Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Wild (Library)Thing, I think I love you

For the last month, I've been drawn into the vortex that is LibraryThing. I feel compelled by the collector's need for completeness to enter all my book holdings into this devilishly accommodating application; to make sure that all entries have LC classification numbers; to electronically march through my shelves like Sherman to the sea (hey, isn't there a new Doctorow book on that? I'll have to pick it up...).

But most disturbingly, I think LT has bred a new sport: competitive cataloging! How many books can I catalog in an hour? a day? How deeply have I waded into my cataloging backlog? How good is the metadata? Am I tagging consistently with others? with myself? Do I have cover art for all the books I could? Do I include books to sell? Condensed books? Books in storage? Romance novels? Tales of the ribald? What will the cyber-neighbors think?

And how do those people ahead of me on the list find the time to enter so many books so quickly? Are they human? Am I? Can I afford to take the time to go shopping with my wife tonight, or will my position in the pantheon of LT catalogs slip because of my neglect? CURSE YOU TIM SPALDING! (Wait, I'm sorry...Don't take away my privileges. I will atone by entering more books)

They say recognizing you have a problem is the first step to solving it. I'll bet that's in a book somewhere. Let me check my tags. I'll get back to you. [ http://www.librarything.com/profile/msensiba ]