Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Tuesday Thing on Wednesday

I have extolled the virtues of LibraryThing here in the past. The site has proven useful not only as an online catalog for my books, but it also introduced me to yet another community of book lovers, many of whom share my peculiarities and passion for the written word. I admit that my online world seems to evolve mostly around books and reading related topics, be it when I am visiting one of the yahoo groups I belong to, stopping by my favorite blogs, or spending time wandering around the LibraryThing site. I do not have to worry about where to go to get my next bookish fix.

Last week's Tuesday Thing's question dealt with discussion groups. Marie of The Boston Bibliophile wanted to know:

Do you belong to any? Approximately how many? Are there any in particular that you participate in more avidly? How often do you check?

The answer to the first question is a resounding yes. At least online. I have not yet been a part of a face to face reading group. For many years my work schedule made any sort of participation in face to face meetings impossible. A few years ago, I discovered that Yahoo had a long list of online groups, some of which focused solely on reading and books. I also found a couple of MSN groups. I could not believe my luck! Since that time, I have been a part of many different groups, floating in and out depending on the direction my reading has taken, sometimes being a part of themed or genre based groups while others were more broad in scope. I go through periods of high participation to times when I lurk in the background, poking my head out once in awhile to say hello. Much depends on the books being discussed, the direction of conversation and what is going on in my own life at any given moment. Not only did online groups like these provide me with the opportunity to talk about books, I also made a few new friends. It opened doors for me that I never imagined.

I never would have discovered the book and lit blog community had it not been for those Yahoo groups. Who would have thought I would find a place in such a community for myself? I have mentioned before that it was a big step for me, putting myself out here like I did. Yet here I am.

It was through the blogosphere that I first learned of LibraryThing and added it to my growing list of book related communities. I had not intended for LibraryThing to be anything more than a place for me to catalog and organize my books. I was not particularly interested in the social aspects, although that was a nice perk. The advent of the Early Reviewer Program changed that, however. I took a closer look at the discussion groups on the site and have enjoyed taking part in a few of the discussions there.

All of these avenues have provided me with invaluable opportunities. I have met people from around the world that I never would have met otherwise. I have discovered books and authors I most likely would not have come across, and I have grown not only as a reader but as a person.

There have been a handful of discussion groups unrelated to reading that I was a part of at one time: a couple of music groups, a support group for Weight Watchers and a handful of pen pal groups. I do not belong to any of these groups anymore, but they served a purpose in my life during the time I was a part of them much like the book and reading discussion groups I belong to today.

* * *

This week's Tuesday Thing's question is:

How many books do you have cataloged in your LibraryThing account? How do you decide what to include-everything you have, everything you've read-and are there things you leave off?

As of right now, I have 2,155 books cataloged in my LibraryThing account. My objective in creating the account was to catalog all of the books that my husband and I own. Part of it was curiosity in seeing just how many books we did own and another was a desire to have a listing of all those books. There are a few books that have not found their way onto my catalog unfortunately. The books are hidden in the corner of a closet, and I just haven't gotten around to adding them in. There are also a few reference books that I probably have not logged in for one reason or another. My husband was not too enthused about my adding in all of his graphic novels--although I did offer!


  1. When I decided that I really needed to get my book collection cataloged, one reason I went with LibraryThing was your enthusiasm for it, Wendy. I haven't really done much with the social aspects of it at this point, but I love it for keeping track of my books.

    Some of what you said about book-discussion groups would fit in with the theme of my post today about being inspired by your online community - because it certainly sounds like you have been!

  2. LibraryThing is one of those things I keep meaning to update.

    Online bookgroups and book blogs are pretty fascinating. I haven't had any luck with an IRL group.

  3. I agree LibraryThing is great, Wendy! Besides the books cataloge part, I also love it that there are so many readers around the world who also share the same enthusiasm. It is through this and the book blogs that makes me get to know more people and make new friends along the way! :)

  4. I got tired of my LibraryThing and stopped messing with it then someone convinced me to go with Shelfari. I don't update it too often but I like it better. I've been to exactly one face to face reading group meeting and was not impressed. I rather enjoy my online groups. One of which I own, three of which I'm a moderator for.

