end. But I can't help myself from checking again just in case.

Dec 5, 2010, 3:12pm Top

I still can use help....

Dec 5, 2010, 5:01pm Top

>218 mellymel171328: ... I've just PMed you a few suggestions which all appear to be in stock. We were out for the afternoon so didn't respond earlier. Hope they help.

Dec 5, 2010, 5:48pm Top

Yes, thanks: )

Dec 5, 2010, 5:51pm Top

#193> I was able to choose a suitable hardback in the end, it just took time.

Do check that you are making selections in USD. BD.com always opens for me using GBP and I have to switch it to USD.

Dec 5, 2010, 6:34pm Top

I've found that I can't change the currency from either the drop-down or the flag. I have to go into the URL and change currency=AUD to currency=USD. Then any 'right-click'>'open in new tab' gets me a new tab with the currency in USD. Strange but true.

Dec 5, 2010, 9:15pm Top

Don't worry too much about the price. It's currently retrieving the data from bookdepository when you save the ISBN so we can check what it was. If it's really true that their prices are going up and down crazily all the time, well, we'll just deal with it.

Dec 5, 2010, 9:24pm Top

>223 timspalding: Do you keep track of what it was initially, or if we save it again will it overwrite it?

I.e., by adding a cheaper fourth book just in case, did I lock in the higher price for the original book?

Dec 5, 2010, 11:42pm Top

Hi everyone:

I feel like a 5 year old waiting to see the look on my Santee's face when she discovers her books. I must say that the most fun was being matched with someone whose breadth of reading is greater than my own and I'm quite picky about my reading material (not including health and fitness books in my library). As a result, I don't buy any ol' book. This is a bookworm's paradise, really.

It just occurred to me that the currency displayed on TBD won't reflect my Santee's currency. I'm in Canada and as LT is in the US, I chose USD although my Santee's not in the US. Should I leave things as they are? I'm probably reading too much into this.

Though I didn't use up my $25, but almost $22 thanks to TBD discount prices, I couldn't find a worthwhile book for $4, but I love that it goes to LT whose services I love so.


Dec 6, 2010, 3:24pm Top

I entered my ISBN numbers and clicked SUBMIT. However, the fields all just went blank after that and I got no message or pop-up telling me my order had been confirmed or received. How do I know if it went through or not?? I don't see a green tick next to my Santee's name, but is that just because I'm the Santa? I'm finding the new system all a bit fraught this year (what with changing prices, etc.), truth be told. :(

Edited: Dec 6, 2010, 3:30pm Top

Don't click SUBMIT. Click SAVE ISBNS.

(Also, you're not the only one! As I posted in the thread about the introduction of checkmarks, I've been going through today and messaging people who left a comment but don't have a green checkmark, because I think they must have put in the ISBNs and the comment at the same time, then clicked "submit" thinking it would save both.)

Dec 6, 2010, 3:37pm Top

Thanks, keristars. I'll go back and re-do it.

Dec 6, 2010, 6:22pm Top

I am now very paranoid about the prices changing for my selections. I have been checking on them regularly and I have a list of other books if I need them. So far the books are all the same price.

I had fun picking books and even if the library does match mine a lot I always worry about my picks and if they will like them.

Dec 6, 2010, 6:28pm Top

Wednesday, December 8th at 10pm Eastern time. Gift picking ends. LibraryThing sends the order via eight tiny ponies to BookDepository.com.

You have until Tuesday the 8th, 10pm Eastern US time (3am GMT) to decide what you want to give. Please note we changed the date to Tuesday, not Friday!

Tuesday or Wednesday?

Dec 6, 2010, 6:31pm Top

BD does not change prices that often (not as often as Amazon anyway)... :)

But I must say that this year it was way harder for me to select books for my santee - last year it was someone that was reading things I would read... so it was easy enough. But this year the main interest of the santee was so out of my domain that I was kinda worried. Good thing that there was someone proposing a book and the book looked good enough (and the santee had another interest that matches one of mine)

Edited: Dec 6, 2010, 6:47pm Top

Some messages here warned me about the fact that the book depository prices change according to your IP :(
Well, the availability also seems to change!
For instance, I chose a book for my santee and it is available in France: http://i55.tinypic.com/ndmyol.jpg and NOT in the US: http://i55.tinypic.com/sewrj4.jpg :(
(I used a proxy). So I chose another version that was available in the US: http://i51.tinypic.com/2dw4y9.jpg but this edition is too expensive in France: http://i55.tinypic.com/352lwyx.jpg
So I have put both editions, but it seems a bit risky to put two versions of the same book, I don't want my santee to end up with the same book twice.... Any advice?

Dec 6, 2010, 7:01pm Top

The availability is a matter of where the book can be sold/shipped to, I think. Check the location of your Santee (if it's listed on the profile) and if they're in the US, then choose the US book. If not, it'll be a bit of a gamble, but unless they're in France as well, I'd still try the US one (since it's less expensive and the ordering will be done from Maine).

Dec 6, 2010, 7:31pm Top

Thank you, my santee is in the US so I've kept the "US Version". If I hadn't been warned about TBD changes of price according to the location, my santee might not have gotten all the books... I'm not sure what LT is planning to do about it, timspalding says "Just use the regular one. We'll try to figure it out on Monday, and see if we need to make any changes." "Regular" is not precise, and he also writes "Don't worry too much about the price. It's currently retrieving the data from bookdepository when you save the ISBN so we can check what it was. If it's really true that their prices are going up and down crazily all the time, well, we'll just deal with it." which probably means that the US prices are saved? People outside US that don't know the situation or don't know how to use proxies might have bad surprises :(

Dec 6, 2010, 7:47pm Top

Huh? I'm more confused than ever. My Santee isn't in the US either. And I'm in Canada. Never occurred to me to use a proxy. Don't even know how. Don't know if it's necessary. Help!

Dec 6, 2010, 7:54pm Top

I really think you should just use the .com site and you'll be okay - or if you want, PM me the books you want to pick and I can check the prices and let you know if they're different from what you see. I don't mind doing that.

Edited: Dec 6, 2010, 8:35pm Top

Is anyone else having problems getting to this SantaThing pge: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=180 ?

It has 0 comments, so I'm worried that it's been wonky all along. :( I've been trying to get to it just now, but it keeps loading a blank page on me.

Also, the LT header has a lot of extra spacing under the logo, which is somewhat unusual.

Dec 6, 2010, 8:47pm Top

I think it's for a private library that only the Santa can see?

Dec 6, 2010, 10:25pm Top

238> Oh, wow, I missed the line on the main list page where it said "private" right after the username. That explains the mystery!

Dec 7, 2010, 7:06am Top

Can I pimp my own SantaThing Profile?

I'm not peeking really, but I only have one comment and no check mark so I'm guessing my Santa's having trouble. If anyone could post some suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

My reading tastes tend to the light: romance, chick-lit/women's fiction, contemporary young adult, children's fantasy, and graphic novels/comics of the super-hero or action-adventure variety.

Dec 7, 2010, 10:54am Top


You won't be able to read it. I tried just out of curiousity last year very early so as not to see what I would get, but how it worked for your own profile. You are blocked.

Maybe someone can help you. I'd be of zero help. I read just the opposite. Thrillers and some Horror, predominantly male authors, hate romance and fantasy, don't read young adult.

About all I can recommend is Danielle Steele only because my mother read her back when I was in highschool. Other than her and Nora Roberts, I couldn't even name a romance writer.

Can some chick-lit fan help out f_ing_kangaroo's santa?

Dec 7, 2010, 11:09am Top

240> I tried to think of something for you, but the comic/graphic novel I wanted to recommend doesn't have the first volume available on BookDepository. :(

Anyway, I have been given a Very High recommendation for AtomicRobo, which you don't have catalogued. I feel really bad leaving that as a comment there, though, since there's no chance of your Santa picking it for you.

I'll look to see if I can come up with anything else, though. It's really fun to have lots of comments with recommendations come the 25th. :)

Dec 7, 2010, 12:06pm Top

Thanks everybody! There are already a couple more comments.

>242 keristars:: I've left a couple suggestions for other people with out-of-print (or just not available from BD at the moment) books that I couldn't help recommending just in case they wanted to track them down on their own.

Oh wow, AtomicRobo sounds awesome. :) I'm going to have to look for that now.

Dec 7, 2010, 12:57pm Top

240: I left a bunch of suggestions, so hopefully they will help your Santa!

Dec 7, 2010, 1:13pm Top

@230 Jim, i was just about to ask that very same question... i think we had the same problem last year with the dates being off. do we all need to chip in and get the LT folks a new calendar? ;)

Edited: Dec 7, 2010, 4:23pm Top

#244: Thanks!

Edited: Dec 7, 2010, 4:58pm Top

246: You can still edit your comments - at the top of your list there is still the edit link; I just tried with mine.
So please do leave some more suggestions if you have had a sudden inspiration. :)

I left some for you too. (eeek) And have been doing so for any I find not yet with a green tick - kind of fun without the pressure. I'm still agonising whether my choices are good...

Are we going to adopt members not chosen for in time do you think - like last year? That's why I have been suggesting, in case of that.

add: Oh, Tim just answered my question here.

Dec 7, 2010, 4:55pm Top

>Keri, I'm going to PM you my selections so you can check them out, I already did so from my end and prices have fluctuated ...

Dec 8, 2010, 1:23am Top

No green check mark for me, please could you help my Santa? I've just edited the "other things" to add this:
"My library is mostly in French but I can easily read books in English."
(I see 2 comments, thanks to the member(s) who wrote those)

Dec 8, 2010, 7:51am Top

>249 Louve_de_mer: Looks like you've been taken care of! :-)

I'm astounded to see how many people still don't have checkmarks, especially considering the majority of them have several comments and/or have wishlists which should make Santa's job easy. However, I'm not sure how people with private libraries expect their Santas to choose, especially considering even the details they've provided on the form aren't visible to anyone and of course, there's no possibility to leave comments, yikes!

