Archive for November, 2013

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Happy Hannukah from LibraryThing

Remember to sign up for SantaThing, our “Secret Santa for book lovers.” Sign-up closes 8PM Friday (Nov. 29).

Labels: holiday, santathing, secret santa

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

SantaThing 2013 is Here!

Welcome to the SEVENTH ANNUAL SantaThing!

What’s SantaThing? SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

Done it before? Sign up is now open!

The idea is simple: You pay into the SantaThing system (choose from $15–$45). You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you—we try to match up similar members—and you select books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

You can sign up as many times as you like, for yourself or someone else. If you sign up for someone without a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they like, so their Secret Santa can choose wisely.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

Important dates:

  • Sign-ups close Friday, November 29 at 8pm Eastern. Saturday morning, we’ll notify you via profile comment who your Santee is, and you can start picking books.
  • Picking closes Thursday, December 5th at 12pm Eastern. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can. There’s no guarantee that we’ll have books to you by December 25th, but we’re going to do our best!

» Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Tweaks this year:

Every year we tweak SantaThing a little. This year we’re happy to have Longfellow Portland’s own Longfellow Books, Powell’s, Book Depository, and Amazon as our booksellers.

At any and all price points, you can choose to have your books picked and sent from Powell’s Books, Longfellow Books, (including national subsidiaries: .uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es). or Book Depository ships to the most number of countries (see the full list), but they can’t promise your books will arrive before Dec. 25th.

Important note about Amazon: Amazon’s minimum for free shipping jumped up to $35 this year, so, if you want paper copies from Amazon, you will get $5 less in books than you pay—paying $30 will get you $25 worth of books. This does not apply if you select “Amazon Kindle Only,” OR if you go with the $40 or $45 price points, since shipping will be free.

Aside from that, you don’t need to factor in shipping. (Except for Amazon, booksellers have promised to waive that for us.) Unlike some years ago, there’s no profit “cushion” built into this for us, although we expect under-orders to pay for situations where the shipping isn’t free. We do this for fun, not money.

Ebooks are available again this year, but again, only via Amazon, and only for US members. We’re sorry to limit it, but ebooks are complicated in terms of rights and availability outside the US. Ebooks also don’t come with shipping costs, so this is one way to avoid the Amazon shipping issue, without having to go up to $40 or $45.

Go sign up now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic.

Labels: santathing, secret santa

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Little Free Libraries, BookCrossing Zones and more in LibraryThing Local

Short Version:

LibraryThing members have banded together to add all known “Little Libraries,” including Little Free Libraries®, BookCrossing Zones™, the Dutch project “Minibieb” and others to LibraryThing Local, LibraryThing’s index and map of over 87,000 bookstores, libraries and other bookish places. Members have already added 749 of them. A slew of new features supports the project.

Check it out:

SqueakyChu‘s library, The Little Free Library of Twinbrook, in Rockville, MD

Long Version:

A long-time member, SqueakyChu, recently requested that we add Little Free Libraries (LFLs) to LibraryThing Local. Apparently the LFL people have been unable to keep up with all the new libraries, and have fallen months behind. Their own map is also limited compared to LibraryThing’s robust feature set. And having LFLs in LibraryThing Local would allow LibraryThing members to discover them, as well as users of our Readar iPhone app.

If you don’t know, Little Free Libraries is a grassroots movement sweeping the country and the world. “Stewards” build or buy them, set them up somewhere, often in their front yards, and fill them with books. Visitors take and leave books as they wish. BookCrossing, around since 2001(!), is a similar concept, encouraging and tracking the free exchange of books from reader to reader. Books can be released “into the wild” anywhere, but “BookCrossing Zones” (BCZs) are special spaces set up to facilitate this exchange.

We’ve discussed similar efforts before, and approached both organizations for a feed, without success. We’d love to work with either or both, and will (of course) share our data. But we’re not going to wait. We want people to know about these great projects, and all the other informal sharing libraries out there. So we jumped in. Before releasing it, we had our “Board for Extreme Thing Advances” group to work on it, and they added almost 700 venues, and worked out all the conventions we needed.

Little Free Libraries in Connecticut

New features

How do I add venues?

If you’re interested in adding Little Libraries, here are some resources:

Little Free Libraries

  • Members have set up a Wiki Page, recording what states and countries have already been entered, and which haven’t
  • Check out the discussion topic, where members hash out conventions and trade tips

BookCrossing Zones

We’re still figuring out how to find and add all official and unofficial zones. If you’re interested, join the conversation.

Other libraries

“Little Libraries” is for small collections of every type, not just book exchanges. The Dutch projects MiniBieb and Boekspots are closely analogous to Little Free Libraries, so they fit. But, as I’ve written before, cities and towns throughout the world are filled with such collections, from coffee shops to churches, from community centers to advocacy groups. At present we’re focusing on fully “public” venues, but the many types available to choose from means it can all go in, with suitable filters for what you want and what you don’t want.

