Breaking news: Hell freezes over. Collections arrive.

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Breaking news: Hell freezes over. Collections arrive.

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Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 10:39am

You may notice that we are gradually rolling out Collections to the membership today.

I'm starting this thread just to have a new topic in which to talk about the new feature.

I just added another Home module: Top wishlisted books.

Note that the numbers showing in the green Home modules (Top wishlisted and What members are reading) will be changing rapidly today as the batch processes work through all of the member libraries and do their best to figure out what Collections (if any) each book should belong to.

You might want to get started by reading the wonderful Introduction to Collections wiki page that some of your fellow LibraryThing members put together during beta testing:

Please report bugs in this topic

Jun 9, 2009, 8:47am

Congratulations! And thanks for all the hard work done! :)

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 9:11am

This is awesome, thanks for all your hard work and allowing so much input from users!

I posted this in another thread, but figured it might be more likely to be seen here:

So...I was in the BETA test. I thought that all the messing around we did to our collections was going to be undone once it happened for real? I had to do some clean up because my BETA collections and such carried over...fortunately it wasn't too complicated.

Jun 9, 2009, 8:51am

I thought I noticed a few pigs flying around out there. I am happy happy happy.

Jun 9, 2009, 8:53am

PT: We decided that since there were no major data-oriented bugs found during beta testing that we would let all of you keep the data that you had done. You can still use the link at the bottom of the Beta etherpad document to clear your collections data if you would like to start from scratch.

Jun 9, 2009, 8:53am

thanks for all your hard work and allowing so much input from users!
I'll second that - the communication between staff and users here at LT is great. Ahem. Don't want to get to emotional over Collections now..*clears throat*

But yeah this is just great!

Jun 9, 2009, 8:55am

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jun 9, 2009, 8:56am

*feels honored to be here to witness this*


Jun 9, 2009, 8:58am

I did a double-take when I saw "Collections" on a profile just now. Thanks very much!

Jun 9, 2009, 9:05am

ZOUNDS! I'm shiverin'!

Jun 9, 2009, 9:06am

I was just adding a book and then when I deleted it using the red X in your library, it went away but my top tabs are gone. The fixed header is at the top, no tabs


also this is in my FF tab, and URL box

Jun 9, 2009, 9:06am

Oooh, shiny!

Thank you!

Jun 9, 2009, 9:09am

yeah, Ficus. I can't say that you're going to have the best UI experience since you're still using FF2 aren't you?
I'll check on the bad link when deleting books.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:11am

No, you didn't read my message :). I am now on FF3. I mistakenly upgraded.

Thanks for the help.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:11am

5> Good to know! Thanks. :-)

Jun 9, 2009, 9:12am

Jun 9, 2009, 9:13am

None of the books I had tagged TBR made it into the "To Read" collection on their own, but no biggie. I got them there and have made a few collections of my own. Quick and easy movement of tagged books to them, as long as I remember to go thru ALL the proper steps to get them there! *G*

Jun 9, 2009, 9:13am

Nice! I was on a book's main page when I first noticed the feature -- via the expanded, look-at-me! Book Information section.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:14am

Collections look very cool, thanks!

Tried dragging tags into a collection, but it didn't work. Where's a how-to on these cool collections? Thanks.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:17am

First, thank you and good job.

Second, two questions:

1. What happens if a collection with books in it is marked inactive, i.e. the active box is unchecked? Is it just that that collection does not display in the various lists of collections, or are there other effects? Is it possible to add books to an inactive collection?

2. Regarding "include in recommendations" and "include in connections": what happens to a book that in two collections, one with these checked and one with them unchecked? Specifically, I have a set of books that are in my library, so I want them counted in the "Your Library" collection. But I also want them excluded from recommendations and connections. Is it sufficient to create a new collection for these books and uncheck the boxes while also leaving them in the "Your Library" collection?

Jun 9, 2009, 9:18am

>19 IJTLIB: you can use Power Edit to drag all books with a certain tag into a collection.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:22am

You may find that the wiki link in message 20 will answer many questions regarding Collections. The help page was compiled by LT members during beta testing and is really quite amazing. Check it out.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:22am

same as >11 FicusFan:: FicusFan
but I hadn't just added the book -- I deleted an existing book.


Jun 9, 2009, 9:23am

I've got it!!!! Thank you Tim&Co. thanks sooo much!!! ooo the fun i'll have playing about with everything!!! :D

Jun 9, 2009, 9:24am

1. It's primarily that the collection does not display in menus and UI elements. It's not available for selection in the catalog for instance. For this reason it is not possible to add books to an inactive collection.

2. We're still mulling over those decisions.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:28am

Are we able to merge multiple accounts right now, or are we holding off on that for a bit?

Jun 9, 2009, 9:33am

#27 Yes, I would like to know about merging accounts too.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:33am

>26 conceptDawg: So right now the recommendations/connections checkboxes still aren't doing anything, right?

Jun 9, 2009, 9:36am

Wow, congrats on getting it all loaded and on the way out to us. Looking forward to it.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:38am

>26 conceptDawg:
Thanks for the quick response.

I just noticed something odd. The auto-migrate of my wishlist tags seems to have been of some earlier cache of my tags rather than the current list. There are some books I had bought recently and removed their wishlist tags that were still put in the wishlist collection. There were also some new additions to the wishlist that were not moved to the collection.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:40am

If you select anything other than "All collections" on the Tags page, you can't select tags that don't appear in the selected collection from the home page module or from within the catalog (if you have the full catalog open in a separate tab). You get a "No books found in this collection" message.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:40am

No merging just yet. Hang tight though.

The recomm/connections aren't doing anything quite yet. We wanted to wait until we had some data in there to work with while creating the algorithms.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:42am

Thanks a lot lads! I was really looking forward collections! Now I've got some work to do :)

Jun 9, 2009, 9:44am

I can see that collections will be useful...
and I for one am very grateful for all the hard work that you all do for LT
and LTers..

Jun 9, 2009, 9:48am

>32 The_Kat_Cache: - I added all my books in "My library" and then I am editing the tags with this collection being selected. It works.

Now this will be fun - time for some organization :)

Jun 9, 2009, 9:48am

#33 CD, thanks for the answer on the merging (we'll have it eventually), and thanks to you and the team for maintaining and enhancing a site like this.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:52am

Did you want us to report bugs here, or somewhere else?

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 10:04am

PT: I'll make a bug thread. One sec...

Bug thread

Jun 9, 2009, 10:04am

Once again, nicely designed, and extra cool. Thanks y'all.

Jun 9, 2009, 10:04am

Just to say thank you, it looks marvellous. Now for an afternoon of procrastination as I play with my library.

Jun 9, 2009, 10:05am

You guys are awesome. Now to find some time to play with the new toys...

Jun 9, 2009, 10:06am

Thank you! Moving books to Collections via the tags was a breeze!

Jun 9, 2009, 10:07am

I never thought this day would I just have to figure out where to start

Jun 9, 2009, 10:15am

I am proud to report that Mr. John Adams is the first Legacy Library to be retrofitted with Collections. Now on to the Mathers!

Jun 9, 2009, 10:21am

Great work Jeremy. Cool stuff there.

Jun 9, 2009, 10:33am

Collsers (#44) wrote:
"I never thought this day would I just have to figure out where to start"

Me too. I'm sort of nibbling at the edges at the moment, moved the two books that I didn't own into the "Read but unowned", moved the ones I had tagged for my reading list into the "to read".

After that I can't decide quite yet how to proceed...

Jun 9, 2009, 10:41am

How do/will collections effect "Statistics/Memes"? Will it only be available for "All collections"? (Which is useful, but I'd especially like to be able to see the statistics for "Your library")

Jun 9, 2009, 10:45am

Even we don't know all the places that Collections will reach on the site. But it is safe to say that there will be many, many new statistics features that figure into Collections in the coming weeks and months.

Jun 9, 2009, 10:46am

LOVE it, great job! :)

Jun 9, 2009, 10:50am

What is Mr. Adams reading these days?

