Is anyone else having this problem with importing their files?

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Is anyone else having this problem with importing their files?

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Edited: Jan 20, 2016, 1:32 pm

Every time I click the Import button I get this response:

Is that supposed to happen? Does that mean it's working? I feel like it's some kind of joke... one that leaves me utterly baffled.

Details for the curious:
I use Shelfari and LibraryThing for very different purposes - LibraryThing is a catalog of my entire library, whereas Shelfari/Goodreads merely holds reviews of books I've read, which I may not actually own - so I decided I would only import the books that I've written reviews for. I got my library .CSV file and deleted the hundreds of books I've read but never reviewed, then saved that file. After multiple attempts, I did actually save the file in the exact same way it was originally stored, with the same title and in the same location. I didn't delete any columns, just rows.

Edited: Jan 20, 2016, 1:54 pm

>1 jerenda: That's... very strange indeed. I'm seeing the same thing when testing the Shelfari import. We're on it and it should be resolved soon! I'll post updates here when I've got them.

ETA: I'll also check on the progress of your import, and let you know if you'll need to try it again.

Jan 20, 2016, 1:54 pm

File got pushed by mistake…

Jan 20, 2016, 1:58 pm

Working. Sorry about that. Code escaped.

Jan 20, 2016, 2:23 pm

As >4 timspalding: mentioned, all is working with imports again. However, you will need to re-submit your import file, I'm afraid. Sorry for the trouble! Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.

Edited: Jan 20, 2016, 3:07 pm

Can anyone explain to me why,when I have just 3600 books over on shelfari,here my shelf says I have 4200 and more books?Then I had over 300 duplicate books,and hundreds of blank covers.It all looks an awful mess :0,very disappointing

Jan 20, 2016, 3:44 pm

>6 dustydigger:

That's undoubtedly an import problem. It's possible that there was a hiccup with Shelfari's export (you can open the exported .csv file, if you want, and see whether the duplicates are present there), or it's possible that the error is on LT's end; if the Shelfari import is something they put together in a hurry, it's probably a problem on LT's end. If you want to get rid of the duplicates, you can go to Power Edit (the little lightning-bolt icon when you're looking at your catalog), choose "Miscellaneous", and click on "Select all ISBN duplicates in your catalog". You'll need to pick which duplicate in each case to get rid of. Alternatively, if you haven't done any editing on your catalog here on LT, you can delete all the books and do the import again once the staff have ironed out the bugs.

I'm sorry that your first experience with LT has been so negative.

Jan 20, 2016, 4:00 pm

>6 dustydigger: Sorry to hear you're having trouble with duplicates. I've done a number of test imports using Shelfari export files today, and am not seeing anything like you've described.

In our recent import queue, I see two imported files from you, one on the 14th (3,320 total books) and one on the 17th (3,398 total books). Looking at your library, it appears that your duplicates are books that overlapped between those two files. For example, of your two copies of Acorna's Quest (here and here), one was added on the 14th, and one on the 17th.

You can use the Power Edit feature (the little yellow lightning bolt button at the top of the Your Books page) to bulk select and edit books (including deleting). Sort your books by Entry date (click on the title of the column to sort), and you can pretty quickly select books from a single import for editing/deletion.

Again, I'm sorry for the hassle. Feel free to email me if there's anything else I can do to help (

Jan 20, 2016, 4:04 pm

Thanks for the quick response, Lorannen and Tim! I'm glad you've recaptured your escaped code, that stuff can be very dangerous. I will resubmit my files. :)

Jan 20, 2016, 4:10 pm

>9 jerenda: I may have spoken too soon. I just double-checked your library and am seeing a bunch of books from today popping up there. Take a look and see if it looks like those are from your import?

I messaged you directly with this note as well, to make sure it got to you ASAP.

Jan 20, 2016, 4:16 pm

I'm seeing a lot of Shelfari refugee accounts with bad authors. Either first names only or things like paperback or Kindle edition.

The first name only ones are fairly easy to combine, but the others are a lot harder.

Jan 20, 2016, 4:33 pm

>11 MarthaJeanne: That's disconcerting. I've seen a couple instances of that in my own Shelfari export tests, but the data in the export matches what LT's importing, so there's not a whole lot we can do, if that's the case. If you'd point me to an example, though, I'll definitely take a look a the import file and see if I can find anything off.

Jan 20, 2016, 4:33 pm

>11 MarthaJeanne:

This is a concern. I have Ammar looking at it.

Edited: Jan 20, 2016, 4:53 pm

Quite honestly, EVERY new Shelfari member that I have looked at, sorted by total members, has had a long list of singletons of these types.

@caallas probably had the fewest, and I was able to find matches for everything. But apparently a lot came through twice. See the PMs for work numbers of problematic entries.