Dec 8, 2010, 8:07am Top

#250: I have a private library & people can see the comments made on mine (and the books chosen!! Are they good ones??)

I have friends who exchange books with me via Paperbackswap & BookMooch that know my tastes. and I asked a friend who has access to my library to help my Santa out with "owned" or "not owned", etc.

I did not leave my Santa clueless & swimming in a sea of nothingness.

Last year, I gave some ideas for book areas & my Santa did an excellent job!!

It is possible to have a private library AND have a great SantaThing experience!

Dec 8, 2010, 8:08am Top

I wonder if some Satnas were worried about price changes and will wait until later tonight to finally add their books.

Dec 8, 2010, 8:43am Top

>251 skittles:
>252 Ape:

That's good to know. I don't know why but I went down the list and even though I see I'm taken care of, I started worrying that so many people possibly wouldn't get books. As if I didn't have problems of my own to deal with!!! lol

And yes, very likely some people are waiting till the last minute. Lots of people do that for holiday gifts and just about everything else (I've been known to do that too on occasion...)

Dec 8, 2010, 8:47am Top


However, you aren't the only private library there, and there's at least one who filled out nothing about their interests.

Dec 8, 2010, 9:19am Top

#254: Then they either didn't realize what they needed to do, didn't know how to do it, forgot to do it, or isn't worried about getting a book they have no need of or interest in!!

Dec 8, 2010, 9:53am Top


While "in theory" it may be possible to be a Santa to someone with a private library, it's still EXTREMELY annoying. I can tell you that if I were your Santa, I wouldn't be going thru third party people to check and see if you owned a book yet. Too much back and forth. 10pm Friday - Does he have this yet? 7am Saturday - Yes. 3pm Saturday - How about this? 9pm Saturday - Yep, got that too. 9am Sunday - What about this? 4pm Sunday - Yep. Not worth the time! If your library is private, and nobody can make legitmate comments because nobody can see your library, I'd pick a book at random.

So you still run the risk.

I am going to re-iterate message 168 (about half way thru it). I will continue to take this stand. If you want a secret santa to get you something, make your library public. If you are not willing to do that so that others can help, then I'm not willing to go thru the hoops mentioned in message 251. You'll probably end up with something like "Robin Hood" at your doorstep, with maybe a Danielle Steele novel and a James Patterson novel in hope that the santee would like at least one of them.

I needed a lot of help this year as my Santee had nothing in common with myself (unlike last year, where it was easy). It was because of that "public" library that made that help possible, and while my Santee has nothing in common with me when it comes to books, I can actually feel confident that I got him or her the right thing. (Once again, thanks a bundle to those that posted suggestions or sent me private messages).

I still say that for 2011, one requirement should be publicizing the library/catalog.

Dec 8, 2010, 10:07am Top

> 250 Yes, I saw it. :-)
Now I'm eager to know what is suggested and what is choosen. :-)

Dec 8, 2010, 12:44pm Top

#256: There are many LT members who do not like that the option of private libraries is available.

That is their opinion.

It will not change mine.

The only way it affects me is if Tim decides that he doesn't like private libraries & removes the option.

Then I remove my book listings.

Not a problem.

Dec 8, 2010, 12:46pm Top

Yeah, let's not abuse private library people. It's no worse than asking for a gift for someone not on LT who likes X and Y.

Dec 8, 2010, 1:03pm Top

Indeed, at it's core Librarything is a tool peopel can use to catalogue their ibraries. If people want to keep track of their library and reading habits without it being public then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If they choose to participate in SantaThing they know and understand their Santa can't see what they have, so I see nothing wrong with the way things are. :)

Dec 8, 2010, 1:28pm Top

So -- to address a recurring topic -- each time I have checked the prices on the books I have selected, the price has changed. When I first looked at them they were short of $25 by say $2.50, then went up to $24.50, then were inbetween. This morning the total is roughly $25.50.

Can I stay with these two books? Or am I risking having one bumped and having my giftee get a $15.00 return on his investment?

Dec 8, 2010, 1:46pm Top

Tim said not to worry about the prices after you posted your choices for your Santee.

I've looked at a few choice 'sets' and most are under $25USD, so I think you are safe.

Dec 8, 2010, 1:47pm Top


For clarification, I'm not trying to abuse private libraries, and have nothing against them.

It's like going on the bumper cars. You have to be 48 inches tall. If you aren't 48 inches tall, that doesn't make you a bad person. It just means you should go on the Merry-go-Round instead, where it's say, 36 inches or accompanied by an adult.

#251 suggested a process of contacting private friends, and all this back and forth. Some of us work a full time job, and don't have the time for that. I sent some messages middle of last week asking for help, and did my "shopping" Sunday afternoon for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I feel like I got my Santee what he or she would want. I wouldn't have time to do this 3 or 4 times simply because I get a private email back saying "oh, he/she already has that".

Therefore, if they aren't going to make publicizing the library a requirement for Secret Santa, then I would at least like to suggest having an option at registration. For example, at registration, you might see a checkbox that says "Do not assign me someone with a private library". If that is checked, then that person won't be paired with someone with a private library. I got lucky the first 2 years, but if next year I got a private library, the solution proposed in #251 would not be a viable option for me. I don't have that type of time until I retire, which won't be until around 2040.

Dec 8, 2010, 2:01pm Top

If someone wants to keep their library private - they are free to. But if I need to choose books for them, I will rely only on their comments when they registered for Santathing. If I go around asking them what they would like or asking other people... how will that be a surprise at the end? And I really prefer not to spend time going through hoops, picking books just to be told they already have it hours later - if they do not want to make their library public, I treat is an empty one so I can buy anything for them which matches their preferences. Can it be done? Probably - if your Santa has the time or the will to do it. I would not.

PS: Lucky for me my Santee has a public library.

Dec 8, 2010, 2:07pm Top

This is my second SantaThing.

Last year a friend gifted me a membership and I got one myself. (crossed signals) I left suggestions & knew that I might get something I already had.

That didn't happen.

What did happen is that I got one book twice. Once from each Santa.

Not a problem. It was part of a series so I returned it & got the next book.

This year, I left three book suggestions & general ideas. I also suggested that if they needed help, that someone was willing to help them.

I heard from my friend that my Santa contacted her & they emailed, but the green check appeared right away, so I don't think it took long at all.

I don't know what my Santa chose AND IT IS KILLING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec 8, 2010, 2:15pm Top

Reminder comments/emails are now going out.

Dec 8, 2010, 3:21pm Top

Thanks, Skittles (#262).

Dec 8, 2010, 3:39pm Top

So, here's my question. When your books arrive, are you going to put them under the tree and wait for Christmas, or are you going to rip the box open on the spot? ;-)

Dec 8, 2010, 3:42pm Top

#268: I'm going to take the fifth (and a fifth) on the grounds that whatever I say might incriminate me.

Dec 8, 2010, 3:52pm Top

>268 Menagerie:
There was quite a variety of responses to that question last year! :-)

Dec 8, 2010, 3:52pm Top

So, here's my question. When your books arrive, are you going to put them under the tree and wait for Christmas, or are you going to rip the box open on the spot? ;-)

Under the tree, of course. You people are barbarians! Next thing you know you'll be opening gifts on Christmas Eve!

Dec 8, 2010, 3:53pm Top

>268 Menagerie:
I think I will be patient enough to bring them all the way from my mailbox to my apartment... Besides - no tree at home :)

Dec 8, 2010, 3:57pm Top

I may spend a few moments of quiet anticipation before I tear them open, but that's about it.

Dec 8, 2010, 4:02pm Top

We're planning to ship them in special boxes that can't be opened until Christmas(1) without spilling india ink all over the pages.

(1) Please fill in the "alternate holiday schedule" if necessary.

Dec 8, 2010, 4:16pm Top

Alternate holiday schedule duly filled out: Either the solstice or New Years', whichever happens to be next when it shows up.

Dec 8, 2010, 4:55pm Top

274: Hahahaha...
Then I suggest that there would be a lot of inky keypads used for posting irate comments on this site after that.

No; it won't stop anyone ripping them open the minute they arrive - we're talking about surprise books here!!!!!

Dec 8, 2010, 5:00pm Top

Mine will go under the tree. Deferred gratification! And no Indian Ink.

Dec 8, 2010, 5:23pm Top

>277 TheoClarke:

Good man. I'm not even going to open mine until the 28th. (Delayed Christmas.)

Dec 8, 2010, 5:28pm Top

>278 timspalding: Wait-a-cottonpicking-minute! Is Christmas on 28 December in LibraryThingonia? I am not sure I can take that much deferral.

Dec 8, 2010, 6:23pm Top

(1) Please fill in the "alternate holiday schedule" if necessary.

Are these holidays applicable?

Dec 8, 2010, 6:35pm Top

I missed National Fritters Day.

Sad MerryMary is sad.

Edited: Dec 8, 2010, 6:45pm Top

Oh good grief, today is National Brownie Day... in the US. Why?! WHY AM I NOT AMERICAN?!

*has a West Side Story moment - "I like to be in America..."*

(edited for overexcited typoary)

Edited: Dec 8, 2010, 6:50pm Top

>250 Smiler69: I just got home and saw that my innocent comment ended up opening a can of worms and I just want to apologize sincerely to anyone who thought I was criticizing people who choose to have private libraries. That was not at all my intention. I was simply wanting to help Santas who hadn't yet made their choices by leaving helpful suggestions and discovered that option wasn't available to me in some cases. Otherwise, I say live and let live and if people want to have their library remain private, then all the power to them!

