What do you want to read next? April 30, 2007 12:43 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter now has a group at LibraryThing. Inspired by the reaction to this thread, jbickers has set up a group with the name "Metafilter" at LibraryThing. Please join if you care to swap reading lists, see what books fellow MeFis own, etc. For maximum coolishness, sign up with the same screen name you use here.
posted by ND¢ to MetaFilter-Related at 12:43 PM (122 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Ha, I see LibraryThing wouldn't let you use the "¢" sign in your username.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 1:17 PM on April 30, 2007


No damn them. Letters and numbers only.
posted by ND¢ at 1:18 PM on April 30, 2007


Hmmm very cool. I will join immediately after I post this comment. Does anyone know of other groups similar to this one dedicated to books? I'm definitely joining librarything since there's a mefi group, but I'd like to know if there is any other viable competition.

Wow. So just created my account. Almost eerily simple. No need to provide email, first name, SSN, DOB, current address, computer hard drive serial number, etc. Just pick a username and password and you're in. I guess there are possible downsides, but I like it.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 1:27 PM on April 30, 2007


Oh. And they have comma separated tags. Gotta love those. I'm not a fan of space separated. Sorry Matt.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 1:28 PM on April 30, 2007


Huh, the group joining thing is a bit weird. I thought I'd joined the MeFi group by adding the "Also on..." thing in my profile, but all that does is auto-create a link to your MeFi profile page (assuming you enter your user # not your username). To join the MeFi group you need to click the Join link on the MeFi group page.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:32 PM on April 30, 2007


Wow, ND¢, you must really dig Dolly Parton.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:33 PM on April 30, 2007


See, that's why it's a good idea to spell out punctuation.
posted by interrobang at 1:34 PM on April 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


LibraryThing is indeed a great thing - although I see MeFis have not started any discussions....hmmm, how odd... ;)
posted by rmm at 1:35 PM on April 30, 2007


As soon as I join:

Most commonly shared books (weighted): Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars Of Mexican Wrestling (2)
posted by vacapinta at 1:38 PM on April 30, 2007


I'm writing my doctoral dissertation on Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That. It is my thesis that Dolly's description of a man with "a wanderin' eye and a travelin' mind / Big ideas and a little behind" is the quintessential statement of western masculine perfection.
posted by ND¢ at 1:43 PM on April 30, 2007


Very cool, count me in.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:01 PM on April 30, 2007


This is great! I'm in too (my MeFi name is linked from my Librarything profile).
posted by sueinnyc at 2:19 PM on April 30, 2007


Is it synergizing yet?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:27 PM on April 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, I feel like I've contributed. I was the one who asked them to add Metafilter to their list of "also on"s.
posted by timepiece at 2:48 PM on April 30, 2007


Neat! Just joined.
posted by brundlefly at 2:53 PM on April 30, 2007


We only have 1100 books? I have 111 alone, and that is only the good ones.
posted by smackfu at 3:04 PM on April 30, 2007


smackfu wrote "We only have 1100 books? I have 111 alone, and that is only the good ones."
I think it counts X copies of the same book as one book for the purposes of the group member library.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:06 PM on April 30, 2007


I think it counts X copies of the same book as one book for the purposes of the group member library.

Yeah, and for my part, I haven't yet taken the time to enter but a few of the ones I have nearby. If/when we all get around to filling our inventories out, we'll have, like, a lot of books, dude.
posted by jbickers at 3:07 PM on April 30, 2007


Actually, languagehat has 5000 (!!!!) so I think it's just wrong.

Or maybe it only counts a book if two members own it?
posted by smackfu at 3:09 PM on April 30, 2007


Or maybe it only updates the count periodically.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:11 PM on April 30, 2007


We only have 1100 books? I have 111 alone, and that is only the good ones.

Yeah, something doesn't add up here...

