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Ghosts [novella] by Paul Auster

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Member: civitas

CollectionsYour library (3,251), editions (1,888), collections (190), works (1,172), films (99), borrowed (90), deleted (163), To read (1,211), have read (975), Currently reading (5), LoA (28), nyrb (47), Modern Library (265), ML Giant (56), ML Illustrated (1), ML Chronicles (4), ML Buckram (67), VB Buckram (33), Everyman's Library (46), EL (Knopf) (37), LEC (15), Heritage Press (18), Easton Press (13), Franklin Library (6), Folio Society (9), Imprint Society (4), Loeb (10), other series (41), ml excel (88), imprints (66), temp (7), do (68), Wishlist (6), Favorites (90), Recovered books (2), All collections (3,610)

ReviewsNone

Tags.work (3,159), .edition (2,233), =book (2,123), _owned (1,888), century: 20th (1,703), •format (1,484), form: fiction (1,462), _cover: eh (1,071), literature: American (1,045), form: nonfiction (1,036) — see all tags

MediaBook (2,141), Paper Book (1,992), Paperback (600), Hardcover (749), Journal (paper) (1), Ebook (2), Sound Recording (1), Streaming audio (1), Video Recording (98), Reel-to-Reel/Film (30), Streaming video (68), Other (7), Printed music (3), Printed music, Paperback (2), Printed music, Hardcover (1), Map (1), Software (1), Manuscript (1), Unknown (1,363), n/a (1,363)

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meI live in New Hampshire and write computer software.

The postcard above is a night view 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. Note the electric trolley running without benefit of overhead power lines. Nashua started running electric trolleys in 1895.

Currently Reading:

KJ Bible: 1611                       commentary: 1969       novel: 2004               programming: Android         collected: stories

            

page: 288 / 1376                    page: 215 / 1219        page: 052 / 509          page: 182 / 448                  page: 005 / 387


About my libraryA disparate lot of classics, modern literary and genre fiction, essays, history, computer science and various and assorted of other classifications. About the only books I buy new are the computer science ones, as they have a limited shelf life and do, in theory, pay for themselves. For the others, I’m 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).


Star Ratings are one dimensional, but quality is not — the innovative novel may still be unreadable. A work is a constant, but the rater is not. L. P. Hartley observed in The Go-Between that The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there, and so it is that I may rate an older work more highly than it deserves simply because I enjoyed the view afforded, even when it's not the one intended (often true of silent films). Ratings across genres are not entirely comparable — a five star mystery borrowed from the library is probably not another Stoner. The average rating in the comment field is a weighted average from LT and Amazon.

I rate what I read as:

excellent
good
ok
poor
egregious


My LibraryThing Catalog

LT has no books, but millions of catalog entries. Mine represent the physical books and recordings I own and the works (novels, short stories, plays etc.) contained therein. I also keep track of books I've read that I don't own - those borrowed or now discarded.

Recognizing LT as a collection of relations instead of a pile of books provides a more interesting path to its potential. My catalog is a model of my collection.

If you notice anything in need of correction, please let me know. Note though, formatting discrepancies are probably best considered as historical artifacts. I frequently change the way I do things and I usually don't go and update all 2500+ entries (or at times, unfortunately, this write-up).

Catalog Structure:

N.B., what follows needs revision to better explain the three level recursive structure now in use: .edition, .collection, and .work

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 separate entries to represent either the edition or work level information. The books, CD's and DVD's in the collection are produced by publishers and are represented by edition entries in the catalog. An edition is a container of one or more works. Works are created by authors, editors or performers and can have their own entries in the catalog. A work 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.

Special Characters (comments): Items having their own work entries are marked with '☆' (deprecated:'*', '●', or '=▷'). Where applicable, un-linked works are marked as "[☆]". Clickable links to other LT entries or external resources are marked by "=►". The '' (there-exists) symbol is a link delimiter. A '' marks items read. A 'π' marks a partial work. For partially owned collections, owned works are marked by "". Where there are multiple containing editions, an id number is added. Where it's clearer to mark un-owned works "[Ω]" is used. Notes are marked by "(letter)". Miscellaneous formatting characters: '⚊', '—'.

Special Characters (tags): A 'Σ' starts a collection (set) level tag. A ‘_’ starts a tag with collection management information. A '_≡' starts a location (shelf≡) tag. A '' ends a doubly shelved location tag. A 'Ψ.' starts tags with collector's information, viz publisher's series ids, signatures, bookplates etc.