>271 timspalding: For a variety of reasons, I haven't had a tree in ages, nor have I received or given Christmas gifts, and Christmas day has been quite a lonely occasion on the whole. Not feeling sorry for myself, just stating the facts. Joining SecretSanta was my way of making the holiday season a bit more festive this year. So yes, I'll take the risk of having my brand new books covered in ink and will open them as soon as they arrive. Actually, I'm a bit of a pleasure delayer so I'll let the package sit there for a few hours until I can't take the anticipation anymore and feel compelled to add them to my LT library and tag tag tag away (my favourite part of getting a new book other than actually reading it!) :-)

Dec 8, 2010, 6:53pm Top

the better question isn't whether you will wait to open your books on Christmas, but, rather, if you will instantly look at your SantaThing page the moment it's unlocked.

last year i did, cause i'm weak, but i'm hoping to hold out on looking (and opening my package) until Christmas day.

Edited: Dec 8, 2010, 6:59pm Top

>but, rather, if you will instantly look at your SantaThing page the moment it's unlocked ... cause i'm weak


Dec 8, 2010, 7:38pm Top

Last year I opened mine right away. This year I've been buying a lot of books online, and several are due in the mail in the next few weeks. So, to make my SantaThing gift stand out, I'll put it under the tree until Christmas. I wouldn't want it to just blend in with the rest.

Dec 8, 2010, 8:22pm Top

Whether I open my packages on Christmas or not will depend on if I notice where it came from before I open it. Everyone has their packages sent to my job, and I have, in the past, inadvertently opened boxes to check their contents, only to find out they were for me :( I like to be surprised, so I will wait if I don't mess up and open it without thinking.

Dec 8, 2010, 9:42pm Top

284> but, rather, if you will instantly look at your SantaThing page the moment it's unlocked.

I've already peeked at mine, but logging out. >.> I'm not afraid to admit it! But I haven't gone back since then to see the new comments or what was picked. So maybe that's a bit different...


Also, speaking of opening presents early - I gave my mom her Christmas/birthday present tonight, didn't even bother to wrap it, and had her open it. But she's flying to Vegas on the afternoon of the 25th and her birthday's the 28th, so why not give her the present a couple weeks early? (Plus, it was a jokey gift: since my stepdad is giving her real fancy, expensive pearls, I got her an inexpensive string, and didn't want to spoil things when she opens that box.)

I'm definitely opening my SantaThing early. And any other presents people give me - I'm not someone who likes opening them in front of other people, so I strive to have as few under the tree as possible (not that we have a tree this year - see above where my parents are flying across the country for two weeks on Christmas - I'm not willing to be responsible for taking the thing down while they're gone!)

Dec 9, 2010, 6:28am Top

I already told my son not to open the package when it arrives. He is known for opening packages because he knows they are books and he is just nosey. I told him I was going to wrap them so that I have something to open this Christmas.

Dec 9, 2010, 9:16am Top

This is my first SantaThing and I'm nervous and excited, I think I have chosen well. My question is, I chose 4 books because I kept changing my mind on which I wanted sent. I was under the impression that the first 2, which are under the 25 dollar limit, would be what my Santee would receive. Is that how it will work? I wasn't able to get online yesterday and delete the extra two books.

Dec 9, 2010, 9:42am Top

Opening the box the minute it arrives. Checking my comments as soon after being unlocked as possible. (I'll wait until my company has gone and the dishes are done, but no longer.)

Dec 9, 2010, 10:17am Top

I plan on checking my comments as soon as they are unlocked, from my phone, under the dinner table. But I won't open the box until Christmas Eve (when we open all of our presents).

Dec 9, 2010, 10:42am Top

>290 cal8769:

From my understanding, they start at the top of the list and add until they either go over $25(then the last one added is removed) or they reach the end of the list. So you should be fine.

I had picked an additional one as well - just to make sure that there is a backup in case one of the others is not there.

Dec 9, 2010, 10:47am Top

Thanks, AnnieMod!

Dec 9, 2010, 11:02am Top

I buy regularly on BookDepository and each book is in a different box. If I buy 2 books I get 2 boxes, 3 books I get 3 boxes, and so on.
Maybe we'll have several boxes to open. :-)

Dec 9, 2010, 11:07am Top

>280 Ape:-1
And I'm sure nothing's going to have enough time to get here in time for Emily Dickinson's birthday tomorrow.

Dec 9, 2010, 11:29am Top

295> Do you get 3 bookmarks, too? Lately, it's been hit-or-miss if I get one, which makes me sad. It's too much fun to see which one comes!

Dec 9, 2010, 11:33am Top

> 296: I think she won't mind too much ;-)

Dec 9, 2010, 11:36am Top

297> Never get a bookmark. I'll do my Christmas purchases tomorrow, hope this time they'll sent one.

Dec 9, 2010, 12:27pm Top

>297 keristars:

Depends. :) When I was buying a lot from them sometimes I would get a bookmark in each package (10 of them arriving the same day in one of the cases). Sometimes I did not get any for weeks.

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 12:45pm Top

Hi again, I've written to info@librarything.com but haven't received any answer. As I'm getting nervous, I write my question here: I'm picking books for someone, and one of the books I have chosen, has not been validated. But I don't see why as it is in stock and the total is under 25 dollars (23.95 I think)....
Can you tell me why? And can I add another book if it's not ok?
Thank you in advance!

Dec 9, 2010, 12:45pm Top

>301 OpheliaAutumn:
The two I picked only had info show up within the past hour. Keep checking back.

Dec 9, 2010, 12:51pm Top

>301 OpheliaAutumn:

Give it some time. Only 1 of the ones I had picked up is pulling up its title/price. I am not that worried yet. :)

Dec 9, 2010, 12:54pm Top


When you say it hasn't been validated, are you referring to the message at the bottom indicating it's a valid ID, or the prices?

I got the Valid ID message instantly as I selected the books. The Prices didn't show up until this morning, and luckily enough, with the rumors of the "Mobile Pricing", my 2 selections stayed below $25, so my Santee will get both selected items.

If the problem is the ID, and not the Prices, you might look to see if there is a price listed beside your selection. If there is, it probably went thru, no problem. If there isn't, see if you can clear it out, Refresh your browser, Re-enter it again, and see if you get the valid ID message.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:01pm Top

Ugh, damn. I just checked mine, and the price for one went up by 40 cents since yesterday - from 24.92 to 25.37. And the other one went DOWN in price.

For most of the week, that first one has been 24.92, and it was only briefly above it over the weekend. I wonder if it's related to weekend price changes or something to when people are doing the most shopping in the week.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:02pm Top

@302, 303, 304 Thank ou! The problem is with the prices, they don't show up and the title either. But the isbn is declared as valid.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:03pm Top

I have looked and my book has just been validated \o/

Dec 9, 2010, 1:07pm Top

305> In message 223 Tim said:
"Don't worry too much about the price. It's currently retrieving the data from bookdepository when you save the ISBN so we can check what it was. If it's really true that their prices are going up and down crazily all the time, well, we'll just deal with it."

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 1:09pm Top

Well, damn. One of mine is showing as -$1.00 and the link says out of stock. They had copies last time I checked - about four hours before the the final deadline - and there are copies of the same book available under a different ISBN. Sigh.

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 1:09pm Top

>306 OpheliaAutumn:

The two remaining ones on my santee just got validated :) So all is good - it was still calculating i would think.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:11pm Top

>309 catherinestead:

I would post a comment in your santee's entry with the other ISBN and an explanation probably... Just in case someone looks at them

Dec 9, 2010, 1:12pm Top

308> I hope so! But that's why the fourth book I picked, I specifically chose an "extra" that wouldn't be too disappointing if it didn't fit, and also why I recorded the price of all the books when I input the ISBNs, just in case. :P (Well, not the extra, but I did put down the total price.)

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 1:19pm Top

#311 Good idea. It's now showing as 'Error' in big red caps rather than -$1.00, so possibly it will trigger an alarm somewhere in the system.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:21pm Top

Well I have done nothing but check the prices and availability of the books the past few days. This morning I checked and all the books were still the same price and available. I just check now this afternoon and one of my books went up $1.00. So far they are still all available. Maybe the price will go down again when the order is placed.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:23pm Top

314> As far as I can tell, it's only one book from my list that has been varying in price, and it's a matter of about 40 cents. So they're not all doing it. And it seems prices change on Monday morning GMT and Thursday evening GMT.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:26pm Top

Well I just checked and all three of my Santees books are set without any problems. Now I just have to wait until they get then to see how well I did (assuming they respond!)

Dec 9, 2010, 1:42pm Top

Just checked once again and the three books I chose are OK, the price stayed under 25.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:48pm Top

Luckily enough, the 2 books for my Santee didn't shoot over $25. Was afraid it would with all the rumors as they did total more than $24.

#309 - I saw another person that had an entry that was $-1.00. Maybe I'm just not book shopping properly. Can you tell me any Thriller novels that they will pay me a dollar for reading? :-)

#271 - The answer is I don't know yet. A lot depends on delivery time, and whether or not we want to lug it around. I'm in North Carolina, Christmas this year will be in Maryland. May open it right before we leave on 12/23, may lug it up to Maryland and open it 12/25, may open it when we celebrate Christmas with my Wife's family on 12/28.

Addendum to #263 - 2 Santees still need selections made for them. They have one thing in common. My point exactly. This is why we need this option next year at signup. All it requires is a simple checkbox. It also benefits the Santee as well, as that way they know they'll get a Santa that is willing to deal with a private library, and won't need help from other users. Simply trying to help both sides here, unlike the belief of those that just want to jump off the deep end and assume I'm out to attack private libraries.

Dec 9, 2010, 2:05pm Top

What the what? Is the price-calculating thingy not taking discounts into account at all? I picked three books yesterday for my Santee and have been keeping an eye on the prices, which have not changed and come to a total of $22,42. However, on the signup page the prices are different and total at almost $30. :(

Dec 9, 2010, 2:12pm Top

I was a little disappointed when I checked my santee's page this morning. The first book I chose is $21.70 over on the BD site but has been confirmed on his page at $16. The back up $3 book which was available up to the cutoff time is showing as not available now so an error on his page. I'm wondering if the fact that I'm in New Zealand has affected that pricing difference.

