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John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

Laura Carroll
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Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Library Thing

Posted by Miriam Burstein on 09/18/05 at 09:51 AM

Library Thing is proving to be a wonderful distraction from freshman comp essays and administrative paperwork.  The site, active since late August, uses a simple interface: type in some identifying details about your book--e.g., an ISBN, author’s name, or part of the title--and a tag, and lo! the LOC or Amazon catalogs fill in the rest.  Click on the appropriate link, and you now have an entry in your very own library catalog.  If necessary, you can enter all the information by hand.  Moreover, you can generate a printable version of your catalog, search other users’ libraries, and link to external URLs.

It’s a nifty idea.  Right now, there are still some glitches: it only “recognizes” editions in LOC or Amazon, which means that the 2000 first ed. of a book only available in a 2005 printing may be nowhere to be seen; the site currently leans towards US editions, although you can access Amazon’s international catalogs (this will change once Tim, the site owner, incorporates the British Library catalog); and, as other users have noted in my own comments section, multivolume editions get inconsistent treatment.  Nevertheless, the site is already well worth using. 


But are you using citeulike?

By Jonathan on 09/18/05 at 11:44 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Delicious Library does something similar, but uses a webcam to scan in the ISBN barcode data. The database is stored locally. It’s Mac-only, and AFAIK is restricted to Amazon’s database, so it’s probably less useful for academic collections.

By on 09/18/05 at 01:21 PM | Permanent link to this comment

The problem with Delicious Library is it does depend on barcodes.  How many of your books are barcoded?  The dependence on Amazon probably doesn’t matter:  I’m sure that all barcoded books can be found in Amazon.

I just entered a bookshelf into LibraryThing.  40 books (from the middle of Carlyle through Terry Castle).  Seven had barcodes.  As a matter of fact, only 24 had ISBNs.  And four of those ISBNs weren’t recognized.  So half the sample had to be recognized from search terms.  On this sample, none had to be manually entered (though some entries had to have the edition edited).  This is the power of LibraryThing.  It works with the books you have.

By jim on 09/20/05 at 11:39 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Still no British Library, but I added 31 other libraries—from Yale and Chicago to a number of British ones like National Library of Scotland and a bevy of Danish, Swedish, Turkish and others…

By Tim on 10/04/05 at 02:18 AM | Permanent link to this comment

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