Jan 20, 2016, 5:03 pm

>14 MarthaJeanne: Thanks for the example, I appreciate it! We're on it—Ammar's looking at Shelfari field mapping now, and I've found some good examples to work with.

Edited: Jan 21, 2016, 4:19 am

Yes,I have hundreds of one word author names.I did the second import because the first one looked so bad,but it didnt help at all,did it? :0(. I think I'll just wait a while till LT isnt so beseiged with shelfari refugees and some importing bugs, and then clear out the whole thing and start again.
Its all very odd. Shelfari sent me my file and I checked it out and was delighted that it completely agreed with my shelfari shelf,correct to the last book on my shelf.,which was a relief. So I didnt expect such a muddle in the transfer to LT. Never mind,I'll just leave it a while. The great thing is that I used to tag almost all author ,so there are my tags tucked under the ''cloud''section on here,so I have all my data there,carefully and conveniently arranged in my familiar way. I am extremely happy about that.:0)For instance,I was delighted to be able to look at the covers of my 45 Anne McCaffreys,everything at my fingertips.So the issue with the shelf isnt so vital when I feel the urge to check what I have by a particular author or in a genre.

Jan 21, 2016, 10:26 am

>16 dustydigger:

Thanks for your patience! I know LT's staff are hard at work on the import issue (since the Shelfari import is probably one they put together on short notice), but it must be enormously frustrating to have all your nice data so messed up.

Edited: Jan 21, 2016, 12:41 pm

Ok, so a correction has been made to field mappings in Shelfari imports. Theoretically, this should mean more accurate data mapped from Shelfari imports.

>6 dustydigger: I have tried importing your latest Shelfari import and looked out for duplicates but did not find any. Therefore, it may be like >8 lorannen: said, a merge between your two import files. Also note, that in the import questions page, one of the sections is dedicated to importing duplicates and the 'Import duplicates again' option may have been unintentionally selected.

For now, I plan to sift through Shelfari imports and look for errors as described by >11 MarthaJeanne: to make sure that importing those same files do not cause the errors anew.

Edited: Jan 22, 2016, 10:10 am

>19 MarthaJeanne: thanks for the tip.

I did look through Marcellas catalog. The only thing I noticed off was some of the authors were named 'False'.
So, I downloaded the file used by Marcella and had a look. It turns out that the value for some of the entries is the text 'False'.

Im not sure why Shelfari would export some of the records that way, but at this point, all we can do is try to detect the value 'False' and throw it out. Im not sure timspalding wants to take that route.

Jan 22, 2016, 10:25 am

Thanks again for all your time and effort. I have loads of authors with partly missing names, which means covers and other data are missing because it probably created new books here. I'm not sure what to do with them and I'll just let it sit for now. Obviously Shelfari's files are a big mess - no wonder, as Amazon abandoned the site years ago.

I'm happy LT got so much imported anyway, as no other site managed to import more than 15% of my books. And I'm grateful that you are taking the time and effort to look into these problems - a welcome change from what I'm used to at Shelfari and Goodreads.

Jan 23, 2016, 6:27 am

To the LT admin
I fully agree with everything Marcella says. I have many hundreds of partial authors. I did make a start on editing them,have done about 30,but if you think you will be able to make an improvement in the situation,I will leave them for now.Its fiddly time consuming work,
If not,I am going to have to dedicate my Sunday afternoons to editing.Havent dared count just how many blank covers I have which will need editing,but it definitely runs into hundreds.
I really appreciate your hard work. Fingers crossed things will improve

Jan 23, 2016, 6:50 am

>22 dustydigger:

Actually, currently working on the partial author problem :-)

I will keep this post updated.
Thank you for your patience.

Jan 23, 2016, 12:23 pm

In addition to author issue in this discussion, how can I import the "Date Finished" and create a Read (in addition to Reading and TBR) collection

Jan 23, 2016, 12:55 pm

At the bottom of every collection list is 'edit collections'. That lets you create new collections, change the order of collections ... Experience shows that although they should all work the same, this works better some places than others, so if the first place you try doesn't work smoothly, try somewhere else.

Jan 24, 2016, 3:44 am

>23 LT_Ammar: In a diff thread in this group Judy_Ryfinski said "My books transferred fine from Shelfari, but none of the dates I completed my books show up on my librarything shelf. Help..."

Edited: Jan 24, 2016, 10:09 am

> 23 Ammar - Thanks to Ammar,and Martha Jean for their kind help.I am going to sit this pm and add ISBNs to some my books,and then they should get covers. I never did deep editing on shelfari. My only purpose was to have a cover on my shelf,and a few basic tags,nothing else really,so I never bothered with other things. Suffering for it now :0(

Edited: Jan 24, 2016, 2:22 pm

>27 dustydigger: Adding the ISBN should give you the Amazon cover. If you can combine with the correct work, you should get a choice of covers.

