Monday, 15 August 2011

Lists and things

One thing about me, I do like the odd list. If you've read through my Blogs at all, you'll notice I've provided various lists, my Top ten books of all-time, Top ten SciFi movies, etc. I take part in various Fantasy pools, my favourite being the English Premier League Fantasy pool, which I've been part of for going on 4 or 5 years now. I think I like it mainly because I can make teams, create lists of players and that sort of thing. It's loads of fun. :0)

On Facebook, my wife and I and various friends went through a process of listing our Top Ten favourite songs and then continued with favourite artists, and so on.. For posterity and if you're interested, my top ten favourite songs are (in no particular order) -

Mary Chapin Carpenter - This Shirt;
Cream - Badge;
Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit;
Billy Joel - Angry Young Man;
Chantal Kreviazuk - Before You;
Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song;
Loggins and Messina - The House at Pooh Corner;
Martha and the Muffins - Echo Beach;
Joy Drop - Sometimes Want To Die; and
The Veronicas - Untouched.

So back to the subject; lists. My favourite lists of late have been my lists for keeping track of my books; books I'd like to read, books I've read, books I have, where I store them, the possibilities are boundless.

What a present!
 Thanks to my lovely wife, Jo, when I go shopping for books now, I rarely buy books I have already read or are currently sitting in my bookshelves. Probably the most thoughtful gift she has ever bought me was this little book you see. I take it everywhere; at the beginning of each section (broken down by letters of the alphabet) in pencil, I keep track of books I'd like to read. If I'm not in a buying mood, I still write down interesting books I've not seen before. After each section are two pages where I can keep track of books I've already purchased or read. That way, if I'm keeping my lists up-to-date, I shouldn't fall into that trap of buying books I've already got. (it still happens.. lol). I also have small additions; books I've bought already for Jo (or might buy for a gift) and also for other close friends/ family. Also the list of comics that I'm interested in and which ones I already have. The only problem is that my book is filling up; some letters definitely more popular than others, so I'll soon have to start adding pages.. Now that will be fun!

Of course, that's the low - tech way of keeping track of books; I also have a few higher tech ones. (Did you think I wouldn't?). MS Access has a template already set up for keeping track of books. I must have begun that before I moved to Victoria, so probably in 2005 or 2006. I track my books and Jo's (basically all the books in the house) by title, author's name, Category (Fiction, Design, SciFi, etc), Copyright, when the edition was published, where I bought it, when, price, etc. Some books don't have as much info provided as, of course, since the spreadsheet started recently, I don't necessarily remember which book store I purchased a book I've had since, say.. University. But it's a pretty complete listing.

The Den
 Now recently, Jo asked me if I knew where each book was in the house. Good question that, especially since I think it was just after I had spent a frustrating time searching through the shelves trying to find a particular book. She suggested, quite smartly, that maybe I might want to identify where the books we have are located. (I think she regrets that now.. ). What a great suggestion, though. The MS database does allow for that; I just use the remarks column. So how is this list progressing so far? Well, I've finished the den. Doesn't look that full, but bottom left are 3 shelves double stacked of books that I want to read, and behind both sets of doors are more books.

Best lounge
 I've also finished the small bookshelf in the family room, the bookshelf on the front hall landing and the small bookshelf in the best lounge. I've almost finished the built-ins in the best lounge as well, just a few books in a couple of bottom rows. All that will remain after that are some books in both the master bedroom and the visitors bedroom above the garage. :0). What will I do when that update is finished? Maybe Jo will have another suggestion for me.

Now that's not all, mind you. What will I do if we ever buy another new computer and there is no longer a MS Access program. Gad, it actually doesn't bear thinking about. We were lucky when we bought our latest PC (or I was anyway) as the data could still be transferred. I'm hoping this one will last a long, long time!

Anyway, last October (2010), I signed onto a Book club website; I've mentioned it before. It's called Goodreads and it's a spot where people go to talk about books and such. I've joined various clubs there and in previous Blogs have mentioned some of the reading challenges I signed up for in some of them. (in fact I still have to finish off talking about that in a future Blog). Anyway, luckily, Goodreads also has the capability for people to make their book lists; books they wish to read, books they are reading and books they have read. It's done in a slightly different format than my MS Access database, but it allows for book reviews, the capability to see what other people think about the books you have read, where you bought your books, what genres you are reading, etc. It's great and I've been updating that listing as well while I've been updating the MS database.. Hours of fun.

Finally, and last but not least, you may have noticed on the right hand column of this Blog, a bookcase with book titles contained therein. Well, that's another online site, Shelfari. I don't use it to its full capability, but I've begun keeping track of the recent books that I'm reading and have already read. It's slowly filling up. This database allows you to keep track of books you're read/ want to read/ are reading and also rate them, write reviews and provide other sorts of info.

So there is a lot of places out there for the enquiring mind and many, many, many ways of keeping track of your books and of satisfying your passion for creating lists at the same time.


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