Most of my friends know that I'm a book junkie. Actually, most of my friends are book junkies as well. Many of them appreciate passing hours in a Barnes and Noble, Elliott Bay Books, or Powell's City of Books. So this may come as no surprise.
I got a new toy on Friday. It's a barcode scanner, and software from Collectorz for cataloguing books, CDs and DVDs. I picked it up because occasionally, I've seen something interesting on Amazon, and wondered if I already had it. I had no quick way of checking my library. Now I do.
Of course, I also wanted it because I like categorizing things. It's just comforting that I can put some order into a chaotic world by organizing my books. I suppose it's part of my on-going battle with Entropy. No fundamental, universal principle is going to tell me what to do.
Plus, it's at the convergence of technology and books. How could I resist?
I spent a few hours scanning one double-stacked shelf in one book case tonight. It worked fairly well. It would have gone faster but I was watching Law and Order at the time.
In that one shelf, I had 70 books. At this rate, I estimate my collection will top out at 500-600 books in my apartment.
About 80% of them scanned easily. They had an ISBN barcode on the back. Some of them had a UPC instead, which meant I had to do a manual entry. Some of my older books (from the 80s) had the ISBN on the inside cover instead. A few others had no barcode, and I had to look up the ISBN in the copyright page. So far, I've only found one that didn't have an ISBN, and that was a Scribner Library edition of the The Great Gatsby, from 1953.
So far, I'm impressed with the software and hardware combination. The next step will be to finally organize the shelves.