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It's that time of year again! SantaThing 2013 is upon us. Check out the blog for full details, or go here to sign up!
Any questions? Post them in this thread.
ETA: Exchange rates
If your Santee is outside the US, you'll need to take the exchange rate into consideration. Here are some rough calculations you can use to estimate. These are all approximate.
$45=49, $40=44, $35=38, $30=33, $25=27, $20=22, $15=16
$45=47, $40=42, $35=37, $30=32, $25=26, $20=21, $15=16
$45=33, $40=29, $35=26, $30=22, $25=18, $20=15, $15=11
$45=27, $40=24, $35=21, $30=18, $25=15, $20=12, $15=9
Okay I have wanted to do this for a few years, but have been leery. I am not exactly sure how it works as far as getting someone to choose books you would want but don't have. I have not had the opportunity to catalog all the books I already own....I have a large chunk done, but the completion rate of my catalog is probably less than 40%. So do you offer a list of books to the other that you's like to have, but wouldn't buy, or do they check your Amazon wish list? .........I'm hopeful that this could work if I understood it better.
Hi, thanks for doing this, once again.
Two questions and/or comments. First, you say that, if we order from Amazon, we get five dollars less. Does this also apply if we sign up for higher levels, such as $40 or $45?
Second, when I sign up, the maximum shown is $40 for paypal, not $45. Is the maximum $45 and Paypal is wrong? Or is the maximum not $45, after all?
Thanks for any info you can provide.
#2 You suggest topics that you'd like books on. Last year, I suggested World War 1, for instance.
Besides suggesting topics, I'm setting up a Christmas wishlist category on my profile this year, for specifics.
You could specify a list of titles if you want, I suppose, and if you want them to buy your books from Amazon you could point them at your wishlist. But if you just give topics and areas of interest there's a decent chance someone will get you something you own but haven't entered.
Personally I'd be really disappointed if I signed up and the person I was buying for just said "Get me this" - the whole fun is trying to pick something out, rather than just choosing from a list.
Personally I'd be really disappointed if I signed up and the person I was buying for just said "Get me this" - the whole fun is trying to pick something out, rather than just choosing from a list.
Amen! I recently suggested to a friend that she make a LibraryThing account for her 3-year old son, because he loves books and already has a lot, so it would be helpful to avoid duplicate gifts. And instead she made an Amazon wishlist, which took all the fun and excitement out of the whole process—suddenly it's not about browsing around and choosing something that I think he'll enjoy based on the time I've spent with him personally, but basically just giving X amount of money. Blech.
I'm planning to sign my son up for SantaThing - he's had an account since he was a week old (he's nine months now). I started it when he got the third copy of Goodnight Moon. (I just need to decide if I'm going to sign up for myself, too! I don't need more books, but I love seeing what people end up getting me that I never would have thought of myself.)
Conversely, I would feel terrible if I bought someone a book I thought they would love, only to find out that they already own it. Sure, I expect my friends and family to know me well enough not to need an explicit list of possible gifts, but when you're dealing with more or less complete strangers from a variety of national and cultural backgrounds, a list of potential titles isn't going to take the magic out of it for me on either end.
>3 lindapanzo: The $45 option should be up now! That was an oversight on our part.
Sorry for the confusing language on the Amazon stuff—if you go with the $40 or $45 option with Amazon, and you want physical books, you'll get what you pay for, no $5 less to cover the cost of tax/shipping.
I've changed it so that you only pay the $5 shipping for Amazon if it's below $40. Last year we made it a $30 minimum, because purchases had to be $25 to get free shipping. This year they upped it to $35, so we're giving people the option.
#8 Exactly. The books in my LT account are ones I've read, not ones I own. I'd like to give people some ideas, if they don't/can't think of anything.
Even so, some of the best Santa Thing gifts over the years are the unexpected books I've received. I wasn't aware of them yet they fit perfectly within the topics I indicated.
I've had mixed results, but I really like surprises and I'm always grateful. My wife basically tells her relatives what to get her, and tries to do the same to me. I'm the exact opposite: I would prefer an unexpected lump of coal to an expected lump of gold. Okay, maybe not that.
Maybe they'll take "I want to choose a book I think someone will like" vs. "I just want someone to buy me what I tell them to" into account when doing the matching. ;-)
BTW: In the matching, you won't get someone you got in a previous year, even if they are a good match.
Not done this before, and considering it. But numpty question - why do I need to pick a store? Is that where I want the books to come from?
>15 Helenliz: Yep. Your selected store is the one that will mail the books to you.
I agree with the masses, I'd much rather someone pick out something they think I will like, something they thought about. Even as a child I was uncomfortable with the idea of making people lists of what I wanted, I'd rather be surprised!
Woo! I'm in!
PolyMon, I love trying to figure out what my Santee might enjoy, that's the best part!
I don't understand SantaThing. Why am I picking a store? Is this the store I want my gift to be shipped from? Or is it the store I choose to buy from and they're going to ship to my Santee? It can't be both, can it?
>19 Collectorator: You pick the store that you'd like to receive your books from. For your Santee, they will have picked a store, and you select books for them from their store of choice. Since you also receive the monetary amount in books that you put in, this is our way of giving you a little control over who you want you money to go to.
20, thanks. Fast forward to the time that I have been given the username of my Santee, and have been told they want their books from Amazon, how do I pay for them? I have already sent LT the dollars at this point. How does Amazon get the money, and how do I inform Amazon of the address of my Santee? I don't even know their address, do I? Their full name?
You give LT the ISBNs of the books you've selected for your Santee, and Loranne and gang will take care of the rest.
You will be told your Santee's username, preferred store, and the amount to spend.
Is it possible to specify someone you don't know as a recipient? I don't need books but I'd like to donate to an LT member who recently lost their library in a fire.
> 25 Usually there's a SantaThing thread started that addresses those sorts of donations, but I don't see one yet.
Just a hurrah for the DownUnders, there is now a .au for amazon - is that included in the SantaThing
Is the new amazon.au fully up and running. I heard it was announced, and that it was only Kindle books for now. Is that right?
We don't do foreign Kindle orders because the logistics of it are a pain. Our Amazon accounts can't order Kindle books for others in different zones, or something.
In past years people who could not afford to be a Secret Santa were sponsored by others. I know it was greatly appreciated. Will this happen this year?
As an antipodian I'd vote for Kindle books if there was a choice for us. It's fair enough if it's too difficult, and from what #21 SylviaC says you just have a bunch of ISBNs and order them that way, but when you buy from these stores are you sending them as gifts?
Amazon say, regarding giving Kindle books, it's possible but with limitations:
"If the giver and the recipient do not live in the same country, the book may not available to the recipient due to copyright restrictions. In these cases the recipient will be given the option to request an exchange for gift credit on their Amazon.com account during the redemption process, or they may contact Customer Service for assistance in exchanging the book."
Book depository has "free shipping" for it's physical books but actually just calculates worldwide shipping based on your IP and adds it to the book price, giving you a different price based on your location, quite crafty. Even with all that, it's quite amazing that book depository books are still cheaper then books in the shops here.
When you sign up, there's a place to add a recipient name, if the recipient isn't you.
>25 southernbooklady: & 33
But that recipient would have to agree to provide their address to LT, which might be problematic.
leahbird, if someone doesn't want to give a mailing address to LT, then they should just skip it. It's not a requirement.
Personally, I'd rather do Santa Thing than pursue other options offered, which include giving out one's mailing address to other members.
Well, unless you're going to see them. Then give your own address and bring it over.
There's also the "Amazon locker" option. Does anyone know about it?
I'd really just like to donate my Santa Thing to someone else who could use it. I've had a decent year financially and would like to give back a little since I get quite a lot of enjoyment from LT. But I don't want to make things hard on the staff by just submitting a username without info, etc.
So, how would I sign my kid up without me being able to reciprocate?
(it'd be an incentive to get all her books in by next week.. :)
>35 fuzzi:, 36 That was just an issue in response to signing up for someone you don't know, like the person who lost their library in the brush fires in Australia as southernbooklady asked about.
>37 southernbooklady: There is a sponsorship thread set up each year by member volunteers that coordinates donations just like that. I believe foggidawn is going to be tackling it this year so look for it to go up in the next day or so.
I think Amazon must be different here in the UK. We have free (supersaver) delivery on all books, films and music - would that be reflected in the spend amounts?
And we can't gift kindle books at all.
41: I think Amazon must be different here in the UK. We have free (supersaver) delivery on all books, films and music - would that be reflected in the spend amounts?
I was coming over to post exactly this, do americans really have to pay for delivery? Even books?
Apart from that, you need to pay secret santa in dollars, so there goes your exchange rate fee.
I guess we'll leave it for americans, then... :/
>42 ScarletBea: Why not use BookDepository? They have free shipping, and I think in the UK it really is... you don't have to use Amazon.
>42 ScarletBea: Yes, Americans really have to pay shipping. On everything. Amazon has pretty much always had "free super saver shipping" if you spend at least $25, though. But I guess they've suddenly become greedy and it's now been upped to 35. Guess that means I'll be buying even less from them than I already do.