Jun 9, 2009, 11:05am

(I'm doing this from the tag list)

When performing a "add all books with this tag to collection", I'm having difficulty...I edit the tag, choose the collection I want to add to, click the button. The window fades like it is working, then presents me with an "empty" window (the librarything toolbars and banner are there, but nothing is listed). Clicking on "All collections" brings the collection and tag list back, but the books haven't been added to the collection I selected.

I did this successfully with a small number of books to a premade collection, but this time I'm doing 1,113 books to a custom collection I've added. Does it perform larger "adds" in the background and I just need to be patient? Or is it bailing out for some reason?

Jun 9, 2009, 11:17am

Collections? Collections! Can it be true?

You guys are awesome!

Jun 9, 2009, 11:18am

Happy dance time!

Jun 9, 2009, 11:34am

52 > it's probably timing out. The db is definitely feeling a crunch and responding slow. I would guess either trying it a couple times or waiting a day or 2 for things to settle down might help.

Jun 9, 2009, 11:47am

Congratulations and well done, people!

Jun 9, 2009, 12:18pm

I'm really liking it so far.

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 12:55pm

I guess I should go to lunch and watch for those pigs southernbooklady saw have made it up here yet. If they haven't, it's probably because of the wet weather we're having.

Edited to add: And I thought we had our work cut out for us avoiding the pigeon droppings! Well, I suppose we can't heve everything.

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 12:56pm

I don't see a thread for suggestions yet, so: it would be nice if the numbers on the "members who share your books" modules on the profile and homepage could be collections-sensitive - perhaps only comparing "your library" or providing different links to compare different collections. I'm much less interested in discovering that I share a bunch of books that are on someone's extensive wishlist (since I expect to have an extensive wishlist myself, I can see this happening). If the top libraries on that list turn out to be inflated because of wishlists or something (where someone has 1000s of wishlist/unowned/unread books), those stats would become less meaningful and useful.
edited for typo

Jun 9, 2009, 1:05pm

I've posted about it here.

Blog Post

Quite frankly, not much in the way of features is going to get done today. We're going to be fixing bugs and catching up on sleep, emails.

Jun 9, 2009, 1:11pm

Photo hits the nail on the head :)


Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 1:25pm


I have the same question as eromsted in #21, although for the opposite reason. I've got books in both My Library and My Wishlist - books that I've read but would like to own my own copy. So, these I want included in recommendations, but not all of the unread books on my wishlist.

I know cD said these decisions are still up in the air... and I know you all hate opt-in/opt-out type switches, but if the alternative is having to go through book-by-book and check "include in connections/recommendations"...

How about a single catalog-wide user-defined toggle between "if a book is in at least one collection that is marked as "exclude", then exclude it", and "if a book is in at least one collection marked as "include", then include it"? That would give users some say as to how to deal with books in multiple collections, but would curb the endless recursive nightmare of "what if a book's in three collections that say include and two that say exclude? what if it's in two of each?"

Jun 9, 2009, 1:26pm

I can't believe it; Collections arrive (*pauses to perform happy dance, call down blessings on LT staff, etc.*) and someone mentions pigeons.

But seriously, suppose I tick "include in ..." for one collection and not for another, and I put the same book in both (for instance, I create a "Read" and a "Rubbish" "No thanks" collection), what will happen (when these functionalities become, er, functional)?

Jun 9, 2009, 1:27pm

OMG, why did I check LT from work?! I want to go home and play now!

Congratulations Tim, Chris and everyone who helped test this marvelous Thing!

Seriously, I'm feeling a mixture of choked-up and giddy. :D

Jun 9, 2009, 1:36pm

Chris, Tim, Abby, etc,
Thanks so much from the bottom of my grateful heart. I hope your sense of relief is as great as my sense of joy. Now I'm running off to create my 'Night Before Christmas' COLLECTION!

Jun 9, 2009, 1:42pm

I know you'll be getting this question a lot, but:

There's a "temporarily" disabled "move books from one account to another" feature on the "Change username/password" page. How long is this "temporary" -- should those of us with separate wishlist accounts wait a week or two and then magically swoop them over with this feature, or should we just move them over now since that feature might not be available for months or more?

Jun 9, 2009, 2:01pm

Just adding another voice to the extensive praise and thank yous!

The feature is even better than I'd hoped and my daily contented popping onto LT has returned to full-blown I-can't-spend-enough-time-on-this-site addiction!

love it, love it, love it!

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 2:13pm

Oh God this is the BEST - and on the day I finish exams too! Now I can celebrate by migrating my wishlist over from Amazon - yeah, I am one wild chick!

Thank you so much guys - we all know how hard you've worked on this and it is massively appreciated!

Jun 9, 2009, 2:20pm

Adding my thanks and congratulations. After being in the BETA group, I have to say this is one of the smoothest beta periods I've ever participated in.

Jun 9, 2009, 2:26pm

As we say in Catalonia, I feel like a child with new shoes!!! Thank you very much!!! I'm playing...

Jun 9, 2009, 2:26pm

59> rsterling, have you tried editing your collections yet? It's the last item in the drop-down list for picking you collections on the catalog page among other places. In there you can specify per collection whether the books in that collection are included in recommendations or similar libraries calculations. Unfortunately the feature isn't active yet, but I believe it will be one of the next things they work on.

66> Tim has said that merging accounts will be another next thing they will work on.

Jun 9, 2009, 2:42pm

Oh! Oh . . . it's so beautiful! (chokes up)

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I feel just like the guy in the picture on the blog post. It's so wonderful, I'm blinded by it.

Great work cD, Tim. Enjoy the vacation cD - you've earned it! (Not for too long though, you have to come back and make all the improvements we'll start suggesting once the awe wears off.)

Abbey, thanks for nagging - you're like a little shoulder angel representing all the LTers.

Jun 9, 2009, 2:43pm


I know he's said that, but since I don't know how hard it is -- I don't know if it was a feature that existed and was just turned off, or if it's never existed, and if the behind-the-scenes rework that turned "change username" back on makes it easier or harder to do this -- I was just hoping for an order-of-magnitude estimate on the length of "temporary". Days, weeks, months.

Jun 9, 2009, 2:46pm

>73 lorax: I'd guess "two weeks" ;)

Jun 9, 2009, 2:54pm


That's about what I'd guess, too, though it seems rude after the launch of such a wonderful feature. ;)

Jun 9, 2009, 2:54pm

71 - yes, thanks. I'm more thinking about how other people's numbers are shown than my own. If the top people on the list on my profile end up having 10K books, but 8K are in their wishlist (and the ones they share with me are mostly in their wishlist) that might be less - or at least differently - meaningful data. It's not so much a request about including or excluding collections here as perhaps either to develop a way to disaggregate what's shown in that module (similar to the way we have raw, weighted, etc.: it might also be good to have options for all books cataloged, your/their library only, etc.), or else to think about what makes sense as the default for that module (all books cataloged, or only your/their library?).

Jun 9, 2009, 3:06pm

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.

What a great week. Collections on my favorite website LibraryThing. And last week I wished I could get a doghouse on FarmTown (a Facebook game) and Sunday they came available. My birthday was last month, but all the great presents are coming now.

I haven't been involved in Beta testing and I am certainly not the most active user on here (but I think I hold my own), but I do echo earlier comments that the developers here are very good at listening to and interacting with the users and accomodating their requests when able. I've mostly observed this from reading group threads but just wanted to give ya'll a pat on the back.

Jun 9, 2009, 3:52pm

I just looked through the Wiki and it talks about name change and deletion for user defined collections, but nothing about the ones the system gave us. Can we name change and/or delete those ?

Jun 9, 2009, 3:53pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 3:55pm

Thank you for finally rolling this out!

The Select Collection button at top left of screen doesn't work. It remains stuck on the last Collection I was working with. I have to go to my Profile page, select "You Library," and start over from there.

Clarification: The button isn't called "Select collection'" rather, that's what pops up on mouseover. The button itself displays the name of whatever collection you're currently in.