  5. I'm not on LibraryThing as often as I was.

    I don't belong to a face-to-face group but I'm moderator for an online club. Plus all those challenges count too, I think.

  6. Florinda - I am glad you are finding LibraryThing useful too. I was surprised the other day when I discovered how long I've been using the site now. I feel like it's still new to me.

    I have been inspired by the online community. It certainly expanded my world view while at the same time bringing it closer to me.

    Carrie K - I don't always file my new CD's on the shelf right away, but I do log in new books that come into the house pretty quickly. I sometimes even make my husband wait before being able to read some of his purchases until I've had a chance to log them in. :-)

    There's such a wide variety of book groups and blogs out there. A little something for just about everyone, depending on what you are looking for. I'm sorry you haven't had luck with an IRL group. Some people have had great experiences with them. Maybe someday I will be able to give one a try.

    Melody - Isn't it great? I'm so glad I joined. And it was through book blogs that we met!

    Jen - I tried Shelfari but didn't find it user friendly at all--at least not for what I needed the site for. I am glad it has worked out for you though. I know a few people who prefer it over other cataloging sites.

    I enjoy my online groups too. I am a moderator for two groups myself. I don't have to do much though. :-)

    Chris - I lump the challenges in with blogs and reading groups, but you're right, those also encourage discussion and can be a great resource.

  7. I really like Librarything too but have not discovered all the aspects to it at this point. I love the early reviewer program too. I just joined an online book club and am so excited to read and discuss something with other people.

  8. I've enjoyed the social aspects of LibraryThing (and GoodReads) more than I thought I would. I absolutely love the Early Reviewers! I was like you in that I initially signed up for an account so I could find out just how many books we had and to be able to keep track of them (I'm still entering titles). We live in a very small place and I can not keep all of the books we own in the house, so I devised a system for keeping some of them in clear plastic boxes that are labeled with numbers. These are stored in the garage. I used to have a partial list in a db that I created, but LibraryThing is so much more fun and easy to use!

  9. Jaimie - I really enjoy the online book groups I belong to. I don't often participate in group reading assignments and so I'm especially fond of the groups that don't require it.

    Terri - Honestly, I figured I had enough social avenues when it came to reading and books just with blogs and online groups. I didn't really think I'd be able to fit in LibraryThing's groups as well. I'm not very active in the discussions there, but I do enjoy seeing what everyone else has to say.

    I always wanted to catalog my books, but it wasn't until LibraryThing came along that I finally decided to do it. Like you said, it's been fun and it really is easy to use.

  10. hello fellow Tuesday Thinger... I just tagged you with a meme, if you want to play along ...

  11. 2000 over books are a lot! Like you, I catalogued all my books in LibraryThing and also Visual Bookshelf (on FaceBook). I still miss out some because they're sitting in some closet and I'm too lazy to dish them out.

  12. I love this booking community and wouldn't have stumbled on it without yahoo bookgroups either. I think Wendy (caribousmom) had posted her monthly review of books she read and led me to this entirely different dimension. Now I get more out of the blogging than I ever did from the bookgroups. I would like to have a face to face group, but I'm finding it difficult to get one together. 2000+ books! My goodness. :)

  13. SheIsTooFondofBooks - Thank you for the tag! I posted the link to my response on your blog. :-)

    Alice - I know some people who have much bigger libraries than I do. I admit to being a little worried about how I'll move all these books if we do end up having to move in a few years (which, fingers crossed, we do!).

    Trish - In some ways, I think I do get more out of blogging than I do from the book groups too. I figured it was just because my focus has shifted, but now that you mention it, I think there's more to it than just that.

  14. I just KNEW that somewhere out there would be someone who had more books than me - I kept telling my husband, no, we do not have the biggest collection of books ever in one house at one time. Now I can't WAIT to tell him that I WAS RIGHT!! And, of course, now I have a new goal to shoot for - over 2,000!! =)

  15. Elizabeth - LOL You're well on your way to meeting your new goal. :-)


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