User namelanguagehat
Account typepublic, lifetime
Books cataloged 5,184 — see catalog
Books reviewed 341 — see reviews


Of the 46 books in my library, he has 26...

just wow.
posted by Bugg at 3:12 PM on April 30, 2007


Does it count books as shared if they are different editions? Am I being anal for looking for the correct edition for my books, or should I just pick the most recent one?
posted by hydrophonic at 3:13 PM on April 30, 2007


I just make sure the cover is correct.
posted by smackfu at 3:14 PM on April 30, 2007


Thanks for doing this. I've been meaning to join and list our books, if only so I don't have to remember what books melissa may and I still have and what we got rid of in the purge-and-go move last year. I'm guessing I'm not OCD enough to get all of our books in one sitting either.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:25 PM on April 30, 2007


And wow, ND¢, that's awesome. You get big points in our house for that alone.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:27 PM on April 30, 2007


I'm in.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:42 PM on April 30, 2007


Yes, hydrophonic, I think LT is quite good at clumping things like that together. I've never bothered worrying about editions or matching covers. Is there any particular reason to?

sleepy pete: ND¢ is a Known Liar (for comedy purposes), so I'd hold off awarding points.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 3:43 PM on April 30, 2007


And now to reveal my sad little library to the world.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:43 PM on April 30, 2007


Well, screw that then. I'm tired of giving out points for no reason.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:45 PM on April 30, 2007


So I was just given a "five-foot shelf of books". Y'know, the Harvard Classics? Anyway, what the fuck do I do with these things? My table is already level.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:57 PM on April 30, 2007


How anal are you all being about specific versions of books? Does it really matter that much? I mean, bully for you if you've a first edition of The Fall or whatever, but does it matter that much?
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:25 PM on April 30, 2007


I chose the Oprah Book Club version for one of my books. Something broke inside me.
posted by liquorice at 4:35 PM on April 30, 2007


Ufez Jones wrote "How anal are you all being about specific versions of books? Does it really matter that much? I mean, bully for you if you've a first edition of The Fall or whatever, but does it matter that much?"

I'm just making sure I have the right cover.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:39 PM on April 30, 2007


How anal are you all being about specific versions of books? Does it really matter that much? I mean, bully for you if you've a first edition of The Fall or whatever, but does it matter that much?

Not much. If there's a picture of the cover that sorta matches what I've got, I'll just pick that one. If I were really into collecting first editions and stuff, I'd make sure I put that kind of info into LT, but I don't really care about collecting rare books. I know people that would be obsessive about that, though.
posted by LionIndex at 4:40 PM on April 30, 2007


*debates whether to add Goosebumps collection to library*
posted by liquorice at 4:44 PM on April 30, 2007


Cool! I joined, too, but it's going to take me a while to enter all my books.
posted by trip and a half at 4:54 PM on April 30, 2007


How anal are you all being about specific versions of books? Does it really matter that much?

I think the main thing for me is translations - which version you have there really does make a lot of difference. I remember certain teachers caring about editions of other books due to small changes or edits, but that seems like a much less signifcant thing.

I love the idea of librarything, but it does take so long to actually input your library. Basically only whatever I bought from Amazon is actually in my online catalogue...
posted by mdn at 6:03 PM on April 30, 2007


Mine are just the ones I've read in the past...four years maybe, not my whole collection but I am an LT Author, and I have a disambiguation notice which highlights one of the cute little broken things about LibraryThing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:06 PM on April 30, 2007


This makes me wish I had bothered to modify that cuecat thingie so I could just scan in the ISBNs.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:31 PM on April 30, 2007


Hey, I signed up at librarything on 4/29/07. Bleeding edge, I am.

I should add some books.
posted by ormondsacker at 6:37 PM on April 30, 2007


Maybe the LibraryThing group should get sidebarred?
posted by janell at 6:42 PM on April 30, 2007


I played with it and got scared and had to get some air.
posted by interrobang at 6:46 PM on April 30, 2007


Maybe the LibraryThing group should get sidebarred?

good idea, done.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:51 PM on April 30, 2007


I have climbed to the very pinnacle of Mt. Sidebar! As I look down on you mere mortals from its lofty heights I am filled with revulsion at the thought that I was once a sad pathetic unsidebarred wretch like all of you. Touch not the hem of my robes vermin!
posted by ND¢ at 6:57 PM on April 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm there! Although not as thomas j wise.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:04 PM on April 30, 2007


Okay, I feel better now that I figured that you can edit each book listing and choose the cover you want. Folks even scan their books to submit their own covers.