Internet Explorer, Windows Vista Home Premium

Jun 9, 2009, 3:58pm


I just looked through the Wiki and it talks about name change and deletion for user defined collections, but nothing about the ones the system gave us. Can we name change and/or delete those ?

No. The idea is that these "predefined" collections allow nifty aggregations like the "most wishlisted books" and "What members are reading" modules that appeared on the homepage today; if people rename them, someone will rename them to, and use them for, something totally unrelated to their intended purpose, and all the power and coolness of predefined collections goes away.

If you don't like the names, the most you can do is just not use one, deactivate it, and create a custom collection with the name you want.

Jun 9, 2009, 4:00pm

78>You can't change the name or delete them. But, you can deactivate them (which basically hides them from view and lists) and change the checkbox preferences (use for connections, recommendations, etc.)

Jun 9, 2009, 4:00pm

78 > you can't change the names of the system collections, however you can make them inactive.

Jun 9, 2009, 4:02pm

Yeah, I have made them inactive. But they aren't hidden it just greys them out and says inactive after them (spacing mess that goes over into the 'From the Blogs' column on the right).

Jun 9, 2009, 4:04pm

81: I understand the theory behind that choice but that doesn't mean I still don't think it's annoying. The thing is I would use the collection for the same purpose but would just change its name - but of course not everyone would use it for the same urpose, like you pointed out. (my pet peeve is "to read" because I really don't like the vagueness of that at all. Personally when I think a book is "to read" I mean in the immediate future not to read...whenever - in 10 years. So I've disabled that and made a "Owned but Unread" collection - but I'm afraid if they do some really cool things with the "to read" collection I might miss out on them)

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 4:08pm

>85 girlunderglass: Well, if they do, then you can pretty easily shift all of your Owned but Unread books back into "To Read" with power edit.

Jun 9, 2009, 4:08pm

yep it's so easy to move books from one cllct to another, it's great :D

Jun 9, 2009, 4:19pm

I'm so happy I just had to go get myself a new t-shirt!

I feel collections (and a good facebook app.) will make Librarything rule the online bookworld!

Jun 9, 2009, 4:27pm

84> Where can you still see them? In the edit collections window? Of course you can still see them there or how you ever activate them again if you wanted to? If there are visible anywhere else then I believe that's a bug.

(Although, I believe if you actually have books in an inactive collection it will show up in the Collections column for that book but marked inactive. If that's the case you need to remove all your books from the collection before inactivating it).

Jun 9, 2009, 4:30pm

>89 jjwilson61:: on your homepage

Jun 9, 2009, 4:46pm

So it does. I've asked about it on the Collections bugs thread.

Jun 9, 2009, 5:18pm

I just posted in the bug thread.

On your Home Page next to the Edit Collections there is a pencil. If you click on that it lists the collections to show. I went in and un-checked the inactives and once you save it, they disappear from the home page.

Jun 9, 2009, 5:28pm

A minor request (and again, thanks to all the LT staff for their hard work on this wonderful feature!):

On the Add Books page, there's the drop-down list to choose which collection(s) a book should be added to. If you choose an option other than "Your Library", and then collapse the menu again with "Hide extra", I'd expect the option I checked (I'm working on "Read but unowned" at the moment) to remain visible -- instead, "Your library", unchecked, remains visible. The book is added to the proper collection, but you can't see easily which one it's being added to.

Jun 9, 2009, 5:30pm

Spring and "soon" are here,
New blooms blossom, all rejoice,
Collections launches!

Jun 9, 2009, 5:51pm

How about a single catalog-wide user-defined toggle between "if a book is in at least one collection that is marked as "exclude", then exclude it", and "if a book is in at least one collection marked as "include", then include it"? That would give users some say as to how to deal with books in multiple collections, but would curb the endless recursive nightmare of "what if a book's in three collections that say include and two that say exclude? what if it's in two of each?"

No. It's an include-only paradigm. The way the system works, it only loads the collections it needs for the task at hand. This makes it much more efficient, particularly when you're doing something across users--like compiling all the wishlist book.

The result is that it's an include paradigm. If the book is in ANY collection that applies, it applies.

There's a "temporarily" disabled "move books from one account to another" feature on the "Change username/password" page. How long is this "temporary" -- should those of us with separate wishlist accounts wait a week or two and then magically swoop them over with this feature, or should we just move them over now since that feature might not be available for months or more?

My guess is two weeks. The first priority is to make sure collections works--particularly that there are no major flaws in it. Massive exchanges between accounts and etc. will only compound the problem if there are problems. With lots of our plates, I'm guessing 2 weeks. I know, two weeks.

As we say in Catalonia, I feel like a child with new shoes!!! Thank you very much!!! I'm playing...

Cool. Let me know about translation issues. I noticed doing some looking that some foreign sites were translating collection names in inexact ways.

>73 lorax: I'd guess "two weeks" ;)

Damn you!

I just looked through the Wiki and it talks about name change and deletion for user defined collections, but nothing about the ones the system gave us. Can we name change and/or delete those ?

You can't rename or delete, but you can make them "inactive" which removes them from your sight entirely. See other thread for somewhere that it adds "inactive" after them. I hate that, and will change it ASAP.

The Select Collection button at top left of screen doesn't work. It remains stuck on the last Collection I was working with. I have to go to my Profile page, select "You Library," and start over from there.

Okay, there's some JavaScript error we never found, clearly. If you know more info, I'll take it. But we'll find it.

Yeah, I have made them inactive. But they aren't hidden it just greys them out and says inactive after them (spacing mess that goes over into the 'From the Blogs' column on the right).

That's bogus I agree. I'll move on it soon.

I understand the theory behind that choice but that doesn't mean I still don't think it's annoying

Yeah. I hear you. The danger was that people would rename things so much that they'd lose their real semantics.

I'm so happy I just had to go get myself a new t-shirt!

I hope you weren't in the beta group.

On the Add Books page, there's the drop-down list to choose which collection(s) a book should be added to. If you choose an option other than "Your Library", and then collapse the menu again with "Hide extra", I'd expect the option I checked (I'm working on "Read but unowned" at the moment) to remain visible -- instead, "Your library", unchecked, remains visible. The book is added to the proper collection, but you can't see easily which one it's being added to.

That's a bug. I've logged it.

Spring and "soon" are here...

Spring brings collections
And I have nothing more to
Write Haiku about.

Jun 9, 2009, 6:19pm

*bounces up and down* Yayyyyy!

.... So now I'll be online alllllll day messing with this. lol Yay!

Chris, Tim, ALL ADMIN, thank you so much!!

Jun 9, 2009, 7:32pm

>95 timspalding: No. It's an include-only paradigm.

So, if I'm understanding you right, that means that I'll get what I asked for in #62 (inclusion in recommendations of wishlisted books that also appear in my library) but that eromsted in #21 (inclusion of books in library but exclusion from recommendations based on placement in a new excluded collection) is out of luck? The toggle is permanently set to "if it's in at least one collection that's included, it's included"?


I mean, sorry, eromsted. :)

Jun 9, 2009, 9:15pm

readafew (in message #55, re: #52) wrote...
52 > it's probably timing out. The db is definitely feeling a crunch and responding slow. I would guess either trying it a couple times or waiting a day or 2 for things to settle down might help.

I think you were right it about it timing out. I was able to get around the problem by searching on the relevant tag, going into power edit mode and "select all this page" and add them 100 books at a time to the collection, rather than adding all 1,113 at once. :)

Jun 9, 2009, 9:26pm

This is GREAT!!!! **jumping up and and clapping hands with glee!**

Ahhhh.... I don't know where to play first.... choices, choices , choices **sitting down in contemplation while still clapping hands with glee**

Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!!


Ummm..... I am not going to break something if I run amok, right????? ** broad anticipatory grin of fun**

Jun 9, 2009, 9:31pm

Go ahead, run amok. You have my permission. :)

Jun 9, 2009, 9:35pm

I've been away from LT for a while (life intervenes) and for some reason felt called back today of all days...something looks different...something looks AWESOME!! Thanks, gang!

