- All collections (3,741), Your library (3,351), collections (203), editions (1,963), works (1,181), films (103), borrowed (94), To read (1,281), have read (1,013), Currently reading (5), LoA (28), nyrb (100), Modern Library (269), ML Giant (56), ML Illustrated (1), ML Chronicles (4), ML Buckram (71), VB Buckram (34), Everyman's Library (46), EL (Knopf) (38), LEC (15), Heritage Press (17), Easton Press (13), Franklin Library (8), Folio Society (9), Imprint Society (6), Loeb (10), other series (42), ml excel (81), imprints (36), temp (6), do (57), to sell (3), eBay (4), sold (4), deleted (186), Wishlist (6), Favorites (131)
- .work (3,284), .edition (2,331), =book (2,219), _owned (1,966), century: 20th (1,771), •format (1,435), genre-fiction (1,435), _cover: eh (1,109), _cover: lt (1,091), literature: American (1,069), genre-nonfiction (1,027), =binding: hc (1,026), •author (870), form: novel (854), =binding: tpb (833), _to read: 1 (696), .collection (653), century: 19th (595), Σby author (535), =illustrated (514), century: 21st (508), =imprint: Random House (501), =translated (472), literature: English (453), form: poetry (356), _.work: copies (2) (349), form: short story (343), genre: tbd (319), Σcollected fiction (288), =imprint: Modern Library (286), form: drama (279), genre-nonfiction: history (237), Σcollected nonfiction (236), form: novella (223), language: French (188), _to read: 2 (187), _to read: 3 (183), form: essay (166), century: 18th (151), Σcollected fiction (poetry) (143), =imprint: Vintage Books (133), literature: French (132), work: first novel (130), fiction-non (117), _≡s10 (108), _.work: copies (3) (108), _to read: 0 (106), topic: computers (105), cs: computer science (104), =film (103), history: US (101), genre-fiction: postmodern (100), genre-fiction: historical (100), =imprint: The New York Review of Books (100), era: 19th Century (97), genre-nonfiction: biography (97), _read: 2016 (97), form: fiction (96), century: 17th (95), _exlib (95), _borrowed (94), Ψ.mlb: 08 (93), =binding: tpb (ff) (93), language: German (92), Σby theme (90), =imprint: Penguin Group (89), _deleted: out of date (89), _l.bpl (87), era: 20th Century (85), =imprint: Everyman's Library (84), literature: Russian (82), _venue: streamed (82), =imprint: NYRB Classics (81), computer science (79), language: Russian (78), _.collection: partial (74), written: 2000 (73), genre-play: comedy (72), =published: 2000 (71), _viewed: 2017 (70), Ψ.duplicate (69), =published: 1999 (69), form: novel (long) (69), investigator: police (69), written: 1999 (68), literature: Greek (68), _≡s30 (68), written: 2001 (68), _deleted: weed (67), literature: Irish (67), literature: German (67), genre-fiction: satire (66), _≡s42 (65), =published: 2001 (64), _≡s20 (64), history: area (Europe) (63), =imprint: Vintage International (63), =imprint: Alfred A. Knopf (63), _read: part (63), Ψ.buckram (ml) (62), =published: 2002 (61), =published: -- (61), written: 2003 (60), _≡s23 (60), =published: 2004 (60), _to read: 4 (60), =imprint: Grove Press (60), Σcollected fiction (drama) (59), =published: 2003 (59), language: Greek (59), —c (58), _≡s01 (58), —s (57), _≡s40 (57), written: 1998 (57), =published: 1996 (56), written: 1995 (56), era: 18th Century (55), _≡s02 (55), _≡s22 (54), _≡s??? (54), _≡s21 (53), film: black & white (53), _≡s31 (53), _≡s32 (53), =binding: sc (53), language: Spanish (52), _≡s11 (52), _read: 2014 (52), =imprint: Modern Library Giant (52), =abridged (52), =imprint: Penguin Books (51), =published: 2008 (51), language: Italian (51), written: 2002 (51), written: 1996 (50), genre-fiction: mystery (50), genre-nonfiction: biography (memoir) (50), language: Latin (50), mystery: American (50), _≡s41 (49), _read: 2015 (49), =imprint: J. M. Dent & Sons (49), century: 16th (49), Ψ.mlb: b1 (49), =published: 1997 (49), =published: 2006 (49), =published: 1992 (48), _≡s41‡ (47), _≡s13 (47), =slipcase (47), history: England (46), literature: Italian (46), era: 16th Century (46), =imprint: Viking (46), written: 1997 (46), mystery: British (46), =published: 1994 (45), _≡s43 (45), =published: 1995 (44), _read: 2011 (44), written: 