>44 .Monkey.: I think it's very specific greed—I imagine they're using this to try to push more people toward Amazon Prime. ::headdesk::
Lorannen, that sounds very likely indeed. Since I don't live in an Amazon country, and they block those kind of services here (I bought a DVD and they gave a viewing online of the movie, too, but they won't let you do it outside the US so it just sat there until it expired), I literally have no reason to even think about Prime. All this means is when I'd be tempted to buy something from them, I won't even bother because now the odds of my spending enough for free shipping are pretty nil. It used to be not a huge thing, I could just find a book I'd been wanting and add it. Now I'd have to add a few. No thanks. >_<
What does "unpicked" in the list of potential 'Santees' mean?
Can I already say I want XXX?
I thought this was done using a semi-random process, using some sort of matching algorithm.
ETA. I am unsure which 'supplier' I chose. How do I look at it & can I change it?
Last year I also asked about a 'totally anonymous' Santa Thing. ie. I gave some money. didn't know who the recepient was. Not even sure if the recepient became a 'Santa' and thus got books in return. This seems to have been done by a volunteer. Is it happening this year? If so who?
Guido if I remember correctly unpicked means that the books have not been chosen, so until entry for Santathing has closed and everyone matched with another person and they have chosen the books, that person will be "unpicked".
Unfortunately you can't ask the staff to match you with a specific person, but you can leave suggestions. Also sometimes not everyone has had books picked for them by the close date and then LT open them up for anyone to claim. But that tends to go very quickly and I am not sure of the exact timing but I expect US members will be more likely to be able to do it due to the time differences.
>47 guido47: "Unpicked" currently means that the Santee hasn't been matched up with a Santa yet. Everyone will remain in unpicked status until sign-ups close on the 29th. Then we match up Santas!
I forget; is it permitted to select used books? If the Santee indicates such are welcome and selects a store like Amazon or Powell's that sell such?
In the past it hasn't been because of the volatility; a bookstore is less likely to have multiple copies of a used book at a particular price, so some books may become unavailable by the time the order is placed.
>51 MyriadBooks: For sure not from Amazon, as those are sold by individual sellers not by Amazon, and each one requires its own shipping, etc.
Ah right, and what Lorax said.
Good morning / afternoon SantaThangers, I want to remind you for those who want to either donate or need to be donated that the thread is right here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/161272 please stop by! :)
>48 guido47: guido I ran the sponsorship thread last year. You did indeed make an anonymous donation that ended up covering the 2 daughters of one of our members. They (or their mom) would have then also chosen books for someone in return, but I didn't receive a message from them about that specifically so I can't verify.
About sponsorship requests: are there any restrictions on who can request a sponsorship? For example, do you have to be a member of LT for a minimum period?
I'd imagine that people who just joined yesterday would probably be less likely to get volunteers to sponsor them, since there may be concerns they aren't acting in good faith.
Would I be matched up with someone who wanted books sent from the same store that I do? My loathing for amazon aside there are more sale books, many of them hidden ones, @ Book Depository and I could almost certainly find more books there for the buck . . .
>60 bluepiano: We do not take into consideration the store preferences in terms of match-ups. It's entirely possible that, hypothetically, if you were to select Amazon as your store of choice, you may end up playing Santa to a member who selected Book Depository.
Or vice-versa of course; you may end up choosing from Amazon even if you want your books to come from an independent.
Do I select a person to shop for?
Today I received a big box from Amazon and I wasn't expecting anything. If it's my Secret Santa I want to wait until Christmas Eve at least. :)
> 57 Unless a person checked the profile of the member asking for sponsorship they won't know how long they have been a member. LT has been loose on this.
> 63 What you received today will not be related to the Secret Santa program. The time line for Secret Santa is:
Friday, November 29th at 8pm Eastern. Sign-up ends. Secret Santas are chosen, profile messages sent to the Secret Santa, and you can then enter your gift choices.
Thursday, December 5th at 12pm Eastern. Gift picking ends. LibraryThing sends the order via eight tiny ponies to the bookstore you chose.
Just a quick question that I should know the answer too, but anyway... if someone says they want books that fewer than 500 LT members have, where do you see this number? Is it the number under the Members column when you are looking at a book's detail? or is there another page where you can see how popular a book is?
It's up at the top of every book page.
http://www.librarything.com/work/967045/book/101767342 is listed by 7 members.
You also see it at the right hand of the catalogue (with an icon of the top part of a person.) In the catalogue you can sort up or down by members. Set this in the header with the up and down arrows icon.
Wow, that's an actual request? That comes off incredibly snooty to me. I'd be super annoyed at having to fulfill such a request. I don't think demands like that are what this is supposed to be about. :|
If you do a site-search for the title it gives the stats on that page as well. I don't know that there's any simpler way to get that info.
Yeah I get that, but... if I'm trying to do a nice "santa" thing for someone and they're making demands on how many people are allowed to have the book... that just leaves a really bad taste.
The one I saw said to chose your favourite book with fewer than 700 members on LT. From me that would end up being
You're only old once
The Book of Jewish Food
Grammar of Ornament
A Modern Herbal
These being the four most popular books under 700 members that I have given 5 stars to.
Interesting books, but probably not what the person was looking for.
>69 .Monkey.:, 70 Ha, MarthaJeanne: Probably not! I saw one, too, and the addt'l notes read something like "I'm serious about the number of members thing." I admit, I cringed a little at the phrasing, but I agree the goal is, as crazybatcow said (#68), 'hidden gems.'
>69 .Monkey.: I get what you are feeling, but I don't know that it's much different than anyone's requests: Don't get this, get that, no urban fantasy, only romance, etc. It's just a more uncommon one.
I've signed up 2x this year. I have one with a few specific no items, and one that just asks for surprises and says I trust Santa's judgement. I'm hoping "No Fifty Shades of Grey" doesn't need to be said.
#70 I don't know - I think the herbal book looks interesting - I'd be happy if my Santa picked that one for me!
>70 MarthaJeanne: haha well admittedly I don't think I'd have much interest in the Grammar of Ornament one, but I'd be happy with the others!
>71 LibraryPerilous: But it's about what kind of books the person likes, so giving genres/authors/etc that they do & don't like is how people can pick out what they should get for them. But going beyond "I like XYZ" and "I dislike ABC" into demands dealing with quantities of members and junk, that's taking it to a whole different level.
Sorry, My message #74 was truncated by a special character and abreviated untill it made no sense.
Just wanted to mention that Amazon.ca (Canada) is still free shipping over $25. Maybe it is too complicated to separate the Amazons re the minimum order for free shipping. But... one might be disappointed if they picked $30 and only got $25 when they were ordering from Amazon.ca.
I will avoid the whole thing by choosing the higher amount anyway, but just an FYI in case people get confused re the minimum order size.
I wanted to do a smaller amount this year so I ended up choosing Book Depository, even though I know they may be slower. It's okay. I'll just get a nice surprise in January!
Help! I'm trying to sign up and I'm at the page on PayPal where they ask how you want to pay, I have no idea what to select. I've been sponsored and am not familiar with PayPal. Thank you.
If you've been sponsored than I don't believe you have to go through paypal, if you already have the receipt/transaction #, so just go to the sign up page for SantaThing and put that number at the top and continue from there.
If you have been sponsored you shouldn't click any of the PayPal buttons at all, I think, just paste the transaction number you got from your sponsor in the PayPal receipt number box and fill out the rest.
Doing santathing for the first time this year as I haven't had the extra funds kicking around in years past. I suggested some broad categories (Buddhist books by young teachers, and books by Neo-Advaita teachers), gave a couple resources for resource purposes, as well as a list of suggestions. I'm hoping this is acceptable and not seen as overly demanding/snooty.
I'm really excited about this!
Does LibraryThing need any help with matching this year? I'm not sure how you recruit for that process or who helps out as your "elves", but I know a certain someone who is very interested!
>80 DeusExLibrus:... I don't think so. Without some sort of guidelines, it gets really hard to find books that your recipient will like.
I know it is supposed to be a gift, and as such, we don't have control over what we get, but... a couple years ago my santa sent me a historical fiction book (probably the only thing I don't read) and book 3 of a 5 book series. I was very disappointed so now try to be clearer on what I read. Don't know if it comes across as ungrateful, but it really is to make it easier for my secret santa to find something I will like.
>82 crazybatcow: I think a lot of it comes down to personal preference. I know many people just love the surprise part and don't want any idea of what they are getting. I would rather have some input in the gift and get something I will really use, even if it isn't as much as a surprise. And the same it true when I give gifts. I would rather have a good idea of what the person wants so I can get them something they will really like. Other people tend to want more freedom.
I know some of the SantaThings where people just say get me a book you like would be really hard. I mean some of my all time favorites are religious and such and I know many people wouldn't like those at all. After that I tend to read mostly non-fiction which tends to be not as popular either. So I'd much rather have a nice description of what people do and don't like, the more specific the better.