LT Collections - Some of these are:
● editions: entries containing edition and optionally, collection and work information. Represents actual books owned.
● collections: entries containing collection and optionally, work information
● works: entries containing only work information
● borrowed: edition entries for books read, mostly from the public library.
● deleted: edition entries for books I’ve read and managed to get rid of. This collection isn't as big as it should be.
● films: a viewing log. I've cut cable TV and the stream replacing it includes more movies. Note: It also includes many interesting old TV shows, but I'm not going to be logging them (at least for now)
● music: I have a few CD's cataloged out of a couple of hundred. Spotify has almost eliminated my interest in CD's. This is curious, as I don't care for e-books at all.
● Favorites: the only collection with Include in recommendations set. The works may not be favorites per se.
● series <name>: individual collections for various publisher's series editions.
● Wishlist: this is on Amazon
● Your Library: the set of entries representing books owned. No film or music works are included at present.

There are rules for handling LT entries in collections:
- An edition entry in books can move to books once owned
- An edition entry in books once owned is deleted upon final disposition (donated or sold) if unread. (tbd)
- An edition entry in books borrowed is deleted if it's returned unread
- A work or collection entry in works may be deleted when its edition entry is deleted. The reference to the deleted edition is removed from the work entry and if there are no remaining references to other editions, the entry is deleted.

Tags - In seven groups, with a naming convention, arranged in this order:

Entry Tags (prefix ‘.’) - describe the level of the catalog entry:
● .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 Tags (prefix ‘=’) - describe the edition:
● physical form: generalized to allow entries where the published edition is unknown or not applicable. Examples are a streamed movie or a live performance of a play.
- =edition type: format or venue
— types are: =book | =film | =music | =play | =show (as in TV)
— formats are: printed (the optional default for =book) | ebook | streamed | tv | theater | dvd | cd | live
● other attributes: =binding, =slipcase etc.
● edition specific content: =imprint, =illustrated, =limited edition, =abridged, =annotated, =published, =subtitled, =colorized etc.
● translations:
- =translated (<to-language>) - the translation is from the original language to the given language.
- =translated - the translation is from the original language to English; short for =translated (English)
- =translated (no) - no translation was done, the work is in its original (non-English) language

Work and Collection of Works Tags (no prefix) - describe collected and individual works. Most are self-explanatory, but some need comment:
● 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> - The year the work was completed or first published for lack of better information.
● published: <year> - the year first published. Generally used for work collections. Short stories often appear in periodicals years before being republished in a collection. May also be used for a work when there is a large discrepancy between the date written and when first published.
● century: <ordinal> - groups the work by century instead of year.
● era: <period> - classifies the time frame of the work's subject matter. Used mostly for histories.
● language: <language> - the work's original language. English is the default and as such, is not tagged.
● a: <descriptor> - categorizes the work e.g. a: novel. There is some overlap with genre:

Book Collectibles Tags (prefix ‘~’) - categorize books as collectibles:
● ~series: <name> - e.g., Limited editions Club, Everyman's Library etc.
● ~<series>: <number> - e.g., ~ml:124 – Modern Library number 124
● ~tradelabel: <type> - the volume has a printed label identifying the book's seller or binder
● ~bookplate - the volume has an owner's bookplate
● ~signed: <role> - the volume is signed by the author, illustrator etc

Author Tags (prefix ‘—’) - used for 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 to find. Samuel Pepys' bequest of his library included the instructions that placement of the books ...be strictly reviewed and, where found requiring it, more nicely adjusted. And so it is that these tags allow my 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.
● _duplicate: <entry type> - e.g., edition, in series etc.
● _to read: <priority> - 0 to 9; _read: now, and _read: <year>
● _cover: <source> - the source of the cover's image
● _status: <type> - the status of the volume in the library: owned, borrowed, deleted

To Do Tags (prefix ‘•’) - mark entries needing work.

And finally:

Visitors

This link pays for the counter: Dell Computer Coupons
N.B.: It's a coupon web site - NOT DELL, so caveat emptor.
Also note: The counter is inflated, as it increments whenever anyone views the page - which I often do.



GroupsBook Care and Repair, Bookcases: If You Build/Buy Them, They Will Fill, Bug Collectors, Combiners!, Everyman's Library, Fine Press Forum, Folio Society devotees, George Macy devotees, I Survived the Great Vowel Shift, In Translationshow all groups

Favorite publishersNYRB Classics, The Library of America

Homepagehttps://sites.google.com/site/civitasbooks/

Real nameEric Hanson

LocationNashua, NH, USA

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/civitas (profile)
/catalog/civitas (library)

Member sinceApr 29, 2007

Currently readingAsimov's Guide to the Bible: The Old and New Testaments (2 Vols. in One) by Isaac Asimov
Holy Bible - Authorized King James Version by
The Collected Fiction of Kenneth Koch by Kenneth Koch
Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms Preview Edition 2 (Developer Reference) by Charles Petzold
Cloud Atlas : A Novel by David Mitchell

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