1988 (44), genre-fiction: sci-fi (44), _≡s12 (43), era: 17th Century (43), _≡s33 (43), genre-fiction: biographical (auto) (43), written: 1994 (43), investigator: amateur (43), era: 15th Century (42), =imprint: HarperCollins Publishers (42), =translated: no (42), =published: 2010 (41), investigator: private (41), =binding: leather (41), genre-film: mystery (murder) (41), literature: Japanese (41), written: 1935 (41), _.edition: duplicate (41), written: 1939 (40), literary culture: black (American) (40), language: Japanese (40), _≡s03 (40), =published: 1993 (40), genre-fiction: humor (40), written: 2004 (40), written: 1934 (40), =published: 2009 (40), genre-play: tragedy (39), _read: 2007 (39), form: letter (39), =published: 2011 (39), •review (39), written: 1936 (39), =imprint: Simon and Schuster (38), written: 1986 (38), =published: 2005 (38), _read: 2008 (38), written: 2007 (38), _read: 2017 (37), written: 1982 (37), _≡sd33 (37), =published: 1998 (37), century: 004th bc (36), written: 1940 (36), _read: 2013 (36), written: 2006 (36), written: 2008 (36), written: 1993 (36), =published: 2012 (36), _read: 1980s (35), written: 1937 (35), genre-nonfiction: travel literature (34), written: 1981 (34), _read: 2017 (f) (34), written: 1980 (33), Ψ.buckram (vb) (33), written: 1989 (33), written: 2005 (33), —prize: nobel (1969) (33), _read: 2010 (33), _read: 2012 (33), genre-fiction: bildungsroman (33), philosophy: Greek (33), written: 2010 (33), written: 1959 (32), =printed: UK (32), genre-play: drama (32), =published: 1989 (32), written: 1956 (32), literature: British (Scottish) (32), genre-fiction: modernist (32), _≡m14 (32), philosophy (31), written: 2011 (31), =imprint: -- (31), literature: British (Irish) (31), =imprint: The Modern Library Publishers (31), _≡sd32 (31), Σcollected fiction (graphics) (31), literature: Roman (31), old: coins (numismatics) (31), genre-nonfiction: biography (auto) (31), _≡m22 (30), _≡m15 (30), Ψ.elnb: 1 (30), literature: British (American) (30), history: period (ancient) (30), work: cult classic (30), _≡m23 (30), written: 1931 (30), =set: 02 volumes (30), =imprint: A Lipper / Viking Book (30), =imprint: A Penguin Life (30), _read: 1970s (n) (29), =published: 2007 (29), written: 2009 (29), _exlib: label (29), written: 2013 (29), _to read: 5 (29), cs: software design (29), Σby period (29), written: 1983 (29), written: 1933 (29), written: 1845 (29), _≡s00 (29), written: 1992 (29), =imprint: Penquin Putnam (29), written: 1960 (28), history: topical (28), —prize: nobel (1936) (28), written: 1938 (28), written: 1925 (28), written: 1951 (28), form: poetry (epic) (28), =published: 2013 (27), _≡sd23 (27), written: 1844 (27), written: 1927 (27), language: Danish (27), Σby area (27), topic: coins (27), literature: Danish (27), =published: 1990 (27), _≡s21‡ (27), written: 1977 (27), Ψ.vbb: b3 (27), written: 1978 (27), _≡m16 (27), written: 1942 (27), written: 1916 (27), _≡m00 (27), written: 1985 (26), form: treatise (26), Ψ.mlb: 17 (26), written: 1928 (26), _.work: partial (26), =imprint: Literary Classics of the United States (26), written: 1949 (26), =binding: mmpb (26)
- Tag Cloud, Author Cloud, Tag Mirror
- Book Care and Repair, Bookcases: If You Build/Buy Them, They Will Fill, Bug Collectors, Combiners!, Easton Press Collectors, Everyman's Library, Fine Press Forum, Folio Society Devotees, George Macy devotees, I Survived the Great Vowel Shift, In Translation, Infinite Jesters, Library of America Subscribers, Librarything Series, Literary Snobs, Modern Library Collectors, New York Review Books, Non-Fiction Readers, Science!, Used Books
- Apr 29, 2007
- About My Library
A disparate lot of classics, modern literary and genre fiction, essays, history, computer science and various and assorted of other classifications. I buy more used books than new and am happy to discover them by chance at used book stores or on-line. I collect a few publisher's series, viz., The Modern Library, Everyman's Library, The Library of America and New York Review Books Classics. I do so with the intent of reading them and as a consequence, I read more widely than I would otherwise.
