Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

The Christian Science Monitor does the LibraryThing

Tomorrow’s edition of The Christian Science Monitor includes the article “Do Your Own LibraryThing” by Jim Regan, already available online. It’s a sunny, detailed look at LibraryThing, “poised to turn the cataloging of books into a form of communal recreation.”

With luck some the article will spawn others, but I’m particularly happy they got to it first. The Monitor‘s a great newspaper—international, in-depth and analytical. It’s been knocked about a bit recently, but it has made great strides on the web. The LibraryThing article shows CM‘s strengths: instead of a glib focus on library-size competition or the seeming dominance of J. K. Rowling (see below), Regan describes the site in detail, like someone who’s actually used it. The reader can make up their own mind.

So, hats off to Regan and welcome to Monitor readers—send me an email and tell me what you think of it!

J. K. Rowling and the popularity myth

I’m going to set it to show more of the top authors for context. People do have a lot of Harry Potter books but people have a lot of books generally—Rowling is only 1/3 of a percent of the total. In fact, LibraryThing exposes the popularity myth. For example, while Dan Brown seems so popular right now, his 379 books are beaten by Umberto Eco’s 476 and trounced by Jane Austen’s 736. C. S. Lewis flings him down and dances on him—1,706!

When’s the last time you read a newspaper article entitled “Dan Brown is selling well this year, but it’s not that big a deal in context”?

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