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Organizing my Private Library

It probably comes as no surprise that I am a real geek when it comes to books. Before we moved to Maastricht, I knew most of my collection would need to go into storage. So I could avoid buying duplicate titles (and so I can keep track of what I’m missing from my Elfquest collection), I decided to turn to my computer.

First, I used Delicious Library 2 to catalog all the books we have (a paltry 330), as well as all our video games and board games. The catalog was easy to build using DL’s software that turns my webcam into a barcode scanner. A little tough on my elbows maybe. The program also filled in most of the metadata I could want for each title. Its not perfect, some game books and graphic novels had to be filled in completely by hand and a few covers are just plain wrong, but it is certainly enough. Plus I can mark which books are with me and which are in storage. Ah, control.

Next I wanted to be able to share the titles in my library. I decided to buy a lifetime membership to LibraryThing and uploaded all my titles there. The transfer was easy. Delicious Library allows you to export a complete or partial list of titles in a variety of ways including XML. I simply uploaded this XML export to LibraryThing and it indexed them right away. If you’re curious what I have in my stable, you can see my LibraryThing catalog here.

Now of course I have an obligation to keep up with my library, but its nice to know at a glance what I have.