LibraryThing Nerd

July 12, 2008 at 6:59 am | Posted in Book Services | Leave a comment

(December 1, 2007)

I have a new timewasting habit: LibraryThing.com.  Have you seen this site?  You set up a profile, and make a list of books: either everything you own, everything you’ve read, or whatever works for you.  You can also blog about what you’re reading.  The site compares your list to other people’s lists, and shows you the profiles of people with similar reading tastes.  Then you can message them and make friends.  You can also click on the author’s name and bring up a profile, including a photo.

I had put up about 300-odd titles on the site before it turned out that there is a 200-title limit – that is, on the free account.  (I probably slipped past because I added so many titles in one session).  I paid $25 for the lifetime membership.  Now I am obsessed with trying to remember every book I’ve ever read so I can track my list all in one place.

One of the things that’s so compelling to me is that the site will show you how many other people have the book on their lists.  I actually have a title with no other readers!  This is how you can tell what a big nerd I am.  Most people would want to read things that other people thought were good.

It’s been interesting, over the last couple of weeks, that the more books I add, the more I remember.  I am suddenly remembering books I read 15 years ago.  Then I scramble to write down the title so that I can update my list later.  Also, the search engine on the site will bring up books with similar titles or subjects, and sometimes I will see that I’ve read some of them, too.

The aggravating thing, on the other hand, is when I can think of a book but not the title or author’s name.  I can remember what library had it, how thick it was, the cover illustration, and all sorts of things from the text, but not the name!  “What was that one book about the chess queen?” etc.  This is particularly frustrating when I’m trying to remember things I read in the 80s.

Anyway, I’m still working on my list.  I would share my profile name, but I’m embarrassed at the proportion of self-help books that are currently there.

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