For example

Not autocombined because of faulty author import, but if you go to the editions page (lower left), the computer suggests the correct work. Your entry will still be wrong, but the work information will all be there for you. In this case with 107 covers.

BTW The computer often makes bad suggestions, so it is a good idea to think while combining.

Jan 24, 2016, 3:31 pm

None of this is anything I can help with, but I just wanted to pipe in a big thank you to the LT staff (and other members) who are trying to help sort it all out!

Thank you!

Edited: Jan 25, 2016, 9:15 am

>22 dustydigger:

Update: a resolution to the partial author problem has been made.

It turns out that shelfari exports included the main authors again in the additional authors section in last-first form.
This meant there was an extra comma and it was throwing our code off.

I have used your import file and compared my 'fixed' data with your catalog and the single-author problem has been resolved.

Do let me know if you notice anything else off.

>26 .Monkey.: Thanks for the heads up, will take a look at this shortly.

Edited: Jan 25, 2016, 3:35 am

>30 LT_Ammar: LT Ammar-
what a lot of trouble from one little comma!My editing will go much faster now,as with the correct authors I only have the covers to change.Only about 130 more books to edit.Its a pity that I have so many old books with no covers available.Should just read new books that hundreds of people have uploaded pictures for! lol
I really appreciate your help with this glitchy import. Still,its an awful lot better than my export to Goodreads,only 1500 out of 3600 made it through,after 3 attempts.I have given up with them really. Once my books are fully sorted here,backed up with Leafmarks,it will be bye-bye to GR!

Jan 25, 2016, 8:36 am

I'm having trouble getting my Shelfari CSV file to import here at all - I tried a couple of times yesterday and kept getting thrown back to an import screen that said there was an error. (I used the same file yesterday to import to Leafmarks and it worked without a glitch). Any thoughts on what I should do next?

Jan 25, 2016, 11:49 am

Update: The 'date read' import issue has been fixed.
Now, all the dates from the 'Date Read' column will be imported from your Shelfari file.

>32 Booklover889:
Taking a look at your import file.

Jan 25, 2016, 11:59 am

Thanks! But what do I do now? Throw away all books and import the file again?

Jan 25, 2016, 4:38 pm

Thanks Ammar - does the system actually show me as having an import file? (that answers at least part of my question! I think I may have tried to import 3 times yesterday, as it just seemed like it wasn't working at all!

Jan 25, 2016, 6:14 pm

>33 LT_Ammar:
Marcella1717's question is also mine - do I chuck what I have and start again before I have done too much editing here?

Jan 25, 2016, 6:29 pm

My question too. Thinking out loud, but I'm thinking I need to delete my books and re-import to fix both the author and date issues. Please confirm.

Jan 25, 2016, 6:42 pm

I'd wait a day or so. LT_Ammar is working fixing in place.

Jan 25, 2016, 7:12 pm

>35 Booklover889: So, your file is large (13000+ records). With files this large, especially those with quite a number of non-ISBN records, a timeout happens. Me and timspalding discussed a solution the other day that will enable us to handle larger files such as yours.

Now, Im not making any promises, but I hope to get the green light from him tomorrow to start implementing this change. It depends on time constraints and priorities.

I will keep you updated though.

>38 timspalding: The script I am working on will only fix the author issue. Although, now that I think of it, it should be doable(and easier) to work in a fix for dates as well. Ill see what happens(read: whatever Tim tells me to do :) )

Jan 25, 2016, 8:00 pm

>39 LT_Ammar:

Dates were already fixed, but not retroactively, right?

Jan 25, 2016, 10:26 pm

Thanks very much - I appreciate you trying to find a solution for me (and keeping me posted!)

Jan 26, 2016, 9:18 am

>40 timspalding: right. Im currently working on a script that will get dates for the shelfari imports that occured before the official date fix.

Jan 27, 2016, 9:57 am

Hello - my import worked too well, as everything has doubled. Instead of 2900+ books I'm showing as having 5800+ - everything has appeared twice.

I imported my Shelfari library both to Leafmarks and to LibraryThing. The Leafmarks import worked perfectly so I don't think it's a problem with the library itself. I've emailed the info desk to ask if I should delete everything (if so, how?) and start over, or whether it can be fixed somehow. I'm sure I didn't initiate the process twice, but I'd have thought duplicate books would be flagged or ignored in any case.

Jan 27, 2016, 11:20 am

>43 SueinCyprus: If you go to "Your Books" at the top of the screen, you get a list of all your books. If you click the lightning bolt symbol, you'll go to "power edit" mode. In power edit, you can easily select multiple books, and then delete them from the library.

When importing books, there's a checkbox for ignoring duplicate books. From the couple of imports that this has happened to, my guess is that it's not checked by default. You may want to doublecheck that it is before you try importing again.