80, one year someone mailed me TWO copies of a book that went against pretty much every criteria I offered. Now I have a wishlist & hope that makes a difference! I'm like 83, I'd rather know I'm going to get something I want without knowing *exactly* what I'm getting. That was the advantage for me of some of the book-blogger swaps like the Persephone or Europa exchange over this one. But I'm hopeful!
I mean some of my all time favorites are religious and such and I know many people wouldn't like those at all.
But hopefully you wouldn't give those to someone who didn't have any religious books in their library, even if they didn't bother to explicitly rule them out - I mean, I don't say things like "Please only give me books in English", because I think things like that are so obvious they don't need to be said - that if there are no books of Type X in my library, I'm not interested in that subject.
So I'd much rather have a nice description of what people do and don't like, the more specific the better.
I've always thought that my library serves that purpose far better than a few sentences could.
Last year my santa and I were well matched library wise, but the year before, not so much. I think my library could be misleading because the genre I read is not as important as the content so if one didn't read Abercrombie they might think I like fantasy, or think I like detective novels because I read Block, when it is actually the darkness, or the justice, etc, that I am looking for, not the genre.
Also, I think that the larger someone's library is, the harder it is to determine what they prefer... they are likely to have a ton of books in similar genres, but is it the fantasy component they are looking for, or the female leads, or the way the sex scenes are written... etc.
I've done SantaThing for a few times now and I don't mind the risk of getting a book I don't love. I've usually (not always) gotten books I would never have thought of and have really enjoyed.
For me the chance of getting an interesting surprise outweighs the risk of getting an uninteresting one. I also love thinking up suggestions for other people.
If you're wavering and the money won't bust your budget - I'd advise taking the chance. :)
I agree with Helcura. You just hope your Santa has some sense, like not buying you the third book in a series, or not buying you the complete series when you might not like the first book, or not buying you a weird language, and so on. Anything other than that should be something reasonable, and of course it's not certain if you'll like it, but it is a nice surprise.
Plus, I like the spirit of it. We never celebrated Christmas when I was younger, and now I'm an adult, we still don't. I spend the time with my family (parents and such, I'm single), and since none of them ever celebrated Christmas, it seems strange to start. So this is the closest I get to gifts underneath a Christmas tree!
Sorry, I asked this above...
I can't remember which book source I chose.
How can I see it and can I change it?
89: I don't think so, guido47. To both questions, I don't think you can see it or change it. At most, one of the LT administrators might be able to?
OK, thanks #90/#91.
So LT staff. I have a vague idea I left my 'source' as the default (Powells?) I would like to change it to BD (Book Depository) Please :-)
Suggestion: make a Wish list category titled "Santa Thing", and add to it books that you'd like.
Last year my Santa picked two books: one I'd never read before, and loved, True Grit, and the other is still on my TBR list. I will read it, sometime soon.
Take a chance, it's fun! And picking out books for your Santee is even more fun. :)
I must admit to still having previous years Santathing books on my TBR shelf but I have had fun choosing books for other people and I have read some really good books I would never have thought of getting for myself or had never heard of.
Still not sure if I can afford it this year, probably not, but there is always next year and I already have a healthy quantity of TBR books and a good local library.
92: I'm not sure if that will work, guido47. This is just a thread for talking about SantaThing, not for contacting LT staff. They might see it and respond, but they also might not. If you want to make sure, you could send a private message to one of them. Or send an email to info @ librarything.com, that's what is says to do on the SantaThing page. Good luck!
I've signed up for my first SantaThing. Looking forward to surprising my santee/victim.
I've just signed up, with my amount set @ $40. Almost immediately it occurred to me that I might have got the wrong end of the stick: I'd assumed that I would have $40 to spend on someone else, but have I specified that my secret Santa spend $40 on me instead?
-98. Yes, and yes. You will be matched with another $40 person, or thereabouts... I suppose if they don`t have an even number of amounts, you might get someone with a different amount, but probably not. I never have.
>99 crazybatcow: you could still do it with an odd number. A buys for B, B buys for C, C buys for A.
>98 bluepiano: The amount you choose is just for what you will receive. You could be given a Santee who has requested any amount. Mine has never matched since we've been able to pay different amounts.
Thanks to you lot for your replies. Am disappointed that I mightn't have that amount to play with when choosing books, but I'll know better next year . . . and for now, I'll hope that your experience with the thing, crazybatcow, is typical and that yours, SylvieC, has been a bit of bad luck . . . Cheers again.
> 103 I believe we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 participants last year.
There are only a couple of days left until SantaThing sign up is over! So please come check out the Donations thread http://www.librarything.com/topic/161272#4381787 and spread the gift of books to those who aren't able to afford it this year! We have three in need of a sponsor! :)
Brilliant. I just signed up. Missed out last year, but I did it a couple of years ago, and was really pleased with the books I received, two novellas by Imre Kertesz, none of whose work I'd previously read. Hardly an obscure author (won the Nobel in 2002) but I'm quite ignorant about Hungarian lit so it was effectively a 'hidden gem' for me :)
Looking forward to this years' round. I was greedy and picked $40. Bring it on!
I've selected amazon.fr for deliver and i've paid conversion fees from € to $. I suppose that when LT will buy from Amazon.fr there will be conversion fees from $ to €.
Would it possible to try amazon electronic gift cards next year ? So i could pay in € and LT could pay in €.
SantaThing closes tomorrow! We have two last person in need of a sponsor as of right now. http://www.librarything.com/topic/161272#4381787 Happy SantaThing and I hope we are all having a happy holiday!
Hey everyone, it's not in the budget for me to personally participate this year but I would love to pick books for someone else. Is there going to be that notorious "scramble" again where right before the deadline people need to step in and pick for people whose Santas forgot to? I would love to be a stand-in Santa!
>110 InfectiousOptimist: I'm sure there will be some people who need books picked for them at the last minute. That'll be next Thursday, 5 Dec.
>110 InfectiousOptimist:, also remember you can add comments to suggest books on each person's santathing page! I know for me, it is always a bit of extra fun to read the suggestions people made!
Thank you norabelle and catalina! I'll go make some suggestions for people now. Have fun, both of you!
Please make suggestions! I have found some wonderful new books/authors by reading suggestions both for me and for other people!
Just note. I'm on the road today with my son. SantaThing is going to close around 8PM, but Santas may not be picked until tomorrow morning.
Those suggestions are very helpful. Last year, my assigned Santa didn't pick, but the LT staff chose the books suggested for me and they were absolutely perfect.
Hi, everyone. I just wanted to let you know that there are a few sponsorships still available.
If you or someone you know needs a little help participating this year, please go to the sponsorship thread and post your request.
I'll hand out the codes in the order requests are received until they are gone.
Don't be shy about asking for help if you would like to participate.
Go here to ask: http://www.librarything.com/topic/161272
We still have a couple more codes to give out if anyone is in need of one! First come first serve!
It's still churning--a very slow process. I'll check in the morning.
Santathing is amazing, I didn't ask for a sponsor but someone was kind enough to do so secretly. Thank you very much whoever you are. I will try to pay it forward next year.
Okay, Santas are picked!
You should get the notification in a minute.
Please note, that Lorrane and I were unable to resolve about 50 PayPal numbers. So, for these 50, it will say "Spend TBD." We'll fix this as soon as we can.
Long explanation: This happened last year too--basically members send us the wrong sort of number. We fix it by going into PayPal and querying these other numbers—and then ask members about any remaining issues. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do so, as Abby controls the password--and changes it often for security! We didn't want to wake her at 1am. So we'll figure it out as soon as we can, probably today.
Good to know what's up with the TBD.
I tried to add Powells to my Quick links, but it doesn't show up. Does anybody know what's going on here?
Edit: The Quick link works now.
Please could someone remind me how the currency conversion wokrs? If I have $45 to spend on Amazon UK, how much should I spend in £GBP? A quick Google of currency conversation suggests £27.50 - should I just aim for roughly that amount? Thanks!
Bit of a silly question--I'm trying to pick Kindle editions for my assigned Santee...how do I do that? I tried putting in the ASIN for my chosen Kindle books in the ISBN field on their SantaThing page, but it doesn't seem to work. I don't see an ISBN on the Amazon page for the Kindle version, at all. Do I put in the ISBN of a hard copy, and just have faith the LT crew will know to get the Kindle edition?
Out of curiosity, what happens to the excess money? I.e. my secret Santee paid in $15, I picked a book worth $11, shipping is free -- what happens to the $4?
126: the money goes to LT. They use it to pay for people with books just a few cents over. I can't find it now, but I know I saw an answer to this question somewhere. Bottom line is that they don't have a huge amount left after they ordered all the books, plus that LT sponsors a few members who cannot afford Santathing as well. (Just in case anyone thinks they're doing this to make money).
>125 bookwoman84:: Last year, you could put the ASIN in that field and then just put an ISBN for any book as a placeholder in one of the lines--I used the last one--to make the choices save. I left the elves a note to order only the Kindle books. Haven't tried it yet this year to see if that still works.
