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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Wednesday, November 22

Readerware for the Book Collector

I used to have it as a goal of mine to collect as many books as did Thomas Jefferson - or at least as many as he sold to the Library of Congress. I read somewhere that he sold some 5,000 volumes to the Library of Congress after the original library burned down.

I was well on my way with this project when it occurred to me to catalog the books. I used a spreadsheet. At first, I tried to look at each book and type in all the information I could find about it - the title, author, publisher, copyright date, categories, current list price, price paid, when purchased, etc...

This was very tedious and I didn't get very far. I switched to simply typing in all the titles I knew I had just to get started (minus most of the other info). After a few hundred, I got tired of the project. It did give me quite a perspective on just how many 5,000 books is. I think I counted something in the hundreds - and that took up 9 bookcases! Although a few were half-sized, that's still a lot of books!

I started to realize that 5,000 books would take up more space than I could really afford (not that I could afford all those books either!) Plus, moving with so many books was horrible. I sold off a large number of them and I'm down to roughly 3 bookcases worth. I take advantage of the library sometimes when I really "need" a book fix. Otherwise, I try to only own books that I am likely to refer to over and over again.

Still, sometimes I think longingly of my dream home - a place with a 5,000+ volume libary. This readerware seems just the thing I needed to get my collection organized. It even works with barcode scanners/readers. It reminds me of when I was a kid and would look through the Sears catalog pointing out all the things I wanted for Christmas - "I want this and this and this and this". I rarely got much of what I pointed out, but it was fun to think about anyway.

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