Jan 27, 2016, 12:10 pm

Thank you, Tim, Ammar, and everyone at Library Thing for making me feel welcomed and for working so hard on resolving the Shelfari import problems. I, too, have books with no covers and my read dates are all gone, but I'm happy to wait it out as these issues are resolved. I just thrilled to have a far more functional option for my book records--one that beats the pants off Goodreads!

Jan 28, 2016, 5:30 am

Thanks bestem, that's useful to know and it works... however the thought of manually deleting 2900 books is a bit daunting! And they seem to be connected somehow... I wrote a review on one book and its duplicate also updated its review. So I'm thinking it's a bug in the system somewhere.

Jan 28, 2016, 6:13 am

Which book? The review should be visible on the review page for both copies, but not as the review for that copy.

Jan 28, 2016, 8:00 am

HI, my apologies if I am repeating something you already addressed. my import from shelfari did not go even close to expected so I deleted all. I would like to try again but I know I have couple concerns before I start. I have about 3800 records, of which at least 800 do not have ISBN however they do have ASIN. My understanding is ASIN equals ISBN for the most part. Can I copy the information into ISBN or is there another way to upload those records? The other item is the 'shelves'/collections that my data appeared did not work. I know in the shelfari file, there is are columns indicating wishlist, owned, read etc. and with my first import it did not appear to be utilizing those columns properly. So the question is, should I try to load the whole file again or should I parse the file into chunks so I can import each piece and validate that they appear in the correct collection.
Much appreciate any and all help!

Jan 28, 2016, 10:29 am


I'll let Martha Jean address you concerns...
I'm a shelfari refugee....hence, haven't a clue.

Martha Jean

A few interesting things.....
Only a few of my reviews came across....I have been entering manually.
Those that did were interrupted like this...... A touching story of small town America, set in Gilead, Texas 1934

I was surprised to find this book written by Sandra Brown (of NY Times bestseller
thriller fame)

David Rainwater profoundly touched the lives of everyone he met.

When I called all the views for this book to compare, mine looked like this....unreadable.
I've since been manually either overriding this type or hand entering ones not transferred.

I'm slowly collating or at least trying to gather data from other sources

I had an issue with book covers not coming over but that seems to be resolved.


Edited: Jan 28, 2016, 12:33 pm

>48 middleman66: I'm sorry to hear your import didn't go through properly, and I'm looking into it now. In answer to your questions about ASINs and ISBNs, they are two completely different pieces of data, so copying the ASINs over into the ISBN column will do more harm than good. ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number, and ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. As you might guess, ASINs are used primarily by Amazon, and everything on Amazon—from books to shoes to laundry detergent—has one.

Ammar has made some changes to the import system as recently as this morning. I'm going to try your original import file in one of my test accounts to see how it goes. I'll post here again once I have some results to share with you.

Jan 28, 2016, 12:34 pm

>49 pennsylady: That's a new issue to me. I've asked Ammar to look into it, and he's testing your import file now. Thanks for reporting!

Jan 28, 2016, 3:42 pm

An update for >48 middleman66: I tested your import file again, in my test account, with much better results. However, there's still a couple kinks I'm working out. I'll message you directly tomorrow with further news, as I hope to have this squared away soon! I'm sorry for the trouble. Thanks for your patience!

Jan 28, 2016, 7:18 pm

awesome,greatly appreciate the help! I work in IT so I totally understand. There is no way you can test for all the nuances of builds until you actually have data and lots of it. I am not in a rush, if you do not get it completed, just let me know a status as you make progress.

Edited: Jan 29, 2016, 3:37 pm

I have almost completed hand entry of my reviews.
This is what it looked like I called up a review that had transferred in
......sorry it won't duplicate now
Also, there was also no distinction of separate lines.

You may not find any difficulties since I'm almost done.
Very few of my reviews came across initially but that was good since they required correction.

Thanks for all the help

Feb 3, 2016, 8:01 pm

Ammar - any update on a fix that would allow me to import my (very large) Shelfari library? Thanks so much!

Edited: Feb 3, 2016, 9:32 pm

Is there any way for covers to show when a book has ASIN but was not ISBN?

My covers weren't showing wfter import so I deleted and will retry in the AM.

I hope all my LT info was also on Shelfari - pretty sure 90% or more was on both sites

Edited: Feb 4, 2016, 3:12 am

>56 nospi: Books with ISBN will show the Amazon cover for that ISBN as default. Once a book is in a work you can chose between all available covers for the work. It may be necessary to combine some of your books to get them in the proper work. Deleting and reentering will not help.

If the book only is shown as having one or two members, there is a good chance that it can be combined. If you can't get the cover you want that way, you can always upload a cover. To change your cover, go to the book page and click on either Change cover in the left hand menu or on the cover images on the right hand of the page.

BTW, experienced LT users avoid Amazon covers. They are usually less sharp than member covers, but more important, if the publisher puts a new cover on the book, your cover picture will change.