ETA: There were 5 ISBN lines last year. So:
ISBN (for book I wasn't ordering)
Edited to remove a question that was answered above.
This is my first time participating. I'm somewhat disappointed that my Santee dictated specific books that she wanted--kind of takes the fun out of it. I wouldn't mind choosing from a large wish list, where there would still be an element of surprise, but "pick only from these six" wasn't much fun.
On the issue of matching up, I don't have anything in common with my Santee except that neither of us reads sci-fi. So maybe her giving me a list wasn't a bad idea after all.
Yes. They have to be new, because the availability of used books can vary.
I'm finding the $ amount troublesome. I can find books that come close, but they aren't the books that I'd prefer. Alternatives are to be about $5 under or about $5 over. I would be happy to chip in the extra $. Is this possible?
>131 qebo: qebo, if you can't do the extra $, a way to get around $5 under is to throw in a Dover Thrift edition. There are lots of them that satisfy the $2.50 LT requirement and are around $3-4. Wordsworth editions, too.
At least, that's how I cheat on shipping with amazon if I'm close, but under, the requirement. ;)
132: But I can do the extra $ if there's a way to get it to LT. I'm looking for fillers if I'm under, but it'd be nice to have the flexibility of going over too.
qebo, diana's point was you can be $5 under and then buy one of those kinds of inexpensive books with that last 5. They range all sorts of genres, surely there must be one that would fall under the person's preferences?
134: Yes, that's one alternative, but my question is about another alternative.
>135 qebo: I just meant to offer you a suggestion if LT says no to paying the extra money. It seemed like you were concerned, in that scenario, about coming in under because you didn't have any options for the last $5. (I feel that way, too. I want to be as close to the spending amount as possible.) Sorry, qebo, I didn't mean to sound as if you shouldn't want to spend extra!
>122 timspalding: timspalding: Are we supposed to leave in the dashes or just use the #s only?
136> Diana, your suggestion was a big help to me. I went back and found a great little Dover Thrift Edition of book quotes--perfect, and it brought me within 42 cents of the total.
Question: Once I click :"Save ISBNs," is that it?
136: Yeah, I know, the goal is to get as close to the $ without going over, but it's a bit frustrating when the books I see as most suitable go slightly over, and the fillers seem to be, well, fillers; in real life I'd spring for the extra, but I realize this may mess up LT's bureaucracy.
With all the work they already put into sorting everything out, people trying to add in a few more dollars in various places would likely just add a ton more confusion and work for them. So I don't think it is a feasible option. I wouldn't see something fitting someone's criteria as a "filler." I buy the cheap Wordsworth editions for myself all the time. Why buy something triple the price when I can get triple the books instead?
>138 qebo:-139: Yes, and it might also open the additional can of worms: "Your Santa went over but mine didn't." One would hope not, but ...
I just ran into the frustration of Powell's only having used copies of the books I want to send. So, I've had to redo my entire plan. Grr. This is my first time picking from Powell's--not that impressed so far.
>137 Cariola: Cool; glad it helped. I enjoy 'scamming' the amazon system that way. Plus, the Dover and Wordsworth editions hold up well for their price point and have quality content.
As far as I know, as long as the ISBNs are marked as valid, you're good to go.
>129 Cariola:-remember you can always browse other people's santathings and write book suggestions in the comments!
I have to say that this year I am having trouble choosing books for my person. Not really sure what the person likes. This may take me till Thursday to find some books.
FYI for LT staff: The deadline is noted as Thursday, December 5th under crucial dates.
Under both the "You choose the gift for" and the instructions in the individual Santee sections it is noted as Thursday, December 6th.
This might confuse some of the Santas who like to wait until the last day to make sure they aren't selecting duplicates.
128: Thanks for the help. I tried putting in a placeholder ISBN and including a note to the elves, and I think it worked. Fingers crossed.
> 136, 144: It's not a matter of numbers with dashes vs. without. I'm not entirely sure what's going on, being new to the process, but there's something strange with using receipt IDs vs. transaction IDs vs. unique transaction IDs. The last one is the one we actually want, if I understand it correctly, but something strange happens if you leave the SantaThing profile blank (so sponsorships have this problem most often). We'll have to look into this before next SantaThing, for sure.
> 140: How much over are we talking, qebo? If it's a matter $1 or less, then go ahead and make your picks—this is where the money from orders that come in a little bit under gets spent.
Unfortunately, we don't currently have plans to allow Santas to chip in extra money. It's very kind of you to want to do that, but creates extra logistical problems for the way the system currently works. I'll certainly chat with Tim about it so we can consider this for next year.
ETA: >144 LibraryPerilous:: Good catch on the date discrepancy, and thanks! I've fixed it now.
> 122: All but one of these are now resolved, so most of you should be seeing the correct amount that you're allowed to spend on your Santee now!
Could we please get an answer from someone at LibraryThing of what to do for Kindle books that have ASINs instead of ISBNs? My person has a high enough amount that I'm able to purchase 5 books; however, I'm getting a message that I've entered no ISBNs. The alternative with the 5th line being a fake ISBN won't work. There are a couple that have both the ASIN and a Page Numbers Source ISBN. If I input the page numbers source ISBN for those two (which are earlier than the 5th ones in my list) instead of the ASIN, will this work-around still work?
> 151: Sorry thornton—still catching up. Even if you get the error message, you should still be able to save the ASINs in place of ISBNs, even if it throws an error message. Try putting the page numbers source ISBN in place of one of them, and see if that saves. Just make sure to note the correct ASIN in a comment for us.
152: To provide some of my own experience with this, I tried saving just the ASINs, with no placeholder ISBN, and it wouldn't save (or at least, I didn't get the little "picked" checkmark). When I put in a placeholder ISBN, the checkmark appeared.
#153 Placeholder ISBN? Page numbers source ISBN? What are these? Where does that go?
I note that two of the three books I want to enter for my Santee are ASINs also.
My Santee wants Kindle books. Are you saying that I should put the regular hc/pb ISBN in and then note the ASIN in the comment section?
ETA: Never mind, the system accepted the numbers I put in.
>148 lorannen: Thanks. It looks like the one under the "YOU are the SantaThing! Read the instructions and Santa away." still is showing the 6th, but the one on the front SantaThing screen definitely is correct now. Sorry, that's nitpicky, isn't it?
This year I found "perfect" books for my Santee, at least I think they are. :)
And there will be a couple dollars left over, to be used by qebo and others. :)
>154 lindapanzo: The easiest way to deal with ebooks is, if you're ordering fewer than 5 books, using the last ISBN slot for a random, placeholder ISBN (it doesn't have to be for a book that you actually want to order). Just make sure you note, in a comment, that the ISBN is a placeholder, and that you don't actually want us to order that book. This allows the selection to save. For ebooks you actually want to order, we'll need the ASIN, which you can enter normally in the ISBN slots.
The problem thornton was having was because they needed to order 5 ebooks. In that case, again, use a placeholder ISBN in one of the slots, and make sure to include the correct ASIN in a comment.
For various reasons, the form really wants you to enter at least one valid ISBN. It throws an error, and will not save the form otherwise.
Does that help clear things up?
>155 LibraryPerilous: Nitpicky is good in cases like these. Sorry I missed that one—didn't think the check the other page earlier. That one should be correct now, too.
Hmm. The "link", "title", "price" fields are not populating after I save the isbns. Is this OK?
>159 LibraryPerilous: That's the right email, Diana. I got your messages, and am looking at your entries now.
I realized I neglected to include information about exchange rates. Amended the OP to add this info!
Sorry to ask again but no one responded to my question yet. Please could someone clarify how the currency conversion works? If I have $45 to spend on Amazon UK, how much should I spend in £GBP? A quick Google of currency conversation suggests that it is about £27.50. I've picked my books and they come to just under that - is it okay to go ahead and save them?
kjforrest - the first message in this thread now answers your question. You are right - $45 is about £27.
>165 calm: D'oh, for someone on a book website my reading skills are obviously poor! Thank you :)
#129> please make suggestions for me. I've found great new authors from Santathing, some from the suggestions!
There is also Australia. About $1.10 per US dollar.
$45 US is between $49 and $50 AUD.
> 168 Thanks, xorscape. I knew I was forgetting something! I've added AUD to the exchange rate list above.
Want to ask your Santee a secret question?
I can be your go-between elf if you want to ask your Santee a question or clarify some of their preferences without giving away your identity. Leave your question and the name of your Santee as a private comment on my profile. I will use private comments to ask your question and relay the answer back to you.
Don’t forget to check the private comment box!
Is it absolutely too late to participate? I have never missed a SantaThing, but I was with family (and thus with limited Internet access) for Thanksgiving from the 22nd to the 30th, and apparently missed whatever messages went out prior to that. I will be really sad. :(
167> I'm not sure what you're asking . . . unless you just gave away that you are my Secret Santa. I hope not--I like surprises! Or maybe you are asking me to make some suggestions for your Santa?
If you are looking for some reading suggestions, I'd be happy to give you some. Just shoot me a PM on my profile page.