Dec 9, 2010, 2:13pm Top

#319 - looks like I have your problem in reverse!

Dec 9, 2010, 2:16pm Top

>320 avatiakh:, 321 I shouldn't think our location would affect the prices if we follow the links that are automatically generated on the signup page. Are you doing that as well? I'm in the UK, btw.

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 2:23pm Top


Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if location did impact the prices. They claim to be a free shipping site (if I understand it right, I don't normally use this site, I use Amazon, Borders, or Barnes and Noble). The "free shipping" may just be some false advertising marketing scheme, and in reality, they see where it's being shipped to, and adjust the price accordingly. "Oh, I have to ship this book to Tahiti? It's now $9.50, not the $7.50 it would have been had this been shipped to London!"

So instead of being straight and to the point, where shipping charges apply based on size of order and location, they may have decided to disguise the fact, and make it sound like you aren't paying for shipping.

Dec 9, 2010, 2:25pm Top

As to the question of whether to open or not to open, it would upset the precarious balance of gifts under the tree and the opening order on Christmas morning if I put my package there, so I will open it. Immediately.

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 2:36pm Top

>322 MaidMeri:
I think it does make a difference. See this message: http://www.librarything.com/topic/102461#2345138 .

And I'm finding some of the prices on mine have variations between what I see on BD and what LT is pulling in.

ETA: And I'm only in Canada. NZ would probably have a significant difference.

Dec 9, 2010, 2:40pm Top

>322 MaidMeri: & 325

Me too, and my prices are cheaper. Also BD is showing that one of my selections is 'in stock' but I've had a message from Tim saying he's removed it because it's showing as 'out of stock', yet when I click the link there it is 'in stock'. I'm sure it's because I'm in the UK and it's frustrating as my Santee is also UK based and if I were BD I'd make sure that these books were shipped from the UK.

Anyway I think I've now manage to select three book which are in stock and just under $25!

Dec 9, 2010, 3:02pm Top

I'm also in the UK and have noticed that the availabilities and prices I see on the .com site don't seem to be what US users see. Looking at my Secret Santee the prices and availability seem completely different from when I check bookdepository.com to when Tim has verified the ISBNs.

Happily he managed to find an alternative book for my Santee that was available and it's very similar to one of the ones I'd chosen that wasn't in stock from the US but it's a shame he had to do such a lot of extra work.

Dec 9, 2010, 3:10pm Top

Also in the UK and seeing a lot of price difference on mine. There's a $6 difference on my replacement for the out of stock book at #309 that's causing a problem, which I noticed right away; when I checked the other two books I picked, they're also showing with the verified ISBNs at $1.50 and $2.20 more than I see when I follow the link.

Dec 9, 2010, 3:15pm Top

bookdepository is basically switching to prices available for you based on your browser location(or computer one or something else in your settings that specifies location - mine are always synced so not sure which one). Which is irritating sometimes.

I do not think it is a hidden delivery charge (or it would have been there for all books -- and I see books cheaper from the US based browser than the Europe based one and vice versa). Why they are different is another story and I have no idea really - maybe they do currency conversions in some cases, maybe it is something else.

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 3:21pm Top

books cheaper from the US based browser than the Europe based one

Yes, I'm also experiencing this with a US edition of a book $10 cheaper to someone looking from the US than to me. It's definitely something to do with location, but not a simple delivery charge.

Dec 9, 2010, 3:23pm Top

329> Did you notice the different prices between the .co.uk and the .com sites? They both know I'm in Belgium and for one book I want to buy for me the price is about 15€ on one site and about 10 on the other.

Dec 9, 2010, 3:24pm Top

What does it mean when I look at the list of books and it lists the 3 ISBN's I picked that were all under the $25 range, and only two titles are listed? Does this mean that the third book was skipped (even though it's under total and is listed as In Stock at Book Depository) and my Santee isn't getting it? If they're not getting it, why didn't I receive notification that I needed to pick something else post haste???

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 3:33pm Top

#331 That caught me out a few times while I was picking: I had to keep checking that I was still on .com and switching back, because it kept switching me to .co.uk. I saw some noticeable differences in price.

ETA: See Tim's post here.

Dec 9, 2010, 3:41pm Top

#333 Thanks for the link Caty. Poor Tim.

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 4:27pm Top

>331 Louve_de_mer:

This most likely have a lot to do with currency conversions and taxes/other sums needed. Or something like this. Not really sure - I know that the prices are different, I know that a UK book will most likley be cheaper on co.uk but... I really never figured out the way they make their price

I used to live in Bulgaria - it's not the perfect system but compared to the other online sellers, it is much better for non US/UK/(maybe) Australia based buyer of English language books.

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 6:01pm Top

> 323, 325 I was aware that your country affects the prices, but I thought that you could trust the information you get when you follow the link that LibraryThing provided. But I didn't realise that it depended on which country your IP was from; I thought it was enough to make sure you're browsing the .com site, instead of .co.uk and so on. Oh well.

I found the same books for under $25 on the site with a proxy and updated the fields ... hope I wasn't too late or anything. I really want my Santee to have all three. :)

Dec 9, 2010, 7:06pm Top

One of the books I'd chosen dropped by about $5 in price, so I'm trying to sneak in an extra one; I wonder whether LT will go back and look again at ones that have changes once they're already verified?

Dec 10, 2010, 1:15am Top

The situation is supremely screwed up. They want us to just send the CSV and they'll figure out what's in stock and what's not. But lots of members have posted tons of extra books, relying on us to cut them off on price. I can't do that if I can't tell what's in stock or what things cost--the prices are utterly random and fluctuating.

I'll talk to Abby tomorrow. I'm tempted to junk it and just order from Amazon again. It's take dozens of man hours, but it won't be a clusterfuck.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:29am Top

I feel for you Tim, I really do.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:29am Top

Can't you just tell them to use the list of books you send but not go over $26? Either have them add random books if it fails completely and is way under, or have them send back the list of failed members (say, those who are below $17 based on what's listed and in stock) and figure out what to do with them separately.

Dec 10, 2010, 2:59am Top

How ridiculous!
What a shame - there must be a better way; I agree with your sentiment Tim. If ever there was an example of a complete f**k-up, this is one!

Have I ever learnt about TBD and pricing with all this.

Dec 10, 2010, 4:54am Top

That is terrible! I know I added extra books but I never thought it would cause problems. Could you send out a mass comment to all the Santas and give them a window of time to remove extra books from their Santees' lists? Maybe that would help a little bit.

Dec 10, 2010, 5:01am Top

I added an extra book because a member in the US told me one of my first choices was out-of-stock, but it is still showing available for me (I'm not in the US); that's the problem as I see it, how do we know what books are available to send to the country of our Santee when we are all choosing from many different countries ourselves?


Dec 10, 2010, 5:26am Top

Another one seeing weird prices here. Those on LT are different (higher) than the prices on BD when you click through.

Dec 10, 2010, 8:32am Top


I'm tempted to junk it and just order from Amazon again. It's take dozens of man hours, but it won't be a clusterfuck.

Please view that as a last resort. I am boycotting Amazon and only participated this year because Amazon wasn't involved. I understand that if it's the only solution, it's the only solution, but I'd be quite upset by it.

Seconding cal8769's suggestion; I'd rather get only one book because the second one wasn't available than have you need to deal with the PITA of all of the Santas who added third and fourth books as a contingency plan. Can you ask the Santas to cut off the "just in case" additions?

Dec 10, 2010, 9:17am Top

The situation is supremely screwed up.

Sounds like that's an understatement.

Switching to Amazon.com would certainly mean a lot of repicking (if only for alternative editions of the same book) because so many of the BD ISBNs will relate to UK editions that Amazon.com won't have (although Amazon.co.uk will).

Dec 10, 2010, 9:44am Top

>340 _Zoe_:
That's basically what I'm going to do. As soon as Tim pulls the file, we're uploading it to book depository, seeing what's actually in stock and what it costs, and then going from there, removing extra books as necessary. It's going to be much more manual work then we wanted, but still less then ordering each from scratch...


Dec 10, 2010, 9:51am Top

Well you can have them automatically accept any that fall between $21-26 which I would hope is the vast majority, then looking at all the the ones over just remove the book (or 2) closest to the amount they are over. Last group, ask us for help and tell us which country the recipient is in so we know who we can help by matching countries.

Though I agree, still a lot more more than you were all hoping for.

Dec 10, 2010, 9:57am Top

Question to Abby &/or Tim:

The prices that you look at when you prep the ordering are for books that BD "assumes" are going to the US. But that won't be true in all cases.

Are they going to "mess it up" when it comes to books going to Australia, for example, or are they going to eat those shipping costs? Are you/LT going to have to eat those shipping costs?

Does it really matter in the end?

Edited: Dec 10, 2010, 10:10am Top

Vote: I am "miffed" at BD for how they are handling this.

Current tally: Yes 13, No 12, Undecided 6
ETA : Not to be taken too seriously, please!

Dec 10, 2010, 10:02am Top

disappointed would be a better term.

but miffed will do for now.

Dec 10, 2010, 10:02am Top

350 > how is BD 'handling' this? It seems to me that they are trying to help, but their system as is, did not mess well with the way the SantaThing was run.

Dec 10, 2010, 10:05am Top

Yeah, I don't think BD has done anything wrong here. It sounded like they were willing to help deal with the issues (They want us to just send the CSV and they'll figure out what's in stock and what's not). They didn't design their whole system for the sole purpose of SantaThing.

Dec 10, 2010, 10:08am Top

Oh, I didn't mean this as an invitation to get hostile towards BD. I'm sure they are nice people, but that system...

Should I retract the poll? It wasn't meant all that seriously.

