Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Non-English book piles contest!

You may not know it, but LibraryThing is available in almost 50 languages, from Dutch and Catalan to Russian and Japanese–not to mention Pirate.

Member civitas points out that whatever language you’re on, the home page sports a pile of English books. As he put it, “The effect may be subtle, but why give a prospective new user something negative to think about, or to have a vague feeling about, before signing up …?”

We agree. So, a contest! Win a CueCat, or a LibraryThing t-shirt (plus everlasting fame and glory, of course).

What to do: Go to the list of language sites (there are 51 total) and choose which* to submit. We’ll also accept “Polyglot” submissions, to use as the default for any languages we don’t get entries for.

The photo:

  • Should show a stack of books in that language (probably ~10 books or so is optimal).
  • Light background
  • We should be able to read the titles clearly
  • Don’t include an e-reader (they look dated too fast)

Where to post it—do one of the following:

  • Post to Flickr with the tag “LTInternationalBookpile” (also tag them “LibraryThing“). If you make a new account it can take a few days for your photos to be publicly accessible, so post a URL to them in the comments here.
  • Upload the pictures to your LT profile (be sure to let me know they’re there by adding a comment to this post with your LT username).
  • If all else fails, email your submissions to me (jeremy@librarything.com).
  • Regardless of how you upload the images, please make sure to tell us what language you’re submitting for! LibraryThing employees are a linguistically talented lot** but labels will help.

All submissions must be received by Monday, 31 January at 6pm EST. Talk about ideas/submissions here.

What we’ll do: Once the entries are in, we’ll pick a winner for each language, and they’ll have their choice of a CueCat or a LibraryThing t-shirt (plus the aforementioned fame and glory). We’ll also pick an overall winner, who’ll win both a CueCat and a t-shirt, plus a membership upgrade or gift membership).

While you’re at it … This contests also offers us the perfect chance to remind people that translations for the various non-English sites are ongoing, and new contributors are always welcome! Anybody out there know Maori? Tim made the Maori translation in a fit of optimism during a talk in New Zealand. But it has yet to receive a single edit!

* You can submit bookpiles for more than one language. You can even win for more than one language. Tim’s standard fine print (“Our decision is final, incontestable, irreversible and completely dictatorial”) applies. Any questions or clarifications, just ask.
** Tim’s done Hittite, Abby Russian and Chris Catalfo is fluent in Italian.

Labels: book pile, contests, cuecat


  1. fundevogel says:

    I see Basque on the list of site translations, but where is Hittite? Is there special a font for that?

  2. Connie53 says:

    My Bookpile is in my profile
    The language is Dutch!

    I this sufficient information?

  3. Anneli says:

    Here is my suggestion for the Finnish book pile:

  4. caffron says:

    Does Pirate count? 😛

  5. Jeremy says:

    caffron – yes, Pirate counts! Let’s see ’em!

  6. Cushla Thomson says:

    My German one’s in my profile photos! And I’ve put a rqeuest up in the New Zealand Thingamabrians group for someone who speaks Maori.

  7. Lilithcat says:

    Do dual-language books count? (The spines show the titles in both languages.)

  8. paulstalder says:

    A Korean book pile is in my gallery.

  9. Jeremy says:

    Cushla – excellent, thanks!
    Lilithcat – yup!
    paulstalder – thank you!

  10. ArmyAngel1986 says:

    My submission for the Hebrew pile is on my profile: ArmyAngel1986

  11. David Starner says:

    Is there a limit on the number of entries? I don’t plan on trying the CalTech thing of submitting every possible combinations of books, but I was wondering if it was okay to toss a few ideas out there, or if I needed to work hard to pick one of the batch. In any case, right now (which may change depending on future events and the answer to the above question):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/prosfilaes/5372250354/ for the (non-existent) Esperanto bookstack
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/prosfilaes/5371645203/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/prosfilaes/5371656169/ for the polyglot one; probably better without the Klingon-language comicbook on top?

  12. Hélène says:

    I’ve just uploaded a photo of a French books pile to my LT profile. Have a look !

  13. Hélène says:

    Oups ! Don’t know if the link will be OK… Profile is “h-mb”

  14. LevGalicia says:

    An Esperanto bookpile is now posted on my profile. Someday, perhaps, there will be an Esperanto LibraryThing! Amike, LevGalicia.

  15. Tim Sharrock says:

    Another Polyglot pile: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timsharrock/5376436042/
    unfortunately my only Catalan book’s spine is too faded, and I could not find the Dutch or Spanish Hobbits 🙁

  16. KrisM says:

    On my profile, there’s a picture of Dutch books… and one of Italian books. I hope you like them!

  17. I uploaded several book piles to Flickr as Beata Anna (polyglot and a few Polish) and also I uploaded one Polish book pile on my profile – Beata

  18. mgaspa says:

    On my profile, one pile proposal for Catalan books.

  19. gamoia says:

    One more pile for Catalan books.

  20. elfo says:


    Here’s my entry for Spanish books


  21. andejons says:

    I’ve uploaded a pile of Swedish books.

  22. quigui says:

    What a nice idea…too bad I’m so far away from my books, and only have 2 with me that can count as foreigner *cries* Must go buy more books.

    (I’ll speak with my mom and some friends to take a picture of a Portuguese bookpile)

  23. Adam Nohejl says:

    Here’s my Czech book pile: http://www.librarything.com/pic/226015

  24. quigui says:

    And here it is: http://www.librarything.com/pic/226034

    Bookpile in Portuguese (Portugal)

  25. bookoholic13 says:

    Here’s the contribution for Swedish:

  26. quigui says:

    And my mother decided to get a bit more artistic: http://www.librarything.com/pic/226059

    (Also in Portuguese)

  27. My Polyglot and Polish book piles are posted on Flickr under Beata Anna and one Polish book pile on my LT profile under Beata.