Some people at work were showing me Delicious Library, where you enter your books by scanning the UPC symbol with a FireWire digital video camera (or in their case, the MacBook's built in iSight). It's Mac only, blah. But maybe you can export the data for using in Library Thing.

Good think I don't have that many books, or I'd have to get this barcode scanner.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:16 PM on April 30, 2007


I have climbed to the very pinnacle of Mt. Sidebar! As I look down on you mere mortals from its lofty heights I am filled with revulsion at the thought that I was once a sad pathetic unsidebarred wretch like all of you. Touch not the hem of my robes vermin!

Wait just a dang minute, ND-alt-0162 - don't you go stealing my glory! I set the dang thing up!

Thanks for posticulating and forwardizing and promulgating it, though. You da man. Or, at least, one of da men.
posted by jbickers at 7:33 PM on April 30, 2007


I feel a greater sense of pride by having reached the sidebar by stealing your post. Had I thought to make a Mefi group at LibraryThing, and then posted to MeTa about it, it would be only my idea that I had to thank for making me internet famous, rather than myself. Instead I have my intellect and cunning to thank for being on the glorious sidebar, things that are much more inherently me than some random idea that happens to pop into my head from who knows where. Had I not snarked at you for putting your announcement in the blue, and then flagged your post, and then stolen your exact language to make a MeTa post about something that I have no interest in and frankly don't really understand, then I would still be one of these anonymous little drones that buzz about below me. I am the reason that I am on the sidebar, not some idea. I am a self-made man.
posted by ND¢ at 7:50 PM on April 30, 2007


Oh, christ, another thing that I'd love to do that involves massive amounts of data entry.
posted by klangklangston at 7:55 PM on April 30, 2007


I'm not quite sure what LibraryThing is, but I do believe y'all have my book up in that beeyotch, so you're All Right By Me. And thankyew.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:56 PM on April 30, 2007


Signed up.

Now, where do I submit pony requests?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:00 PM on April 30, 2007


i finally caved and signed up, and now library thing is getting in the way of my library school work. is that sad?
posted by kendrak at 10:24 PM on April 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually I use LibraryThing to list a lot of my work related books, and Listal for my list of books/movies/music etc. that I'd like to read/listen to etc.

Err, anyone up for a group on Listal? I'll start one if there are takers...
posted by rmm at 10:39 PM on April 30, 2007


*determines how to handle couplehood*
*plops down in front of bookshelf*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:39 PM on April 30, 2007


Right on!
I'm so happy that we are all such readers.
The variety is interesting and gives me more to add to my list of books I should check out.
posted by lilywing13 at 11:21 PM on April 30, 2007


Just signed up, but may take a while to get around to adding books. I'm also pretty active on Bookcrossing, so most of my books end up moving on. Anyone else on there?
posted by MrMustard at 1:09 AM on May 1, 2007


Its a good place. I've been there awhile.
posted by adamvasco at 2:01 AM on May 1, 2007


In your LibraryThing profile, there's a field allowing you to link your profile on other sites. For Metafilter, put your user number not user name in this to make a valid link to your Mefi profile.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 2:03 AM on May 1, 2007


adamvasco - Do you mean LibraryThing or BookCrossing? If BookCrossing, what's your screen name there? Mine is the same as here.
posted by MrMustard at 3:16 AM on May 1, 2007


MrMustard; I was referring to LibraryThing, though I will now check out BookCrossing. Every now and then I have a purge and off to the charity store or bar with a bookswap I go. Not sure though if I'm that interested enough to know where my purged items might end up.
posted by adamvasco at 4:40 AM on May 1, 2007


.... and I've just joined the group! Wooohooo!
posted by the cydonian at 6:43 AM on May 1, 2007


it does take so long to actually input your library.

You realize you can just type in a couple of identifiers (author's last name, a significant word or two from the title) and it will come up with a number of possibilities and you just click the appropriate one and boom, the book is entered, right? Every once in a while you have to enter one manually (if you have obscure enough books), but basically it's a very easy process. (Otherwise I'd never have entered 5,000+ books.)

I'm there! Although not as thomas j wise.

Aargh! She has 6,224 entries, and I do not have more books than all y'all! Damn you, thomas j wise! Damn you and your excessive bibliophily!
posted by languagehat at 6:46 AM on May 1, 2007



We only have 1100 books? I have 111 alone, and that is only the good ones.


