I’ve always been a heavy library user, so the books that I keep at home tend to fall into three categories: things I read in college and grad school, things I’ve read on planes or vacation, or things I can’t get at my local libraries. I also have a small collection of juvenile fiction that I read when I was young and thought might go out of print and get deselected from libraries. I probably won’t be very disciplined about including library books that I borrow in this collection.
I can’t figure out if I’m glad or sorry that I started this project after weeding my collection down to half or a third of what it used to be. I’m pretty sure I’m glad, though, because working on my laptop (without a convenient number pad) typing in all those ISBNs is a pain. I also discovered that I have a LOT of books that don’t have ISBNs. Those are a major pain to find and enter. I spent the longest time searching for a record for my 1930 edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
I’d put off even looking at LibraryThing until last month mostly because it sounded like just the sort of thing I’d get addicted to and spend way too much time doing. But finally the call of another mode for sharing and organizing stuff became too strong for me and I caved.
Still, even though I had a lot of fun and can see this becoming as much a part of my life as my Flickr and del.icio.us have become, there are a couple of things I’d like to be able to do but can’t. I’m still not sure if I can’t because there is no way, or because I haven’t figured out the way, but here goes.
What I wish I could do (or may be able to do but can’t figure out how):
- Sort by multiple fields at the same time
- See who has added me to their watch list, or who other people are watching (a la del.icio.us networking or Flickr contacts)
- Click on tags other people have given to my book, or selections from my own tags, in order to tag my books. (I hated going back after a couple of days and finding that I’d been hyphenating some works at one point and not later one.)
- Batch editing/merging of tags.
- Public/Private comments
- Fields for translators/illustrators
- “Advanced search” of multiple fields (like title, author, date, and publisher) to cover those times when you run into a whole shelf of books with no ISBNs.
I’ve found a couple of familiar people out there and added them to my watch list, but only a very, very few. Anybody out there who wants to share your LibraryThing name?