Dec 10, 2010, 10:23am Top

Yeah, I have to say that BD have been really really nice, and are trying their hardest to make this work.

Dec 10, 2010, 10:37am Top


Just a suggestion. You mentioned about Amazon as a last resort, and how you went with BD this year because of the free shipping.

What if next year, we upped it from $25 to $30, and used Amazon? While not "all" books are eligible for free shipping, a heavy percentage of them are. The only requirement is that you spend at least $25. Therefore, if we upped it next year to $30, people's totals would be between $25 and $30 instead of between $20 and $25, and they'd meet the free shipping requirements for those that qualify.

As for those books that don't qualify, since everyone is paying $30, and no order is ever exactly $30 (most orders I've seen on here this year have been $22.xx, $23.xx, or $24.xx), you'll have some money left over. While I understand that's meant to be profit for the hard work you do, part of it could be put toward shipping.

Also, I would have no objection if you wanted to add a servicing fee. Have everyone pay $30.50 or $31. You pick out gifts up to $30. The extra $0.50 or $1 per santa is for the hard work you do. The leftover "residue" money that comes from packages not totaling exactly $30 would be used for shipping of books that aren't eligible for the free shipping on orders of $25 or more.


What's with the boycott from Amazon? Why would you be upset receiving your books from there? You didn't buy them anyway, someone else did, so it's not like you are getting jobbed by them.

I actually have never had a problem with Amazon. There are many good deals at Amazon. Service has always been at par or better in my experience with them.

I have actually reached the point of having almost zero trust in BD, to tell you the god-honest truth! Amazon is an absolute blessing compared to this nightmare online bookshop.

Edited: Dec 10, 2010, 10:41am Top

Vote: BarkingMatt (that's me) should try to keep his warped sense of humor out of serious discussion.

Current tally: Yes 1, No 26, Undecided 3
EAT : First yes vote was my own.

Dec 10, 2010, 10:47am Top

Humor keeps us sane, (for the most part), BarkingMatt.

Dec 10, 2010, 10:52am Top


What's with the boycott from Amazon?

It's not really germane to this thread, but it starts long ago when they went back on their then-existing "we won't share your data" privacy policy to an "actually, we will, including data that you provided in good faith under the previous policy", through the "All LGBT books are 'adult' and will be hidden from searches" and other recent fiascos. It's not about customer service.

You didn't buy them anyway, someone else did

And I bought books for someone else -- Amazon would still get $25 of my money if they went with them.

Edited: Dec 10, 2010, 10:56am Top

#356 Upping the cost by 20% will undoubtedly increase the number of people who are unable or unwilling to take part purely because of the cost. Which is not necessarily a reason not to do it, but it is an issue.

Edited: Dec 10, 2010, 11:05am Top


If it was that long ago, they probably improved their system by now. My credit card company had an information leak and ALL GM Mastercard holders had to be re-issued new credit cards in November 2005. I'm sure they upgraded their system since then as there hasn't been a report of any leaks since then.

Amazon has probably done the same, but I see where you are coming from. I haven't flown American Airlines since their BS problems in April of 2001. Was going to Vegas (indirect thru Dallas). BOTH AA planes in Charlotte (there were only 2 because Charlotte is a USAirways hub, not American) had computer glitches. They sent us via Continental that Wednesday. Sunday, coming back, we're on AA going thru Dallas back to Charlotte, and we land on the far runway, and try to conceal the problem when we sit there on the runway with "Don't worry about the Fire Engines you see out your window. The plane is just losing hydrogen fuel" or something like that to make it sound like it's nothing. If it's nothing, take us to the gate!

So I see where you come from, but give it a try sometime. Maybe if you can show a sign of confidence in Amazon, it will get me off my snide with American Airlines! :-)


I can see where you are coming from, with the economy as bad as it is. At the same time, I have heard people talk about not being able to get certain books because just that 1 book was 26 or 27 dollars. Inflation has played a part in that.

In 1990, when I was a teenager and actually read the "lighter" stuff, like the Cat Who books by Braun (I read her first 13, then quit), you could buy those for $3.50 each. Now you're extremely lucky if you find a mass market paperback for under $8.

Again, I see where you come from, but with Amazon's shipping deals, you spend $30 either way. $24 for books, and $6 for shipping, or $30 for books, and nothing for shipping. So if you went with Amazon next year, because of their $25 cutoff for shipping deals, it's the logical thing to do.

In theory, you could also do say, $26, but then to say you have to specifically shop so that you spend between $25 and $26 is tough (I feel like I'm playing the Grocery Game on The Price is Right!).

Dec 10, 2010, 11:07am Top

>356 ThrillerFan:

No free shipping from Amazon for out of the States (at least to Europe). The cheapest you get is 3.99 per package + 3.99 per book - which is $12 for 2 books just for getting them to you...

Edited: Dec 10, 2010, 11:12am Top


Does Amazon.co.uk have the same deal for the British? Or any other Amazons for other countries (not sure where Amazon.ca is based).

Also, are there statistics of how many Santees are from certain countries? Is it more like 80% American, 19% British, 1% Other, or more like 20% American, 18% British, 15% French, 10% Asian, 8% South African, 5% Egyptian, 3% or less of 30 other different nationalities, etc?

Dec 10, 2010, 11:25am Top

If they are in UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=200397340

But that means buying from an international site and most US banks will charge international fees... + you have currency conversion in the play - and these can get nasty sometimes... Plus different availability and prices.

And the shipping for out of UK is same numbers as from the US one but in pounds

Dec 10, 2010, 11:51am Top


I really don't see how your situation is at all parallel to mine. It wasn't a leak or a glitch, it was a deliberate decision --two of them, actually -- one of them to go back on their word, the other to hide all books about a group of people. It's not that I'm not "confident" in them, it is that I find their actions reprehensible. Which is why I'm using the word "boycott" rather than "avoid".

Dec 10, 2010, 12:12pm Top


Yeah, I can see now how that wouldn't really work. Only way it would would be to have different channels for each country, and that could get messy (even politically). Kinda reminds me of a news item from last year in South Carolina. A principal of a school that was about 75% black, 25% white or other came up with a really stupid idea. She had 2 santas come to the school. One black, one white. Kids had the choice of which Santa they wanted to see. I don't think it's very hard to envision how that went. Not sure what type of trouble she got in.


Your situation sounds like one of those where it might be worth investigating whether management has changed hands since. If it has, it's like comparing apples to oranges. If the same people are managers or owners of the site, then yeah, I'd probably steer clear as well if I ever experienced what you did.

At least with me, my worst experience in terms of others getting their hands on my information was this past "Black Friday". I had physical possession of my Credit Card, but someone made 4 online purchases with my credit card number. I only caught it early because that happened to be payday for me, and I was getting ready to make another credit card payment when I noticed the pending charges. The CC company re-issued a new card with a new number, and removed the 4 charges. The remaining charges were mine.

I hear it's a lot harder to get your money back for frivilous charges to your debit card.

Word to the wise...use a credit card for online purchases. Someone gets hold of your debit card number, a lot harder to get your money back!

This was actually advised also on a news show I think the spring before last, where a woman ended her gym membership in mid-June 2008, and the place closed down end of that month, but she was still getting monthly charges debitted from her account via the debit card. It took a lot to get money back for those 9 or 10 months, and she wasn't able to get all of it. Credit Card companies are insured, and so that's why they don't fight you unless they determine that you are filing false claims.

Edited: Dec 10, 2010, 12:28pm Top


Your situation sounds like one of those where it might be worth investigating whether management has changed hands since. If it has, it's like comparing apples to oranges. If the same people are managers or owners of the site, then yeah, I'd probably steer clear as well if I ever experienced what you did.

But this kind of thing happens *over and over* with Amazon, for many years now. I try not to avoid them for the same reasons Lorax boycotts them, and I refuse to buy a Kindle or a few other types of items from them.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:00pm Top


What the heck, do you work for Amazon? Why on earth otherwise does it matter to you if I choose to shop from them or not?

And if you do work for Amazon, a real, honest, genuine apology for their reprehensible handling of the LGBT issue would be a good start from them as a show of good faith, rather than pinning it all on some poor flunky whose alleged actions wouldn't have been the real problem even if it were true.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:07pm Top


Nah, I don't work for Amazon. I work for a bank. Yet another place that handles the money of many Americans.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:15pm Top

I'm in Belgium and didn't pay for Santathing last year because I was afraid to pay duty fees as the books came from US. I'm taking part this year because I know Book Depository and the books came from UK without fees to pay.
I'll understand if you switch to Amazon next year but I'll be reluctant (because of the fees...)

Edited: Dec 10, 2010, 1:21pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:25pm Top

Sorry if I can't participate in the debate but one of our Santa Thing members lost her son in a freak car accident yesterday (he was a pedestrian hit by an out of control car).

To me, LT will get the books out, somehow. In the meantime, there are more important matters to worry about.

(Not exactly sure what the argument here is, anyway.)

Dec 10, 2010, 1:28pm Top

Aw, that's terrible.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:32pm Top

Yeah, we'll get them out. Thanks for the support.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:32pm Top

I just want to thank everyone at LT for dealing with this difficult situation in a busy holiday season.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:38pm Top

Sandy posted here as recently as yesterday and is reading LT threads to try to keep herself occupied. I know that she'd appreciate your prayers.

If you want to offer your support, she is definitely reading the 75 book group thread at: http://www.librarything.com/topic/103269

Dec 12, 2010, 8:21am Top

What's with the boycott from Amazon? Why would you be upset receiving your books from there?
Probably not what lorax had in mind, but a lot of people are boycotting Amazon right now because of the wikileaks thing:


Dec 14, 2010, 8:32am Top

I just accidentally saw a glimpse of what I'm getting -- meaning to click on my santee's name, I clicked on mine and apparently the veil of secrecy has been lifted? It doesn't mean they've decided to cancel Christmas, does it? :(

Dec 14, 2010, 8:40am Top

I can see what was picked for me as well! (but since I was warned I only glanced and didn't read)

Oh No! Santa isn't real!

