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Edited: Oct 25, 2012, 5:43am Top

LibraryThing Lists is still a "semi-released" feature. ( For starters, it has no top-level link to it. ) But I've added a simple statistics feature to show you where your books match up with lists.

If you're signed in, you can find List statistics here:

If you're not signed in, here's mine:

You find lists here:

Here it is by list:

ANd here it is by work:

Edited: Oct 25, 2012, 6:06am Top

http://www.librarything.com/profile/prosfilaes/stats/lists tells me that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is #2 on ... some nameless list. There's a few more; Animal Farm is on two nameless lists.

Oct 25, 2012, 6:14am Top

I have nameless lists, too.

Besides that, this strengthened my opinion that I didn't need to waste time on the lists.

Oct 25, 2012, 7:53am Top

2-3: I think there are two lists with no names because two of us screwed up early on setting up our lists (I think one might be mine).

I was not a fan of lists when people were advocating the feature, but since it's been implemented, I've had a lot of fun with them and think they would be more fun if more people were involved.

Oct 25, 2012, 8:11am Top

On the "By list" view it would be useful to have a filter for lists I have contributed to versus those I have not. On a book by book level there's already a lot going on with the collections check-marks and the list ordinal numbers, but if possible, I would like to see a mark for whether I added the book to the list.

Oct 25, 2012, 9:46am Top

Mmmmmmm statistics.

That's me on the left.

Oct 25, 2012, 10:46am Top

The nameless lists should now be gone (they'd been deleted).

Oct 25, 2012, 11:04am Top

Hmm. When I'm promised "statistics", I want to see meaningless numbers, not lists of lists...

Still, it's an interesting new feature, so why not?

Edited: Oct 25, 2012, 11:35am Top

My longest list is the Unread Books list at about 2 pages worth, and I've actually read most of them.

Anyway, can we get a count in the headers when we choose to sort it by count?

ETA: (My inner pedant made my change 'biggest list' to 'longest list')

Oct 25, 2012, 11:29am Top

It would be nice if we could get to this info from the work pages as well.

I'm happy to see some progress on Lists.

Oct 25, 2012, 11:31am Top

It would be nice if we could get to this info from the work pages as well.

Yup, and lists for tags, lists for subjects, etc. etc.

Oct 25, 2012, 11:33am Top

"Subjects" as in the subjects column in the catalog? If so, I wouldn't bother. That stuff is garbage and unfixable.

Oct 25, 2012, 11:38am Top

I think there are more pressing things for the tag pages, though--specifically the weighted sort, and general aesthetic/informational improvements. Lists in their current form often just provide the same information as the tag pages, but with far fewer contributors; they need to be distinguished more (e.g., by enabling comments) to make them really worthwhile.

Oct 25, 2012, 11:41am Top

>12 brightcopy:

No, it's fixable.

Oct 25, 2012, 11:42am Top

>13 _Zoe_:

In general, we have a principle of relating all the major categories—tags, tagmashes, subjects, CK when we're on the page of one of those. Lists needs to be there too, wherever the others are.

Oct 25, 2012, 11:45am Top

>15 timspalding: That's fine. You might as well do it, especially if it's easy. My point is just that it won't add a lot of value at the moment.

Oct 25, 2012, 11:54am Top

While it's intereresting, i think I'm like Thorold, looking for numbers.
Didn't realize so MANY lists existed already.

Oct 25, 2012, 12:15pm Top

In the vein of my other post, Um, it would be nice to get a list of lists you started...

Oct 25, 2012, 12:34pm Top

Oh for goodness sake! Lists of Lists?? Really?? e-gads!

How 'bout making lists more useable instead of making them even more meaningless.
At the top of my stats/lists are all my books that someone else has put in their list called "unread" . . . not much incentive to scroll down any further . . .
Perhaps you could add a private/public option to lists?
Or give me the option to check "Ignore this list in the future" or conversely "follow this list"?


Oct 25, 2012, 12:37pm Top

What's wrong with showing the lists your books are in, exactly?

Edited: Oct 25, 2012, 12:41pm Top

They are mostly meaningless to me . . .
Why do I care that some other anonymous person has my books in an unread list?

And what exactly are the little numbers in parentheses?? who knows?

What do you expect me to do with these lists of lists??

Oct 25, 2012, 12:41pm Top

I agree that's not the most interesting one, although that list isn't personal. That's a list of books people have tagged that way. It tends to surface the books people buy and want to think they'll read, but never will.

Oct 25, 2012, 12:43pm Top

I'd still like to see Lists distinguished more from tag pages.

Oct 25, 2012, 12:48pm Top

And if you say you are giving us statistics . . . they should resemble statistics . . . you know, numbers, charts, graphs . . .