Argh - another vent about Powell's - all the books I wanted to get are $15.95 (new trade paperback) so I can't even get three books for $45, which I'm sure would disappoint the person I'm picking for. I will have to go back to the drawing board to figure out what to get.
Is there any way that the list of participants on the Santa Thing main page could be alphabetized? I'd like to leave some suggestions, but scrolling through 500 names is a bit harsh on the old eyes.
How do we buy the books and have them shipped to our Santee?
I don't see a link or anything that would let me do that?
>174 Cariola: Cariola, if you know a particular name of a member for whom you want to leave suggestions, you can go to the SantaThing page, hit CTRL + F and use the search box that appears at the bottom of your screen.
But, generally, yes, I agree: Alphabetizing the list of names would be easier than the current ordering, which is based on time of sign up, I think.
Thanks, yes, I'm looking for suggestions for me. And I'll also ask for my Santee...privately, of course!
My match has a private library, do you guys know if there's any way for me to check and make sure the books I get for her aren't ones she already has, without revealing my identity/ruining the book surprise?
#176 javargo, did you read the instructions?? Couldn't be more clear.
"Select the books you're giving by browsing the bookstore your Santee chose and posting the ISBNs of the book(s) below."
180> Can you see her list of friends on her profile page? I don't know if friends are able to see the library or not, but if so, maybe one of them would be willing to check her library for you.
179> Ah, now I see. Sure, I will make some suggestions once I take a look at your library.
177> Thanks for another helpful suggestions!
No, friends can't see private libraries. Staff can under some circumstances, but really I think that if a private library signs up for SantaThing they know they're taking a risk of duplicates. The Santa may ask someone to try a private profile message to see if they'd be willing to go public for a week (I'd be willing to be an elf here), but otherwise it's the private libraries' own problem if they get dupes.
I've picked the ISBN's that I want to give on the page with my Santee's name. How can I be sure that she will receive them? Will I receive notification that the order has been received by the elves and their ponies?
I have picked the ISBNs for my Santee on her "Santee" page. How can I be sure that the order has been received by the elves and their ponies, and on its way to my little Santee?
My match has a private library, do you guys know if there's any way for me to check and make sure the books I get for her aren't ones she already has, without revealing my identity/ruining the book surprise?
No way, alas.
It is the same problem for those of us who are woefully behind in cataloguing. I may get a duplicate but that is a chance I take (for procrastinating).
I had a Santee with a private library one year. She had a friend who was pretty familiar with her library on LT contact me with a wishlist which was very helpful.
185: For as far as I know, you can't, Lettypearl. Hopefully your santee will post a message in the 'received' thread once he/she got your books, but that will be a while yet. Anyway, the elves will wait until the picking deadline has arrived. You might still change your mind, after all...
Yeah...I personally make my goodreads profile public for santathing...and throw it in my messages to my santa to try to make things easier (although there are a crapton of read books in there!) for my santee.
I only use librarything to keep track of the books I own...it's too much trouble otherwise :D
What happens if your santa doesn't pick books for you by the deadline? Has this happened before? Would one get their money back? Or just be disappointed?
#191 if your Santa doesn't pick, LT throws it open and someone else can claim you and pick for you.
How do you input Kindle ISBNs. I tried to put one in and it said it wasn't valid
We've discussed this above, but basically put a real ISBN in the last space and leave a note for LibraryThing. If you are using all 5 slots for selections, if one of them has a book pages source ISBN, type it in and leave a note for LibraryThing. You are suppose to use ASIN though. For it to show up as picked, you do have to have at least one real ISBN in there. It's definitely a bug that needs to be fixed if we continue to order Kindle e-books.
I second xorscape! It is so much fun to go and read the various book suggestions people leave, always excited to have more books to add to my to read list! It's like an extra cherry on top of the actual santathing books :)
Sorry about the Kindle ones. I'm back in town and will work on it tomorrow. There are work-arounds, as others have indicated.
Put in an ISBN for an obscure book long out of print, to be on the safe side, in addition to noting it down as a comment that the ISBN is a dummy.
Hey, maybe I really really wanted that academic equivalent of Calculus for Dummies! (Combination self-hypnosis tool, door stop & cure for insomnia)
If I have money for more than 5 books, do I just put the extras in the comment box?
> 200: Yep, that's exactly what you should do! We're also probably going to add more ISBN/ASIN slots for next year—especially considering that we increased the max amount to $45.
I could use help with my santee. If anyone would like to give me suggestions give me a private message for the name.
>202 DeathsHand1328: I have made a couple of suggestions as a SantaThing comment.
One of the books I would like to get (at Powells) says: on order - available for shipping or prepaid pickup only.
So can I get that one or not?
204> You might have to ask Powell's what they mean by that. It sounds like the book has to be a prepaid order, which SantaThing will not accept. But it might just be their way of saying, "We don't plan to carry this book in the physical store."
OMG!!!! I made my picks, and saved them, then went back to verify the ISBNs and now the prices have all changed!!! (i.e. they are all on sale now). I picked based on the regular price... but some of them are now half off... am I supposed to leave it like that?
ETA: well, I just added another book to the list in case this lower pricing is in effect when the order is placed. I am also concerned about availability - the books are there now, but if they are on sale, who knows if they will be there when the order is placed. Maybe I will add an additional alternate...
Is there a sign-up for last-minute replacement Santas? Picking for other people is my favorite part of the process, and I actually have time to be a fill-in Santa for unpicked people this year, unlike the last few.
I thought I might not participate this year, but finding new books is great! So thanks LT for Santathing.
My funny story from previous Santathing's: My Santa selected a great book. LT ordered the great book, correctly. The Book Depository must have had too many Japanese versions of my book because that is what I got! I checked an English version out of the library and enjoyed it very much. Then I donated my Japanese version to the local Japanese community (my brother has a friend..) where it was very much appreciated. Lots of winners!
Just wanted to put it out there that I'm totally ready to step in for unpicked folks! Waiting for the recruitment. :)
One of the books I've chosen is now unavailable on amazon.co.uk because "This product is not currently offered by Amazon.co.uk because a customer recently told us that the item he or she received was not as described.
We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you may still find this product available from other sellers on this page."
Should I try another book then, or is it too late? I really wanted my santee to get this book, and I'm sure amazon will solve this quickly, but I don't know what I should do :)
>215 OpheliaAutumn: I would just explain the issue in the comments section and write what you just wrote to us- that you would like your Santee to receive that book, but if it's not possible, __________ would be your second choice. Always good to play it safe and provide an alternate! :)
It's SantaThing rescue time! If you'd like to adopt a Santee and pick books for them quickly (i.e., in the next couple hours), go to the SantaThing page and click on a username under "Needs a new Santa" to grab them!
Note: I have to do these one at a time, so if you don't see any at the moment, refresh your browser! I'll make another announcement once all have been adopted.
Okay, all available Santees have been released (but not yet picked). We currently have 14 awaiting their rescue Santa. Once they're all picked, we should be all set. Thanks for your help, everyone!
One of the members up for picking has their Santa's picks in the comments, but the ISBNs aren't filled out. If I pick that one, should I just fill out the ISBNs?
ETA: never mind, they're no longer able to be picked.
Don't know if this will be helpful but thought it was interesting for us non-pros.
How do you actually pick them? I want to step in and be a Santa but can't see how you do it...
#221 Under "Other Santas" from time to time, a name or two will appear. It'll say something like "grab this person for yourself."
Click on that and start picking.
I took a name earlier. They tend to go fast.
Such a bummer, I don't see any! So much for waking up early and waiting out here in CA. I must have fell asleep on the job and missed them all.
#223 I think there will be more. There are some unpicked people but Loranne or someone from LT has to move them over. The only thing to do is check there periodically.
There were about a dozen names ready for picking earlier but they got snapped up in 5-10 minutes, I'd say.
Can anyone suggest another book for this Santee? We're a bit under-budget at the moment.
This Santee already had the other book that was selected for them. I've posted them as up for grabs. Can anyone help?
>226 lorannen: It looks like they're no longer up for grabs but I've left a few suggestions for that member on their page.
Oh dear! I snagged the one I wanted and then was greedy and picked up a second orphaned Santee because I already had made suggestions on that one. Do you think the SantaThing karma bus will hit me?
Thanks for your help, everyone. We really couldn't make this work without you guys!
I've got another one I could use some more suggestions for: initial selections skewed a little young.
It looks like there are still 2 completely unpicked. Need anyone to work on them?
> 233, 234: Those are both Tim's, and he's going to get to them.
For the moment, we're good—focusing on getting the Book Depository orders submitted, as those have the earliest deadline. I'll probably have some more later tonight/tomorrow, as we work through the other booksellers, though. Stay tuned!
Aaaand I spoke too soon! Here's someone up for grabs who needs some more books picked:
>216 CcanRead: Thank you, I've written it in the comments and suggested a replacement book.
Had to cut one of Santa's original picks due to unavailability. Have ~$10 left in the budget. Suggestions, please?
> 239: Ack. Sorry about that, Sylvia. here's the correct link:
I've also got another one: remaining budget is ~$25, and we could use suggestions!