Dec 14, 2010, 9:07am Top

I hate to be a nag and I tend to trust in the powers that be of LibraryThing but what is going on? Has something happenef where we won't be able to do SantaThing this year? I feel bad for posting but I really just want to know.

I am sorry Tim I know how hard you and your staff works. :(

Dec 14, 2010, 9:36am Top

Oh, sorry we didn't update. Ordering is 99% done. It was a lot of late nights this weekend, triple checking the orders, and removing books that had gone over the limit, finding replacements when a book was out of stock (I typically first tried other editions of the same book, then went to other SantaThing suggestions, then to a wishlist if it existed, and if all else failed, I picked something myself), etc. Good times, but done, other than a few I need to check the addresses on.

Dec 14, 2010, 9:36am Top

I'm sure SantaThing is still on, one way or another.

(Must resist temptation to look at books chosen....)

Dec 14, 2010, 9:37am Top

Thanks for the update, Abby!

Dec 14, 2010, 9:42am Top

#'s 378-380

I clicked on my name just to see if the glitch spanned across all accounts. It appears to have done so. I didn't scroll down though because I don't want to know what I got until it's time.

I know last year it didn't open up until December 25th.

Since I didn't look beyond my own description that I entered in back on November 29th, I don't know what the bottom section looks like. Where do you get the idea that Santa thing isn't happening? It appeared as though selections were made for all but 2 santees. Even if prices did change, were there that many instances where the $25 was spent on a single book where that single book suddenly went over, and no alternates listed? I wouldn't really know as my Santee got 3 things last year, 2 things this year. If the jack-up in pricing occurs, I'm sure at least the first item would still stay below $25.

If the rumor is true, what happens next?

Dec 14, 2010, 9:56am Top

So I basically approved all orders that were between around 19 to 26 dollars. Everything else I looked at, and either removed or added books. So fear not, it wasn't entirely automatic -- if a book was out of stock, the order didn't go through with just one $10 book in it.

Dec 14, 2010, 10:13am Top

>385 ablachly: That sounds good; I'm very relieved!

Do the SantaThing pages show what books people actually ended up with?

Dec 14, 2010, 10:17am Top

I'm sorry that it was possible to peek. I've shut that down. I'm sorry anyone's surprise was spoiled. Next time mom and dad will make sure the closet is locked.

Edited: Dec 14, 2010, 10:21am Top

If you know your presents are in the closet and you don't want your surprise ruined, why even try the knob?

Oh and Thanks Tim and Abby for all the hard work once again. Hopefully one of these years it will actually go as smoothly as you envision!

Dec 14, 2010, 10:23am Top

>386 _Zoe_:
No. It was 2am and I wasn't making notes on what I actually ended up ordering. In retrospect it would have been nice, but well, I was just chugging through.

Dec 14, 2010, 10:26am Top

>389 ablachly: Makes sense, no worries :)

Dec 14, 2010, 10:31am Top

I agree and I look forward to being able to see my present. Thank you so much Tim and Abby for making SantaThing possible. :)

Dec 14, 2010, 10:55am Top

Another thanks to all the hard work LT staff put into this! And the updates on the grim reality involved in getting the shiney books to us.

Dec 14, 2010, 11:07am Top

Again, the LT staff has spoiled us. Thanks for all the updates and your hard work just to make us happy.

Dec 14, 2010, 11:59am Top

Hooray! Thank you so much for all the effort of sorting out all those orders: that must have been a nightmare of a weekend.

Edited: Dec 14, 2010, 12:17pm Top

Thanks again Tim for all the hard work.

One more successful year of Spalding not dropping the ball!


Dec 14, 2010, 12:34pm Top

LT staff are wonderful! you guys do so much to make this not only a useful place to be but a fun and exciting one too!

THANK YOU TIM AND ABBY (and whoever else helped Santa this year)!

Dec 14, 2010, 1:43pm Top

For the record, Abby deserves all the credit for the ordering and all the crazy to-and-fro with BD over it. She did little else for 48 hours. I just write (broken) code. :)

Dec 14, 2010, 1:56pm Top

Oh, it was good code. And I did take a break to take my almost-2-year-old to buy our "kispess" tree.

Dec 14, 2010, 2:33pm Top

We're buying ours tonight. We usually drive and cut our own, in the snow and then I refuse to use the tree-trick to bring it to the place where you pay and drink cider, considering carrying it on my back more manly. But there's no snow and we need it now, so we're driving to some mall.

Dec 14, 2010, 3:04pm Top

Thank you Abby and Tim for all your hard work on this years SantaThing.

Dec 14, 2010, 3:07pm Top

>389 ablachly: Thanks so much to Abby for all that dedicated work. I must say I was growing restless with curiosity so am glad about the updates. Just jee-shucks I wish I had been on time to have a peek, I'm DYING to know what books are coming my way, especially since I went all out and joined TWICE! :-)

>399 timspalding: I'm sure my fellow Montrealers would be all too happy to send some of our plentiful snow your way Tim! Enjoy the tree-getting.

Dec 14, 2010, 4:39pm Top

Thanks for the update and all your hard work. It is fun for us, a mixed blessing for you!.

Dec 15, 2010, 1:08am Top

Just wanted to add my thanks to Abby, Tim and the rest of the team for making SantaThing happen. I can't wait to see what pretty new shinys Santa brings me :-)

Dec 15, 2010, 6:17am Top

also adding thanks for making this work!

Dec 15, 2010, 6:41am Top

Since the message above was 'not found'*, I would also like to thank those involved in making SantaThing such a wonderful LibraryThing tradition.

*HTML joke.

Dec 15, 2010, 9:52am Top

Thank you for going through all that on our behalf. It's my first SantaThing and I am excited! I'm hoping that my Santee likes the books I chose more than I'm hoping to be surprised and pleased by my own books. As long as there's no Dan Brown or Glen Beck, I'm sure to be happy.

About Amazon: what is it with companies that behave with integrity until they become giant and then they throw all the good-will they've earned over the years away with a few truly reprehensible actions? Do they not realize how many other book buying options we now have? Is it really in their best interest to alienate the people with a passionate interest in (and a bit of an addiction, really, to) books?

Dec 15, 2010, 4:50pm Top

Was there ever an answer on how BD was handling books that were out-of-stock for the US, but in-stock for the countries they were going to?

Dec 16, 2010, 9:21pm Top

More thanks from the West Coast. Bless you for all you do, and may your holidays be filled with jolly and no more stress!

Dec 17, 2010, 11:39am Top

Hah, that's a laugh and a half.

2 years ago, one of my 2 sisters just got pregnant, and nobody else had kids. Now, my sister's son will be 16-months old with Downs come Christmas, our daughter will be 8 months, and my other sister will have twin girls who are 2 1/2 months at that point.

It's going to be stress all right. The 16-month old is just learning how to get mobile. Our daughter is an official crawler, can get onto her feet, and give her another week or 2, she'll be walking.

We'll be going to my father's house, and my sister with the twin girls. Probably neither house is baby-proofed, so with our now mobile daughter, doubt there will be no stress this year.

Don't get me wrong, she's cuter than anything I've ever seen, and a thrill to be with, but oh my god, my wife and I had no idea of the challenges involved when they become mobile!

Dec 18, 2010, 4:06pm Top

We spend the first two years teaching them to walk and talk, and the next 15 years trying to get them to sit down and shut up.

Dec 18, 2010, 9:58pm Top


LOL! Ain't that the truth!

Rebecca, our almost 8 month old daughter, is persistent. You try to direct her to something else, she turns right around and goes back to where she was. Tonight, we were at my father's, and they have a small wooden table the slides on the hardwood floor (slides on the floor with any pressure, it's only intended to sit drinks on). Well, she wanted to pull herself up to her feet with that table. We actually had to move the table out of the entire area so that she would use something else!

At home, she goes after the wires all the time. Laptops. TV/DVD player cords, etc.

Edited: Dec 21, 2010, 3:58pm Top

So... I'd like to get some feedback on the following:

I joined SantaThing twice this year, so expecting at least a couple of books (if not more) to come in the mail sometime soon. But then, I've also ordered a bunch of books via BookDepository for myself lately. A package came in today from BD and I'm now wondering.... assuming that I've decided that I only want to open my gifts on the 25th (jury's still out on that one), should I just leave ALL BD packages unopened till then to avoid spoiling the surprises from my SecretSantas? Or should I just open a certain amount of them corresponding to how many I ordered for myself?

Not exactly a life or death situation, but I'm not sure which way to go and dying to open that package and list a new book on LT already!

Dec 21, 2010, 3:59pm Top

one person who's already received their package said it had an LT sticker on the outside, sooo... it is possible yours will too.

Dec 21, 2010, 4:00pm Top

#412 Has anyone reported getting their BD Santa Thing books yet?

Did you get an email from BD that a shipment was on the way?

I hope you get some good books!!

Dec 21, 2010, 4:21pm Top

#412: as #413 said, someone has already gotten their SantaThing books, but they are in the UK.

Please see this thread for further information: http://www.librarything.com/topic/105186

Happy Christmas!!

Dec 21, 2010, 4:31pm Top

Thanks for mentioning that other thread. I hadn't seen it.

Looks like mine should be arriving soon, too.

I have NO willpower when it comes to opening/not opening Christmas gifts.

Edited: Dec 22, 2010, 11:55am Top

So I didn't know how this Santa Thing worked and I kept waiting for a message or something to tell me what the next step was for the santa thing. Well I've been busy traveling and with work and today I finally had a chance to comb through LT and I found this blog but now I'm really sad that I've come to learn that I've missed it! My next question is, that $25 that I paid, am I getting it back or has it been absorbed lost into oblivion?

thanks, (maybe next year)

Renee :*(

santa's not coming for me this year... :******(
I get a lump of coal.. :***(

Dec 22, 2010, 11:30am Top

Everyone's has had their books selected and all orders have gone through Book Depository, all that is left is everyone waiting for their packages to arrive.