How many of my books are on lists? (a number)
How many lists are they on? (a frequency distribution)

But for any of that to be meaningful, I would also need/want to know:
How many lists are there altogether?
What is the average number of people participating in lists?
What percentage of LT books overall have been included on lists?

Sorry, I just don't consider list of lists to be "statistics."

Oct 25, 2012, 2:01pm Top

Hmm. Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl listed in Best Zombie Books? Really?

Oct 25, 2012, 2:03pm Top

That's tasteless. Someone kill it?

I think I should also remove books if their score is below 0.

Oct 25, 2012, 2:04pm Top

Ah, that's a testing list. I'll kill it.

Oct 25, 2012, 2:08pm Top

>27 timspalding: Thanks for the quick response!

Nice work with the whole project, by the way -- it should be interesting to look over the results as they continue.

Oct 25, 2012, 2:44pm Top

My inner stats nerd is in heaven, and I don't even use lists (although I might have to change that shortly). Thanks!

Oct 25, 2012, 2:56pm Top

>26 timspalding: Does that mean that on an auto-generated list (e.g., best of whatever award), one person opposed at the beginning would eliminate the book entirely? That doesn't seem ideal.

Edited: Oct 25, 2012, 2:59pm Top

Another vote for "meaningless". A sampling from my page:

Moby Dick is in "Best Fantasy Books".
Neil Gaiman's "The Books of Magic" in "Best Pern Books"
I've got several lists of "Books Read in ${Year}" (Guess what year I didn't read these books in. Go on, guess!)
"Audio Books" (I own 2 audio books. None of my books on this list are them.)
"Haruki Murakami's Books" (Yes, that's what the author page is for.)
Lists for both "Books Tagged Unread" and "Unread Books"
"Let's Tell a Story Using a Sequence of Titles"
"Favorite Audiobooks Listened to in ${Year}" (See earlier comment about both audiobook and year lists.)
"Books discovered on LibraryThing"

Or, my personal favourite: "Plays I Like".

None of those tell me anything, other than somebody at some point felt like adding them to a list.

Oct 25, 2012, 3:03pm Top

>21 LucindaLibri:

I also didn't quite know what the parenthetical number was: number of LTers thumbing / adding the title to the indicated list? Turns out it's the place on the indicated list.

Now I'm curious how that is calculated when a person adds it to a non-numerical list. Are those two numbers (the parenthetical in your list and the individual rank given by each member) unrelated?

Edited: Oct 25, 2012, 3:12pm Top

#14 by timspalding> No, it's [subjects] fixable.

I was referring to fixable by the user. We can't edit the subjects for books in our catalog to correct them.

#20 by timspalding> What's wrong with showing the lists your books are in, exactly?

I don't think there's anything wrong with it, per se. I think the frustration is that you've still yet to finish some of the core features that would make lists more usable. I think people want you to do those before spending time on other features that keep using the difficult-to-use lists.

Oct 25, 2012, 3:21pm Top

This is a neat feature and lead me to some lists I didn't know about. Which in turn lead me to some books I didn't know about. Thanks.

Oct 25, 2012, 5:40pm Top

Wow! Love it! I agree with #34 in that it opens up fantastic possibilities that I had not considered before to add to the TBR pile. Thank you!! :D

Oct 26, 2012, 10:03am Top

This is something I don't understand about the list function:

We have tag pages. We have award pages. WHY DO WE NEED A LIST OF THE EXACT SAME INFORMATION?!?!?!?

Oct 26, 2012, 11:35am Top

Is there a Search Lists function?

#18 There currently is a My Lists option.

There are over 1800 books on LT tagged WW1, so I made this list for my kids.

Oct 26, 2012, 11:38am Top

No, there is no search lists functions. It's one of those areas of Lists which is unfinished.

Oct 26, 2012, 12:56pm Top

>36 gilroy: Ideally the List pages will combine multiple pieces of information, and will present it on a fixed page even if the tag etc. pages eventually get more filtering options. Not all concepts are expressed as tags, either, especially if it's the sort of thing that people might label in a bunch of different ways if they were doing it independently.

Oct 26, 2012, 6:25pm Top

36: Also, you can't vote on tags. The top book on the tag page is the one with the most use of the tag, not necessarily the best book on the topic. On the list, people can vote for what they'd recommend for that subject.

Oct 26, 2012, 6:36pm Top

I like this feature, but I would like the option to ignore lists I'm not interested in.

Oct 26, 2012, 7:21pm Top

>40 aulsmith: But we could in theory combine rating data with tag data to get something similar.

Oct 26, 2012, 8:31pm Top

>42 _Zoe_:
Not really. The star rating is about the quality of the book overall, not how good the book is in relation to the category represented by the tag.

