by Catriona Mills

The Books of the Circulating Library

Posted 4 October 2009 in by Catriona

I’ve mentioned before my struggles with Delicious Library 2, and my belief that, while it’s a wonderful invention, adding my back catalogue to it might actually kill me.

(Okay, I may not have phrased it quite that way, but I was thinking it.)

So this brings me to the new link I’ve added to my blogroll over there to your right: a slightly inaccurate link, since it’s not a blog, at all. It’s my library, which I’ve uploaded to space on the Internet.

Partly, I’m looking for a way to catalogue my books offline (though, having cleverly downloaded the app. before Amazon removed the rights to their catalogue for mobile apps, for reasons best known only to themselves, I do also have a copy of the catalogue on my iPhone).

Partly, though, it’s because this is, after all, the Circulating Library. I talk about my books here. I even fetishise my books here (and, honestly, everywhere else).

And linking to this catalogue means you can take a wander along my shelves, if you so wish.

The application does set the books out on shelves, so it feels as much like browsing a library as you can get on the Internet.

The application generates a primary shelf, which includes (in alphabetical order by author) every book you enter, and then allows you to create sub-shelves by author, genre, or any other category that helps you make sense of the chaos. When you’re dealing with a large number of books, the sub-shelves help keep the system saner than it often is in real life: they contain everything that’s on the primary shelf, but in small, easily digestible packets.

I chose only to publish my sub-shelves. I store some items on multiple shelves, so, for example, vampire boarding-school stories turn up under “Children’s Fantasy and Science Fiction” and “Girls’ School Stories,” just so I can always be sure of finding them. And some categories are under-represented, so far—like “Art”—because I haven’t made my way around to the bookcase on which they’re stored yet.

These 1800 books are not a complete record of all the books I own: it’s a library catalogue in progress.

Feel free to browse.

Share your thoughts [2]

1

Leigh wrote at Oct 10, 10:27 PM

Ohh i want this so much, the upkeep of my dodgy excel list from 6 years ago is just not cutting the mustard.

By the way I see you have the House of Night series. Are these the vampire boarding school stories you have been talking about? I have been seeing them in the cheap rack and wondering if they were worth a look … mind you it might be time for me to read something more substantial than vampire fiction.

2

Catriona wrote at Oct 10, 11:54 PM

Yes, I’ve been meaning to recommend Delicious Library to you since you bought the Mac (because it’s a Mac-specific programme). But you would have exactly the same problem as me: it’s easy to add new purchases in as you buy them, but adding an extensive back catalogue is a nightmare and a half.

The House of Night books are one of my sets of vampire boarding-school stories, yep. (Along with Richelle Mead, Melissa De La Cruz, and Claudia Gray.) I really enjoyed the series, but I don’t think I would have recommended them to you—I don’t know, actually. They’re very much written for a teen audience (lots of relationship angst and inter-friend bitching) and they’re very much school stories, for what that’s worth.

You might actually enjoy Patricia Briggs more (though there are vampires in those, they’re really more werewolf focused: she garners a lot of comparisons to Charlaine Harris, though they’re not as light nor as funny) or, in the teen market, Melissa Marr’s urban faery books (starting with Wicked Lovely).

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