(looking forward to merging accounts, be back in two weeks)

Jun 9, 2009, 9:44pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:45pm

**skips off to play in Collections while singing**

"... amoking we will go... amoking we will go.... high ho the derry oh, amoking we will go"

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 9:55pm

This site just keeps getting better. Thank you so much!

Jun 9, 2009, 9:56pm

103: *bursts out laughing!*

*starts singing, too!* Amoking we will go...

hehehe I love this! (Just fyi, I've recruited two people to LT so far today just by squeeing about Collections)

Jun 9, 2009, 10:28pm

I'd like an option to prevent books in certain collections from displaying the green 'have' check mark next to them, or even if just books in Wishlist and Read but unowned. I use the series pages a lot to keep track of which books I have, and if all the ones on my wishlist have green checks next to them the category isn't going to do me much good and won't see much use.

Jun 9, 2009, 10:38pm

I am a happy girl! Thanks for all the hard work and long days. We appreciate it so much.

Jun 9, 2009, 10:42pm

106: Ooohhh that's a very good point, I hadn't thought about those checkmarks.

I have a naive, no-idea, don't want to read through all the posts question: How are the "what members are reading" calculated? The thing on the homepage. Is that from Currently Reading collection, or what?

Jun 9, 2009, 10:55pm

Well, if there is going to be more than one set causing changes to the checkmarks it probably should be a Collection option that can be changed on the Edit Collections window. How about allowing the user to select the color of the checkmarks that correspond to each Collection?

Jun 9, 2009, 10:56pm

109: checkmarks in different colors (or different icons altogether for different collections) would be like a great idea!

Jun 9, 2009, 10:57pm

This is wonderful! Wonderful wonderful wonderful! Thanks so much for all of your hard work - I'm never going to have to go any other book site ever again!

Jun 9, 2009, 11:01pm

Well I have to say I've only been a member for about a month and I've been wondering at the blizzard of debate about the mythical creation known as 'Collections' and what all the excitment was about.

I logged on today and there it was in all its glory (all be it that 'collections' is a bit of a misnomer), it took less than a minute to take a look at the wiki guide and only a few minutes (if that) to seperate out my entire listed library by household member and by media type (Books, Film, Music etc)...

That's what I call well written and easy to use programme upgrade and it's done everything I would have wanted it to so I am a happy bunny.

I know there are alledgedly 'purists' out there who may think it's wrong to list stuff that isn't books on here, but it is called 'Library Thing' not 'Book Thing' and libraries have been multimedia environments for as long as I can remember.

And as a 'purist' of a different hue I still find it a revelation that people use Library Thing as 'Wish List Thing' - after all if you don't have it technically it's not in your library* - but hey, each to their own, I'm not going to judge.

*Although I guess if you own a book and it's 'Out On Loan' it would be part of your library still and yet strangely there is no default 'collection' for that?

The fact that the site can accomodate so many different uses (even without being specifically designed to do so in the case of other media) is a testament to the functionality and open mindedness of vision of the site designers.

I say 'Hats off to you' and thanks.

Jun 9, 2009, 11:46pm

I'll just join in the chorus of thanks! Thanks for all of your hard work!

My only complaint, you would pick the one week where I'm gone for 12+ hours a day. Sleep...collections...? Sleep...Collections...?

Jun 9, 2009, 11:54pm

>112 Littlemissbashful:

It isn't lost on use that collections could be expanded to include other media.

That said, LT isn't a very good place now for CDs or DVDs. We exclude them from our Amazon searches on purpose. We can't do that for library data, but the data model is a book-centric one.

Jun 9, 2009, 11:57pm

112: It's always awesome to see a new user's perspective on things... I've been here so long sometimes I have a hard time putting myself in the "new user" shoes.

113: Sleep? What is this sleep of which you speak? :P

Jun 10, 2009, 12:27am

>114 timspalding:

Well I did hesitate before adding my film library but having seen that members were already including other media and finding posted advice on protocols I thought I'd go for the 'one stop shop' approach to my library rather than having it on different sites.

I can see your whole model is book based and it was books that bought me here (I was lsiting my library on an exel spreadsheet at the time for an insurance inventory and because it's the kind of thing I like to do) and fell in love the minute I found the place.

Trying to fit the equivelant catalogue data into the book formatting was tricky and manually entering hundreds of films is a bitch but most DVDs contain equivelent edition information that's always included, like manafacturer, country of origin, region code, aspect ratio, run time etc and I gues the director is the most similar equivelant to author ... No industry standard isbn system though (barcode or individual catalogue code)

Hope I haven't sullied your vision..........

Jun 10, 2009, 12:32am

And now we are so happy,
We do the Dance of Joy.
Di di di di....

Jun 10, 2009, 1:30am

Yay! Starting to add a wishlist. Can "Wishlist" be one of the default tick boxes showing on the add books page, next to my library? So I don't have to click "Show all" all the time?

Edited: Jun 10, 2009, 1:41am

>118 bookel:

Perhpas f you re-order your Collections list so that Wishlist is at the top ... I find that whatever is at the top shows on the Add Books page in addition to "Your Library" - you can then uncheck "Your Library" (sometimes you have to hit "search" again to avoid it being added to "Your LIbrary" after making this adjustment).

Jun 10, 2009, 1:43am

Your first collection at the top is the "default" collection that is pre-selected on the Add books page. We may be changing that behavior to something slightly different, but that's the way it is now. The current behavior was implemented in response to feedback in the beta group.

Edited: Jun 10, 2009, 2:42am

Cool, no worries. I experienced a few times when adding to my wishlist that it added to my library even though that was unticked... and once had a book on currently reading when I hadn't touched it! I deactivated that feature... not using it for now.

Garrrghhhh, I did not put these wishlist books into 'my library'! I checked before! Somehow they are now in my library and I have to get them off there, one at a time...

Jun 10, 2009, 4:04am

Tim: No, I wasn't in the Beta group, which I regreted often, but now the lion is out of its cage, everything is fine, and I needed a new t-shirt anyway, so paying for it is just fine :-)

Jun 10, 2009, 7:25am

Well done LT team and thankyou. Yes, it's freezing here downunder but definitely not hell freezing over.... 'wrapped in blanket playing with collections' ;)

Edited: Jun 10, 2009, 7:38am

Teehee, okay... how do you reactivate when it won't let you in the edit collections box on the home page? Am I in the right place? And thank you to the person who suggested moving up the preferred collection to use when adding books, makes it so much quicker!

Edit: Got it... I think it is only activate-able via the pencil, rather than the 'edit collections' button? It didn't bring up the right format in the box the first time.

Jun 10, 2009, 7:38am

Hey bookel, will it let you into the 'Edit Collections' box from the Tags view of your catalogue? You can reactive from there.

Edited: Jun 10, 2009, 7:40am

I was just reactivating 'read but unowned' from the home page... going to dive into this realm! I've read too many though so probably will never be able to list them all. It'll be useful for my favourite authors though.

Jun 10, 2009, 9:31am

Now I know exactly what I'm going to do with my day off...

LOVE this! :-)

Jun 10, 2009, 10:49am

Will collections eventually be included in the export data?

Jun 10, 2009, 11:17am

121 bookel: "Garrrghhhh, I did not put these wishlist books into 'my library'! I checked before! Somehow they are now in my library and I have to get them off there, one at a time..."

Not necessarily one at a time -- you can use Power Edit for moving groups into, or out of, one or more collections.

Yep, collections rocks! :-D

Jun 10, 2009, 11:21am

Collections is like several other fields that can take multiple values, like other authors and date read, that it seems LT staff is going to have to have a good think about how to do it. I wonder if they're considering an XML export format?

Jun 10, 2009, 11:47am

130: If I have anything to do with it then it will be XML. I'm a bit of an evangelist that way. But I must admit that export is not even on my radar at the moment.