Dec 22, 2010, 11:41am Top

#417: Keep watching this group &/or this thread http://www.librarything.com/topic/105186

People will probably post updates as they receive their SantaThing packages....

Then they will be posting thank you's to their Santas & EVERYONE WILL BE HAPPY!!!

It's Christmas!! You have to be happy!!!

... or pretend it really really good!!

Dec 22, 2010, 11:46am Top

#417 I don't see you on the list of santee's at all. You might want to check yourself (click on the link in message #1) and, if not, check with LT.

Dec 22, 2010, 11:46am Top

Renny, I don't see your name on the list, which makes me think that your signup didn't go through. Were you actually charged the $25?

Dec 22, 2010, 11:54am Top

ahh! I wonder if Renny didn't complete the second step. After you pay money through Paypal you got a confirmation # which you used when you did the actual sign-up. A couple other people didn't get to the second part until after the close. Since she isn't on the list as long as she has/can get proof she sent LT the money Tim will give her money back.

Dec 22, 2010, 12:47pm Top

I do have my paypal confirmation # and bank account confirmation # that I paid $25 to LT. So could someone please point me in the right direction to hopefully get my money back. I'm sooooooo SAD that I didn't get to be a Santa this year and I won't be getting a book. I guess I'll have to go out and buy a new book for myself :****(


PS, I just checked, I didn't see my name on the list either. I wish I hadn't gotten so busy all of a sudden but I suppose that's life... :o/

Dec 22, 2010, 1:03pm Top

I would send it to either Tim or Abby letting them know the # and telling them what happened. either one should be able to refund your money.

Dec 22, 2010, 1:37pm Top

# 412: It was in the same as you for me: I bought some books to BookDepository too and wondered how I could see which ones I could open. But I got my Santathing parcels today and there is a big logo "Librarything".

Dec 22, 2010, 9:26pm Top

>415 skittles: Thanks for the link by the way!

>416 lindapanzo: I've decided whether it has a sticker on it or not, I'll be opening whatever comes my way whenever it comes my way. Willpower be damned!

Dec 25, 2010, 7:02pm Top

When do we find out the identity of our Santas?

Dec 25, 2010, 7:21pm Top

Yeah, how? :)

Dec 25, 2010, 8:00pm Top

Just relax and let Tim have some time with his family. I'm sure he'll open it up in due course.

Dec 25, 2010, 8:13pm Top

I was just wondering, sorry, I thought I read somewhere it would show up on 25th and wondered if I was looking in the wrong place. Sorry.

Dec 26, 2010, 1:22am Top

I've opened it up so you can see what your santa said.

Unfortunately, as Abby said somewhere above, what actually got ordered may in some situations be different.

Abby: Anything more to say on this topic?

Dec 26, 2010, 2:04am Top

I just saw who is my Santa and... he is my santee too. Funny.

(Thanks, Tim. It was the first time for me and I had a lot of fun choosing the books.)

Dec 26, 2010, 4:57am Top

hmmm...my Santa didn't say anything and there is no link to the books ordered so I guess I will have to wait until they arrive, likely to be a while since I'm an APO address...

Dec 26, 2010, 10:14pm Top

My LT Santa books haven't arrived but it will be a wonderful New Year's gift when they do. I managed to pick several books for myself which did arrive. Maybe the best part of Santathing for me is finding so many wonderful books that I'd like to read while researching for other people! Thanks Tim and Abby. You have made my world better.

Dec 27, 2010, 9:51am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Dec 27, 2010, 9:52am Top

We'll just be Orthodox Book Lovers that celebrate the Orthodox Christmas on January 6th or 7th!!!

Dec 27, 2010, 10:22am Top

My birthday is on Epiphany, or Orthodox Christmas Eve, so I'm always up for late Christmas presents.

Dec 27, 2010, 11:26am Top

My books haven't arrived yet either but my Secret Santa is my best friend from grade school. She is the one who told me about LT and also bought my lifetime membership as a gift. And then as another gift she paid for me to be a Secret Santa. When she went to see who she was buying for it was ME! What are the odds of that happening.

Dec 27, 2010, 11:53am Top

>436 skittles:

Not all Eastern Orthodox Book Lovers celebrate on the 6th/7th:)
I am Eastern Orthodox but my Christmas is on the 24th/25th December. (Easter is another story - all Eastern Orthodox churches are having this one together)

My name day is on Epiphany or the day after that (John the Baptist) -- depending on where you decide that my name derives from -- so anything arriving before that is part of the season's gifts (which was considerably longer time when I was little -- the Bulgarian Church fully converted to the new calendar in the 90s - or maybe it is better to say that before the 90s people were observing the old name days without connecting them directly to religion even if they had started like religious ones)

Just thought I should mention it :)

Dec 27, 2010, 2:18pm Top

#439: I knew that not all "Orthodox" book lovers would celebrate then, but I though it a way to make the holiday last a little longer. All the different traditions make for a gloriously long holiday season!!!

Dec 27, 2010, 5:09pm Top

Orthodoxy is divided. Greek Orthodox celebrate on December 25. The Russians and the Orthodox patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrate on January 7. It was January 6 until 1900, so the phrase "Russian Christmas" is sometimes used to describe January 6, and sometimes January 7.

My family has traditionally done something for epiphany. This year I'll be throwing some sort of party, I believe.

Dec 27, 2010, 10:57pm Top


I may have the answer for next year. As for the timing issue, perhaps start this up slightly sooner.

As for merchant, I would suggest next time doing Borders.com. The reasons are simple:

1. They do deliver internationally
2. For $79/Year, you can be a "ShopRunner" member, and it claims that ALL items are delivered free. Doesn't say it only applies to domestic, unlike the Borders Plus, which only works for Standard Shipping. "Standard" usually implies domestic, so that wouldn't work so well. I see that you tend to get about 600 people. Charge $25.15 instead of $25, you have the shipping solved.

I have done business with both Borders and Barnes and Noble. Both are dependable, but Barnes and Noble seems to have less options for saving on shipping.

Edited: Dec 28, 2010, 6:57am Top

I just checked out the SantaThing page before logging in because I couldn't stand the suspense, and discovered I am getting a copy of a book that another Santa also popped into my stocking this year. I checked out the BD website and was disappointed to discover that they don't do exchanges- if I return this book, the money goes back to the purchaser rather an a credit coming to me to purchase a different book. I am sure this doesn't impact many people, but it does seem like Amazon has the edge there if someone needs to return a book because they got a duplicate (or any other reason).

I know the book that came in my stocking was purchased at Amazon so I can return that one and keep the one from BD, but thought I would raise this issue for consideration when selecting a vendor next year.

Dec 28, 2010, 5:07am Top

Usually anything over 25.00 for BN.com is free shipping.

Dec 29, 2010, 11:46am Top

Now that we can see who our Santa's are, I'm a bit confused as to how people are matched up. I'm seeing people saying that they're spot on in interests with who they were matched up and vice versa. The person I was Santa for, we have similar interests. But the person who was my Santa, the only books we have in common are books that were on my "don't get this" list.

I'm just curious here (and not complaining, just interested in how matches are determined) how matching up works. Is it based off of similar libraries, or is it based off the descriptions people write?

Dec 29, 2010, 11:48am Top

>445 ChickPurple:

I would suspect random :) But someone from LT should confirm

Dec 29, 2010, 11:54am Top

445, 446>

I believe we were told at the time that they did a library similarity-matcher.

Dec 29, 2010, 12:35pm Top

I think it's really a hybrid. Last year I was matched up pretty well -- but my Santee was a third party. This year I didn't have the third-party issue, but just about half our library overlap was the Harry Potter books (at least he/she/it had thoughtfully put a few books in his/her/its wishlist). Go figure.

Dec 29, 2010, 12:46pm Top

Don't forget 50-60 (~%10) of the Santees were claimed by helpers since the assigned Santas either a.Didn't bother, b. didn't remember, c. forgot/didn't know to hit the 'Save ISBN' button

Dec 29, 2010, 12:50pm Top

>445 ChickPurple: If you had the book catalogued in LibraryThing, I don't think it the system would check that it's in a "don't get this" list. Almost everything is based on All Collections.

Dec 29, 2010, 1:02pm Top

I hadn't realized that Book Depository did not allow exchanges. That, to me, is a huge drawback for a Secret Santa type of arrangment. (I should say I haven't gotten my gifts yet, nor looked, so this isn't a comment on what I got.)

I also had a problem with shifting prices.

I have bought from BD for myself in the past, and have been pleased with things, so I'd think the delivery problems could be overcome (by earlier orders if nothing else).

Dec 29, 2010, 1:07pm Top

>450 _Zoe_:

She meant the text field.

Dec 29, 2010, 1:13pm Top

>452 timspalding: Ah, I hadn't been thinking of that as a list of titles. Anyway, I still think that any similar-taste matching is done on the basis of catalogued books, specifically All Collections, rather than the text entered on the SantaThing page.

Dec 29, 2010, 1:56pm Top

>453 _Zoe_: - That's interesting because the two lists of catalogued books aren't even near similar genres. Which is one of the reasons why I was curious as to how matching worked.

Dec 29, 2010, 2:15pm Top

I decided to look at who my Sanatee was and just saw that we have 159 books in common. Now the person I picked books for we only shared 28 books in common. I can't say it was easy or hard to choose the books it was just interesting. Personally what I might think is Chick Lit may not be the same thing to some one else. Just my opinion.

Dec 29, 2010, 2:21pm Top

My Santa and I have 58 books in common and my Santee has 46 that I have. I thought that was interesting that the numbers where fairly close. Overall my library shares a common seciton with both, so that made perfect sense to me.

