My Library

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I’m started cataloging my library using Booxter software, by Deep Prose. Since 1997, I’ve kept lists of all the books I’ve read, but I’ve never been good at keeping track of the books I actually own and haven’t yet read, or books that I want to purchase. And for insurance reasons, I should have an accurate record of what I own. I’ve needed to get my library organized for a long time and it’s such a huge task that I’ve put it off forever.

But I’ve been needing to go through all my books lately to weed some out and put them in my upcoming yard sale (Saturday, August 27th, more details to follow).
This past week I started using the public library’s request and hold capabilities, and realized that I can request a book on the internet and have it sent to my nearest library to pick it up, rather than buying it full price. Duh, I know. I realize that Stephanie, Lori, Joel, Jen, Rachel, and Beth have all pointed the wisdom of obtaining books this way at one time or another. I don’t know why I never listened to them. I think that once I started being able to afford to buy books instead of checking them out (before the library had such robust online features) I went that route because I love books so much I wanted to be surrounded by them.
And Stephanie and I went to the library book sale yesterday and I successfully found several books that I had on my wishlist for a long time. If I had been better organized about what I own and what’s on my wishlist, I might have found them earlier, and I might have obtained lots of books cheaper instead of paying full price for them.

So far, into the Booxter cataloging software, I have entered 125 titles, which includes all of the books I had sitting around on tables in the living room, plus three shelves from my book case in the living room. There are 39 more shelves in the living room, plus two small bookcases upstairs and a shelf of books at work to add.

The software goes out and grabs data from numerous sources, including all the bibliographic data and the cover image of the book, and I can enter data as well, such as when and where I purchased the book and for how much, if I’ve read it and when, etc.

For the 125 books, the tally is 41,760 pages, $2,546.68 for the full price to replace the books, and $1,286.42 that I personally have spent on books. Those last two numbers scare me.

2019 Update: I never managed to get much more than this entered. I ended up switching library software, too, to Delicious Library – it had a barcode scanning tool. Cool idea, but it was a really buggy piece of software. I need to go back and try this again sometime, because scanning software is much better now.

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Tagged: About books

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Scott tagged me with this book meme that’s going around, and now I have to tag others.

1. Estimate the total number of books you’ve owned in your life.
I *think* I have about 3,000 books in my current library. Probably double that for what I’ve owned over my lifetime. I took a picture of my wall-to-wall bookcase in my living room so you could see my current library.

My Library

2. What’s the last book you bought?

Most of my recent acquisitions have been for the two book clubs I’m in or for work-related stuff. I haven’t bought many books solely for myself because I’m trying to read through what I have on my shelf first.

3. What’s the last book you read?

I’ve been keeping track of everything I read since 1997, so if you want the complete list, go here.

5. List 5 books that mean a lot to you.

This is incredibly hard; I love so many books It’s hard to choose.

  • Curious Myths of the Middle Ages by Sabine Baring-Gould
    When I was in high school, I was a librarian’s assistant in the Noblesville Public Library, and I checked this book out so many times that when I graduated and went to college, they remaindered the book and gave it to me. It’s now out of copyright, so I’m slowly scanning the book into electronic format.
  • The Complete William Shakespeare
    I know that sounds pretentious; sorry. But I love the comedies and the sonnets, which I’ve read all of, and I enjoy on a different level the tragedies. I think the histories are dead boring, though. Maybe I need to see them performed and I’d feel differently.
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen
    A book everyone should be required to read, just because it explodes myths about our US history and society, and gives us an eye-opening view of who Americans really are — something that can only make us better as people and as a nation. I also loved Loewen’s Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong. What’s really cool: in searching for this on Amazon, I discovered he’s got a new book coming out.
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaardner
    “A young girl, Sophie, becomes embroiled in a discussion of philosophy with a faceless correspondent. At the same time, she must unravel a mystery involving another young girl, Hilde, by using everything she’s learning. The truth is far more complicated than she could ever have imagined.”
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
    I LOVED this series as a kid and had a whole set of fantasies about going to Narnia myself.

5. Tag 5 people!
Jen, Mike, Brent and Jim from IndyScribe, Rachel, and MJ. I’d tag more, but I don’t want to use them all up before these guys can tag someone.

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