ETA: Budget changed, because the other edition I thought I'd found was a pre-order.
Another one: had to remove Santa's pick due to availability. Remaining budget is ~$15:
Need some more suggestions—currently under budget by $7:
Made a suggestion, but didn't see the price restrictions, sorry. I'll have another look.
Kudos to Loranne and Matt for getting BookDepository out tonight—their deadline was 6am tomorrow. Very efficient!
We'll be following up with more requests for assistant santa-ing tomorrow. Thanks!
214> It was The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery. That was 2010 Santathing which has gone down in history. The book was a favorite of my Santee's.
Thanks for picking for me, guys - I a) had the deadline wrong (I thought it was Friday) and b) was insanely busy all day (and night) Wednesday and all day Thursday so couldn't pick when I figured out my error.
This was probably asked and answered before, but when do the Kindle books arrive? As soon as ordered or on a specific date? I'm anxious to know. :)
>255 xorscape: They usually set them to be sent on or right before Christmas. No early peaking! :)
Scratch that last one. Turns out it's super-easy to select used books on Powell's...
Here's one I could use a suggestion for. It's tricky, because the remaining budget is only $5:
And another! Remaining budget for this one is $8:
> 258. I left a suggestion for a $4.50 used book -- considering that it seems to be easy for Santa to order used books.
>261 jburlinson: Thanks! Unfortunately, we can't order used books for SantaThing.
>259 lorannen: I've left some suggestions for a couple of $7.99 new paperbacks.
Anyone with a suggestion for a good children's book, for $5 or less?
> 259. I left a suggestion for a new book for $5.95. Hope it helps.
> 264. I left a suggestion for 2.50 book -- one copy left at Powell's.
Thanks for the help, everyone! You guys are awesome. I've got another one with $5 remaining:
>258 lorannen:, left a couple of suggestions for classics around the $5 mark. Santee says she likes serious fiction. ;)
I had to nix one of the Santa's initial picks because it was $5 over, but now I'm $10 under! Suggestions would be most welcome:
ETA: The Santa got in touch with me for this one, and we got it straightened out. Not sure why the link wasn't working, though... It's exactly the same URL (with the id# changed) as the others.
>268 lorannen: This one was easy! The Santee wants classics, so I left a few Bantam/Signet/Dover titles around $5 for you--She has none in her LT catalog.
>268 lorannen: still need suggestions for a $5 book? I'm ready to go be a detective. :)
Here's one for suggestions: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=52
According to Powell's, this one has $12 more to spend.
And another, same deal, this time 5 dollars to spend: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=120
>280 LibraryPerilous: Sorry about that, Diana. Here you go: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=120
>276 CcanRead:: Thanks! And I've got another one with $6 left to spend:
279/282: Finding new books in that budget at Powell's is tough, but I made suggestions.
And here's one with $8 leftover: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=185
Had to remove one of the Santa's original picks due to availability. Now this one has $21 left to spend: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=157
>278 matthewmason: $12 left @ Powell's: Made a suggestion, am looking for a couple more.
That's all I've got for today! Thanks a ton, everyone, for your help! I'm sure we'll have more on Monday, if you'd like another opportunity to play book detective!
Okay, I've got someone else who needs a replacement book! Remaining budget is ~$10. Suggestions would be much appreciated!
I need another book about $10 here, suggestions welcome!
#292 -- I made a suggestion, but it is perhaps slightly too pricey at $11.82, so I will ponder some more.
I have to say, I think half the fun of SantaThing is seeing all the comments/suggestions. I love having people suggest books to me!
>291 lorannen: Gah! The titles of which I thought all are between $11-12. I made a suggestion for a $10.78 title if you can go over. Will dig further.
>297 ablachly: I confess, I usually go through most of the entries after the party is over and add a passel of books to my never-ending TBR list. It's especially handy for finding new-to-me SFF titles.
>299 LibraryPerilous:, oh me too. And I love doing the ordering, because I end up with an ever growing pile of books that look really good :)
And this one has $6 remaining:
My inbox after a few hours of SantaThing ordering:
Oh man, someone got an Assassin's Creed novel? I love those games.
In 2010 after the Book Depocalypse, LT created a library account called "Santathing 2010". It contained all the books that were picked for that year's Santathing.
I know that it not a high priority, and it may not be feasible, but it would be great if you all (looking at you lorannen :)) could continue that tradition and after the holidays create a Santathing 2013 library.
Thanx and Merry Santathing...
>307 mahsdad: That's a neat idea, mahsdad! I think that's definitely something I can manage. Not sure if it will take the shape of its own account or not, but I'll be sure to make announcements, in any case.
In other news, the elves already have some shipments on the way! Once your SantaThing books arrive, be sure to tell us about it here!
ETA: We haven't quite finished placing all the orders yet, so please be patient. I'll be sure to make a bigger announcement once all orders are processed.
This is my first Santathing and I am just way super excited! Thank you so very much for doing this for us!!
Hey guys -- this Santa is in some serious need of a few titles ($7/40 spent). Some specifics?
I could use some help here:
I had to remove the last title because I can't add in an ebook to a print order.
There's about $6 remaining. Suggestions?
314: I made a few suggestions. Do I understand correctly that you need an amount of $33? Because then I'm not there yet!
316: Thanks for being my second Santa, zjakkelien :)
318, 319: I can't wait for the books to get here! I'm so excited.
I could use another suggestion for this one: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=384. Remaining budget is ~$8. Santa's picks were great, but over-budget, unfortunately.
Aw, I forgot to subtract the $5 US amazon shipping fee when I picked books. Not too bad, the 'filler' got dropped, but still :(
Here's one! $6 remaining in budget, and needs to be in Kindle format:
Same story with this one (Kindle only), and remaining budget is $13:
And another Kindle only that needs suggestions, with a remaining budget of $5:
Another Kindle only Santee with $5 remaining:
And one Kindle only with $4 left over:
This Santa need to add another £5 book; conversion shows $30/40 spent. Suggestions on books his/her santee doesn't already own? http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=31
>332 matthewmason:: Made a couple of suggestions for books from the list Santee mentions s/he is using.
Thanks, Diana.n; I went with your lovely George Elliot suggestion.
Here's another Santa that could afford another title, as the last ISBN she/he listed is no longer available: www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=233
She doesn't seem like a hard one.....Suggestions? :-)
338: I think there is something wrong with that link, I get an empty page with just a 'back to santathing' link.
#339. I thought it was my browser. Glad to see it isn't just me.
341: that might explain it. That must be a pain in the asteroids (sorry, couldn't help myself, this is how my current book (SF) calls it...) for santas, if they cannot see the library of their santee...
>342 zjakkelien: I think @ladylenneth is right. There was another link--somewhere far above--with the same issue, and Abby said that was the reason.
ETA: What are you reading? Is it punny, generally, or is that a one-off in the book?
This one could use some suggestions! $10 left in the budget:
>344 matthewmason: Matt, when I was scrolling through SantaThing entries, I did find someone whose library was marked as private, but I was able to see his/her SantaThing entry--just not their profile/books. So, is the difference that this entrant has marked their SantaThing entry itself as private?
>346 LibraryPerilous: Yup. A small handful of people marked their SantaThing entry as private - completely unrelated to whether their LT catalog was private.
Another with $5 left in the budget: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=188
I've got one more that could use a suggestion! They have about $6 USD/4 Euro left:
And one last one that could use some suggestions: remaining budget is $12 USD/~9 Euro
>350 TheoClarke: Shh! Don't tell anyone, but what I really want is The Stuffed Owl. (I kid, I kid.)
More generally, it would be interesting to count how many private Santees are new participants, and whether those same Santees participate the following year privately or publicly--i.e., how many just think that means you can't see your own entry and realize differently before the next year's sign up.
All SantaThing orders have now been placed! Thanks for the extra help with the recommendations, everyone!
Some Santees have already received their books! You can help us track arrivals, and see the map of those that have already been reported as received over here!
ETA: fixed the link!
Hurrah, indeed, and thank you to all the staff for their tremendous efforts.
Well, this was kind of fun to follow! Having only joined LT earlier this year, I hadn't seen anything like this before. I thought I might join in, but then decided to wait till next year and just watch how it all works this year.
Thirded! I look forward to SantaThing every year!! Most amazing Secret Santa I have ever joined. Thank you LibraryThing staff!
Having done suggestions at the end makes me more likely to try joining in another time. So far I haven't quite dared.
Who knows? We can't always expect others to be pleased with our choices, but that is also true about the rest of our lives. :)
You can't please all of the people all of the time...or something like that... ;)
No one is perfect you just do your best. That is the fun in it and this is my 5th year and I can assure I haven't gotten a book I have hated.
Thanks to all the LT staff who made this happen! SantaThing is so much fun, I can't wait to see what ends up under the tree and the suggestions that have been left
I paid, but received no comment about time to pick and now I've missed the deadline to pick for someone else!!!
What should I do?
>371 empress8411: Don't worry, empress8411. The LT elves took care of it.
