Archive for August, 2010

Monday, August 30th, 2010

One last Hunger Games box set giveaway

For those who haven’t read the Hunger Games books, leave a comment on this blog post to win a box set of the complete trilogy.

The deadline is Wednesday, September 1st at 10:00 AM EDT.

Mockingjay, the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, came out on August 24th, and we’re celebrating with one last contest, one for those who’ve heard so much about the books, but haven’t been able to read them yet.

Any LibraryThing member can win one of box sets by leaving a comment below. The winner will be picked randomly from all commenters–leaving multiple comments will not increase your chances of winning. Please be sure to include your username. The deadline is Wednesday, September 1st at 10:00 AM EDT.

Congratulations to kamane for winning the photo contest.

About Mockingjay
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Read more about Mockingjay, including LibraryThing member reviews, ratings and more.

Labels: contest

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Early Reviewers bonus batch: Mockingjay

August bonus! We’re giving away 25 copies of the new Hunger Games series finale Mockingjay, through the Early Reviewers program.

Early Reviewers is our program that gets free books into the hands of reviewers. To win a book is free, your only responsibility is to review it. First, make sure to sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing address and make sure it’s correct.

Then request the book here:
http://www.librarything.com/er/list

The deadline to request a copy is this Friday, September 3rd at 6PM EST.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. Scholastic is only able to send the book to US addresses.

Thanks to Scholastic for offering this giveaway!

Labels: bonus batch, early reviewers

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday, LibraryThing!

Today marks the fifth anniversary of LibraryThing. In honor of us being “this many” (high five), here’s a birthday Camembert. After blowing out the candles (wishing for five more years of bookish and social-networking delight), I wrapped the cheese up so it can be the LibraryThing lunch tomorrow.

I hope every member of LibraryThing has a great day. ???? ????????!

Labels: birthday

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Read a National Book Festival author’s book; ask them a question

The 75 Books Challenge for 2010 group has a “Take It or Leave It” challenge for August, where they read a book by one of the authors who will be attending the 10th annual National Book Festival.

You don’t have to be part of the 75 Books Challenge group to decide to read a NBF author’s book. Even if you can’t go to the festival itself (in Washington, D.C. on September 25), you may be inspired to read a book by one of the participating authors. Maybe this is your chance to finally pick up Everything Is Illuminated, Outlander or Read to Your Bunny. You can join the 75 Book Challenge folks on their thread, or keep your reading choice to yourself.

I can’t go to the festival this year, but I’ve arranged to ask many of the authors in attendance ONE interview question each. If you’d like to be the one to ask any of these authors a question, post it here before September 1st.

See the entire list of authors.

Labels: event, library of congress, reading

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

State of the Thing: August edition

State of the Thing logoI’ve just sent out the State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight.

We have 1,779 free books, new publisher pages, a photo contest, news on our foray into the Dewey system, a few site improvements, and a list of the popular books this month.

Check your inbox or read it online.

This month’s edition has an interview with David Mitchell, about his new book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Abby asks him about the challenges of writing about Dutch and Japanese in English, as well as about how a monkey led to a “cute meet”.

We also have a podcast interview with Dr. Larry Rosen, about his new book Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn. Dr. Rosen and I talk about how children (and all of us) are able to learn while multitasking, and what technologies may be able to do for education. Is it a big deal that your teen wants to listen to music and chat online while doing homework? Dr. Rosen says not as much as you’d think. You can hear the podcast here.

Lisa Grunwald, author of The Irresistible Henry House, shares with us her summer reads, including The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe and The Puzzle King by Betsy Carter. Her own book Henry House has been touted as one of this summers must-reads, and is a New York Times Editor’s Choice as well as an Oprah Magazine “Book to Watch For.” Amazon and Audible each name Henry one of the “Best Books of 2010 — So Far.”

Read previous State of the Thing newsletters:
http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/State_of_the_Thing

If you don’t get State of the Thing, you can add it in your email preferences. You also have to have an email address listed.

Labels: state of the thing

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Photo contest: win a Hunger Games box set

In anticipation for Mockingjay, the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy which comes out on tomorrow, Scholastic has provided two box sets of the complete trilogy to give away.

Any LibraryThing member can win one of box sets by submitting a photo that re-creates a moment from the series. The idea is to take a picture that reproduces a scene from one of the first two books, Hunger Games or Catching Fire.

The deadline is 10 pm EST this Sunday, August 29th.

Find a fence and pretend to sneak out of District 12. Get some crepe paper and create one of the costumes Katniss wore in the parades*. Find whatever moment you want to replicate, and capture it with your camera.

Email your photo to sonyalibrarything.com. Include your LibraryThing username and a short (50 word max) description of the scene. The deadline is Sunday, August 29th at 10 pm EST.

Abby and I will be the judges of the contest. Two winners will each receive one box set of all three Hunger Games books, including the highly anticipated** final book Mockingjay. Winners will be announced via blog post, on Monday, August 30th.

About Mockingjay
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

*Please, no flaming costumes. We’re not responsible for your immolation.
**Not just by me–over 500 people have already added it to the catalogs, and it’s not out yet!

Labels: contest

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

ReadaThing in Public, right now!

As we speak, someone from LibraryThing is reading. That may seem like an obvious statement, but I can prove it’s true: the August “Reading in Public” ReadaThing is happening, and as I post this, leennnadine and norabelle414 are out and about, reading in the name of all things public, literary and LibraryThing.