I have a thousand books unread, but with justification:
Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. --- Albert Einstein (interview in the The Saturday Evening Post, Oct 26, 1929);
Dr. Johnson advised me to-day, to have as many books about me as I could; that I might read upon any subject upon which I had a desire for instruction at the time. -- James Boswell (The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 1777, Ætat. 68);
One half of it (one's library) should consist of books we have read and that have meant something for us, and the other half of books which we intend to read and which we suppose might mean something to us. --- Italo Calvino (Why Read the Classics? in The New York Review of Books, October 9, 1986).
Books for Sale I have a few books for sale in the eBay collection ►. Each entry has a link to its corresponding eBay listing (at the bottom of the comment field.)
Star Ratings are one dimensional, but quality is not — a brilliant literary work can still be unreadable. A work is a constant, but the rater is not — opinions change. Ratings across genres are not entirely comparable — a five-star mystery is probably not another Stoner. As L. P. Hartley observed in The Go-Between, The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there — I may rate an older work more highly than it deserves simply because of the view afforded (often true of silent films.)
I rate things read as:
My LibraryThing Catalog
LT hosts millions of catalog entries. Mine represent not just my physical books and recordings, but the individual works (novels, short stories, plays etc.) contained therein. I also keep track of books I've read that I don't own - those borrowed and those donated or otherwise disposed of.
I may split an entry into multiple entries to better represent the distinction between a book and the work(s) it contains. Links are added to maintain the relations between these entries. Having the LT catalog as a collection of related entries at several levels instead of as just a one-dimensional listing of books provides a more interesting view of my library.
To Add books in LT parlance is to create a single catalog entry which combines the edition and work level information. Discussions over the years about adding catalog support for the concept of two levels have not resulted in anything useful to my purpose. The addition of the User Call Number field provided a hook allowing me to implement my own support.
This catalog can have multiple entries to represent the edition and work level information of a single book. The books in my library, in their various publisher's editions, are represented by .edition entries in the catalog. An .edition is a container of one or more works or collections. Works (and collections) are created by authors or editors and can have their own catalog entries. Works and collections can be published in multiple editions.
The edition entries have links to their contained works and for those works, links back to all editions of that work. This additional layer of entries allows contained works to be part of the wider LT catalog and to be read and rated individuality. It also makes it easy to keep track of works owned in multiple editions in different translations and collected series.
As a practical matter, edition entries often don’t have associated work entries. Typically, a single copy of a novel, or a collection of short stories will have a single combined edition and work entry — this is LT’s existing single level model. However, if I get a second edition of the same work, I’ll create the work entry, so the work and its editions can be represented properly in the catalog.
Here's an example: The Prince (Everyman's Library, No. 280) ►
This edition is titled The Prince and actually contains a collection of three different works. Look at the comment field in the edition entry where the contained works are listed. At the bottom of the field there is a link that says that there exists (∃) 3 work entries related to this edition. Clicking that link will bring up a new page with this edition and its three works.
Now look at the work entry for the The Prince. There are three different editions listed, each with a link. Clicking a link will bring up a corresponding page with that edition’s entry and all its work entries.
⚊ Your Library: entries for books owned.
⚊ borrowed: entries for books borrowed and read.
⚊ deleted: entries for books once owned and read.
⚊ films: entries for films seen – a few owned but mostly just a viewing log.
These four top level collections are mutually exclusive. There are other supporting collections: .editions:, .collections:, and .works to help manage the three-level organization of the books listed in Your Library, collections for publisher's series of interest, and other miscellaneous collections.
Catalog Entry Level Tags: prefix ‘.’
⚊ .edition - an entry with publisher level information. For context, the entry usually includes a couple of work level tags such as century and literature: country. Most of the library management tags are also at this level.