I haven't entered much of my library yet, just books I've read so far this year, or that were within arms reach. When I get a chance I'm good to add them, but it's going to feel a bit too much like my day job, which sometimes involves entering ISBNs.
posted by drezdn at 7:08 AM on May 1, 2007


Hey, I commented on this post 14 minutes before it was sidebarred. Bleeding edge, I am.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:32 AM on May 1, 2007


Very cool. And great timing for me - I had just boxed up all my books to trade in at the local bookstore and was worried about remembering all that I had read.
posted by suki at 9:08 AM on May 1, 2007


I got tired-head after a little over a hundred entries. I was just relying on associational thinking of books at home. Six years ago is the last time I made a count of my books, and it was around 1,000 and possibly has doubled since then. But I just don't have the energy to enter them into this thing. I wish you could hire someone to do this for you. Maybe I'll use AskMe jobs!
posted by dios at 9:52 AM on May 1, 2007


I got tired-head after a little over a hundred entries.

You don't have to add them all at once. I just adda few here and there when I visit the site.

What I do too is browse other people's books. If you see one you already have, there's a "add this to my catalog" button on the right that does exactly as it says.
posted by vacapinta at 11:12 AM on May 1, 2007


I'm in, but haven't entered things yet. (hopefully it's easy?)
posted by amberglow at 11:44 AM on May 1, 2007


Yes entering is VERY easy, just find the book by entering author or title and click to add. Very little data entry.
posted by vito90 at 11:50 AM on May 1, 2007


I'm in, but as knitgrrldotcom, not bitter-girl.com -- I try to keep my personal blog and my "business" blog lives separate as much as possible. And besides, my LibraryThing author page and account is under knitgrrldotcom...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:51 AM on May 1, 2007


Huh. Interesting. I have no idea why on earth anybody would want to do this (I know what all 800 or so of my books are and where they are, and don't need to catalogue them anywhere but in my head) but whatever floats your boats.
posted by jokeefe at 11:57 AM on May 1, 2007


I guess now that the Feds can subpoena our library records, we might as well make a clean breast of all our reading habits, and make some G-man's job a little easier someday.
posted by breezeway at 12:17 PM on May 1, 2007


Neat. I signed up, added some books.
posted by ODiV at 12:31 PM on May 1, 2007


jo, recommending great books is always wonderful, and needed, no?
posted by amberglow at 12:34 PM on May 1, 2007


I guess now that the Feds can subpoena our library records, we might as well make a clean breast of all our reading habits, and make some G-man's job a little easier someday.

Actually the gag order part of the USA PATRIOT Act was struck down last year thanks to some enterprising librarians who contested it and were willing to make a federal case out of it.

jokeefe, I think the appeal of something like LT is the social aspect. It's not for just you and your books, it's to see what other people are reading, what other books by your favorite authors are popular and see what people with your tastes also like to read. If you just want to keep a list, in your head or otherwise, of what you're reading you definitely don't need something like LibraryThing, LT is more for people who want to share what they're reading or what they have read with others.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:44 PM on May 1, 2007


Actually the gag order part of the USA PATRIOT Act was struck down last year thanks to some enterprising librarians who contested it and were willing to make a federal case out of it.

God this is just further proof of FACT: librarians are HAWT. I defy anyone to come up with a profession calling that is as consistently as hawt as librarians.

Tell us more, jessamyn.
posted by dios at 12:50 PM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Huh. Interesting. I have no idea why on earth anybody would want to do this

To succinctly paraphrase jessamyn: It's social.
posted by vacapinta at 12:53 PM on May 1, 2007


"God this is just further proof of FACT: librarians are HAWT. I defy anyone to come up with a profession calling that is as consistently as hawt as librarians.

Tell us more, jessamyn."


I bet she's wearing pants, so calm down.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:58 PM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm wearing pants too. That's weird.
posted by ODiV at 1:20 PM on May 1, 2007


I'm also wearing pants, not voluntarily mind you, but they got them on me.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:27 PM on May 1, 2007


Ah, that's great to hear, jessamyn. My mother, a retired librarian, was so mad when she heard about the change in the law that she used the word "motherfuckers" twice. I was scandalized; any law that makes mom talk like grandpa is a bad one, indeed.
posted by breezeway at 1:42 PM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Damn you, thomas j wise! Damn you and your excessive bibliophily!