Feb 4, 2016, 7:10 am

Any updates on my file import? just curious.

Edited: Feb 4, 2016, 1:06 pm

>55 Booklover889: I should start implementing a robust solution for larger files tomorrow or next week. We have been working on it and just completed the design phase.

>56 nospi: Just to add on to what >57 MarthaJeanne: said: I don't think so. As a side note, a recent modification has been made to the import process concerning non-ISBN records which have a valid ASIN that is also an ISBN, that ASIN is added as the ISBN also.

>58 middleman66: Currently looking. Will keep you updated.

Edited: Feb 4, 2016, 2:19 pm

>58 middleman66: ok, I have tested on a subset of your file. All the fields that are supposed to map(rating, review, date read, etc..) are working.
Do note, that there have been various fixes in field mapping, so there should be a difference since the last time you imported.

Also, shelves are importing, but they are importing to tags, rather than collections. Depending on how the shelf is worded, it makes sense to either have it map to collections or tags. Should we change the mapping to collections instead of tags timspalding?

Regarding ASINs and ISBNs, if the ASIN is an ISBN, it will import through both fields, even if that record does not have an ISBN.
However, if the ASIN is not an ISBN, like B000BT3GGA, only the ASIN field will be filled.

I would try first importing a subset of the file to see how it gauges. Do let me know if you experience any other issues.

Feb 4, 2016, 8:34 pm

I will try a few dozen before trying the whole file thanks!

Feb 4, 2016, 8:57 pm


Feb 4, 2016, 10:21 pm

HI so tried to load about 36 files and only 28 loaded. All were loaded as 'owned' but that field in quite a few was 'FALSE'. None loaded with a tag/collection of 'read' but that field was shown as 'TRUE'. I had at least one book that should have been in a tag/collection of 'wishlist' as the field was shown as 'TRUE'. I guess I can split up my file so that I can assure all tags/collections are the way I want them. I know the files that did not load did not have an ISBN but had AISN. So it looks like it will also be manual effort to add about 800 books.
Thanks for your time.

Feb 5, 2016, 12:36 pm

>63 middleman66: Actually, thank you for telling me about this! I was able to track the file you are speaking of and I tested it out and it helped me discover a bug in our system. Basically, some files have a special character at the beginning that was messing up how we import non-ISBN records. This has been fixed and out of the 36 records in the file, all 36 (including the non-ISBN) should import.

Regarding importing to tags, we only look at the 'Bookshelves' column and convert those to tags. Other columns in Shelfari files such as 'Owned' or 'Wishlist' are disregarded. If you want a book to import into a tag of 'wishlist' make sure that value is in the 'Bookshelves' column.

Feb 7, 2016, 12:49 am

Is there any way to sort my imported Shelfari books by date read instead of the date they were all imported?

Feb 7, 2016, 2:10 am

To change the sort you can either click on the column head or use the up/down arrow icon. With the columns, the previous sort becomes the secondary sort, so -

To sort by author, and within each author by title, click first on title, then on author.

I also find date read a useful sort. Total members (only available with the icon) helps find books that need combining.

Feb 7, 2016, 12:34 pm

My second import of Shelfari books looks great. Thank you all for how much you do for this site and members.

I had one issue in that it seems my library came over into my Kindle Unlimited Collection. Could someone advise the best way to bulk edit or otherwise address this?

Feb 7, 2016, 2:02 pm

>67 nospi: Power edit - the lightning bolt icon - is your friend here.

Edited: Feb 7, 2016, 2:54 pm

>68 MarthaJeanne: Thank you.

Feb 7, 2016, 7:49 pm

Hunger Games imported weirdly

Is there anything I should do?
Where is the appropriate place to report it?

Thanks for any assistance/direction

Feb 7, 2016, 11:28 pm

Very interesting. Apparently that book has (quite idiotically) the same ISBN as the Hunger Games. If you go to Add Books and enter 0439023483 it comes up first too.

Ammar can look at what the API is getting from Amazon tomorrow. I suspect it's coming up first for it too, which is stupid.

Edited: Feb 8, 2016, 9:25 am

>70 nospi: >71 timspalding:

When I go search for 0439023483 against three sources(Amazon, Overcat, Library of Congress), all the results I get are correct. None of them are for '1000 New Helpful Hints'.

Also, the API seems fine. I have tracked down that specific import record and imported it into my catalog and was added correctly.

Possibly a hiccup with Amazon search?

Feb 8, 2016, 9:23 am


2/8/16, 9:22:20 AM Ammar Abu-Yasein: :) I was using ' books, music and movies'
2/8/16, 9:22:32 AM Ammar Abu-Yasein: ' books' does it, thanks

Edited: Feb 8, 2016, 11:29 am

>70 nospi: >71 timspalding:

Ok, so the Amazon API was indeed returning '1000 New Helpful Hints' in its results.
It is also found in search results at the Amazon website itself:

I made a specific fix for that ISBN. If that record is imported again, it will import 'The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1)'.