Jun 10, 2009, 12:24pm

I'm glad Collections have come to life, but I wonder if we could get reassurance on some points about its future development. As I (and some others) mentioned before and elsewhere (and no doubt will do so in the future), are we going to be able to fine-tune, in no particular order of importance,

--those numbers that affect Zeitgeist stats, especially "largest libraries"

--connections (some sets included, some excluded)

--privacy (some sets visible, some invisible)

My concern is with making Collections essentially and significantly different from tags, and for that I think the ability to set the features I mentioned is a sine qua non.

I apologise if I repeated much of what has been said already, if that's the case, take this post as a "me too" voicing.

Jun 10, 2009, 12:40pm

>132 LolaWalser: They said in the past month or so that privacy probably wasn't going to happen through Collections after all.

Jun 10, 2009, 12:46pm

Oh, I see. Personally I don't need privacy settings, but I thought this was crucially important for quite a few members. So I hope some mechanism to achieve it will be found.

Jun 10, 2009, 12:48pm

Yeah, I'm sure they're still planning to do it, just not through Collections.

Jun 10, 2009, 12:55pm


They decided that overlapping collections with different privacy settings would make using collection-level privacy unworkable -- if a book's both in your public "wishlist" and your private "erotica" collections, is it public or private? Any finer-grained privacy than the all-or-nothing case we have now really needs to be book-by-book.

Jun 10, 2009, 1:08pm

Could we get a "help" link to the wiki (or eventually an official guide?) somewhere prominent on the edit collections box and/or other places pages people are using frequently to work with collections? I'm seeing a lot of people asking how to move lots of books at once, and they don't seem to be familiar with power edit, and don't seem to know about the wiki instructions.

Jun 10, 2009, 1:41pm

132-6 > on the privacy issue, I very much want more privacy options in LT (possibly more so than many other users, from previous discussions), but I understand their difficulties here, and I accept their explanations that this needs to be book-level rather than collections-level. That said, I don't really see why the logic for privacy would be different from "include in connections/recommendations." In 26, responding to 21, cD says they're still debating how to deal with books in more than one collection for connections/recommendations, but in 95, Tim seems to say otherwise in response to 62, that "that it's an include paradigm. If the book is in ANY collection that applies, it applies." Anyway, whatever they settle on, I still don't see why the logic for group-level privacy couldn't just be exactly the same.

I've been private temporarily for a while now to try some things out, but collections has now actually made the privacy issue more imperative than it was. I'm very happily adding books to a wishlist and starting to catalog my childhood books, but since I definitely want both those lists to be private, I'm now likely to keep my whole library private even longer until some privacy settings are developed. I'm fine with that choice for now, but I'd probably prefer to have a mostly public catalog.

LolaWalser, I'm completely in agreement about the counts for Zeitgeist and connections. There needs to be some way to disaggregate these or only use certain collections.

Edited: Jun 10, 2009, 2:52pm

Because they want to give people the option to have private books in public collections, and they want to avoid any chance of those books becoming public.

It needs to be binary (absolutely public or absolutely private), or else people will scream bloody murder if books become visible.

Jun 10, 2009, 3:03pm

Why can't you have a check box that says "Make collection private"? Then all books in that collection would be private regardless of what other collections they might reside in. The public collections would not be checked "Make public" they just wouldn't be checked at all. The public/private marker would really be on the book with the check-box on the collection for the convenience of marking in sets. If a book were in a private and an unmarked collection then the user would see that book in both places and other users wouldn't see it anywhere.

Jun 10, 2009, 3:10pm

140 > it has to do with how collections was designed in the software, collections would have to be redesigned to work as smoothly and as quickly as it does now. Tim explained it once in the BETA group when others requested the same feature. It has to do with what is brought into memory and it is usually one collection at a time and it doesn't know about any other collections (or their properties), this would require having all collections in memory every time.

So having this on a book by book basis is going to be the way it's going to go.

Jun 10, 2009, 3:16pm

>141 readafew:
But couldn't you still have the activation of the book by book marker occur in the collections interface. My suggestion was that checking make this collection private has the effect of marking all of the books in that collection as private. If a book were later added to a private collection, it too would be marked private.

Jun 10, 2009, 3:17pm

ah!, that is a little different, and I think it makes sense, I like it!

Jun 10, 2009, 3:34pm

>142 eromsted: Wouldn't that be an extension of Power Edit?

If so, I agree, that would be a handy way of applying privacy control.

Jun 10, 2009, 3:36pm

It needs to be binary (absolutely public or absolutely private), or else people will scream bloody murder if books become visible.

I was thinking of something like a double-check system for every book: private collection/private book; private collection/public book; public collection/private book; public collection/public book. Presumably the default status of individual books would be whatever the status of the collection is, but changeable.

Jun 10, 2009, 4:01pm

130, 131> God, no XML, neither suited for humans nor for computers.

Jun 10, 2009, 6:15pm

145: When I proposed something like that back in 2008, Tim said it was too clever and started talking about pigeons.

If he believes that integrating privacy setting with collections might put my pigeons at risk of being caught by Schrödinger's cat, I'll just let him make them some nice little invisibility cloaks.

Really, I'm glad they decided to disentangle those features. Even the "include in ..." tick box had me petrified for a minute.

Jun 10, 2009, 6:21pm

Not sure where to post this, but books have just been moved around in my collections and I didn't do it.

Yesterday I had 32 of my 1089 TBRs in the To Read Collection. I think it picked up on the useless check box in book page. Eventually I stopped checking it. So only 32 migrated, which I could live with. The rest of the TBR books, I tagged TBR. But just now the whole 1089 joined the To Read collection, and I did not do it.

My currently reading was at 8, and now it is 12, and there are 4 books in there that I didn't add, that don't have the tag IP and in fact are read, with tags that say read ?

And oh yes, I am missing a book somewhere in all this cha-cha. All Collections says 5908, and Your Library says 5907. So how am I supposed to find my missing book. Where did it go ?

Jun 10, 2009, 6:25pm

Use Poweredit to re-add ALL the books to Your Library... at least in this way the missing one will show up in the Your Library

Jun 10, 2009, 6:32pm

That is using a cannon to kill a fly. If the servers are having a nervous breakdown due to overload, adding to it will not make the problem go away.

Jun 10, 2009, 6:33pm

I know.. but at least the missing book will resurface.

Jun 10, 2009, 6:45pm

At some point I will ask someone from LT to find it. They lost it. I am willing to wait a bit to see if it catches up and corrects itself (as long as we are not talking huge numbers of AWOL books).

Jun 10, 2009, 6:57pm

>145 LolaWalser: (on privacy issues)
private collection/public book
I had not considered this combination. But thinking about it for a minute, I came up with a hypothetical. Say you want an erotic fiction collection and you want it to contain both your classy erotic literature and your porn. You want the porn private everywhere and the collection title private too, but you don't mind having the classy literature pubic mixed with the rest of the catalog.

My suggestion wouldn't allow this. But is it perhaps too specific to worry about? I wonder how many people would object to a system of a single private collection that made all of it's contents private throughout your catalog and perhaps the ability to hide other collections as functional groups without hiding their contents generally. (Yes this is slightly different from what I said above).

Jun 10, 2009, 7:13pm

Just wanted to chime in with the few previous posters urging an eventual shift on the zeitgeist/stats/similar library functions to differentiate the "owned" books from the "wishlist" books. I absolutely LOVE these functions of LT and I think that getting recommendations from someone else's wishlist is less valuable than getting recommendations from books they own and have kept and love.

Also, I like seeing my stats, and I intended to have an Enormous! wishlist, and don't really want cheated stats :)

But anyway, whenever you get to that is fine, and Collections has been entirely worth the wait! Thank you all a million times!

Jun 10, 2009, 8:04pm

Re 148: I've had a similar problem, adding new books & using only the Your Library collection. Most of the time the book shows up in my total numbers & on the Home and Profile pages but not when I search for it. I've found that a way of avoiding this (but we shouldn't have to do this) is, when adding a new book, remove the tick on Add to your library, add the tick again, then save.

That seems to work as a temporary measure while things settle down.

Jun 10, 2009, 8:22pm

> 155, My message was 148. I wasn't adding any books, I wasn't doing anything. LT moved some of my books around all by itself this afternoon, and in the process, lost one.