Thank you Library Thing Elves, and whoever else picked my books! I received my books today ~ Palace Walk, Aunt Dimitys Death, Death of a Gossip, and Shell Seekers. I'm sorry I just couldn't wait until Christmas to open! I should have plenty of reading to do right through Christmas.
Second package arrived today, from Book Depository to Aberystwyth Wales.
When can those that chose e-books plan on receiving theirs?
Got my SantaThing package yesterday and it was GLORIOUS. So much fun. Thank you, LT elves, for making this such a positive first experience!!!
>376 perfunctory: The answer to your question is on the Santa Thing 2013 Tracking Arrivals thread, post 106: "Ebook delivery is set for Dec. 24th. Amazon says you could start receiving email notifications of your gifted ebooks as early as midnight on the 24th. Also, you will receive a separate email for each book, as each had to be a separate order."
so here's a question. are the books we receive returnable? because I have 2 of the 3 my santa sent already. thanks!
Argh. Were they in your catalog?
Return them at a bookstore as if you bought them?
>381 bostonbibliophile: I did the same thing one year. Who knows? Next year, you might get matched with your book soul mate and your SantaThing experience will feel like a slow motion scene in a cheesy romance film: running through a field of daffodils toward your Santa with your hair streaming behind you in the wind.
I've participated every year. Sometimes I was overjoyed and sometimes very unhappy. The best thing that happens is that I find a bunch of new authors to try from the suggestions made to me and to others with my taste in books. (Well, I also now own a terrific copy of pop-up Moby Dick.) One year I asked for certain books. I think that experience was unsatisfactory for my Santa and, surprisingly, for me. Last year I got a book in Japanese which I don't read or speak, but what story value it had! So, please boston, appreciate the experience even if it wasn't what you expected.
Thank you LT for hosting this for us.
>383 bostonbibliophile: It's your call. But, I'm going to defend your Santa (disclosure: also one of my Santas) before I red X this thread.
I checked the total on Powell's and came up with 33.57--not perfectly 35.00, but pretty close. The LT elves actually would have asked for suggestions if the total had been $5 short. See numerous examples above.
I also had a look at your library, and I do see that one of the titles was in your library in 2012--a mistake on your Santa's part. It happens.
The other title selected by your Santa and in your library was added today, 12/19/13. SantaThing picks were due on 12/5/13. Unless another copy of the book was listed in your catalog prior to today, this one looks like a cross between Santa's selection and your purchase. The third title ordered for you by your Santa--presumably the one you wanted to toss--is not in your library.
Also, your SantaThing profile doesn't explicitly request to order from your wishlist--although I do agree it suggests it rather strongly. But, you did write that you like funny books and fashion ("these are things I don't buy for myself so those would make great choices!"), and which your Santa covered in his/her picks.
Taste is subjective: The most any Santa can do is pick books that fall within the framework of the 'book tastes' that their Santee suggests and hope for a bullseye. I would imagine there are more hits than misses for most of us.
I feel for BBP's pain here, not least of all because I idolize her, and will be visiting her store on Saturday. Maybe I can win her back with Christmas cookies. I do think, however, that SantaThing is sort of a crap shoot. Some Santas are better than others, some picks better than others. If you expect to get back what you put in, you may be disappointed. It's trite to say it, and maybe even insensitive in the situation, but I think the joy is in the giving. As I've found BBP absolutely crackerjack suggesting books for me to buy, I'm guessing she made excellent picks for her Santa. Perhaps thanks for that will make it seem closer to worth it.
Moreover, there are 420 Santas. How on earth would it be possible for all of them to get what their Santees appreciate? I don't always love what friends and relations give me either.
I just have to say on the opposite side of this, I was very excited to get to pick books for someone and I really hoped that they liked them. However, I found out that my member basically stated what they wanted. I felt a little let down. I had planned to take the time to look through their library and then a few different places for recommendations. I really wanted to offer someone something new to read and I didn't get that chance. Maybe next year.
On my end, I'm super excited to receive my books. I don't know what they'll be but I am happy that someone took the time to pick them for me. They may not be what I would choose but I think that was the point. Even I don't end up liking everything that I choose for myself, how could I expect someone else to be a better judge? Surely out of the books chosen, something will be readable or I will know someone to pass the book onto who would like it. And I knew that with a large-ish collection (not all of which are listed here), I may get some overlap or I may get a book that I had previously rejected buying myself. No big deal.
While I understand you feel upset, I think you're being a bit rude to the person who picked for you. Not everyone here has extended experience with books like some of us. As with any gift you may not be pleased with, I think it's best to say thank you and move on.
Tim, thanks. I'm not working this Saturday but the thought is appreciated.
Yes, the joy is in the giving. But shouldn't there be some for the recipient too? All I wanted was value for the money I paid. Yes, I realize I'm being rude to the person who picked out my gifts and I apologize for that.
Perhaps you could find value in donating undesired books to a library.
On a positive note, I am waiting until Christmas Eve to open mine! As mentioned by others above, thank you so much to LibraryThing for all the work you do putting this together. This is my second year of SantaThing, and I really enjoy it!
I also got a book that was already in my library (since 2011 or 2012). I will admit, though, I've done loads of Santathings, and this is the only book that has ever disappointed me.
389: But shouldn't there be some for the recipient too? All I wanted was value for the money I paid.
I agree with the first sentence, of course the idea is that the recipient gets joy out of their gifts. As for value for money, I don't know. It depends on how you define value. I agree that the one book that was already in your library was a mistake that could have been prevented, and that is not value for money. But the other books? They have value, unless not liking a book means they have no value. If getting exactly what you want is value for money, then I think the only way to get that is buy books for yourself. If you want to be surprised by the books someone picks for you, then SantaThing is a good idea. I think there is value in the surprise and in the attention someone pays to you, the effort they put into choosing books. That's value too. Even if they end up picking something you don't like. That's part of the game...
I'm very sorry this is not working out for you, though, I'm sure it must be very disappointing.
I had an unsatisfactory SantaThing experience last year, so this year I participated in a different book swap instead. Though I still fully support SantaThing in every way possible except, you know, actually participating.
I don't think that one bad experience should dictate not participating. My husband had a really bad year and he gave it another go for the last two years and is very happy with the outcome. No one is perfect and I believe very secret Santa gives their best and pick what they really feel their santee would deeply enjoy. The draw back is everyone has different tastes and from time to time you will get something you hate. I think repeats happen because at least I find other peoples book cataloging can be very weird to understand with sub catagories sometimes. (Not saying double should happen but the fact human error does happen.) I am deeply sorry that you are sad with these choices but I'm even more sad that it has turned you off one of the best secret santas I have ever had the pleasure of joining.
I've had ups and downs. (The worst was the guy who attacked me for not thanking him, but he has comments turned off!) I enjoy it because I like the process--picking the books and not knowing what I'll get. I like the way the gifts get me out of my comfort zone. If the money mattered to me a lot I probably wouldn't participate, because it can go wrong.
All in all, it's part of a large thing: Christmas is economically inefficient, if you only consider the money spent and goods received.
It was my first year participating in SantaThing and I would undoubtedly do it again. Hands down. For me, I knew what I was getting into when I signed up. I was signing up for an experience. I wasn't using SantaThing to get the books that I wanted most this year. I also didn't have expectations about what I got. That would be silly- if I were expecting something specific or had an idea in mind about what I wanted, I would have just taken my $45 and ordered myself what I wanted from Barnes & Noble on Black Friday. I knew that with my $45, I was buying an experience and an opportunity to connect with people in a unique and fun way. Thus, I wasn't disappointed. I bought the opportunity to be a "Santa" for someone else, and in my mind I got some books and free book suggestions out of it. I'm looking forward to getting to see the personalized book suggestions and the books that I actually received were nice. A couple were from my wishlist and the others that weren't were kind of odd (I got one book from the middle of a series I've never read) but to me it wasn't about that. All in all I had a great time and felt as though I was celebrating with others both a love for books and the season of giving. So to me, it was great fun and a lovely success.
I had a - we'll call it less than stellar - experience with secret santa a couple years ago... I waffled about trying again, but did - and my last year santa was awesome, and this year looks excellent too (only received one book so far, but it is exactly perfect).
So... as the song says, 2 out of 3 ain't bad, and besides, one part of the fun is in picking books for others... and seeing the suggestions made on your profile by santa helpers.
I'm certainly happy when I get books from my wishlist, but I can do those myself. I'm even happier when, as this year, my Santa finds books for me that I didn't know existed in topics I'm interested in.
I also love pitching in with comments for other people and, later on, reading those suggestions that people left for me. Also like stepping in as a last-minute Santa.
I've enjoyed it every year- Books have not always been stellar, but usually ones I would not have bought and all good or at least ok. I've particularly enjoyed getting my son involved. First I just signed up for him and I did the selecting for "his" Santee but in recent years he has much enjoyed doing it himself - Though he'll ask for suggestions and opinions- I now ask him for ideas too..