⚊ .collection - an entry for a composite work e.g., a collection of novels. It hosts information for the collection as a whole, at a level between the entries for the various editions of this collection and the .work entries for the collection's constituent works. The author's or editor's introduction and the collection's table of contents would be at this level.
⚊ .work - an entry for an individual work with information such as literature:,genre:, written: etc.
A single catalog entry can have all three three levels of Entry tag. A story collection with a novella and additional short stories might be one entry with a .edition tag for the book and a .work (collection) tag for the collection of short stories and the novella. The novella might have an additional related entry of its own with a .work tag. Entries are split into different LT catalog entries to record duplicate editions and works in different editions.
Edition Level Tags: prefix ‘=’
⚊ form attributes: =book, =film (videos: film (in-theatre, streaming, dvd etc), =record (sound recordings: records, cds etc)
⚊ book attributes: =binding, =slipcase, =imprint, =illustrated, =limited edition, =abridged, =annotated, =published etc.
⚊ film attributes: =silent, =color, =black&white, =colorized, =subtitled, =released etc.
⚊ translation attributes: =translated (to English), = translated: no (untranslated i.e. still in the original language), =translated: <to-language> (the translation is to the given language).
Collection Level Tags: prefix ‘Σ’
Σcollected fiction[(poetry | drama | graphics)] | nonfiction
Σby author | locale | period | series | theme
Σpublished: <year 1st published>
Garden Poems [Everyman's Library Pocket Poets] ► is tagged with Σcollected fiction: poetry, Σby theme, Σpublished: 1996 and
Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991 by Salman Rushdie ► is tagged with Σcollected nonfiction, Σby author, Σby period, Σpublished: 1991.
Work Level Tags: no prefix. Comments on a few:
⚊ literature: <country>[ (<author's native country>)]; - the author’s country of residence when the work was written. When an author is foreign-born, it gets a bit complex. If writing in the language of the country of residence, the work is assigned to the literature of that country. If writing in his different native language, the work is assigned to the literature of his native country. To document foreign cultural influence, the author's native country is added to the tag. For example, Nabokov’s Pale Fire is tagged literature: American (Russian), while his earlier Russian language works, written while living in Germany, would be literature: Russian.
⚊ written: <year> - generally the year first published, but for older (and especially ancient) works it's a date written.
⚊ century: <ordinal> - identifies by century when the work was written e.g., century: 14th
⚊ era: <period> - the work's subject matter time frame. Used mostly for histories, e.g., era: ancient (Rome) or era: 18th Century
⚊ language: <language> - the work's original language. English is the untagged default.
⚊ genre-<fiction | nonfiction>[: <name>] - describes the content of the work e.g., genre-fiction: postmodern or genre-nonfiction: biography (memoir)
⚊ form: <name> - describes the structure of the work e.g., form: novel or form: graphic (cartoon)
These fiction forms are based on page length — with the powers-of-2 limits suggested by page count data I maintained for a while:
flash fiction: 0 to 2 pages (≤ 21 pages)
very short story: 3 to 8 pages (≤ 23 pages)
short story: 9 to 32 pages (≤ 25 pages)
long story: 33 to 64 pages (≤ 26 pages)
novella: 65 to 128 pages (≤ 27 pages)
novel: 129 to 512 pages (≤ 29 pages)
long novel: 513 to 2048 pages (≤ 211 pages)
huge (epic) novel: 2049 pages and up (≥ 211 pages)
Books as Collectibles Tags: prefix ‘Ψ.’
⚊ Ψ.<series id>: <number> - e.g., ~ml:124 – Modern Library number 124
⚊ Ψ.trade label: <type> - the volume has a printed label identifying the book's seller or binder
⚊ Ψ.bookplate - the volume has an owner's bookplate
⚊ =signed: <role> - the volume is signed by the author, illustrator etc.
Author Tags: prefix ‘—’, information about the author e.g., literary prizes etc.
Management Tags: prefix ‘_’, used to manage the book collection
⚊ _≡<location>[<shelf id>] - The location of the book to the shelf level — given the shelf, the book is easy enough to find. Samuel Pepys' bequest of his library included the instruction that placement of the books ...be strictly reviewed and, where found requiring it, more nicely adjusted. These tags allow the books to be shelved in any convenient order. There is never a need to shift a lot of books or leave gaps to accommodate a new book because of its inconveniently named author or call number. I just fill the shelves in a visually pleasing sequence. It’s rarely necessary to update more than a book or two when fitting in a new one. While there are genre and series concentrations and I do try to shelve some authors close together, the system doesn't break down when a book is shelved elsewhere.