I have since found it. Only because it was in the collection with 12 books, otherwise I wouldn't have. Some how the book in Currently Reading lost the connection to Your Library. I haven't done anything in case they want to look at it. And since I know where it is, I am less stressed.

Jun 10, 2009, 10:34pm

I'm not taking the time to read all these comments, after all, I need to spend time organizing my library now, but I just wanted to say thank you and I love it!

Jun 11, 2009, 1:21am

Gadzooks! The awesomeness of it all! Woo hoo!

Jun 11, 2009, 1:26am

I just wanted to make one thing very clear: There is NO WAY to actually lose books from your account (delete them) by using Collections in any way. The collection assignments live on a data level all by themselves, separate from the actual book data.

It is possible that a book could somehow be taken out of all collections due to some bug in the collections handler but it isn't "deleted" from your account.

I just wanted to be sure that this was clear so that there is no undue stress.

Jun 11, 2009, 3:03am

One suggestion (or possibly a question):
When importing books from a webpage or computer file, I can't find a place to select the collection I want the books to import into? I imported my Amazon wishlist, and was able to set a mass tag but not to direct the books to my Wishlist collection. Am I just missing something or is that a feature we don't have yet?

Jun 11, 2009, 3:35am

160: A feature we don't have yet.

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 3:42am

How is it decided which collection is checked as default? As it happens, the one picked for the books I just entered is fine for most of what I enter, since it is the collection I created to exclude those that are specifically either Jerry's or Steven's and of no interest to me.

Does it take the largest collection? The top collection on the list? The one last looked at?

Jun 11, 2009, 4:16am

Right now it uses the top collection (which you can rearrange). We're thinking of changing that so that it remembers what collections were selected the last time you were on the Add Books page and pre-selects those for you again.

Jun 11, 2009, 4:33am

163: yes please please please. The time I've spent the last couple of days checking, unchecking, rechecking. Then to find that stuff has moved of its own accord as well is just the bitter icing on the cake. Thank you for considering it!


Jun 11, 2009, 4:42am

For me, it doesn't make a difference whether it's the top collection checked or the last used when adding but what I will say is that if you're going to change it, sooner would be better than later because everyone's still getting used to what to do. I don't want to get into one habit and then suddenly find it's changed again (because it's not like you're all busy or anything ;-) *runs and hides*)

Jun 11, 2009, 7:41am

I did a search for one book in my library and wanted to add another collection label to it while there but... the list disappeared under the header above and it wouldn't 'scroll up' or anything. Any solutions? (Apart from going to the book page... doing that now)

Jun 11, 2009, 8:38am

3991 books in 'All Collections', 3989 in 'Your Library'. How do I find the mislaid two?

I tried searching all fields in 'All Collections' for "-collection: Your Library" (what the wiki page seemed to be suggesting) and turned up one book that was in 'Your Library'.

What am I doing wrong?

Jun 11, 2009, 9:19am

AUUUUGHHH!!! I spent the whole evening adding books to the "Wishlist" that excluded "Your library" because they are not books I own, and I look at power edit now and it appears they are in "your library" after all. How on earth did that happen? Mega frustrating. "My library" is for books I own only.

Jun 11, 2009, 9:22am

Am I the only one who is removing books from the "Your Library" collection as I sort them into other various collections?

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 9:23am

>168 bookel: It's a bug with Power Edit they know about.

Jun 11, 2009, 9:24am

And it's fixed. Although you'll have to do some Collections corrections. Quite sorry for the confusion.

Jun 11, 2009, 9:26am

Abbot, your books that are not in Your Library are:

Jun 11, 2009, 9:27am

>169 Morphidae: oh no, I am too - at least, some (most) of my books are not going in that collection. I am still keeping books I own there, but have been adding books to "Read and Unowned" and not in the "Your Library" collection.

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 9:44am

Thanks conceptDawg, I hope it is fixed. :) I removed all wishlist books that I did not own from my library... I've had enough for now, hoping next time it won't happen. I'm seriously considering deactivating what I don't want included in the collection while adding. Would that work? And it wouldn't mess up current collections would it?

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 9:36am

Well, things should be working well now. I've been adding/removing/power editing/etc. all morning. Each time clearing my cache before reloading the catalog and then reloading again with the cache in place. Seems good.

The aim is for you not to have to do any workarounds and for my stupid code to work right.

Jun 11, 2009, 9:42am

cDawg, how do I find the missing 8 in my Your Library?

Jun 11, 2009, 9:44am

#169 Morph - Depends on the collections. My Library for me is my physical library so anything that's a wishlist, read-but-unowned, no-longer-in-library ... they all go out. I'm using the other collections as a sub-collection of My Library, so they stay in.

Jun 11, 2009, 9:45am

Depends. Abbots were easy because I could just look and tell him the ones that weren't in Your Library. Those were the only ones for him. If you have taken books out of Your Library on purpose then that makes things harder for me to find (I can't differentiate the cause behind the 1 or 0 in the database).

One way to fix things would be to simply add all of your books back to Your Library using Power Edit. That may not be the best solution for you though. You'll have to make that judgement call.

Jun 11, 2009, 9:49am

> 169 - I am using the 'My Library' only for the books I own. It use to contain everything, including my reading history of books I didn't own so I am having fun sorting everything the way I want it now.

By the way, slight bug. I noticed this morning that the 76 books I had in 'My Library' last night were now showing a 0 books in 'My Library' this morning. Can you have the same book listed under two different collections categories at the same time.... like 'My Library' and 'To Read'?

Jun 11, 2009, 9:52am

It was a bug that has been corrected. You can add those books back to Your Library and all will be well.

Jun 11, 2009, 9:57am

One way to fix things would be to simply add all of your books back to Your Library using Power Edit.

Re-add what books? From where? I don't have any other record of the library except LT. Or do you mean add books from the new collections into Your Library?

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 10:00am

Go into Power Edit with All Collections selected and click "Select all books" and add to Your Library.

Jun 11, 2009, 10:01am

Let me rephrase. When I'm done sorting out my collections, every book will be in a separate collection and nothing will be in "Your Library." Anyone else doing that? Should I add them all back to "Your Library"? How would it be different than selecting "All Collections"?

Jun 11, 2009, 10:01am

>172 conceptDawg:
Thank you very much for the quick response, cD.

Collections are (is?) great!

Enjoy your holiday - I hope you get to leave the lap-top behind ;-)

Jun 11, 2009, 10:05am

Abbott: Not a chance. heh.

Morphidae: That's just fine. However you want to use Collections is up to you. Your Library is no different from any of the other collections other than the fact that it's the default starting point for everyone's books right now (and it is handled differently in the database due to performance issues...but that's not pertinent).

Jun 11, 2009, 10:11am

Yeah, I'm using Your Library as a "I haven't filed the book into the appropriate collection yet" collection.

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 1:27pm

LibraryThing, I love you. (Genuflects) Will you marry me?

Jun 11, 2009, 2:50pm

Well, Your Library is supposed to represent which books you really think of as your books and I've been trying to get Tim to tie features like zeitgeist statistics to it instead of All Books. If you have several collections that you think of as being parts of your library then Your Library should (by definition but of course you can do whatever you want) also contain those books.

Jun 11, 2009, 2:57pm

>188 jjwilson61:, good idea! at the moment I still have everything in Your Library as well as other collections but I would change that if things like recommendations and connections were based on the books in Your Library and not All Books.

Jun 11, 2009, 3:08pm

#188 Wouldn't work for those of us that record books that we've read but not kept outside of Your Library, which for me represents my physical library in my house but not my 'real' library which is all my reading.

Jun 11, 2009, 3:44pm

My plan (at the moment) is for "My Library" to end up containing all books that are currently taking up space in my house, plus any that are out on loan. I too would like to see that used for the Zeitgeist numbers.

I may come up with a C&R collection of the books (some in "My Library" and some not) on which I want Connections & Recommendations based, then uncheck that box for all other collections. Or maybe I'll use Favorites. I'll wait to see how things are working out once changes there take effect.