Hmmm. I knew it felt a bit warmer than usual...

I have no idea why on earth anybody would want to do this

When the books crack the 6200+ mark, remembering what's already on the shelves becomes a lot harder ("Do I already have that novel by Emma Jane Worboise, or not?"), so I appreciate being able to search my own catalog at a moment's notice. And LibraryThing's interface makes things much easier than trying to write everything up in a Word or spreadsheet document.

Also, it's cool.
posted by thomas j wise at 1:49 PM on May 1, 2007


any law that makes mom talk like grandpa is a bad one

I have not laughed out loud when reading MeTa in a long long time.

Here is more information about Doe v Gonzalez or you can jump write to the American Libraries' wrap up of Doe v. Gonzalez [pdf of court brief]. In short, librarians who worked for a library services provider (The Library Connection) were sent a National Security Letter requesting information about their users. They fought the gag order which was so absurd they weren't even allowed to attend their own hearings on the case in person.

As a result of sloppy redacting their identity was leaked anyhow and they argued that they could not continue to be decent librarians defending intellectual freedom when they weren't even allowed, essentially, to discuss the USA PATRIOT Act. The Supreme Court found in their favor and they're all over the place lately talking about it. It's good news, but not good enough.

I am, however, wearing pants. I work in a high school so my options were somewhat limited.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:55 PM on May 1, 2007


Apologies, I should have kept my maundering to myself... [not sulking, honest, even if that sounds like it] I do understand the social aspect, having now wandered around the site a bit. I suppose, being one of those people who treat reading as more or less equivalent to breathing, it never occured to me to quantify my books/reading in such a way. You'd think that I'd know better than to wonder about the way other people love their books.

Also, the hawtness of librarians is a simple fact of nature.
posted by jokeefe at 1:56 PM on May 1, 2007


Huh. Interesting. I have no idea why on earth anybody would want to do this

Well, I get that. What I'm not clear on is the $10/year for more books than 200. FAIL. I was right in the middle of a shelf and it wants me to shell out... for what? That seems way out of line with Flickr and Mefi, at least.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:58 PM on May 1, 2007


PS I am not wearing pants, having just got out of the bath. I am instead wearing two strategically placed towels.
posted by jokeefe at 1:59 PM on May 1, 2007


Hell, I signed up and all, but I get no option to join the group. I connect via Blackberry, which works fine here but not everywhere. Bummer, I kinda wanted to show off my fine taste in books.
posted by breezeway at 2:07 PM on May 1, 2007


That seems way out of line with Flickr and Mefi, at least.

You could compare it with $25/lifetime LT deal which actually beats the pants off of Flickr, but MeFi is still the best game in town. Are there any sites that cost less but still cost something?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:08 PM on May 1, 2007


This is awesome. I signed up and added all the books nearby and found out my book list is most similar to the rapper MC Lars, almost solely based on Calvin and Hobbes and Life In Hell books.
posted by look busy at 2:20 PM on May 1, 2007


I am, however, wearing pants. I work in a high school so my options were somewhat limited.
posted by jessamyn at 3:55 PM on May 1


Tease.

Would it not be the appropriate time to mention a grade school fantasy I had about going into the stacks and having a go with a librarian in the 636's. No? Didn't think so. I'll keep that to myself, then.
posted by dios at 2:22 PM on May 1, 2007


That seems way out of line with Flickr and Mefi, at least.

Flickr is $25 / year to have more than 200 photos, and it's a lot easier to take photos than to buy books.

In general, any of these sites are a much better deal if you are way over the free limit. 5k books is the same as 201.
posted by smackfu at 2:30 PM on May 1, 2007


PS I am not wearing pants, having just got out of the bath. I am instead wearing two strategically placed towels.”—jokeefe

One around your hair and one to keep the chair from getting wet? I'm just hoping.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:40 PM on May 1, 2007


jessamyn: I missed the lifetime membership option. That's gonna be on my wish list.

smackfu: Flickr hosts big pieces of data for me. LT does not.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:17 PM on May 1, 2007


Hey, I was wearing strategically placed towels back in '95. Bleeding edge, I am.
posted by ormondsacker at 3:20 PM on May 1, 2007


what's all this with towels & trousers? i thought smocks were the mefi uniform...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:30 PM on May 1, 2007


To clarify -- if I wanted to use this thing, I'd have to pay if I wanted to catalog more than 200 of my books, right?