  28. Niklook says:

    Entries for the ‘pirate’ stack. Hopefully they’ll appear in your Flickr in a day or so, but if not —



  29. Roland says:

    I have added a Hebrew bookpile at http://www.librarything.com/pic/226320

  30. Danny Heijl says:

    My mostly Welsh “to read” pile and associated stuff.


    (also in my profile gallery on LT)

  31. sophie65 says:

    my kids made their attempt here.
    French : http://www.flickr.com/photos/36286842@N00/5389180074/
    Polyglot Junior: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36286842@N00/5388571643/

    (the third photo of the artists and avid readers).

  32. yukon92 says:

    I uploaded a pile of German books under my profile!

  33. mestressa says:

    And another Catalan pile!!!

  34. Anna says:

    My three Swedish book piles here:


    – one with only Swedish authors, one with foreign only and one mixed. (All of them in Swedish though!)

  35. Betty says:

    I’d love to partake, but all my books are in English. The only non-English though is interesting in that it is a Chinook – English Dictionary. Chinook is not a language as such, it is a jargon.

  36. lulaa says:

    Added a pile of books in SPANISH on my profile, plus same photo & several others on Flickr.

  37. Murray says:

    I’d like to have one for the original or at least older forms of English (not American)–British, olde English, Canadian, Aussie and other Commonwealth countries. I’d have to find spine titles with Worcestershire, colour (oh–Colour of Blood by Brian Moore!), honour, and so on. It’s not so bad, but I just would like to see the diversity of English when software of the world is red-pencilling (we double our final consonants too) correct alternate spellings, such as Microsoft and all the social media sites (all my Brit-spelled words in this text are underlined).

  38. gamoia says:

    More piles on my profile:

    Two Spanish: number 1 and number 2

    One more Catalan

  39. fugitive says:

    My Italian book pile submission is in my LT Profile (in fact, I’m using it as my profile picture).

    LT direct link here: http://www.librarything.com/pic/226860


  40. Varese2002 says:

    I have posted two Dutch language book piles. The piles are mainly selected for the colour and much less for the content, although most of them are very fine

  41. Varese2002 says:

    I have posted two Dutch language book piles. The piles are mainly selected for the colour and much less for the content, although most of them are very fine

  42. mta says:

    Posted my Scottish Gaelic submission on Flickr, titled LTpile3red and with the required tag, all lower case (hope that’s OK). I know, you don’t “do” Scottish Gaelic. But you might, you might!

  43. verenka says:

    I uploaded a German bookpile and two Hungarian bookpile photos to my profile:

  44. Raleigh Muns says:

    Don’t know why this wasn’t allowed to be posted earlier …

    My submission for an Italian book pile from my profile picture:


  45. Danny Heijl says:

    A second entry for the Welsh bookpile, this time it looks more like what was expected I guess:


    I’ll also add it to my profile gallery.

  46. Editfish says:

    I uploaded some photos for TAGALOG and CHINESE:

    The Tagalog photos are the same books, with a slight variations in angles.

    The Chinese photos have minor stacking differences.


    (I would included links to each photo, but the system claims my comment appears ‘spammy’)

    I also emailed them to Jeremy, as the site was down for a while this afternoon and I wanted to make certain that they were submitted.

    Thanks for considering these submissions!

  47. Jeremy-
    You landlubber! Thar’s a Pirate Stack on me profile,
    venture there at yer own risk…


  48. Bechii70 says:

    I have a Japanese pile here with me.
    I didn’t how you wanted it to be piled so took three different ways of arranging it.

    Part 1:http://www.librarything.com/pic/227054
    Part 2:http://www.librarything.com/pic/227055
    Part 3:http://www.librarything.com/pic/227056

    I’ll add a description of which books are piled up later.

  49. Bookworm Elf says:

    My Georgian book pile

    and the Russian one

    P.S. the pirate bookpile is great 😀

  50. Minthe says:

    I have uploaded a German bookpile to my profile:


    In Flickr 3 only very slightly different German bookpiles can be found here (at least I hope so):


  51. mellu says:

    Here is my bookpile in Finnish:


  52. Miriam Crowe says:

    I’m not French, but I have a pile of French books. I put the photo on my gallery, and I am crowem. I have a higher res version if you want it.


  53. Karen Sumpter says:

    Two pictures, French and Japanese.


  54. Charles says:

    My submission (LT user name liao) is here


  55. Nana (aya.herron) says:

    I uploaded 3 pics of Japanese books to my profile gallery: http://www.librarything.com/gallery/member/aya.herron

  56. Alexios Zavras (zvr) says:

    Running against the clock…

    I’ve just uploaded two book piles, one with Greek books and one with French ones. Their descriptions give some additional info.


  57. elfo says:

    Less than three hours until contest is closed! 🙂

  58. Paulette Diotte (madamediotte) says:

    I posted mine on my gallery and emailed it just in case!

  59. Paulette Diotte (madamediotte) says:

    (My post was for the French books)

  60. levitates says:

    I know I’m probably posting this too late, but here are my entries for the Swedish bookpile anyway:


  61. Johan Anglemark says:

    And my member name is anglemark, by the way…

  62. Kristine Alpi says:

    You wanted an Italian submission so I’ve posted mine to my profile – http://www.librarything.com/pic/231462
    I haven’t cataloged the books in Library Thing yet, but can do that this weekend if necessary.

  63. Vincenzo Bacci says:

    A Latin bookpile posted on my profile:
    and on Flickr:
    my member name Vincenzo_Kisses

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