Online Bookshelves

For nearly a quarter-century, I’ve kept a running list of all the books I read, first in spiral notebooks and for many years now, in a blank leatherbound book I bought at the WaldenBooks in the Staten Island Mall early in 1985. The list is around 3,000 books long, and I am gradually putting it online, thanks to a wonderful new site called Library Thing. I’ve entered my books, going back about three years so far, and will be updating it going forward. I’m not sure how much back-entry I will do, but being able to search, tag and categorize books online, link to reviews and communities of others who own the books, and at some point perhaps even provide a “What I’m Reading” RSS feed, was just irresistable.

My bookshelf.

Additionally, I have for the last few years been writing about each book I read, in an attempt to stave off that horrible feeling of having read a book some years ago and not remembering a damned thing about it. I’m no longer doing that with a fountain pen, but instead in LJ entries, which will be linked to from the Library Thing catalog. (I’m not making the entries directly into Library Thing because (a) it doesn’t support HTML, (b) the comments aren’t text-searchable, and (c) there’s no way to make your bookshelf public but your comments private). My book essays — not reviews, which I post publicly — will be tagged “books” and will be filtered. If you are interested in reading what I write about each of the books I read (be warned, there will be many spoilers and I will make no attempt to label them), comment here or email me, and I’ll add you to what will probably be a very small filter.

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