Adventures in Cataloguing

Escribano I decided that I should probably catalogue my library this weekend. I’ve been looking at software to do so for a while, and I finally settled on Collectorz–it starts out cheap and does everything I want. I looked at Bookpedia as well, but some of the features weren’t quite what I wanted. I may change my mind later, which means an export hassle, but oh well. I knew I didn’t want Shelfari or LibraryThing, because I want the option to not upload things to a cloud. (Also, because Shelfari is Amazon and Librarything, well, if things go as they have been that might be Amazon too after a while. So, no.)

The learning curve for Collectorz wasn’t bad, and I got all the books in my office catalogued yesterday. (All 400 of them. God.) That takes care of my bookshelf of “favourites”–books I want in the same room with me while I’m working–and reference, which includes forensic pathology, mythology, vampires, annotated classics, Jack the Ripper and Victoriana, various dictionaries, thesauri, grammar books, and the like, Loompanics/Paladin Press books, and assorted stuff like foreign language dictionaries, a few books my therapist recommended, some medical textbooks, encyclopedias of Russian prison tattoos…it was an easy enough undertaking. Time-consuming, especially since a lot of my editions are older and don’t have barcode ISBNs.

What’s left over to catalog is the upstairs and downstairs libraries: upstairs there’s Murakami, Nabokov, Heyer, Chomsky, Classical Antiquity and poetry, cookbooks, some social justice, literary criticism and analysis, and those stacks on the coffee table; downstairs there’s general fiction, WWII (Eastern Front and general), other military history, general nonfiction, biography, Latin, the occult section and my crammed-full bookcase of Tanith Lee. (Yes, just Lee, a whole bookcase of her. She’s my favourite author.) And, of course, the TBR bookcase.

I’m a little frightened of what the actual total of physical books will be. I don’t read ebooks–for one thing, I spend my working time on a screen, so when I try to read an ebook I feel like I should be editing or something. If I like something I try like hell to get a physical copy, and having a best friend who runs a bookstore probably helps. It’s almost scary to think I purged my collection twice after the divorce. I’ve lost a lot of books over the years–for one thing, during my childhood they were always liable to be torn up or taken away as “punishment”–and when I moved I thought I just took the bare essentials.

Yeah, 150 boxes of them. *headdesk* This is why I’m never moving again.

Of course, there are a few things I can’t or won’t input–some antiques, and maybe my Scarlet Imprint collection. (I haven’t decided about the latter.) I also am superstitiously not putting in any of my author’s copies. Though it might be nice to know how many I have and list those online as signed copies; that’s a project for another year, though.

This is probably the clearest sign that I’ve settled and won’t be called upon to move again. I kept the catalogue in my head for many years, and God help me if I couldn’t find a particular book. I sometimes couldn’t rest until I’d found what I wanted. Thankfully my ex didn’t prank me by moving things around. I probably would have combusted from sheer irritation. SMAUG KNOWS WHERE EVERYTHING IN HER HOARD IS, DAMMIT.

Anyway, that’s what I’ll be doing in between finishing Gallow and revising the third fairytale YA, not to mention prepping for the fourth Bannon & Clare. Idle hands, and all that.

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Laura
Laura

I was looking around for catalog software for a while and Collectorz was the one I was drawn too the most. Seems easy enough to use. Seeing someone else use it makes me want to buy it now.

Michele
Michele

It is so very nice to know that I am not the only one who had to endure that “punishment” as a child and is as OCD about my librabry collection…

wiredwizard
wiredwizard

I’ve been using Collectorz for several years now for books, CDs & movies and I haven’t really had much to complain about.

wolflahti
wolflahti

I have not made a direct comparison, but it sounds as though Collectorz is a more expensive way to do what Delicious Library (http://delicious-monster.com/) does for less.

wiredwizard
wiredwizard

Delicious Monster looks good, but w/out a Windows or MAC version it’s not the most practical for some people.

wolflahti
wolflahti

It runs on the Mac from 10.4 up to the present version (v 3). The Web site says it runs $40, but they charged me only $10 for version 2. (I can’t run 3 ’cause my OS is still 10.6.)

martianmooncrab
martianmooncrab

I have had Readerware for years, not happy about when they upgraded to 3.0, and I didnt care for the changes they made to it, so I didnt upgrade along with everyone else.

for my non ISBN books, its the http://www.loc.gov and go with the lcc numbers. For others, I go with the British National Library site.

No matter what you use, as long as it makes you happy with how it remembers your books.

(now, to check out the program you are using… because.. one never knows..)

Helen
Helen

Thank goodness my parents never removed anything from me or my brother as punishment, certainly not books. Although I did have family members who censored their child’s reading by burning anything they felt inappropriate. Even as a child I found that horrific and completely unacceptable. I only have two bookshelves so the books I own need to fit on them and I couldn’t tell you the number of times over the years I have had to cull my books so that they would fit. Since having children I have rarely purchased a book but I make VERY good use of… Read more »

Jessie Stouffer
Jessie Stouffer

Wow, I love the fact that other people have a list of books they own. I’m not the only one. I am just using excel for mine and its pages and pages of categories.

wiredwizard
wiredwizard

Cataloguing became a necessity after a while. Kept going to the bookstore, buying stuff, going home, opening the book(s) & realizing I’d read it already. Plus if made compiling a books to get list *way easier.