Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Library Thinger...not good if you have OCD.

I get so excited to find out things I did not know about Library Thing and it's many features, so this is a big day for me because Wendi of Wendi's Book Corner has found another one for this week's Tuesday Thinger. So here is the question...

One person suggested looking at the meme's section of the Home page...Here are the current meme's available:

You and None Other. Books shared with exactly one member.
Dead or Alive? How many of your authors are dead?
Dead or Alive Comparison How do you stack up against others?
Male or Female? What gender are your authors?
Work Duplicates. Works you have more than one of.
Question: Do you visit the memes section often? Have you visited recently? Have you discovered anything that surprises you when you visit the memes for your library?

Oh boy, what a kettle of fish you opened now Wendi...or whatever that saying is....

No, I never visited this meme thingie on LT, because I was unaware it existed. Is it very new? We should get e-mails about this sort of thing. Actually, there is a LT blog, where new features are announced and perhaps I missed it. There is also a group that discusses these new things. I guess I missed it there too. So I must thank Wendi for bringing this to my attention.
See, this is just the sort of thing I love about Library Thing....and the thing I hate.

I love the numbers, the statistics, all neat and tidy. I hate, that on closer view, all is not so tidy and I need to do some work to fix it. Because fixed it must be. Can you spell OCD?

Take the Male/Female. When I first looked at it, it showed that my book authors were 61.68% male. Ok, that seems reasonable. But..then I see the column off to the far right, the Unknowns. I have hundreds of unknowns! Most appeared quite obvious, so why are they unknown? Well, it seems that on the author's page, neither genser is marked. And I, as a good LT member, have the power to start imputing that information and moving the Unknowns to their proper place.
Several hours later, I realized this was a project that might best be spread over several days.
I also realized that one can not always tell the gender of an author by their first name. Francis...Chris...Dana....even Vivian, which was a name that was once given to some poor little English baby boys. Yes, this will require more research. But then it will be all tidy!

It appears that the Dead/Alive group suffers from the same issue. I have almost 400 unknowns in that category and I assume to fix it, actual dates of birth/death will have to be individually entered on the authors' page. Oh my, this is getting like real work now. But it is so messy otherwise.

And then there is the worrying case of Ingrid Black. I saw the name on the M/F page listed as N/A, a category for organizations like the folks at Time/Life or William-Sonoma, which are listed as authors but are a group, and therefore of neither gender. But Ingrid...surely that is a woman. No, then I remembered it is actually a pseudonym for a husband and wife Irish writing team. So now they are listed as of unknown gender and, even worse, under Dead/Alive, listed as Not A Person, along with the likes of the Magic Chef. That is not right and will bother me until I find a solution...oh my, again.

Duplicates...yes, I have a few. Most are incidences of books I liked and therefore bought a nice hardback edition to 'replace' my original cheap paperback. The Bridge of San Luis Rey is an example. But, of course, I have no intention of actually getting rid of the paperback,as it has sentimental valve, so there will always be duplicates. One, I did not realize, North of Hope by Jon Hassler. I don't believe I read it a first time so why I would have two editions is beyond me. No doubt it happen pre-Library Thing as happened with the three copies of the same cheap paperback edition of Edith Hamilton's Mythology that I have, the discovery of which compelled me to join LT in the first place. I mean, really, why would I have three copies?

Then then last, but not least, we have the You and None Others meme, described as “Books shared with exactly one member”. Would that not be You and One Other then? Hmmmm...
Ok, I have 17 of those. I wonder if that is high, because it seems so.
I checked out each one, looking for mistakes. One appears to be a mistake. A book called Nigh-No-Place appears twice, with a slightly different spelling. That brings the members owning it to 4.
But the rest seem correct. Two of the books are instruction guides for the recorder, the musical instrument. Four of them are about fly fishing...I forgot that I owned a book called Trout Dreams. What would a trout dream of? I will have to look at that one again. It is right in the fly fishing section of my library...which is very near the recorder section. Next to the origami section.

Oddly, only two of us own Fodor's Rome 7th edition. That seemed wrong, I thought. But no, it seems everyone else has the 6th edition and some still have the 5th. Give me a minute and I can tell you exactly how many have each. I am happy to know that I am one the cutting edge of Fodor-ism.

The knowledge of which is just one more of the many, many things I love about Library Thing.

Btw, if you are looking for the Tuesday picture of Bandit,
and a wee caite, all ready for St. Patrick's Day, page down


  1. Ha ha! very funny. I have no intention of getting trapped into spending all my time on LT!! It's fascinating though.

  2. if you don't have 'issues' as some of us may have, you can control your time there...really. ;-)

  3. I only have 3 books that I share with one other.
    And I spent about 15 minutes entering gender too.

  4. I've never really explored the web site, you make me want to. I had no idea!

  5. I didn't spend any time fixing the gender. I hope that we own some of the same books by authors of unknown gender (so that my workload will be lightened)! ;) Those poor boys named Vivian!

  6. I've fixed genders, but it's the authors that don't know if they're alive that bother me ...

  7. Very interesting I do agree! I enjoyed your post:)

  8. Ok ... now I am going to have to check all this out because I didn't know it was there either and it sounds just really interesting and like a total time suck that I could fall into and never get out of. Sometimes I think it is better if I DIDN'T know this kind of stuff! : )

    Will probably lead to a post though ... so that is worth something.

  9. I think this all falls under the category of advice my mother used to spout frequently:
    "Let sleeping dogs lie"

    I didn't know it was there either and can live with that, quite happily it seems. Francis is a male Frances is a female. Hopefully They know what they are not like my grandson when he was 3 and asked his mother (my daughter) "am I a female or an e-mail?" He's cute but not the shapest knife in the drawer!

  10. I would love to be an e-mail when I grow up....

  11. Several hours later, I realized this was a project that might best be spread over several days. You crack me up.

  12. thank you...as I have said before, if I amuse someone, my work for the day is done.

    Sadly, my boss does not agree.

  13. :) It is always so much fun to read your post!! I'm glad you were able to figure out how to update the gender for the authors in the "unknown" column. I swear I spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out how to do that - I'm going to go back now and see what I can do!! Yeah!!

    Thanks for stopping by and participating in Thingers last week! I've got the post up for this week, we're taking a look at our favorite books. ~ Wendi

  14. thank you...
    I have taken care of most of my 'gender' issues.. lol..and the dead/alive issue I have figure out. But it is a lot of work, to look each one up so that might not get fixed.
    as much as it bothers me....


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