(If so, poop on that.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:40 PM on May 1, 2007


MC Lars is on LibraryThing?! You just made my week, look busy.
posted by lilac girl at 7:01 PM on May 1, 2007


To clarify -- if I wanted to use this thing, I'd have to pay if I wanted to catalog more than 200 of my books, right?

(If so, poop on that.)


To me, the real strength of it is getting "if you like this, then you should read this" recommendation. To that end, you should think about only cataloging books you really love.
posted by jbickers at 7:09 PM on May 1, 2007


Didn't Jessamyn say it was $25 for a lifetime membership? How much does one book cost? How many books do you need to buy, or avoid, before the thing pays for itself?

I've only started playing with LT, but so far the recommendation lists seem better than Amazon's, perhaps because Amazon can only link books that people have bought from them, whereas this site allows the datamining to correlate books from any source whatsoever, including stuff that Amazon wouldn't stock, or things that you can find cheaply elsewhere without wasting money on mail-order (Amazon mail order is a desperate last option for those of us living overseas, trust me!).
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:34 PM on May 1, 2007


I've entered most of my books, and I'm starting to feel a little like a librarian. It's a whole new world of hawtness for me!


Why yes, I have been working out.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:14 PM on May 1, 2007


Didn't Jessamyn say it was $25 for a lifetime membership? How much does one book cost?

Yes, well, I read fairly prodigiously, but it's been a number of years since I've bought a book.

How many books do you need to buy, or avoid, before the thing pays for itself?

Well, based on my spending habits, until the heat-death of the universe, basically.

No great loss. I'd never get around to typing in all those titles and authors, anyway.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:15 PM on May 1, 2007


Wow! I just realised I can import titles direct from Bookcrossing.com. No boring data entry for me. (Except for adding tags, reviews, ratings and all that jazz.)
posted by MrMustard at 1:13 AM on May 2, 2007


Mmm.. I like books. and nerdy cataloguing.
About a year ago I entered the contents of my bookcase into the previously mentioned Delicious Library application (sweet barcode scanning). Apparently, a filter does exist to import DL-files into Librarything. Let's see if I can figure it out.
posted by pj_rivera at 5:19 AM on May 2, 2007


it's been a number of years since I've bought a book.

Wow. Color me boggled. You have far, far more self-control than I can even imagine having. I have virtually no income these days and am tightening my belt drastically, but I still buy at least a book a month. (And what's with the "poop on that"? Is it so very different from the $5 people have to pay for MeFi?)
posted by languagehat at 7:34 AM on May 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bah -- my username is too long. Just call me "the_corpse_in_the..."
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:42 AM on May 2, 2007


Yes entering is VERY easy, just find the book by entering author or title and click to add. Very little data entry.

Transferring your info from amazon is the easiest part - anything you've bought online can be added automatically. Entering is not hard, but I still don't see how you guys found time to enter literally thousands of books. I have now entered another 20 or so since my amazon input. I guess my library is not very well organized to start with, and I sometimes wasn't careful about which edition so had to erase second entries, and stuff like that.

And now that I know I'm capped at 200 until I want to pay for it anyway, I'm reluctant to keep going since I'm about to have to make that choice.
posted by mdn at 1:11 PM on May 2, 2007


Transferring your info from amazon is the easiest part - anything you've bought online can be added automatically.

Really? Oh, that will make it much easier for me because 85% of the books I buy I've bought from Amazon. Along with much other stuff.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:15 PM on May 2, 2007


(First time post. My high-school friend Kevin finally got me to join. I'm the guy who started LibraryThing.)

I fixed the group Zeitgeist. It now shows that MeFi people have 48,396 books. (Not bad, but no "Librarians Who LibraryThing," at 735,000.) The top-20 list coheres pretty well, I think.

1. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (33)
2. Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies by Jared Diamond (28)
3. Snow crash by Neal Stephenson (26)
4. Catch-22 a novel by Joseph Heller (29)
5. One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (29)
6. The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay : a novel by Michael Chabon (23)
7. Gödel, Escher, Bach : an eternal golden braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter (21)
8. The man who ate everything : and other gastronomic feats, di… by Jeffrey Steingarten (11)
9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (24)
10. Gravity's rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (18)
11. Jimmy Corrigan : the smartest kid on earth by Chris Ware (13)
12. Pattern recognition by William Gibson (17)
13. A heartbreaking work of staggering genius by Dave Eggers (21)
14. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson (18)
15. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut (23)
16. Infinite jest : a novel by David Foster Wallace (15)
17. Brave new world by Aldous Huxley (24)
18. Understanding comics by Scott McCloud (13)
19. McSweeney's quarterly concern An assorted sampler of North A… by Chris Ware (11)
20. The great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (25)

Oh, LibraryThing is actually cheaper than MetaFilter, if you want it to be. We *say* it's $10 and $25, but when you get to the payment page it's pay what you want. (We stole the idea from Magnatune.) You can go as low as $4 for a yearly membership. The best part is that the average comes out just six cents less than we were originally charging.

I'd bet MetaFilter could do something similar—$2 to $60. That's the secret, by the way. More people underpay, but the people who overpay do so in a big way...
posted by TimSpalding at 9:37 AM on May 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


Thanks for fixing it!

That's a pretty good reading list.
posted by smackfu at 10:12 AM on May 3, 2007


The best part is that the average comes out just six cents less than we were originally charging.

Ha! Neat. Hi, Tim!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2007


YAYAYAY!!! Tim!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:47 AM on May 3, 2007


it's a cool site, Tim--thanks!
posted by amberglow at 12:05 PM on May 3, 2007


It's amazing (and, I think, kind of telling) that the books list is so much better than the last.fm top 20 artists/albums list.

(Of course, my supposition that MeFites tend to have great taste in books, generally, and mediocre/boring taste in music, generally, could come from me personally having obscure and broad musical tastes and relatively mediocre/boring taste in books).
posted by klangklangston at 12:21 PM on May 3, 2007


Good Day Tim; I enjoy your site, thank you; and you got back to me really quickly when I asked you a question .
posted by adamvasco at 12:52 PM on May 3, 2007


Hey, I signed up at librarything on 4/29/07. Bleeding edge, I am.

I've had a LibraryThing account since June 15, 2006. Ha.
</snark>

I entered no more than 30 books originally and no more since then. Now my list is up to 80, populated with books with similar titles or tangentially related topics to books I have. May have to remove them all and re-enter. Has anyone else had problems like that?
posted by lostburner at 10:59 PM on May 3, 2007


The issue I have with librarything is that it's the books I won, not the books I read. These are very different things. Still, I like the books I own (even if not as much as I like my town library) and I joined anyway.
posted by shelleycat at 12:11 AM on May 5, 2007


*non-preview* Won? I never won a book in my life. It's the books I own.
posted by shelleycat at 12:34 AM on May 5, 2007


Shelleycat, you could use the catalog to keep track of what you read, own or both. I add a tag like read2007 to books I've read this year.
posted by drezdn at 6:38 AM on May 5, 2007


We're already on the "Groups with the most members" list. Not bad!
posted by Aloysius Bear at 6:50 AM on May 5, 2007


shellycat: The issue I have with librarything is that it's the books I [own], not the books I read. These are very different things.

I'm doing it as books I've enjoyed in the past few years, most of which I got from the library. I don't see the point in listing every book one owns -- who else cares, unless they're astoundingly rare?

I like your tag idea, drezdn.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:58 PM on May 6, 2007


I'm only doing it for myself. I can't imagine anyone would care about my books... I don't care about theirs.
posted by smackfu at 5:14 PM on May 6, 2007


I used to track everything I read with allconsuming, but basically I read way way too many books to keep track of easily. And my library books were always piled up passed their due date while I got around to entering them into the computer. I couldn't afford the late fines any more, so librarything only works if I make it about my personal library. The 'what I read' list is much more eclectic and possibly less obviously science-geeky, unless you add back in my endnote library which is uber-geekville.
posted by shelleycat at 9:31 PM on May 11, 2007


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