Jun 11, 2009, 5:25pm

I use "Your Library" Collection to house those books that are reference material or how to books, cookbooks, etc. ones that I wouldn't just sit down to read but own because at sometime I wanted the information they provided.

188>> jjwilson61 - I hope that your stat project isn't set in stone because I wouldn't want to have my stats just on the 58 refernce books that I've left in "You Library" I think you need to have each person designate which collection you should use for stats.

Jun 11, 2009, 5:27pm

Maybe there could be a check box for "include in zeitgeist" like there is for recommendations and connections?

Re: #191 I have a collection like that! I call it "Read and Enjoyed" :-)

Jun 11, 2009, 6:14pm

When I first joined LT, I had my entire book collection in a Word document sorted alphabetically by Title. Another LT-er helped me convert that to an Excel file that I was then able to import into LT en masse as my library. That Excel file included only the book title and author's last name but it imported beautifully. Now I have my wish list in an Excel file, also only by title and author's last name. But I cannot remember how to import it. All the directions for importing require that the Excel file contain the ISBN or LOC numbers; I don't have either in I my wish list. So how do I import my list? Do I have to add each of 1400 books manually or do I have to add 1400 ISBNs? Yes, I have that many books in my wishlist! Please help.

Jun 11, 2009, 6:19pm


No matter what, you wouldn't have to add 1400 books manually. You might, worst-case, have to add 1400 books individually.

(Sorry, people conflating those two extremely different concepts is a pet peeve of mine -- it really makes it hard to figure things out on Bug Collectors, for instance, when they're complaining about something going wrong with "manual" addition and it turns out they're just used to bulk-uploads and are doing some individual addition of a few books.)

Jun 11, 2009, 7:04pm

I can't even see the point to having an ISBN for a Wishlist book, unless one is adamant about getting a particular edition. (Many of my wish books are out of print, and I'll take whatever edition I find.) I add them manually because I want only title and author listed.

Jun 11, 2009, 7:34pm

#195 -- "Manually" in its literal (from the Latin) form means having to enter each book by hand -- and, yes, individually -- rather than through a bulk import. How can I get around adding each book individually by hand without the ISBN or LOC numbers?

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 7:38pm

You can put the title or ISBN of each book on the search line at Add Books, and then choose from the options offered, OR you can click on "add manually" and type in title, author, publisher, copyright, language, etc., etc.

The first is "individually" as opposed to in bulk. The second is "manually" as in doing the entire book from scratch.

Jun 11, 2009, 7:43pm


There's no need to be so rude.

"Adding manually" has a very specific meaning here -- it means that rather than adding a book from a source (a library or an Amazon), which you can do very easily by typing in the title and/or author in the Add Books page, and then clicking on the correct edition, getting all the information about the book in one go, you choose the "add this book manually" option, where you are directed to a form where you need to enter every bit of the information separately.

Jun 11, 2009, 7:51pm

But the manual entry form says that the only info you need to enter is the title.

Jun 11, 2009, 7:55pm

199 >> you were the one that was rude to begin with back in message #195 because of "your pet peeve" that doesn't mean that you have to "speak" to kageeh the way you did.

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 8:01pm

kageeh, I've never done import before, but I just tried a sample excel document and it seemed to work just fine without ISBN. It seems like your file may need to be in CSV format? Go to the Add books page, click on "import books" near the bottom of the left side, then upload your file. There are additional instructions here:

Hope that helps!

ETA: On the import page, there's a sample CSV document to work from. You don't need to fill in any columns you don't have info for.

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 8:21pm


Okay, I'm genuinely asking here, not being snide:

What exactly was rude about what I said in #195? There really is a difference between "manual" and "individual" adding of books, and it really was unclear, at least to me, whether kageeh was aware of that difference. I wasn't correcting her word usage -- I was making sure she knew about the option of adding books from library sources one at a time.

Edited to add:

Be that as it may, that does not justify kageeh's astonishingly condescending response in #197.

Jun 11, 2009, 8:39pm

It was your tone in 195 with the itilacs - maybe you should listen to how what you write sounds before you submit it.

Edited: Jun 11, 2009, 9:00pm

>203 lorax:
It would have helped to acknowledge kageeh's concern (whether you could answer it or not) before going into your side comment on LT jargon, especially since you gave the first reply. To ignore the substance of a question and focus on the wording feels dismissive. The repetition of "1400 books" is also overkill, making your message seem like a personal criticism rather than a helpful offer of information. Or at least that's how it reads to me.

I also think calling kageeh's reply "astonishingly condescending" is a bit much. It strikes me as responding in kind: you dismiss my question with language nitpicking, I'll dismiss your dismissal with Latin etymology. Not terribly productive, but communicative of how your post was taken.

Jun 11, 2009, 9:46pm

I think the entire concept of Your Library needs to be revised. We were supposed to have the option of using it as our main collection, but it seems like it's being forced into an "Owned" interpretation and All Books is turning into the default for a lot of things.

I would suggest removing Your Library entirely, and adding two different defaults: Your Main Collection and Owned. I just can't see how everyone could end up happy with the defaults and related decisions when one collection is being used for two completely different purposes.

Jun 11, 2009, 10:10pm


There's nothing to keep anyone from using "Your Library" as the main, or the only collection. (If Wishlist books have been removed from "Your Library" --- and I think that requires action on the part of the user --- they can be moved back with Power Edit.) Unused collections can be made inactive. If there are multiple collections, we can designate which should be used for Recommendations and Connections.

Some of us are asking that the Zeitgeist numbers (which really affect only those who may suffer "library size envy" ) not be based upon "All collections" where there are multiple collections.

Jun 11, 2009, 10:13pm

Re: #167: I’m also having that problem. If I search for "-collection:Research" or "-collections:Research", I get my Research collection.

Jun 11, 2009, 10:42pm

there is NO 'collection' search modifier. I tried to tell people this in the beta but nobody will listen. I give up. :)

Jun 11, 2009, 10:58pm

>209 conceptDawg:
Seems like a natural thing to have. Any reason (beyond workload) not to make one? It's true that you could just tag the collection and then use the tag modifier, but that seems unnecessarily duplicative.

Jun 11, 2009, 10:59pm

Ah! That explains it. I was already suspicious because it was only mentioned in the Wiki. If existent, it would be valuable.

Jun 11, 2009, 11:22pm

>207 myshelves: If you want to use it as the only collection, sure, there's no problem. If you want to use it as the main collection, while de-emphasizing other collections, there is a problem.

For example, an issue arose about the tag list on the profile page: what tags should appear there, and what should you see when you click on one? Currently, it shows tags for All Books, and clicking on one takes you to the All Books collection. What does it mean for Your Library to be the main collection and Wishlist to be something separate and minor, if things like this are defaulting to All Books? All Books is turning into the main collection, because everyone interprets "Your Library" differently and therefore not everyone is using it as their main collection. I think it would be useful to have a less-ambiguous Main Collection, rather than falling back on All Books.

Jun 11, 2009, 11:43pm

>167 abbottthomas:/208/209/211 - sorry about the confusion, I recall that conversation from Beta when we weren't sure if it existed or not, we left it in case it was implemented before collections was released. The incorrect statement in the Wiki has been removed.

Edited: Jun 12, 2009, 12:46am

Collections search

There is no collections search, but I added a Stats page that allows you to go to collections overlaps and collections inverses.


Your Library is all wrong

Sorry. The basic system is set. "Your Library" means whatever you want it to mean. Tag links will go to "all collections" because there's no rational way to decide ahead of time which collection the user wants to look at.

Jun 12, 2009, 12:53am

Tag links will go to "all collections" because there's no rational way to decide ahead of time which collection the user wants to look at.

Then can you please change the tag links in the "Your top tags" module on the home page to do this? This was my original complaint and it still isn't fixed.

Jun 12, 2009, 1:03am

>214 timspalding:
Thanks for clarifying the collections stats page, Tim!

Jun 12, 2009, 1:03am

>215 The_Kat_Cache:

Done. Thanks.

