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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Books & Books & Books

Here's a simple math problem for you. If A equals the number of books you read in a month and Y equals the number of years you've been reading, then solve for N:

(A x 12) x Y = N

For me, I read approximately a book each week, so I will choose 4 for A. 4 x 12 = 48. The number of years I've been reading is tricky, because I started to read when I was four years old. I don't mean learning my ABC's, I mean reading the newspaper, children's books, etc. Yes, that's weird. It's also weird to be only six years old and forced to stand at the front of your grade one class and read books to your classmates while everyone stares at you like you're some sort of freak. It's also weird to be only six years old and subject to numerous rounds of IQ tests while the befuddled staff in a 1960s elementary school puzzles over just what to do with the odd little girl in their midst. But I digress.........

Anyway. For argument's sake, I'll have Y = 45. And 48 x 45 = 2160. And that number is not even close to accurate for my personal book count, because I also have other books that, at first, you might not think to include: cookbooks, art books, craft books, etc. I have a cookbook collection that's well over 1,000 books, for example. So I'm going to add a conservative 1,500 to my total, which brings it up to 3,660.


Okay, now it's your turn.

Got your number? Good. Now.........



Not so easy, is it? Oh sure, you'll start off gangbusters. We all know our favourites. But then it gets tricky.

A few days ago I discovered a wonderful web site, GoodReads. It's free to join and, once you do, you can start keeping a record of the books you've read as well as the books you want to read. Handy dandy, that is. You can also assign books a rating, anywhere from one to five stars. And there's a separate category for the books you are currently reading. You can categorize your choices any way you see fit -- so far, I've created five categories: Art, Foodie, Canadian, Travel, and finally, Alltime Faves.

Here's the thing. In my Read category, I have just over 400 books. That's it. I am always at my limit at the library and I am sitting in a home where bookshelves are freakin' everywhere and so far, as of this writing, I've come up with a measly 442 titles? That's not even close to 1,000, let alone triple that. I have my work cut out for me.

Just earlier today, I found myself standing in front of rows of cookbooks, iPad in hand (yes, there's an app too), inputting books to see if they were part of the GoodReads database. Many were, but unfortunately some of my older Canadian cookbooks were not. Discovering how to add these to the GoodReads site is now on my to-do list.

You can also "friend" the folks you know, if they're registered at the site of course, to see what they're reading. (I'm Lennie, by the way.) Hopefully they'll have read books that you've read too, causing an AHA! moment as you quickly add another book to your list. Trust me, I speak from experience.

And for those of you with blogs, there are several widgets that can be configured to add to your blog's sidebar. I haven't got that far yet.

It's quite enjoyable to poke about the site. If you're at all like me, you'll quickly add books to your to-read list as you discover books that intrigue you as well as books you had forgotten about that you really did want to read. the math, drop your jaw at the number of books you've probably read, then think about joining to create your own library database. If you love books, this is a site for you.

1 comment:

Leslie Jane Moran said...

Okay, so I can't do the math, and that makes it just too "mathy". I also have a house full of book shelves, many of the contents still unread. I shall have a look at GoodReads, but I'm still figuring out labels and widgets on my new design....may be just too much organization for this weak mind.

What are you reading now??? :)

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