Oct 26, 2012, 9:01pm Top

>43 eromsted: If we just want to know how well the book matches the category, the weighted tag page view was enough. I'm not sure that lists can bring out any meaningful new category beyond "best books (in general) that are also in this category" and "books that fit best in this category".

Oct 27, 2012, 11:28am Top

>41 foggidawn:: I echo foggidawn's suggestion that there be the ability to ignore/filter out lists I'm not interested. Right now, probably about 90% of the lists that show up for me are useless -- which means that, for the moment, the entire Lists feature in my stats area is useless for me, as 90% of its content is noise.

Oct 27, 2012, 11:40am Top

If we can ignore them, I want an option to view the ignored lists and unignore them. I still resent that I can't do that for dismissed recommendations that might actually be something I'm interested in 4 years later.... (I haven't messed with the recs page in years because I don't like that, actually.)

Edited: Oct 27, 2012, 1:07pm Top

Yeah: as is lists isn't too great. But remember it's still supposed to be just a beta feature. Sure, things like "ignore" will be crucial to make it work.

ETA: yes, I agree, it should always be possible to unignore if/when you change your mind.

Oct 27, 2012, 2:45pm Top

Some of the lists may take me to books I will like but don't currently know about, but many of them seem poorly thought out. For instance there's a list of Best Slipstream Novels with a number of my books on it. What is a slipstream novel? Two of Ellen Kushner's books are there and I don't see how they fit.

I'd like to see some kind of definition of the list posted by the people who add to it. Otherwise some of the list look meaningless to me.

Oct 27, 2012, 5:52pm Top

Perhaps lists with no description entered could be "demoted."

Oct 29, 2012, 12:01am Top

Still waiting for some numbers.
If 1984 is on 25 lists, why can't you tell me THAT rather than making me count the lists?
Or better yet, give me a graph . . . 1000 books on no lists, X books on 1 list . . . and if I click on a bar it shows me the books and their lists . . .

How 'bout if I want to know which of my books are #1 on multiple lists . . . can I pull that out somehow?

No doubt there's interesting information out there, just waiting to see it.

Oct 29, 2012, 12:25pm Top

can I pull that out somehow?

Not that I know. It might also be a good idea to show "related lists" (much like "related series") on work pages. On the other hand: that might become too much clutter on some work pages.

Anyway, I agree: the lists feature is far from optional at the moment.

Oct 29, 2012, 3:00pm Top

How about if I only want to know about lists I have made, instead of all the lists?

Oct 30, 2012, 8:10am Top


Then the list should be more than just "Books tagged blah" because that just repeats the old details to me. If there is more to the list than just the tag, the title should specify that.

Oct 30, 2012, 8:12am Top


I must be blind. Not seeing the My Lists option.
I see a listing titled "Your lists" but that has every list I've interacted with.

Oct 30, 2012, 9:29am Top


Right, that's what it means. The way you "interact" with a list is by adding books to your own copy of it. It's not the "lists you initiated" that you were asking about back in #18.

Oct 30, 2012, 1:30pm Top

I'm not against an "ignore" feature, but it's not entirely clear to me what people want. At present lists are showing up on a provision lists page ( http://www.librarything.com/lists ) and on this stats page. The former is provisional and the latter basically icing, not cake, so it's not entirely clear how "ignore" would work. I think we need to finish where lists display and how before we give people tools to NOT display them.

the lists feature is far from optional at the moment


I've got to finish this by adding the "affinity" stuff I promised. But I have no power at home/office now, along with a number of employees!

Oct 30, 2012, 2:13pm Top

Glad you at least survived the storm, Tim et al!

Oct 30, 2012, 2:14pm Top

Chris, down in Connecticut, is a no-show. Probably no power, internet or phone!

Oct 30, 2012, 2:25pm Top

58 - Yeah, some parts of Connecticut did lose power, though not all.

1 etc - This new feature provides information, I guess, but I'm not really sure what to do with it. Perhaps a filter by collection would be helpful, as my stats page for lists would print out at around 70 pages, including all my library and wishlists. But I'm still not sure how to use this information. I could see some value in being able to track my reading or ownership of books on a list, but this feature only shows books in my catalog, not the ones on the list that aren't in my catalog (which would be potentially more interesting for tracking reading or working through a list). It also doesn't give a sense of how "complete" one is on these lists; presumably something that could be added. But for tracking reading or ownership of things on a list, more capacities would be needed on the lists feature itself (rather than list stats).

How do people (staff or anyone else) envisage using this stats feature? What's it for? What does it tell you?

I agree with someone above (I think) that a collapsed list of the list titles might be interesting, just to see what lists my books are on (and thus what lists I might be interested in following). But beyond that I'm not sure what else to do with this. Is this mainly for people who already use the current lists feature?

