Books, Books, Books
I am a reader, a researcher and a writer, pretty much in that order. I read a lot, two or three hundred books a year. I really can’t help it. When I was a kid I used to read cereal boxes, all of the box because it was in front of my eyes, not because I cared about the ingredients in GrapeNuts. I remember asking what riboflavin was before I knew what vitamins were, since it was on the side of the box in tiny print.
Some time ago, I put our books on LibraryThing.com, a book catalog in the cloud. I did this so I would stop buying books I already own. I would see a title in a used book store and think – I should get that one. Well, I thought so the first time, too. Now that I have an inventory of our books established on LibraryThing.com, I can check online to see if we have it first. I totally recommend it….
While meaning to purchase a copy of the Janet Lambert book, Glory Be!, over time, I acquired two extra paperback copies and an additional hardback copy of her book, Dreams of Glory. If I had been using LibraryThing.com at the time, it wouldn’t have happened. However, with a thirty year old memory of a book with the word Glory in the title, it was easy to do. The third time was enough, it frustrated me.
Within the confines of LibraryThing.com, you can keep track of books you’ve read, books you own, books you’ve liked, books you’ve reviewed and books you mean to read. The possibilities are nearly endless. I just keep track of books I own and where they are in the house since we have book cases in almost every room. That is enough for me, but the other options are fascinating. Check it out, I think the first 200 books are still free. I also love having a catalog for purely insurance purposes. If I were a teacher and had classroom books, I would use LibraryThing.com to keep track of them because most of those books would be newer and have ISBNs which is the fastest way to inventory and catalog the books.
I have written one book, A Bibliographic Checklist of African American Newspapers and I have one on deck, The Descendants of Jacob and Margaret (Gerber) Breitenstein of Louisville. I also have some works in progress: Balthaser Henritze and his wife Dorothea (Rapp) Henritze of Reading and Their Family, and A Family History of the Coogle Family of Hardin Co., Kentucky. The work I have done on the family of Edward King and Elizabeth (Nichols) King, America’s Migration Story (or something like that) is nowhere near “work in progress” but it is dear to my heart.
Reviewing books is a treat. I am predisposed to like them, so if I don’t, it is probably because they were poorly written, poorly documented, or poorly published. LibraryThing.com has a review section/option and contests to get reviewers copies for new books. I haven’t explored this aspect yet.
Not necessarily in this order, my favorite book categories are:
- Quilt Books
- Women’s History Books
- Childrens and Young Adult Books
- Reference Books
- Genealogy Books
- African-American History Books