November 22nd, 2005



Man ... that was mis-guided. While I did manage to log in most of two shelves into my LibraryThing catalog, it was very slow going ... as I posted earlier, most of the pre-1975 (to pull a date out of the air) books didn't have ISBNs, so had to be manually entered, well, I then discovered that all those zillions of nice hardcover books from the Science Fiction Book Club also don't have ISBNs! In both cases, were I to use their search function I'd either be scrolling through sometimes hundreds of entries (for "classic" books) to find what particular old paperback edition I had on the shelf, or have to put up with somebody's bad typing (I assume that most of the more obscure books, when they do have Amazon listings, are there from the "used" sellers, and in a lot of cases it looks like whoever keyed in the info was in a hurry and being careless). So, being the obsessive-compulsive mass of neuroses that I am, I launched into manually logging in all of these, which takes (I'm guessing) about 4-5 times the amount of time per book that just plugging and clicking with a definitive ISBN does. Oh, well. I'd actualy had hoped to have been able to get that whole bookcase done last night, but at this point I'm less than half through. It is, however, not blocked by anything (yet), so I can at least press on with that over the next couple of days.

Yeah, I know ... it's just like the Pokemon stuff: "Like you care!"

.... blither, blither, blither ...

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"It's just YOU, Brendan ..."

Y'know ... I find it amazing how many books in my catalog over on LibraryThing are unique to ME ... there are nearly 14,000 users there and I keep finding book after book where I'm the only one listing it ... and those are even in the ISBN-linked books (I don't know if stuff that I manually entered would be "unique" for that particular edition/printing or if the count would reflect all versions)! And it's not even the real obscure stuff ... for example, from the page I was just looking at, there was a biography of Leonard Cohen that I was the only one listing, and the intriguing "Zen Physics", which I reviewed in this space a while back. There are also scads where I'm one of only two people with a particular book.

Needless to say, the tools to go peeking around in other people's libraries are much fun ... it's just that all these "one user" books are starting to make me feel a bit like a FREAK!

O.K., so I went back and checked on the "manually entered" things and they're showing up with multiple users (or not), so I guess they combine all editions of a particular work for the purpose of figuring out who has it in their collection.

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So ....

Just in case my LibraryThing posts haven't been irritating enough ... here's an eBay one!

I just wanted to do a "go me!" for a couple of wins the other day. One of the vendors that I really like puts up sets of 6 to 10 reverse holo or holo cards, and starts the bidding at 99¢ ... two of these (out of five I was watching) were nearly all things that Daughter #1 needed in her collection (6 of 7 on one, and 7 of 9 on another). I figured out what "retail" would be on the cards, set my price, and (for a change) put in a bid early. While I had bids in on four of the five auctions she had up, the other three had zero to only three cards we needed, so the "value" was much lower (I typically try to figure this on what we don't have rather than the "street price" for the whole package), and we got out-bid on those pretty quickly. We were, within the last 15 minutes, also out-bid on one of these, but I waited and jumped in and won. What tickled me was that, even with going over my "calculated bid" for the one, the combination of the two wins came in 6¢ less than had I won each at my "value bid". While the "percentage of retail" was more like 1/5th than my "target" 1/7th, that's not too bad ... helped by this particular vendor's shipping policy where she only charges a buck, no matter how many things you win!

See ... just think of how refreshing my next "non obsessive" post is going to be!

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