⚊ _to read: <value> where value is 0 to 9 (priority, 0 is highest) |
⚊ _cover: <source> - the source of the cover's image
⚊ _volume status where status is owned | borrowed | deleted
To Do Tags: prefix ‘•’, entries needing work.
Catalog Entry Id’s
These tie .edition, .collection, and .work level catalog entries together, allowing them to be retrieved in sets. The ids are stored in the User Call Number field, which can hold multiple id’s allowing an entry to be linked to multiple higher-level entries, e.g., three editions containing the same work.
The id format is C<id number>.<.entry type> where:
⚊ ‘C’: identifies this as a catalog id
⚊ id number: for most entries, this is my book acquisition number which ties a book’s .edition, .collection, and .work entries together as a set. A .collection entry may also have an id based on LT’s book id (record number) allowing for .collections with no .editions. This is useful for representing unowned collections in which owned works were originally published and for retrieving the set of the .collection and its related .work entries, sans the .edition entries.
⚊ .entry type: identifies the entry’s level i.e., ‘E’ – .edition, ‘C’ – .collection, ‘W’ - .work
Note: these id's can be seen on the Your Books page by using Style B
Special Characters (comments):
⚊ '∃ ... ' ►' delimit clickable links (The ∃ (there-exists) is optional.)
⚊ '✓' marks items read.
⚊ "Ωn" delimits the owned editions listed in a .collection record and the ordinal n is used to identiy the edition(s) containing a given work within the collection.
"letter" (bold): identifies a footnote. Used mostly for individual works in a collection
'●': marks a standard label, e.g., "● novel", "● author" etc.
"==============================" is a spacer to force the comment field to display with a uniform width.
⚊ '⚊', '—', '☆', 'π' : other formatting characters
Special Characters (tags):
⚊ 'Σ' starts a collection (set) level tag.
⚊ ‘_’ starts a tag with library management information.
⚊ '_≡' starts a location (shelf ≡) tag.
⚊ '‡' ends a doubly shelved location tag.
⚊ 'Ψ.' starts tags with collector's information, mostly publisher series (e.g. "Ψ.loeb: 484") and a few other groupings.
If you notice something in need of correction, please let me know. Catalog formatting discrepancies are probably best considered as historical artifacts. When I change the way I do things, I usually don't update thousands entries to match. This writeup is occasionally revised though to better reflect current usage.
- About Me
I live in New Hampshire. This is a night view postcard of downtown Nashua, NH, postmarked Feb. 7, 1910. Night views like this one started out as black and white, daytime photos. They were artistically updated to add color, the lights in the windows, the characteristic full moon and clouds, and to improve the composition of the shot. As an example, the electric trolley can now run without its overhead power lines (Nashua started running electric trolleys in 1895.)
King James Bible: Scripture 1611 — Old Testament 1053 pages completed and the New Testament: The Acts on page 181 of 323 pages / Purgatorio by Dante: Epic Poem 1308-1320 — reading canto 00 of 33 / The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton 1947 — on xiii of xviii and page 88 of 242 / Hammett: Complete Novels 1927-1933 — reading The Maltese Falcon, on page 0 of 195, the 3rd of 5 novels / The Waste Books by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, aphorisms 1765-1799 — on page 142 of 234
LT user number: 196604
Name: Eric Hanson
- Nashua, NH, USA
- Currently Reading
- The Mind Illuminated : A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness by John Yates
- Interesting Library
- absurdeist, appaloosaman, aquaticus, AsYouKnow_Bob, BannedBooksLibrary, boldface, ComputerHistory, Crypto-Willobie, devenish, dyoneo, ElectricRay, ErstwhileEditor, Figleaf, GlennRussell, IvyAlvarez, jasonpettus, johnwang, kdweber, Keeline, Korrick, LordNigelKnickKnack, majcher, MeditationesMartini, miskatoniclibrary, MMcM, Noisy, nrebaudo48, nymith, nyrbclassics, PhilOPosia, pivox, pomonomo2003, Quicksilver66, ringman, Rule42, SilentInAWay, thatguyzero, toddstewart, TQSI, turtlefly, vpfluke, WilfGehlen, worldsworstbutterfly