Thanks for reporting nospi!

Feb 8, 2016, 11:37 am

Lovely, because I remember dealing with that before.

Feb 8, 2016, 7:21 pm

I'm totally confused do i empty my shelf and start over to get the read dates....

Feb 8, 2016, 9:48 pm


Feb 9, 2016, 9:25 am

For those who wanted to import Shelfari records to relevant collections based on some of the true/false Shelfari fields, we have made recently made that change:

Edited: Feb 9, 2016, 9:27 am

>76 nraichlin: No. If you imported your Shelfari file before the fix which included 'Date Read' values, we have recently run a script which retroactively fixed those for you. Therefore, there is no need to empty your catalog or re-import the file.

Feb 12, 2016, 10:45 pm

I tried to import a new file (I updated) and I am getting an error when I click the second import books button.
the error message is: Insert into queue_collections(qc_q_id,qc_collection) Values (,281061)
You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right sytax to use near ‘281061)’ at line4 –fatal error (1)

I have 3663 books, 37 dups, 847 without ISBN. I picked Your Library for Collections, sync with duplicates, and import those books without ISBN.

I then tried to reimport my partial list that was already sucessful and I go the same error.

Feb 12, 2016, 10:48 pm


Okay, I may need to wake Ammar up on this.

Feb 13, 2016, 12:12 am

Gosh Tim! Why did you have to (not)* wake me up?

>80 middleman66: Thank you for reporting! This was an oversight on my part related to mapping Shelfari fields to collections and merging collections. It is fixed now and you should be able to sync collections without a problem.

*read: I was actually wide awake :-)

Edited: Feb 13, 2016, 8:51 am

>74 LT_Ammar: I have just separated out the bad edition as and put a disambiguation notice on it.

To explain a bit better to those new to LT.

This book was imported with the wrong info because of an ISBN problem. If you have a copy of that work, you probably own Hunger Games and not 1000 Helpful Hints.

If you really do have the hints, a small change in the title or a correction to the ISBN will make it possible to move it where it belongs. I can help, or post in the combiners group.

If you own Hunger Games you can either

1) Get your book out and correct all the info in the existing entry.

2) If you have no personal info in your entry, delete it and reenter, maybe from a library source like OverCat, although it should enter properly from Amazon now.

3) If you have a review, reading dates, etc. Reenter the book, move any such data, and then remove the wrong entry. If you put a unique tag on both, you can easily get a catalogue page with just those two books. I would probably open them in separate tabs.

In all these cases, it would be a good idea to check that your entry is not only correct itself, but that it is in the right work. Go to the main work page. There is a box labeled 'Your book information'. The top line shows your title and author. The bottom line shows the work title and author. They should be similar. If you chose 1) they probably won't be.

If not, it should be possible to go to the editions page and separate your copy out and then combine it properly. If you need help, message me or post in the combiners group. is a special topic in Combiners for this problem.

Feb 13, 2016, 9:46 am

I've come across a couple of accounts that seem to have recently imported multiple copies of the same book (some probably legitimate duplicates, but some I have a hard time believing weren't import bugs). Not to pick on these members ... I just happened to come across them:

Posting since I'm not sure if this is a known issue already.

Feb 13, 2016, 10:07 am

>83 MarthaJeanne: Wow, thank you so much for your concern and help. It is users like you that help make this website of higher quality and an engaging experience.

For 2), yes, it should import correctly from Amazon now.

Do let me know if there's anything else I can do or if any other works seem off.

Edited: Feb 13, 2016, 10:23 am

>84 omargosh: Indeed, I have been getting reports for some time regarding duplicate imports. I also glimpse this behavior sometimes when I analyze our user imports.
I took a look at those two profiles. For one user, our historical data suggests the file was uploaded multiple times. For the other user, however, it is clear this was a problem via our import system itself.

Unfortunately, the reason is not crystal clear. I performed an all-around import system test yesterday and did not experience any duplicate imports.

Nevertheless, this issue needs attention and I am officially putting it on my plate to take a look at next week.
We are currently doing a major over-haul of the import system which will allow us to handle larger files. Once that is taken care of, I can start on this next.

Thank you for reporting!

Feb 13, 2016, 12:52 pm

The poor entry for the ISBN 0439023483 in Amazon still exists, so may still cause issues in some circumstances. I've emailed them asking them to fix the issue. I don't know how quickly they respond to this sort of issue: when I've used the update form (not possible in this circumstance) they've sometimes made the correction within the hour.

Edited: Feb 13, 2016, 2:51 pm

>87 Noisy: It indeed still does exist. However, we have patched our code for that particular item so that if youre importing that book, the correct one will get added.
Thanks for trying to sort it out on Amazons end!

