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- Jul 9, 2009
- About My Library
- "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
- Jorge Luis Borges
I joined LibraryThing in 2009. As of June 2021, I believe I have finally gotten around to getting all of my books (and my wife's) entered. From here on out, it should only be entering new books as they are acquired.
For books I've read, the comments will indicate when I read them. There are a number of cartoon books (Dilbert, Doonesbury, etc.) that I've read that I didn't list in my records, so the comment will only mention that they have in fact been read.
Some books are compilations of individual works. If I have read some part of such a compilation, that will be indicated in the comments.
Books I currently own are being placed in the "My Library" collection, whereas books I've read but do not currently own are going into the "Read but unowned" collection (rather obvious, I would think). Since the total number of books that I know I have read is about equal to 1/3 of the number I own, I have long assumed that I have read about 1/3 of the books I own. LibraryThing has made me realize how many of the books I've read are things I don't own anymore, though - the percentage of unread books in my library is higher than I realized. I'm not sure whether this is good or bad, but it is a side effect of being able to purchase books faster than I can read them.
I tend to keep books after I've read them and rarely discard them, but there have been a few purges in my life. The purges have been mostly of science fiction and fantasy, which I read almost exclusively in high school, but rather less often and more selectively since then. Occasionally I will discard a book if I obtain a better copy or a more complete compilation that includes it. Those books will appear in the "read but unowned" collection.
When I started entering my books on LibraryThing, I wasn't trying very hard to get the exact edition, with one or two exceptions: I tried to have the right cover and I tried to get the translator right for translated works. I must admit that I have a strong dislike of dust jackets - I think that hardcover books are far more aesthetically pleasing without them. Therefore, many of my hardcover books no longer have the dust jacket pictured. I know this will alarm many book collectors, but the true value of the book is its contents, not its cover.
As time has gone on, I've gotten pickier about getting the edition right. I may go back and correct details on books entered early on.
Some multi-volume works might currently have a single entry, but I think I converted them all into one entry per physical book.
A few Library of Congress Classifications may be "wrong". The LOC doesn't have everything, which means that libraries that use their system must assign some classification to works not in the LOC. In these cases I have used a classification from an appropriate academic library (yay Worldcat) when I could find one. In some cases I have assigned something plausible when I can't. In a few cases I have overridden the LOC official classification to order my library for my own purposes.
Some of the books on this list technically belong to my wife, although I think of books in a fashion similar to the traditional Maasai belief about cattle - they all belong to me. Don't worry - you may continue to borrow the ones in your care indefinitely!
- About Me
- I'm an academic scientist who also has strong interests in literature, history, and almost everything else.
The motto of my "university" is written (in Quenya) on the book in the university seal. Transliterated, this is “melne tinta ar istya calya i mána coile,” literally “Love kindles and knowledge illuminates the good life”, a translation of Bertrand Russell’s aphorism “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”
- Armenelos, Numenor
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