Devour a book

July 27, 2008

Eat a Book

I just felt like tinkering with a variation on READ posters.
I loved this author’s first book and was reading this one when I met him at ALA.

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Dead People’s Books

February 10, 2008

Meant to write about this a month ago

Last September, jbd1 (his screen name) embarked on an intriguing project to enter all of Thomas Jefferson’s books* into a LibraryThing profile. Jefferson would become, in essence, on online persona on the popular social networking site. We could browse his catalog and compare** it to our own as easily as that of any other LibraryThing friend. It’s as if we were running our fingers across the spines of books at Monticello [right].

I friended Jefferson and joined in on the cataloging project with jbd1 and about fifteen other people during that first week. My sections were astronomy and natural philosophy (personal interests of mine). I started with enthusiasm but got bogged down after entering about three dozen titles. These were pre-1815 volumes, after all, and required time-consuming searches for precise editions in academic library catalogs; no small task. The small group of collaborators finished the entire project a month ago. Check it out. It’s a wonderful resource.

Jefferson’s collection isn’t the only historical library of interest, however. Members of LibraryThing’s I See Dead People[‘s Books] group have completed or started working on the catalogs of about twenty other famous people ranging from Samuel Johnson and James Joyce to Marie Antoinette and Susan B. Anthony to Mozart and Tupac Shakur. I applaud this imaginative collaborative effort. It places a scholarly resource within a user-friendly environment and brings dead people’s books back into view. Oh yeah: It’s also just a cool concept.

* Specifically all the books Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress in 1815.
** I share 27 titles with Jefferson, it turns out. Newer editions, of course.


Back from vacation

January 2, 2008

Hope you enjoyed the holidays. I went back to work today for the first time in two weeks and the place looked eerily familiar.

I’ll post a new “Learn More” installment early next week, but thought I’d restart LibraryStream now by joining in on a meme popular with other bloggers this week: a personal reading recap of 2007. Here’s my freshly compiled statistical list.

Books read in 2007: 62
Non-fiction: 53
Fiction: 5
Other (drama/graphic): 4
Male authors: 48
Female authors: 15
Most read months: January & February (9)
Least read month: June (2)
Book reviews published: 29

I’ve kept a personal reading list since 1993, and enjoy the list of titles far more than these dry numbers. Still, the numbers proved 2007 to be among my least-read years. That’s probably because so many other interests caught my attention. Photography, cycling, and social web projects ate away at precious reading time. I’m fascinated by far too many subjects to trim my non-fiction habit, so it was fiction that took the biggest hit when reading time got squeezed.

The low number of female authors on my reading list this year surprises me, too. It’s not normally that lopsided and probably has more to do with pure chance than anything else. The sex of the author means less to me than the topic and writing style.

In a previous post I showed you my shelf portrait of some of the books I appreciated last year. I won’t/can’t pick a favorite.


A Shelf Portrait

December 16, 2007

These are some of the books that I enjoyed this year: a little humor, history, fiction, and science — with a little biking, birding, wilderness, and library stuff thrown in. I’m a voracious reader so I had to leave a lot out. What books remained aren’t necessarily the “best”, but they became part of me.

What would be in your shelf portrait this year?