Jun 12, 2009, 2:38am

No, no, thank YOU. :)

Jun 12, 2009, 2:39am

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Jun 12, 2009, 4:03am

I don't think the bug is fixed? I had to take all out of my library that I added yesterday which I didn't want there. And today I added a heap to Read but Unowned and before I signed out they were not in my library. I come back online to find they are now in my library!! :( I've now removed them from 'my library'.... do I have to keep doing this?

Jun 12, 2009, 4:19am

> 214 : Thanks for those collections statistics - very helpful for tracking down books that ended up in the wrong collection.

Jun 12, 2009, 4:54am

Seconding BarkingMatt in #221

Jun 12, 2009, 5:12am

>214 timspalding: Is there any way I can get back to the stats without searching through this thread.

Jun 12, 2009, 5:21am

They are on your statistics page

Jun 12, 2009, 5:21am

On your homepage, click on the statistics/memes link at the top and it's in there under 'other'

Jun 12, 2009, 5:23am


Jun 12, 2009, 5:29am

Nice thing. Thanks Tim :)

Jun 12, 2009, 7:00am

"Your Library" means whatever you want it to mean. Tag links will go to "all collections" because there's no rational way to decide ahead of time which collection the user wants to look at.

So, in other words, it won't mean whatever we want it to mean. If we want it to mean "the main collection that everything defaults to", we're out of luck. We're forced into the meaning of "just another of many collections, with no particular importance".

Jun 12, 2009, 7:52am

>I'll add my thanks for the collection stats page. Useful.

Jun 12, 2009, 8:18am

#202: I just tried what you suggested (after converting the Excel document to an html one) and the result is:

Lookup queue
You have 0 ISBNs in your lookup queue, including 0 failed and 0 active. (clear queue)
No items in queue.

Did I do something wrong?

Jun 12, 2009, 8:24am

#205 et al -- I chose to ignore any perceived snarkiness of the initial reply to my plea on how to import my wishlist. I thought it was obvious that I want to avoid adding each of 1400 book titles "manually", which I assumed everyone would realize implied "individually". Personally, I don't care about the linguistics lesson as I have a fairly decent command of the English language in its written form. But, dammit, I need to import my wishlist. Can anyone help?

Edited: Jun 12, 2009, 9:07am

>230 kageeh:
I have not done this but, I think the process is:
Download the sample csv file from the bottom right corner of in import page.
Open the sample cvs file in excel.
Open your wishlist excel file.
Copy your data and paste it into the columns in the sample csv file ensuring that you follow the sample format (e.g. author goes lastname, firstname in one column; date is the year; tags should be separated by commas).
Leave any column you don't need blank.
Save the sample csv file.
Upload this file on the import page.

Alternatively, instead of copy and paste you could rearrange and rename the columns in your excel file to exactly match the sample csv file.

Perhaps someone who has done this will chime in, but if not I think the above is worth a shot. You could try entering one book into the sample csv and uploading as a test before working on all 1400.

Jun 12, 2009, 9:16am

I believe it's a CSV file for Comma Separated Values.

Jun 12, 2009, 11:52am

# 233: This is what the CSV file looks like on LT where it says to copy it:

"A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books","Basbanes, Nicholas A.",1999,0805061762,"Holt Paperbacks (1999), Paperback

It's just a string of words in quotation marks separated by commas. I don't know what to do with it. I have even tried created my own file using just TITLE and AUTHOR and nothing works. I'm sure there is a simple way to do this but I don't know how to find out what that is.

Jun 12, 2009, 11:59am


The italics were used for emphasis, since I was focusing on the particular words. I did, and do, pay attention to what I write; sorry, while I accept that you thought it sounded rude, I'm not buying this as a general statement.


I didn't know whether the terminology was a side issue or not, though; I honestly didn't know whether she knew that adding individually, but not manually, was even an option. If her concern was with adding manually by LT's definition -- which is far more work than adding individually from a source -- then pointing out the existence of an option was helpful. I think that's the root of this -- others seem to have understood at first reading that of course what kageeh said wasn't what she meant, while I give people the benefit of the doubt on such matters. I can certainly see how it would come across as nitpicking to people who didn't realize that I honestly wasn't sure what kageeh meant by "manual".

Others with experience with bulk uploads (which I don't have) seem to have addressed her concern, however, so this is really a moot point.

And, well, it may in your view have been justifiable condescension, but that doesn't make "I will treat you like a moron who doesn't even know the meaning, let alone the etymology, of 'manual'" any less condescending.

Jun 12, 2009, 12:06pm


If you try just uploading the sample file that LT gives, does that work?

If that works, but uploading your actual file fails, can you post the first few lines of your file here? Computers are after all very stupid and there might be some minor formatting issue that someone more familiar with bulk uploading can see, that you don't.

Oh, does your sample file have the header row (the one reading 'TITLE','"Author (last, first)'", etc.)? If not that might be something to try.

Jun 12, 2009, 12:59pm

#236: May I send you my Excel file? Nothing I do seems to work.

Jun 12, 2009, 1:02pm


Sure. I'll give you my email address in a private profile comment.

Jun 12, 2009, 1:31pm

I uploaded the bulk of my library, but it was a while ago. I also had a lot of ISBNS. I took it from my Access DB into Excel, and then into CSV.

It took those with ISBNs, but those that didn't it left, and I had to hand enter them. Most were old, or book club editions. Some I found through add books, and some I had to create.

My files are at home, but I can look at them later and post what they looked like.

Jun 12, 2009, 8:54pm

Hooray collections! Late to the party, I know, but --

Hooray collections!

Thanks so much for all the work that did (and still is) going in to this!

Jun 14, 2009, 1:29pm

Any chance private libraries could get the list of collections on our (private) profiles too? Just the page the private member sees, not the public version of their profile.

Jun 16, 2009, 8:10am

Yeah, I know I am late, but I haven't been around for a few days (and just darted in an out, anyway).
So I am going to do my happy dance all alone now, here. Thanks, LT crew!
Looks like my owned and my TBR books made it to their collections all by themselves, and complete. Off to look at the feature and to create more collections!

Jun 16, 2009, 12:18pm

>242 GirlFromIpanema: GirlFromIpanema

You're not alone. I'm still happy-dancing! :-)

Jun 16, 2009, 2:54pm

The party has just started, me thinks...

Jun 16, 2009, 4:33pm

If a book is only in one collection, and that collection is marked to not include in connections or the, uhm, other do-not-include ticky is ticked, is it supposed to still pop up on the reviews page?

Although I don't want to remove Twilight from my library completely (because I like to put in everything I've read, at least since I started my LT account), I don't want to keep having my reviews page overrun by Twilight and New Moon reviews. I thought that by ticking those two ticky boxes, they'd be kept away from that page.

Is this a bug or a feature?


Jun 16, 2009, 4:44pm

245: See Tim's post here:

No idea if it will help.....


Jun 16, 2009, 5:05pm

>245 keristars:

I hadn't thought about the effect on the reviews page. Hmmm... I'm not sure. It's neither a recommendation nor a user-connection. Maybe the latter.

Jun 16, 2009, 5:22pm

>246 vaneska:: It didn't help, but thanks for the link - I hadn't yet tackled the bugs threads, since they're so long and I've only just started poking at collections. And I figured this didn't seem to necessarily be a bug. :P

>247 timspalding:: Yeah, the reviews page does seem a bit odd with collections. I could see having a new sort - only show reviews for Collection (X,Y,Z,all) - but there's also the thing where I don't care if other people see my reviews for those books, I just don't want to see other peoples'. As I understand it, sticking the reviews into user-connection or recommendation would end up blocking mine everyone's reviews pages, rather than just hiding theirs for me.

Of course, I only just thought of this while responding, so I might could probably just make myself carry on ignoring them, as I have been doing.

Jun 17, 2009, 9:50am

247: Why not add a 1 review per work limit to the right side of the Member Reviews page, like the one on the Home Page module?

Or maybe just 1 review per Twilight quartet and HP series. :)