Earlier today, Squeex and her daughter had a sip’n'read at a coffee shop, pictured here. You can see more pictures of their reading/coloring adventure on her blog.

It’s not too late to participate! If you have an hour of free time, and like the heady idea of reading where people can see you, sign up! We’re reading for 24 hours, and the day’s only half over (or night, if you’re in a different time zone). If you want to read more about the project, check here.

Labels: readathon

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Introducing the “Melvil Decimal System”

I’ve just pushed a nifty feature for browsing the “Melvil Decimal System” (MDS).

What is MDS? MDS is the Dewey Decimal System, Melvil Dewey’s innovative classification system, as it has been applied to books in LibraryThing members’ books. The wording comes from out-of-copyright sources.

The browse system is nifty. It was to some degree inspired by the elegant user interface to Tom Hickey’s OCLC DeweyBrowser. It is also interesting to see how the classification stacks up against LibraryThing tags. Here are some examples:

As usual, the system is not complete. It does not yet show you how your books stack up against the system. That is coming.

Why MDS? Although he invented his system in 1876, and has been dead for 79 years, Dewey lives on. The library conglomerate OCLC continues to produce new editions, which are copyrighted. And the terms “Dewey,” “Dewey Decimal,” “DDC” and so forth are registered trademarks of OCLC. In the past OCLC has been touchy about Dewey. They once sued the Library Hotel for putting books in rooms according to the rooms’ Dewey number. So we aren’t taking any chances.

Although OCLC updates the Dewey Decimal System, they cannot own the numbers themselves, which are assigned by librarians around the world. Nor can they own the system as it existed in 1922—for that edition is out of copyright.

Make it stop!

Help us out! Knowing the numbers is one thing, but the words bring them alive. Every number has a space for wording, both original (1922) and modern. Members are invited to help fill it out, at least for the top tiers. The original wording should come from Dewey’s 1922 edition, with one difference. Dewey was a spelling-reform nut, and all the later editions of his work are in his semi-phonetic spelling system. This spelling is unbearable, so convert it to standard spelling.

For the “modern” wording, you may modernize both terminology and sentiment. Dewey used “sociology” in the sense of “Social science” and his religion section refers to “Mohammedanism” and “Minor Christian sects.” Those can all be improved. But improvements should reflect only modernity, not the wording of in-copyright editions of the Dewey Decimal System.*

As with other Common Knowledge sections, MDS can also be translated. Indeed, one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while was a user translating the system into Swedish just a few minutes after launch. There is no current Swedish translation of the Dewey Decimal System.

Lastly, I got into this to help Fleela, Zoe and the other members of the Dewey Decimal Challenge group, “Read a book from every Dewey Decimal category.” Fun idea. You should try it.

What’s missing The feature is, as usual, intentionally half-done. Here are some contemplated features.

  • Connection to YOUR library
  • Links from your catalog, other pages
  • The Library of Congress System

Come talk about it on LibraryThing Talk.


* In many cases, OCLC’s changes haven’t trickled down to the libraries that use the system. DDC 288, formerly for Unitarianism**, is now blank. But both OCLC’s DeweyBrowser and LibraryThing’s MDS browser show books there—a Channing fest to be sure.
** That Unitarianism gets as much space as Catholicism, Judaism and Islam speaks to Dewey’s western Massachusetts world-view.

Dewey, Dewey Decimal, Dewey Decimal Classification, DDC and OCLC are registered trademarks of OCLC. Read more about OCLC and the DDC on their website. LibraryThing is not affiliated with OCLC, but we have the same hatter.

Labels: cataloging, classification, new feature, new features

Monday, August 16th, 2010

LibraryThing for Publishers: 21 new publishers

LibraryThing for Publishers, our new program to bring publishers into LibraryThing—and link out to them—has been growing rapidly, and we’ve added a number of new features for both publishers and members.

New Publishers. Since Monday we’ve added 21 new publishers, amounting to an 800% increase in books covered.

The largest new publisher is Penguin Australia, covering 650,000 member books. Their titles include books from Penguin USA, UK, India, New Zealand and DK (Dorling Kindersley) available through the Penguin Australia website. (Their wonderful profile image—an unofficial logo?—appear to the right.)

Others include (in copies order):

And eight more independents. A half-dozen substantial publishers are waiting in the wings, as we work out URLs and other details.

New Features. I introduced a new page for you to compare your books against LibraryThing Publishers.

Check out the blog post.

New ways to upload. Publishers have complained about the limitations of ISBN-based URLs, so we’re expanding the formats we accept, starting with a new “LibraryThing Simple Format.” Basically, we can now read any spreadsheet that contains both ISBNs and URLs. We’ll figure out the rest. This proved necessary in getting RAND’s titles into the system, and was helpful for Mercer UP as well.

I’ve written more about this format on Thingology.

Labels: LibraryThing for Publishers, new feature, new features

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Your publishers

I’ve pushed a Stats/Memes page that shows how your books stack up against the publishers in LibraryThing for Publishers.

It shows all your publishers, with the collections they’re in, and the number.

See Yours: http://www.librarything.com/profile/MEMBERNAME/stats/publishers
Mine: http://www.librarything.com/profile/timspalding/stats/publishers

The main publisher page also has a “all” vs. “yours” toggle, so you can see the information there instead.

More coming on Monday!

Talk about this here.

Labels: 1