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[personal profile] kitsjay
I often joke that my brother and I don't have a problem with decorating: we just add another bookcase.

This is becoming less of a joke and more of an actuality. Recently, Christy introduced me to Goodreads.com, which was wonderful. It was like Facebook for people who read. With the download of their phone app, I quickly went through and managed to scan and upload most of my books (there are still probably 200-300 that are on loan to friends, at Mom and Dad's, or unaccounted for due to reasons I list later). It was marvelous. I keep meaning to work on Sean's collection, but mine alone was 500 books, and Sean has as many, if not more, than I.

The problem with Goodreads, unfortunately, is that it's geared more to contemporary and English language books. My collection includes some very old, leatherbound copies that were printed prior to ISBNs and barcodes; I also have several in Latin, ancient Greek, and even - rather bafflingly so - one in French. Sean, of course, has many in Russian.

So I searched and happened to stumble upon LibraryThing. It costs money, but it was a paltry $19 for a lifetime membership, and supports more books than Goodreads. I should specify here that I like them both: Goodreads for the social aspect and its smoother interface, and LibraryThing for supporting more and varied books.

That said, my personal library is still in disarray. Mom and Dad are bringing with them some of those 200-300 books from their house, and I am running out of places to put more bookcases. We have two tall, broad ones in the living room. There are three more tall, thin ones in the reading room, and three more short ones besides. Upstairs, I have two medium ones, a smallish one, and Sean's bed has several shelves that are filled up. And while bookcases tend to stay the same, our library tends to grow, particularly after a trip to Half-Price or a moment of weakness on Amazon.

While previously I have laughed at the notion of cataloging my books and labeling them - for a personal library? Seems a bit pretentious, I thought - the prospect grows more attractive. It would call for investing in quite a bit of time to label the books themselves, the shelves, catalog them into a system geared for it, and learning the ever-daunting Library of Congress system (admittedly, I do have quite a bit of familiarity with this, as I used to routinely browse the stacks of the university library).

And of course, the more I wait, the more daunting the process will seem. It figures that my dream home contains a built-in library a la Beauty and the Beast.

On the whole, however, I much prefer to have the pleasant problem of having too many books than not enough.

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kitsjay

January 2014

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