Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"...the smell of the library was always the same...the steam of the social soup." - Peter Ackroyd

I have catalogued 638 books on Library Thing, have all my double-stacked books to do yet, and haven’t even started in the actual library, or touched the boys’ books.

I only own ten Margaret Atwood books – although I would swear I own Edible Woman, and I need to buy (at least) Moral Disorder, the Penelopiad, and The Tent.

I own an even dozen Greg Bear books.

I own at least six Ann Hood novels, and yet can’t recall reading a single one.

Why do I own two copies of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart? I don’t even like it.

Anthologies do not seem to be very popular.

Sarah Louise will be pleased that 109 people own Jeanne Ray’s Eat Cake.

I want to know if any of the other 261 people who own a copy of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa have actually read it? (I have not.)

Daughter of Time beats out every other Josephine Tey book by at least 400 people.

It surprises me that twenty people on LT own Amit Gilboa’s Off the Rails in Phnom Penh; if I didn’t know him, I would not have bought it. It’s sort of an obscure little book.

I was very disgruntled that I couldn’t find MY edition of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas; the cover is so much prettier than the one that displays.

Not nearly enough people own Laurie King’s Mary Russell books.

Book I am most ashamed to own and to share with the fewest people: Adventures of an Ice Princess, by Liz Maverick, is owned by me and two other people.

I admit this info may not be so strictly indicative of who has what, as it all depends on what edition/format/date, etc. you choose for your work when inputting it. For example, I highly doubt I really am the only person on LibraryThing who owns Sherwood Anderson’s collection of short stories, Certain Things Last.
But apparently I am the sole owner of a copy of Charlene Gourguechon's Journey to the End of the World: A three-year adventure in the New Hebrides - and that I believe.
Three people, including me, own Thomas Starzl’s Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon. I also share Elegant Desserts, Harrod’s Book of Chocolates and other edible gifts, and Who Goes First? The story of self-experimentation in medicine with two other people.
Five people including me own Wittgenstein Flies a Kite: A Story of Models of Wings and Models of the World, by Susan Sterrett. She is my backyard neighbor, and I own a signed copy she gave me for Christmas (very small voice: I haven’t read it yet.)

Harry Potter blows away the competition with these sorts of stats:
Sorcerer’s Stone: 11,351
Chamber of Secrets: 13,347
Azkaban: 13,421
Goblet of Fire: 13,541
Order of the Phoenix: 14,068
Half-Blood Prince: 14,900
(And those are JUST the people who own the hardcovers, right?)

80 people own Meg Wolitzer’s The Position.
236 people own Stephanie Kallos’ Broken for You.
367 people own AS Byatt’s brilliant Virgin in the Garden.
767 people own Stones from the River.
1017 people own Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow.
4317 people own The Scarlet Letter
4498 people own Lolita.
4520 people own Middlesex.
5344 people own The Kite Runner.
5352 own Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
6070 people own Time Traveler’s Wife.
6602 people (sadly, including me) own Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons.
12,237 people (sadly, including me) own The Da Vinci Code.

And if that last stat doesn’t make you want to figuratively slit your literary wrists, I am not sure what would.


blackbird said...


Kathy said...

No, I have not read my copy of Clarissa. I was supposed to read it for some novels class I took but I didn't.

Badger said...

Say what you want about Dan Brown's writing; the man is a marketing GENIUS. He will never have to write another book as long as he lives.

I have Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in mass-market paperback and it's like six inches thick. Which is why I haven't read it yet.

Right now I am reading and loving Stealing Buddha's Dinner.

Stomper Girl said...

If I could be bothered I would do that and boost the Josephine Tey figures.

Joke said...

Poppy got me started on this. It's like a cross between taffy and crack.


Anonymous said...

I do not have the time, patience, or interest to catalog all my books. I do seem to have both a hardback and a paperback edition of almost every Harry Potter book (the hardback is for the first reading, the paperback is for subsequent readings so I don't have to carry 10 pounds of book).

Right now, I'm reading "Water for Elephants" and loving it so far.

Sarah Louise said...

While you've been cataloguing I've been weeding. I have two copies of The Way Men Are (Lipman) and at least two copies of Persuasion (Austen). I know you are anti-weeding, but it feels great to get rid of some of the extra books that either didn't hit the spot or that I'll never ever read. Oh, and getting rid of the dust is wunderbar too.

Yes, it's the domestication of Sary Lou. Clutter be gone!!

And yes, it does warm my heart to know...what? ONLY 109 folks own Eat Cake? vs. 12,000+ that own The DV Code? It's a conspiracy--all the Jeanne Ray fans are being suppressed I tell you.

Maybe it's all the dust going to my brain...

nutmeg said...

Like you I have to admit to owning The Da Vinci Code - I can't seem to throw it away (like I was able to with a few others). As far as page-turning thrillers go, it did suck me in and I read it before all the hype - enough of the excuses!

Anyway, I am also loving all the stats on librarything.com. Things I would have thought no-one else would own have many more than I would expect and others I thought were moderately popular nobody else has listed. My big discovery, which is no way surprising, is how anal I am about the book covers. Quite a few editions seem to have "Australia only" covers and such I have to trawl various sights to upload the cover. Isn't it great - I get to pay librarything.com US$25 for the privilege of doing work for them? Excellent system/money making venture - wish I thought of it.

PS - enjoyed our swapping of notes the other day - I'm keeping a watch on your library :-)

Unknown said...

I know the Da Vinci Code was hugely popular, but I couldn't make it even halfway through.

Middlesex! Loved! My husband was mad because we were in Italy and I wanted to stay in the hotel room for just a few more minutes so I could finish it.

Anonymous said...

Kiterunner is worth the keeping...Clarissa is way too outdated. If you want to get rid of your old books, I suggest you check out this book site. Is a great resource!