It must be difficult to match people of they have a wide range of genres in their respective libraries. I would be disappointed too if someone with a completely different taste in books chose for me.

Dec 29, 2010, 3:33pm Top

My Santa and I have 155 books in common and my Santee and I have 90 books in common. Pretty good odds, I think.

Dec 29, 2010, 4:40pm Top

I share 187 books with my Santa, which is 22% of her total catalog. I think she was a good match for me and I think she chose well (Though I didn't get my books yet due to the blizzard we're having.)

But I only shared 43 books with my Santee, 5% of his catalog, and the overlap was the small part of my catalog which are my partner's books. I did have some familiarity with one or two interests, but since my only exposure is through the books we already share it wasn't very helpful. I did research and chose as best I could, but I did find it quite difficult, and I was a bit panicky because I wanted to be sure I chose well.

(From the other direction: 187 books is 5% of my catalog and 43 books is 1%)

Dec 29, 2010, 7:46pm Top

The person I picked for has 144 of the same books as me (out of 1000), the person who picked for me did not share my interests at all and has 4 of the same books as me (and I must say 3 of the 4 are books nearly everyone probably has). :(
I thought last year's pairing and shipping was better.

Dec 29, 2010, 8:46pm Top

The algorithm paid attention to similarities between members, but it wasn't a straight match-up. (For one thing, that would mean A would get B and B would get A!) Randomness was added both directly and through the fact that people you might have matched highest to got "taken" by someone else who matched to them. So the amount of matching varied from pick to pick.

Dec 29, 2010, 9:51pm Top

I had a lot of books in common with the person I picked for, but not much that he/she was looking for in what they requested. It was challenging, but a lot of fun, looking through their library and trying to make good selections for them. Hopefully I succeeded. I also found some great books for myself looking through some of their favorites, so win-win. The person who got me had practically no books in common with me, but made some great choices for me (I haven't gotten them yet but I cheated and saw what they got me). I had as much fun making recommendations for other people and got some great ideas from other people's suggestions as well. This was my first santa thing, but I've had a blast and will definitely be doing it again.

Dec 29, 2010, 11:20pm Top

>461 tottman:
Glad you liked the results! (And thanks for using a wish list -- it made things a lot easier!)

Dec 30, 2010, 9:03am Top

I shared 86 books with the person I chose for but none (!) with the person who chose for me.
Not that I'm complaining - it was a good pick

Dec 30, 2010, 11:43am Top

I shared 105 books with my Santee (almost exclusively from the same type (and they had a bigger collection than me in these); out of 1001 in their library and 2,099 in mine). None of the other interests listed was even close to what I would read normally. Managed to find a book from our common interest and someone was very nice to propose a book for one of the other interests - so I hope I managed to pick something that they would like.

My Santa and I share 74 books (out of 1,289/2,099 books) and they are all over the genres that I read. I hope it made it somewhat easier for them to find books for me.

It was fun overall though although I would not oppose a totally random matches either - you never know what gems will someone that does not read your genres find :)

Dec 30, 2010, 6:01pm Top

I think we should remember what the spirit of SantaThing is - to have fun and share books. I don't have mine yet, but even if it's not something I would pick for myself, it's still a book. If someone gets a bad pick, it has less to do with LT matches and more to do with the giver. I would like to think that if I had been paired with someone with whom I had no overlaps, I could still rise to the occasion and pick a book appropriate to that person's interests per their SantaThing profile and/or LT library. Sure, maybe I'd throw in a book that I like that I hope they would like (and they won't) but how many Christmas presents did you hope you could return? Goodwill couldn't get to my house fast enough. But it's the thought that counts. Tim and the LT gang already have a lot to think about for next year, I don't think the "matching" algorithms needs to be one of them.

Dec 30, 2010, 6:11pm Top

Hear, hear!

Dec 30, 2010, 8:53pm Top

Well said! pbadeer!

Dec 30, 2010, 8:53pm Top

If people don't understand the Spirit of SantaThing, we may need a visit from the Ghost of SantaThings Past, Present and Future!

Dec 30, 2010, 8:56pm Top

Would that be Sonya, Abby and Jeremy?

Dec 30, 2010, 8:57pm Top


Dec 31, 2010, 4:34pm Top

#146 - Sorry, ThrillerFan; I must've been really difficult for you to pick for! (The person I chose for had about as different a library from mine, as well, so I'm not sure what's up with that.) When your *username* is ThrillerFan and "no thrillers, please" is just about your santee's only major request, that can't make for any easy match!

You seem to have done a great job, though. Thank you for the extra effort. :)

Dec 31, 2010, 5:16pm Top

I share 0 books in common with either my Santa or my Santee. Maybe not many people with similar tastes to mine signed up for ST?

Tim and Abby, I didn't read this thread before today, so I had no idea what a complicated mess this had turned out to be. Thank you so much for all of the extra time and effort you put into making it all work!

Edited: Jan 2, 2011, 12:55am Top


If you told me last year that they did it that way, I would believe it. I had asked for Spy/Espionage novels, and got a person that had a ton of that stuff in their library, and otherwise, most the other stuff were other types of thriller novels.

This year, I got the author of the previous message (A2JC4life). If you compare my library to hers, we have zero in common (which she also acknowledges, see #472). She is into "Born Again Christian" stuff (which I have no idea what this "born again" stuff is, but my own personal belief is that we are born once and only once, you die once and only once, and there is no re-incarnation, you go to heaven or hell, depending on what they decide on judgment day), historical fiction, and cooking.

I'm into novels that often involve many deaths (as most thrillers involve), the "modern day" novel (i.e. the book I'm reading now takes place post-9/11, and I haven't read a book in forever that took place prior to the Cold War), and my wife won't let me cook anything for her, that's how bad she says my cooking is. I'll even mention that all I'm capable of making are Scrambled Eggs, Boxed Macaroni and Cheese, and possibly a couple of other items that are absolutely nothing beyond boiling water.

I haven't checked the profile yet of my Santa. I figure when I receive my shipment, and actually know what I got, that I would check out his or her catalog, and send a thank you note then. I wouldn't be surprised if my Santa likes either Shakespeare, Danielle Steele, or books on Wine, as those would be 3 areas I most certainly could 100% care less for!

Nothing against A2JC4life (the 2nd bullet is why I'm appologizing here), but I have to admit (I believe in telling the truth, whether it hurts or not) that I found last year's SantaThing more satisfying for multiple reasons:

- Delivery was better than this year. I recall a few not getting theirs on time, but the situation this year has gotten absolutely rediculous
- My Santee last year had a library filled with books that I would find of interest, and it has caused me to research additional authors, and triggered a few ideas of books I might be interested in. While the challenge of finding A2JC4life the right book was interesting, it didn't add anything to my potential "To Read" list, as again, no offense to A2JC4life, not judging you in any way, shape, or form, but none of her books would be of any real interest to me.

My initial thought was that because I signed up on the last day, that I was amongst the misfits at the end that they had to pair up somehow, but with the other people saying they have dealt with the same issue leads me to believe that this year was completely random. Not saying I know for a fact, or claim in any way that it's necessarily true, but that's the impression I am getting.

Jan 2, 2011, 10:58am Top

My Secret Santa turned out to be my best friend from elementery school and the person who signed me up for Librarything in the first place. Now that was funny. Still no books but hey it's not like I don't have any to read. They will come when they come.

Jan 4, 2011, 9:27am Top

Quick question: I'm in Italy, so on the other side of the Ocean (and of the world) and up to now I didn't receive anything. Can someone tell me if I made something wrong? It's not important for me to receive anything, it's more important to know that I made everything OK and my Secret SantaThing received the book I sent her!!!
If someone can help me, it's highly appreciated. Stefano,

Jan 4, 2011, 9:36am Top

Stefano, I believe that several people, including me, are still waiting. It'll be like an extra Christmas when it does.

Jan 4, 2011, 9:48am Top

Totally right, an extra Christmas: and for this reason, more than welcome.

Jan 4, 2011, 9:56am Top

According to your SantaThing page you should receive two books, so don't give up hope!


Jan 5, 2011, 12:26pm Top

I haven't gotten my santa thing books yet. Is there anyway to check on them?

Jan 5, 2011, 12:32pm Top

Check these threads for LTers in your area:

#1: http://www.librarything.com/topic/105186

#2: http://www.librarything.com/topic/106582

just post in #2 because #1 is 'closed'

Jan 5, 2011, 1:18pm Top

I have not received mine either

Jan 5, 2011, 1:40pm Top

Still waiting on my books too.

Jan 7, 2011, 1:22pm Top

Still waiting for books, as well.

Jan 7, 2011, 8:49pm Top

Is there any way to get tracking info on our books? I have skimmed the thread and saw a mention of looking at our own SantaThing page to see the books ordered, but no way to see any kind of tracking info.

Still waiting on books here in NJ. Seen others in the area getting theirs last week. Just want to mention it in case they got snagged from the porch or misdelivered.

Jan 7, 2011, 9:15pm Top

as I said in #480

if you look in this thread, you will get more information about who has & hasn't gotten their books:


Jan 8, 2011, 3:25am Top

#484> As a rule, Book Depository doesn't use tracking with the Royal Mail, and I was always under the impression that once packages cross country boundaries, there isn't a guarantee that tracking would be updated properly anyway.

Jan 8, 2011, 12:37pm Top

I have yet to receive my books from SantaThing. Am I part of the majority or the minority in this?

Jan 8, 2011, 1:21pm Top

Jan 13, 2011, 11:08pm Top

I still haven't received my books and this is getting ridiculous! January's almost half over and the person I picked books for got hers on the 4th! What's up?

Jan 13, 2011, 11:10pm Top

You'll want to look at the current thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/107327

There's a link to an article at The Scotsman about the crazy backlog of mail in parts of the UK.

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