Come Talk about this project.

Labels: librarything local, local books, member projects, new feature, new features

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Congratulations to Our AllHallowsThing 2013 Winners!

Thanks to everyone who joined in on our first annual AllHallowsThing contest! Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, and everyone at LT had a lot of fun seeing what you all came up with! The LT staff judges have spoken, and, without further ado, I am proud to present our winners:


Grand Prize

This is one of the most detail-oriented Little Free Libraries I’ve seen. From the creator’s description: “Library” was made of foam core cut and glued together. Shingles were cut from cardboard, door constructed using actual door hardware, then house was painted. The t-shirt inside is a scan of book spines printed onto 2 iron on transfers.” The door even has a magnetic latch!

2nd Place

This one has a special place in my heart, as I loved Tomie dePaola when I was a kid (I still have a signed bookmark I got from him when I was 8), and Strega Nona was one of my favorite stories. She even has the magic pot!

3rd Place

a-squared’s little sister is wearing a wand, tutu, and wings all made out of recycle Scholastic book order forms! I love the creativity. And I hope the book fairy will stop by my house soon, because, let’s face it, I clearly don’t have enough books.

3rd Place, Too – It’s a Tie!

LaurenMeigs is the spitting image of one of recent literature’s most self-possessed heroines. She describes her inspiration best: “Salander is one of the coolest, strongest, craziest chicks that I’ve ever come across between the pages of a book. I bought the temporary dragon tattoo online, but my fabulously talented artist neighbor (and fellow librarian) drew the wasp tattoo freehand on my neck.”


Grand Prize

Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s iconic monster, this pumpkin is truly the stuff of nightmares. Sylak told us that the wings were made of Savoy cabbage leaves, and there are total of 386 individual suckers on those tentacles. Yipes! Matt agrees: “A carnivore’s worst nightmare.”

2nd Place

I’d love to know what book(s) were used in the construction! The light dusting of orange paint is great—you can still read the text on the pages.

2nd Place Again

Another tie! “Daringly stacked!” Matt says, and I agree. These are all impressively detailed! While the owl’s eyes are probably my favorite part, I love that there’s even a pea green boat that the owl and pussycat are riding in. Excellent work!

3rd Place

We’ve taken to calling this one the “Econ Pumpkin” around the office, and it brought out Matt’s inner humanities major: “the best use of an Econ textbook I’ve ever seen.” Very inventive!

Honorable Mentions

I’d also like to give a personal shout-out to flor_de_margarida’s too clever by half Invisible Man, and walkingapocrypha’s Mad Hatter. I know that kitty! As a long-time Pride & Prejudice fan, I particularly appreciated the “& Zombies” edition group costume. Well done, everyone.

To all our contestants, thanks so much for joining in! You all did a fabulous job, and I hope to see more spectacular stuff from you next year!

To our winners, look for a profile comment from me shortly with instructions for claiming your prizes!

Labels: AllHallowsThing, contests

Monday, November 4th, 2013

November Early Reviewers batch is up!

The November 2013 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 136 titles this month, with a grand total of 3,650 copies to give out. For those of you who, like me, aren’t ready to accept that Halloween is over, we’re not quite up to our brains in zombies, but Undead or Zombies Don’t Surrender might be just what you need.

If you’d like a chance to score one of these books, first, make sure to sign up for Early Reviewers! If you’re already signed up, please double check your mailing and email addresses, and make sure they’re up to date.

Then request away! The list of available books is here:

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, November 25th at 6PM Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Taylor Trade Publishing Prufrock Press Palgrave Macmillan
Henry Holt and Company Quirk Books Bantam
JournalStone Random House Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Pants On Fire Press Seventh Rainbow Publishing Riverhead Books
Putnam Books Bluffer’s Guides Gray & Company, Publishers
Kurodahan Press February Books Gefen Publishing House
Bethany House Chosen Books Five Rivers Publishing
Pale Fire Press Leisure Time Press Multnomah Books
Cleis Press O’Reilly Media BookViewCafe
Information Today, Inc. The Permanent Press Crown Publishing
Akashic Books Marble City Publishing CarTech Books
Rippple Books The Plough Publishing House Oceanview Publishing
Minotaur Books Human Kinetics ArbeitenZeit Media
Recorded Books Medallion Press Rovira i Virgili University Press
Apex Publications WriteLife, LLC Seawall Books
HalMarx Publishing Candlewick Press Spiegel & Grau
Plume Fog Ink Obesity Resources, LLC
Welcome Books Gotham Books Hunter House
Circumspect Press William Morrow Bunker Hill Publishing
Algonquin Books Booktrope Lion Fiction
Bantam Dell EdgeRunner Publishing Galaxy Audio
Galaxy Press

Labels: early reviewers, LTER