Oct 30, 2012, 3:26pm Top

The ignoring of Lists is really just the ignoring of Series under a different name. It's the same problem people have (understandably) griped about before. You look at your Series stats and you quickly never bother to again because it's clogged up with so much crap that someone thought was a good idea but is utterly boring to you. For example, I don't care that you can make sub-series of all the Discworld stuff, such that in addition to the main Discworld one I see 9 other series on my series stat page. Someone cares about that but not me. I wish I could click on a little "Ignore this Series" button that would ignore that series for me. Bonus if it ignores it on the stats page, the catalog view and the works page, but I can see some extra challenges there.

The Lists thing is the same problem writ large. With Series, there is at least some limitation on duplicate and "silly" Series. They're supposed to be "facts", not "opinions." Lists don't have those limitations and so Lists that you aren't interested in will proliferate. Not having an ignore function is going to make these stats even more of an infrequently used novelty.

Of course, I'm not sure how an ignore function will work for you on the back end. If you generate these statistics dynamically, then it won't be so bad. But if you generate them and cache them, ignore becomes problematic. Especially if I want to view someone else's stats. It should then use my ignore list to filter out stuff I don't want to see (I can see the argument for it using the other person's ignore list, but I think it's a weaker one). Again, that may cause you headaches.

Different topic but sort of in the same vein. It would be good if there was a toggle to include/not include "Based on" Lists. These are the most likely to be duplicative of other functions such as just clicking on the thing they are based on and looking at the books there.

Oct 31, 2012, 6:46am Top

....not a fan of lists to begin with, and http://www.librarything.com/profile/the_red_shoes/stats/lists shows The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch in "Useful Space Colonization Non-fiction," which is wrong on several counts. This seems more like a GoodReads than LibraryThing feature. An "ignore" option for this would be nice.

Oct 31, 2012, 9:25am Top


Perhaps books with negative scores on list membership should be suppressed from the display on that page?

Oct 31, 2012, 9:28am Top

Yeah, Tim mentioned that in #26. It's on the list to be done. Tim's internet is still out, which is not helping :-)

Oct 31, 2012, 12:42pm Top

I would really like it if the series/awards/lists/etc. pages were rolled-up by default. That is, they would by default display only the names of the categories, perhaps with a number indicating the number of items, and then had the option to click a divot or some such to unroll the category and see the full list. I think the pages would be much easier to scan in this format and the clutter would be more bearable. It would be even better if the page remembered which categories you had unrolled and left them open the next time you visited the page.

Oct 31, 2012, 12:53pm Top

Definitely. Of course same goes for "series", "places" etc. But with lists this becomes even more pressing.

Oct 31, 2012, 7:49pm Top

61: That's because the list was originally populated using a tag that included fiction and non-fiction. As the list admin, I have tried hard to eliminate all the fiction. However, if someone thumbs down a book (for being inappropriate) before you get around to removing it, you can no longer remove it. Tim's proposed fix in 26 would keep the inappropriate books off your list statistics.

Jan 1, 2013, 12:36pm Top

Just stumbled onto this feature, and it looks interesting. So, can someone please explain what the "score" means?

Jan 1, 2013, 2:30pm Top

The score is the aggregate of all the folks adding books to their personal lists. Depending on how the list originator sets things up there are two ways to score.

1. The most common one is that the score is weighted by where people have the book on their personal list. So if I have The Hobbit as #1 on the Books about Small People List, my book counts for 4. If you have it lower on your list you contribute less than four on a prorated basis (I think it counts not only where the book is on your list but how many books are on your list. So if lots of people have The Hobbit on their list, but it's always, say, in position 80, it doesn't get as big a score as a book that 4 or 5 people have all rated number one. If someone thumbs down a book, something is subtracted from the score. I forget if it's a whole point or if that's prorated too by the number of thumbs.

2. The other way to score is that everytime anyone puts it on a list the books gets one point and any time someone thumbs it down it loses a point.

Books That Changed Me is a good example of #1.

Play I Like is an example of #2.

Jan 13, 2013, 2:14am Top

OK, thanks. I started a list by adding titles as I found them in my catalog. So now LT thinks they are in some kind of priority order? I tried to reorder them but couldn't. It says click to drag and drop (or something like that), but nothing happens.

Jan 13, 2013, 3:59am Top

Drag and drop in the green panel to the right. Click the wheel icon in the same panel to change list preferences.

Jan 14, 2013, 4:16pm Top

Where have all the 1001 best book lists gone?

Jan 14, 2013, 6:01pm Top

71: You mean the ones that were in Common Knowledge? Some folks here were discussing deleting them from the Awards area.

As far as I know, no one ever put any of these on the Lists feature.

Jan 16, 2013, 2:02pm Top

72: Thanks. I thought I've seen such in the Statistic/Meme Page sometime. (not a real problem...)

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