When I first saw the name of this cool site/service/addiction, I thought, ” ‘Library Thing? Is that a horror movie set in a possessed public library?” But it’s not. It’s a really cool place for self-confessed or even closet book nerds to catalogue publicly the contents of their bookshelves.
I first came across it via an e-mail from one of the Library Thingers, Christina Gucwa, asking for permission to use my photo from my writer site, as they were creating a page for me on Library Thing. Authors with multiple books listed by LTers have a page listing their books owned by LTers.
Well. I belong to various book sites, and have blogged about BookCrossing (the site that ‘releases’ and tracks books as they move from person to person around the globe) before, and I just had to get involved. But to join and become an LT author, I had to catalog at least 50 books from my own collection, the idea being, that people can then peruse your bookshelf and see what kind of books you collect/read.
Fifty! That was going to take forever. I decided to do it in ten book sections, maybe once a day. It would only take five days, then, to list them and get my cool shiny yellow ‘LT Author‘ badge beside my name and picture.
However… a funny thing happened as I began to log. I started to have fun. And the more I listed, the more I wanted to list… oh my! Confessions of a book nerd. Before I knew it I had 54 books listed, more than enough, in one fell swoop. And then I went back the next day and listed another shelf-full. And I’m going back right now to list another shelf full. Because I can’t stop!
Why is it cool? Well, if you’re here, I’m assuming you, too, are a book nerd, and love books, the smell of them, the feel of the binding, the sight of shelves full of them. If so, all I need to say is, it catalogues/databases all of your books so you can see your collection at a glance, and if you want, you can even bring up a printable list. You can add comments, review books, etc.
But even better, and this is the most fun to me, you can see how many other people on Library Thing have the same book you do! You can join conversations about that book, you can read reviews. You can spend HOURS!
And that leads me to one of the weirdest moments… I recently received my advanced author copy of my September 4th release, Awaiting the Fire. Aha, thinks I, I will catalog this book and I will be the ONLY ONE with it! So I input the ISBN, and there it was, my one and only… wait, what do you mean there are TWO users with a copy? How is that possible?
But it is. Someone else has a copy of my as-yet-unpublished novel, Awaiting the Fire. Cool. Now, I know it is likely a reviewer who has received an advance review copy but still… cool.
So, I’m going now, because I have another whole shelf of antique books to catalogue. Antique books, because they don’t have ISBN’s or any other kind of identifying number, have to be entered manually, but such is my addiction that I don’t mind. Because it means I will find other people like me.
What I discovered:
1 – 24 other people own Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent and The Absentee, the latter story which inspired me to write ‘Absentee Heart‘, my Blackfriars Publications Regency novel. And someone has even taken the time to scan and enter a view of the same red cloth bound cover as mine!
2 – 4 other people have a copy of Elizabeth Mansfield’s Winter Wonderland, one of my top four Regency romances of all time.
3 – 72 other people have a copy of one of the best historical mysteries I’ve ever read, Fire & Fog, by Dianne Day.
What that means: They’re out there, those people who love the same books I love. Now if I can figure out a way to cross reference and see if any one of those people has all three of the above-mentioned books? That would be cool. And a little spooky.
So, if you want to see what’s on my shelf my profile url is: http://www.librarything.com/profile/DonnaLeaSimpson
My book shelf url is:
Happy Reading, Everyone!