BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Those sneaky publishers ...

I am scandalized, I tell you! SCANDALIZED! Doesn't everybody know that an ISBN number is supposed to be for a particular edition of a book? Change the book, and you should update the ISBN number! Well, tonight I started in on some of my bookshelves, entering the data into my LibraryThing "catalog" and I was regularly finding that the ISBN's that I was entering were bringing up completely different covers and publication dates! I am mortified by this ... if I'm plugging in the ISBN for the first paperback edition of something, I want the data to match that, not some subsequent re-issue 5-10 years down the pike!

Grumble, grumble, grumble ... obsess, obsess, obsess!

All that aside, I'm up to an even 100 books entered over there, having added two shelves worth of stuff that I read in the late 90's and early '00s to the stuff that I'd had in boxes that I'd read over the past few years. I'm amazed that I'd never thought of putting the actual dates I'd read stuff in them before the end of '03 ... it certainly makes things easier "backtracking" through my reading.

Actually, I have 95% or so of the books in chronological order on the book shelves, and it took me a bit to figure out how to maintain that in the LibraryThing listing. I am no doubt "abusing" the "tag" thing there (their examples are for fiction/non-fiction, subject, genre, etc.), as each book has a unique tag, either "finished yyyy-mm-dd" for the later books for which I have the specific date info, or "filed c#-s#-b##" for the earlier stuff, going by bookCase, Shelf, and Book. Oh, yeah, you only wish you were this obsessive-compulsive!

I did find the binder with my previous attempt at cataloging my library ... which amazed me in having gone well into 1991 (probably right up to when I moved out of my old apartment and into this one with The Wife ... an event which "scrambled" a lot of my long-time "systems"), so I'll at least have a decent "ballpark" for the chronology. It really is sort of fun going back through all these books and remembering (in many cases) where and when I read them. One of the problems with my old "shelf" system is that if a book goes away from its neighbors for any length of time, it loses its place. I had two books that I'd leant out for over a year that I was trying hard to figure where they should go ... and I probably didn't guess exactly right (but, hey, I did get them back into the library!).

One of the challenges of this project is that my office is a hellacious mass of stuff and my bookcases all have about 2 feet worth of things piled in front of them, going up about chest high. I started tonight on "Bookcase #9", which only had "Shelves 1 & 2" filled up (well, that's not exactly true, the rest of #9 and all of #10 are solidly packed with as-yet-unread books), so it was only a matter of clearing a reachable approach (and moving all the other accumulated stuff off the shelves that was on top of and in front of the books). Starting with "Bookcase #8" I'll have to do some serious archaeological work to be able to get to "Shelves 3 & 4", which are currently below the easily-cleared level of the stuff stacked up in front of them. Fortunately, I moved my record collection onto the bottom shelves when I moved everything up here, so I don't have to dig out all the way to the floor (at least until I get the urge to get set up to convert 1000+ LPs to CDs!).

Now, of course, this "excavation" could have a good side to it ... much of this stuff was miscellania from my old apartment that got "exiled" (by The Wife) into my office back in 1991, which then got multiple layers of files, etc. from Eschaton over the years that I was doing that. Digging through this stuff in an attempt to get to the books will at least let me re-familiarize myself with what's in there. I did actually throw out some stuff tonight (which is a HUGE step for me ... it may not sound that way to you, but I am the Uber PackRat, and I tend to freak out over loss of any possible "historical" ephemera from my existence), and maybe I can do more of that as I get into the other book shelves.

One thing I did run into were some fun old pictures of me ... shots of me in India and Nepal, shots of me on the Inca Trail in Peru, shots of me hiking the Grand Canyon, shots of me and The Wife in Morocco, and shots from various business trips, etc. I can't wait to show The Girls them in the morning!

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