HeleNoel that's so great that you get your son involved! Do you let him pick the books for who he is matched with, all on his own? I'm banking on LibraryThing still being around when I have kids. My kids will totally be involved. I'm hoping to raise little baby bookworms.
I'll second what some others have said--if I want to get exactly what I want for Christmas, I can buy it myself. Santathing is first about picking out gifts for others and hoping they like what you've chosen; it's secondly about being surprised by which books others choose for you and hoping you like them.
No one I know personally has dared to buy a book for me in decades, I don't think. My tastes are particular, and I work in a bookshop and purchase hundreds of titles for myself every year, so I can see why my friends and family are afraid to bring coals to Newcastle (or worry that they'll bring the wrong kind of coal). I LOVE that Santathing gives me the chance to open a box and find something unexpected to read inside.
If pressed, I'd say that over the years I've provided a bit more "value" as a chooser than I've received as a choosee, but I would say that, wouldn't I? I'm a professional book recommender, after all, and we all think our taste is better than the next guy's anyway. I haven't been wild about every single book I've gotten, but I've liked most of them and I've always appreciated how my secret Santa tried to find something that fit my criteria. I'm sorry to hear that some people are disappointed with their books, but for goodness sake, don't complain to the LT high command about the process. Just do what everyone else in the world does when he opens an ugly holiday sweater from Aunt Mildred: say a polite thank you and quietly exchange it.
I'm not gung ho about much, really, but I am about Santathing. Keep up the good work, Tim &Co.
> 403 - LOL - Since he is now 19 and in college, I think he is up to the task- he reads more sophisticated things than I do. But I've been at it longer and have a bigger collection. I think he started choosing for his Santee when he was about 15 - I did oversee and check on his choices.
Just wondering if there are going to be any 'post mortum' threads analysing this years "SANTA THING 2013". A Place where we can give suggestions etc.
If so, could you also post links to previous years Santa Thing 'post mortums'. It would be interesting to compare and contrast :-) and see what we have learned...
I am something special. When picks came up my son and he hadn't been picked for so I took him as my secret santa. I accidentally got a book he ALREADY has....... _@
Will the givers be revealed after Christmas as in years past so we can thank our Santas?
I've been wondering the same thing. I suppose they will, but when? I thought they might have been already, since I got a thank you from my santee, but she requested ebooks. I suppose the ebook people got an email that revealed their santas?
I think I'll flip the switch at midnight EST tonight. Or a little later, if I'm in the middle of a drink.
Actually, I'll do it now, in case you open presents on Christmas Eve.
I'm confused... Am I not suppose to be able to see the comments made at my santa thread? On the top of the santathing page, I see my own entry without comments. Then when I search my name, it says there are 5 comments, but when I open the thread, I don't see them?
And funny thing, it seems my santa is also my santee!
Anyway, merry christmas to everyone and thanks for everything, LT staff!
> 414 You'll be able to see your santa page after Christmas. You can know your santa before if you open your package. There is a message with your santa name. I think it's the same with e-books.
Edit: I hadn't seen santa were revealed. And i agree with you, we should be able to see comments.
I have already contacted my Santa.
I didn't find my Santas name in the Parcels.
Just an aside, the "Link/Title/Price" fields never seem to be filled (last 4 Santas I have watched/been in)
Why have them?
I hope this isn't a really stupid question - this is my first time doing Santa Thing - but how do I find out who my Santa was? I didn't get a message with my parcel, and when I click on my Santa thread there's nothing but a link back to SantaThing.
Is there any way I can find out? I'd really like to thank them if possible.
Go to http://www.librarything.com/santathing.php and click your user name.
I noticed that the person who picked my books was the same person for whom I picked books! Is that a common occurrence or just a coincidence? In previous years my Santa and Santee have been different people. I'm not objecting at all, it was a great SantaThing experience, I'm just curious about it...
421: I had the same thing! And it was also the first time that happened...
420: That's what I'm doing, but I just get a blank page with a link back to Santa Thing.
>423 VW_Williams: Can you give the link to it? I tried searching your username on the page and don't come up with anything...? Did you mark it private maybe? I know with private ones that's what they show, since that's what people were experiencing when staff were asking for suggestions with a couple and that was why.
#421 and #422 Two years ago, this happened to me. I think it's coincidence. However, in many cases you are matched by your libraries so I can see why this happens.
>427 avanders: That because your Santee is marked as private; I will PM you the details.
My books arrived from Longfellow's, but one of them is damaged, how do I handle this? :(
The cover has strips of the inside of the mailing envelope stuck to it, and it doesn't appear that they can be removed without doing damage to the cover. It looks as if the envelope was opened, then sticky residue got on the cover and then the envelope was resealed with tape.
I can send pictures.
>431 fuzzi: You could try using eucalyptus oil to remove the sticky stuff -- it's very good for that and evaporates away completely without damaging the book
I haven't received my books (from Longfellow) or any kind of contact from my Santa (my Santee sent me a comment thanking me for my selections for him). Should I be concerned?
>434 graceless880: Very few people have reported receiving books from Longfellow as yet -- apparently they were late last year too. I wouldn't worry just yet :-)
>433 fuzzi: Should have also said it's excellent for cleaning too -- that's how I clean all mine.
I received 2/3 books from Longfellow the day before Christmas here in Louisiana.
Thank you very much to my SantaThing. I love every one of the books I received and cannot wait to read them!
What a blast this year! My books received were awesome and there were some new to me authors that I am excited to try :)
I also had a blast picking for genesisdiem and hope at least a few up her alley. It is always fun to pick for an eclectic reader because the choices are limitless :)
Thanks Library Thing for another great year and can't wait to do it again next year!
>434 graceless880: Just saw you here! Look at my comment at 427 and you'll see I was looking for you too ;)
Hope you've received your books by now!
>441 avanders: Glad we found each other! Still no books, but I'm not panicking yet. (I survived the Book Depocalypse of 2010, so I should be able to wait this one out, too.)
This was my first year doing SantaThing. I had loads of fun picking for my Santee but was nervous about it. I so wanted her to love the selections and was happy to get her positive feedback after she received her package. I loved what my Secret Santa picked for me. She took advantage of some great recommendations from other Santas and ended up picking an author I've been wanting to read and two that I didn't know of yet. The books look fantastic and I'm excited to learn about new-to-me authors. I'm half way through one of them and it is a great read. I also enjoyed both making recommendations and reading the recommendations from others. (I ended up adding quite a few books to my want to read list). What a lot of work this must be for the LT staff. Thank you for doing it and thanks for creating this fun holiday diversion in the first place.
I've just opened my SantaThing parcels (I was away for Christmas and saved my packages for after coming back home) and all three looking exciting.
But then I tried to find out who my Santa was and I haven't been able to do that - when I go to my SantaThing page I just get a blank page with a link back to SantaThing.
(444) Go here: http://www.librarything.com/santathing.php
and click on your own name.
I didn't see your name, but I did scroll down quickly...
I don't see your name there either, and I searched. Did you mark your SantaThing page as private?
Yeah, private ones go to the blank page with link back. The whole "private" option seems to be more trouble than it's worth...
>447 .Monkey.: It's something to think about for 2014, for sure.
I have received one book on Tibetan cooking and am expecting a second. Is there any way to check the status of the second book to see if it is on back-order or has been lost in the mail?
>450 Emidawg: It could still be in the mail at the moment, perhaps wait until the end of the week? Unfortunately, we don't have a way of tracking all the different shipments.
I still haven't received my SantaThing package. Is anyone else still waiting?
> 452 - Yes , I think a number of folks are still waiting. Did you get a message about some books being reordered? My son still needs one book and I have not seen any of mine yet.
452- I'm still waiting. I haven't gotten anything at all yet but I did receive a message that all of mine were reordered. So I haven't given up yet. :)
Third of four arrived today, from Powell's. Only one still outstanding...
I received both packages, and all three books, today! Quite happy with them.
Three packages today - four books. One for my son, reordered from Powells - Two for me from Longfellow, one for me reordered from Powells. I believe this is all for us.
How do you find out how many books you are due to receive? I only received one book so far and am not sure what is going on.
#462 You are expecting 3 books. If you want to peep you can look at http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=359
From what I see I should have gotten two books. I got one in mid december and since then nothing. I know books are often spread over several parcels, but I never got them this far apart. Should I worry that something went wrong?
Conachair, there are two (2) isbns listed under your name, so one more should be coming.
If you don't mind peeking, here are the isbns:
I still haven't received my last book. I received a message that it was reordered on the 30th of last month. I am surprised it isn't here yet! Well still waiting!
That must be the replacement I ordered for Samuel, ladylenneth? With all hope, it's still on its way...!
Yes I got his replacement! Last week! :) I am still waiting on a book that wasn't ordered right for me as well.
Speaking of which I wasn't sure as of yet because I was waiting to get the package in. My son and myself both had a book missing from our SantaThing. I had sent an email and his got reordered and then I got a message saying that they had supposed to have been together? I figured if I got my book and accidentally got an extra for him I would contact LibraryThing on what to do since I wasn't 100% sure if I had understood it correctly.
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