Feb 13, 2016, 3:24 pm

Any chance you could fix the existing copies? Otherwise they'll remain in limbo with MarthaJeanne's disambig notice unless all the importers change their data.

Feb 13, 2016, 9:42 pm

The file uploaded completely! WOO HOO! some minor tweaks but very happy now. THANKS SO MUCH

Feb 13, 2016, 10:14 pm


Feb 14, 2016, 6:32 am

Had a chat with Amazon about Hunger Games/1000 New Helpful Hints and they'll be correcting the ISBN within the next couple of days.

Feb 14, 2016, 8:41 am

On our side, the damage was done, but is reversible to a large extent. Now that the works are separated fully, give it a week or two. The hardest part is going to be the covers, I'm afraid, as one part of the code does assume that ISBNs are unique.

Anyway, March 1 and then problems are bugs.

Feb 18, 2016, 8:33 pm

>59 LT_Ammar: Ammar, any update on progress for large files? I was hoping to get my data uploaded and be able to do at least some cleanup while shelfari is still functioning (only another couple of weeks before the official lights-off date). But I know it's a bunch of work, and that you've got a bunch of other projects on the go...


Feb 25, 2016, 11:15 am

>94 Booklover889: Go for it! Sorry for the long wait. Ill be watching our records to make sure yours made it through successfully.

Feb 25, 2016, 3:25 pm

Awesome! Thanks so much. Will try tonight or over the weekend!

Feb 29, 2016, 8:14 am

>95 LT_Ammar: ok, so I tried again and had it accept my file. I'm not sure if it's totally done working through the system or not - will I get a message? I had just over 950 books show up (out of over 13,000, so that's not great...), so I'm hoping there's more to come...?

Edited: Feb 29, 2016, 9:58 am

>97 Booklover889: Hey Booklover!

Ok, so over this past week and weekend we've had quite a few large imports(ranging between 10,000 and 27,000) records.
Ive checked and all of them went through fine except yours(what luck huh ;-) ). I suspect an error on our end is not processing your file correctly.

Therefore, going to take a look at your file specifically and Ill keep you updated.

Feb 29, 2016, 7:58 pm

Thanks very much!

Edited: Mar 10, 2016, 11:42 am

>99 Booklover889: Hey Booklover889, I successfully imported your file yesterday (13693 records).
Could you give it a shot yourself?

I will be monitoring records to look for your import.

Mar 10, 2016, 6:41 pm

Very exciting! Thanks! I'll try tonight and see what happens (but had a quick look at your test profile and it looks really pretty good!)

Mar 11, 2016, 6:47 am

>101 Booklover889: Ok, so our import records suggest that your import went through successfully.

However, looking at your catalog, that is not the case.
Did you remove any of the books after they imported?

Edited: Mar 11, 2016, 9:09 am

No - I was just about to post back to you on that - I didn't delete anything, and it looks like only 5 additional books were imported. Maybe I did something wrong?

ETA: and it turns out that all 5 of the new ones that imported are duplicates -

Mar 16, 2016, 8:15 pm

>102 LT_Ammar: Ammar, should I go ahead and try the import again, or wait to hear back from you further?

Edited: Mar 17, 2016, 12:26 pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Mar 17, 2016, 11:42 am

It's really weird when LT staff sign in as members and then have Talk conversations with them *while still signed in as the member*.

Mar 17, 2016, 12:27 pm

>106 lorax: Gah, you got me! Thanks for pointing out. :-)

>104 Booklover889: I have fixed some import errors since and retried your file yesterday with the same options you tried when importing.
The file imported successfully for my account.

I have signed in as you and am currently importing the file with the same settings you had. I am doing in this in order to monitor the import and I will keep you updated.

Thank you for your patience!

Mar 17, 2016, 7:41 pm

My import is a little messed up. I am missing books. I have not had much time to do anything about it. I know that commas in my shelfari private notes are a major problem. Shelfari is now giving us till May 31st as a deadline so I could possibly fix them. Are there any other special characters that cause problems to be aware of to change before importing again...or is there something else to help my present import? (Shelfari allowed a lot of different punctuation characters in tags/shelves, and I had a number of them.) The file has quote marks around the book title field entries so commas in titles are ok, right?

Edited: Mar 18, 2016, 7:56 am

>107 LT_Ammar: it now looks like basically all of my books are here - yea!! Thanks so much, Ammar! The tags didn't come over quite as well (and also not as well as you got in the first test upload that worked so well - I wandered around that a little bit when you first told me you had been successful and that captured a huge amount of my tags and other info! My account didnt work quite as well, but at least I've got another 2+ months of shelfari staying up to try to clean up that data)

I really appreciate all your efforts to get this to work for me - thanks!

