Saturday, April 21, 2007

Age of Innocence, LibraryThing, and other stuff


I woke up this morning and checked my email, and--oh no! There was no little chunk of The Age of Innocence waiting for me. Then I remembered that when I signed up for DailyLit (explained in an earlier post), I only signed up for weekday emails. I actually missed my Wharton this morning!

I haven't read Wharton in years, so I had forgotten how accessible she is. And in The Age of Innocence, she hooks you in the first few pages. She's sort of like your Victorian aunt, formal in her language, yet gossipy, and very sharp in her observations of the foibles of the society she lives in.

I am enamored of LibraryThing now, too. You all probably know more about it than I do. I saw it on other book blogs, so I was really excited to get my own little LibraryThing widget for my blog. It shows random books from my library (showing the cover art), and of course it's hooked up to Amazon (they don't miss a trick).

Its larger purpose, other than being cool on people's blogs, is for people to catalog their books using the internet. I'm sure if you visit the site you can see all the potential in this tool. But I have to admit that I haven't catalogued nearly my whole library on it. That's because I've only scanned in books that I'm proud to have show up on my little "random books" widget. How pathetic is that?

So now I have to start a new LibraryThing account so I can catalog all my crappy books that I don't want to admit to publicly, too. Then it might be an even more useful tool for me. If you know of any other cool uses for LibraryThing, please let me know.

My picture today is of the bougainvillea in my front yard. It's a beautiful plant, and it was here when I moved in. I take no credit for it whatsoever. They grow like weeds around here, and they are showy and fantastic. After yesterday's post showing my English rose, I thought I should somehow prove that the bounty of my garden is not due to any talent on the gardener's part, just the luck of the climate.

14 comments:

Sam Houston said...

Library Thing really is a wonderful tool. I did go ahead and completely enter my entire library despite the fact that a few of the titles tend to embarrass me today in a way that they didn't embarrass me when I bought them all those years ago. But I find that doing that gives me an idea of how my reading tastes have changed in the last couple of decades...and that encourages me. :-)

I also have been writing reviews on the books as I can find the time and that is functioning as a kind of book journal that I otherwise would never get around to maintaining. The reviews, be they long or short, really jump start my memory and I hope that they will keep me from drawing a blank when I look at some of the titles years from now.

a.book.in.the.life said...

I love LibraryThing too, although I am suffering the same as you. I got a free box of books through freecycle today and some of them I quite fancy but think, do I really want people to know I am going to read Alan Titchmarsh. Oops now you guys do:) The rest i am going to BookCross!

Matt said...

Glad to see you're still into DailyLit!

I am also a big fan of LibraryThing, as soon as I get a new book I add it to my library. My issue with putting up books I no longer like, or which embarrass me, is that it uses my library to show me other readers with similar tastes. This would be helpful for finding other books I might like, but not if I get a bunch of matches with the books I don't like anymore. Oh well...

Gentle Reader said...

sam h.--I think long term it will be interesting to see how my tastes change--I can see it being a good tool for so many reasons. Maybe I'll start writing reviews as a sort of book journal, too...

a.book.in.the.life--I know, I'm always hesitating over which books to enter into LibraryThing. And by the way, I only know Alan Titchmarsh from that TV series (on BBCAmerica over here) called Ground Force, which I was sort of addicted to, because I always thought maybe I could transform my garden in a weekend, too--and I don't know anything about him, or why I should be embarrassed if I read his stuff :) I'm intrigued, tell me more...

matt--loving the DailyLit more than I thought I would. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has issues about which books to enter on LibraryThing...

a.book.in.the.life said...

lol to be honest I don't know he has that thing about him as a writer here but looking at the reviews on amazon they look quite good! I think it's because we are so used to our TV gardeners, decorators etc bringing books out about gardening and decorating it was quite a suprise for him to bring out a novel. But I do love Alan, in the days when I had a TV I was quite partial to Ground Force.

Gentle Reader said...

a.book.in.the.life--Aha! I didn't realize he had written a novel--I was only thinking about gardening books. Now I get it! I'll have to check it out, though...thanks!

Robin said...

I'm enjoying LibraryThing, too! I'm slowly logging in all my books from my old "record book." It's an interesting journey through memory (or memory loss)!

Stefanie said...

Welcome to LibraryThing! I see we share 28 of the 88 books you've cataloged so far. I am drooling over your beautiful bougainvillea. I suppose you are lucky enough to be able to grow camelias too?

a.book.in.the.life said...

Ah I see, I am glad you asked because I didn't think to specify it was a fiction book. Sorry I am daft!

Gentle Reader said...

robin--I hear you on the memory loss! I've been enjoying entering the books, and the stroll down memory lane, too.

stefanie--there you go, there's a great use of LibraryThing--comparing libraries! Cool! Glad you like the bougie. I do have camellias, though they're looking a little raggedy this year...the azaleas are doing better.

Bellezza said...

Well, thanks for telling me about Library Thing. I'm always slow on the technological gizmos, and I'll have to go check it out. My blog is slowly becoming more about books than anything else...

Gentle Reader said...

bellezza--yes, do check out LibraryThing! And though your lovely blog may be becoming more book oriented, I've noticed lots of non-book blogs with the LibraryThing widget. I've been enjoying your memes, by the way!

LD/Brownie said...

I lived in Stockbridge a couple of summers ago, and got to visit Edith Wharton's house (the Mount) in Lenox. They did two neat things with it. Her horrible husband sold all of her stuff when she was in Paris, so they had the first two floors decorated by people imagining she was their client today, so there was an iMac in her study and stuff like that.

On the third floor, they'd done an exhibit bringing to life scene from The House of Mirth. It was a great exhibit (although sadly, no longer up) and motivated me to read the book. I'd finished Sex in the City by Candace Bushnell not long before and was struck by some of the similarities. I think perhaps Wharton was the Bushnell of her time: her books intellectual enough that you're not ashamed to leave them out when company comes, but fluffy enough that you have real fun reading them.

Gentle Reader said...

ld/brownie--I'd love to see Wharton's house. Sounds really interesting. And I completely agree with you on the ratio of intellectual to fluffy--I can see what you mean about her being sort of like Bushnell--sharp, funny, and a writer very much of her time.