ETA: turns out more of the tags are there than I thought - when I look at the tag page (from "all collections") the numbers seem very low (eg, 415 w/ the tag "read") but when I click on the tag to see those books, I get 1011 books in the list. Some of those have a blank in the tag field in the list view, but when I look at the book page the tags are there. So maybe the import hasn't quite finished yet?

Mar 18, 2016, 11:56 am

>109 Booklover889: Glad to hear. The overwhelming majority of your books(13308) made it through. There are still 29 books which havent been processed and Im taking a look at that. Also, thank you for giving me a heads up on the tags issue. I need to see what happened with those.

>108 dayspring777: Thanks for notifying us. Let me take a look.

Mar 18, 2016, 2:11 pm

Thank you Ammar. There are what look like ISBNs, authors, etc in my tags which were not there. Can the notes field be contained in quotes so the commas don't move chunks to other fields? Also I have a some tags that are like this /2015\ where the \ is dropped off and that is why I asked about special characters.

Mar 18, 2016, 6:13 pm

>111 dayspring777: I took a closer look at your file.

There are indeed some weird comma issues as my excel editor itself was displaying the data in an incomplete manner. However, I went through several of your books with commas in the 'private notes' field and checked them in your catalog. The notes imported fine.

Do you have any specific records/examples in which the data imported wrong whether or not it was due to a comma or special character?

Mar 18, 2016, 7:46 pm

I noticed a little bit ago there was a side bar that said I had a book, which I know the title was something from my private notes. There are about 200 tags that should not be there. I also have 2,662 books in my 'all collection' which is about 500 more than I thought were in the file. I don't think the shelfari file contained multiple editions of a work?

Example of dates, tags, and random things from notes as well as true/false entries:

After beginning to page through, this seems to be the first instance:

The tag /2013\ shows as /2013" with the title's author, true, false, an isbn, the shelfari book id number, and the title/author of another book all showing in tags. On the other work on that page with a tag using my /2015\ showing as /2015 I have tags that fall after that one and the rest of the tags and entry following are normal.

My tags have among other things titles, authors, aisn's, other strings of numbers, and year/month/day dates from the file's date read or date added. (I already had some numbers in tags...1 through 900-something as well as four digit years. Anything bigger is not supposed to be there.)

Can I delete everything (all books and the mess with them) added to my profile and re-import? As I said, I would like to fix my comma problem and would like to know any other character that makes problems, as I noticed the slash does not show at the end of a tag ("/2015\" often shows as "/2015").

Will a + or a - have any affect on tags?

Thank you very much for your help!

Mar 18, 2016, 8:06 pm

>110 LT_Ammar: I don't know if you fixed anything further but if not, maybe the data just needed time to be fully reflected -- it's now looking like a number of tags are now more fully populated! Hooray! There's still some cleanup, but I think this is now the best import I've had on any of the sites! (Happily, as I've decided on LT as my primary site going forward.) Ammar, thank you soooo much for all your hard work on my import process and file - I know it took a lot of work, and I greatly appreciate it!

Edited: Mar 23, 2016, 3:48 pm

>114 Booklover889: not a problem. Were constantly improving our import system and appreciate feedback and tips so feel free to contact me if you experience any other issues.

>113 dayspring777: sorry for my late response. I was able to take a closer look at your import file today. There is definitely a problem with importing tags that have the '\' and '+' characters('-' seems to import fine).
Moreover, Im a little confused on the number of actual records in the file. My excel editor suggests around 3300 while there are a good amount of empty rows(rows with an obscure title such as R.1). My question to you, are those actual books/records or is the excel parser messing up and displaying a greater number of records than there actually are?

Im going to try and see if there is a feasible solution for the '+' and '\' characters(do let me know if there are any other special characters you use).
Sometimes, when there is HTML encoding, '+' translates to a space. As for '\', that is used to escape other characters.

So this might have to with what is going on if those characters are not escaped properly.

Jun 6, 2016, 8:14 pm

Hello -

I have a .csv from my years on Shelfari, and I also added a great many more books and reviews and comments when I went to Leafmarks at the beginning of the year. So I'd like to import from Leafmarks directly if that's at all possible.
The site directions for exporting are a bit wonky, and I do have a .tsv file if that would help.
Thank you for helping me know I am in capable hands with all the tech savvy people jumping onto problems at all hours of the day and night and in between!

Jun 7, 2016, 7:16 pm

I assume that .tsv is tab separated instead of CSV which is comma separated. Do you have anything like LibreOffice or Excel to import it into, and then export it as a CSV?

Please keep in mind that I don't know if this is the correct answer though... :)

Jun 7, 2016, 7:23 pm

>117 DanieXJ: That shouldn't be necessary—LT's Universal Import can handle TSV files just as well as CSV (and you're right that TSV is tab-delimited). >116 threadnsong: posted in another topic regarding their import and I'm helping from there!

Jun 8, 2016, 4:24 pm

>118 lorannen: I think that I imported so many years ago that I'm a little rusty on it :)