Wednesday, October 10, 2007

LibraryThing Progress

The LibraryThing process is proceeding. I've entered 3,000 books now.

I've moved from working from the card catalog to the actual books. While I was unable to get up and down the stairs, the cards were very useful. I could just lie in bed and work off them and when I got sleepy--bed! But since the catalog isn't complete, and since the CueCat scanner makes it about 10,000 times easier to just scan the barcodes rather than typing off crappy dot-matrix printouts--where I may or may not have written down the correct ISBN ten years ago--I learned that it was quicker to just work from the shelves.

I have all the hardbacks done now, except for the oversize ones and the ones that are mixed in with my husband's books. I did the hardbacks first because I have a lot of old and unusual books that I knew would require more research and possibly manual entry. From there I've moved to the one bookshelf I have of non-science fiction, non-mystery paperbacks and paperback-sized hardbacks, for pretty much the same reason.

Some observations: I have close to a hundred books that aren't shared by any other members, and about two hundred and fifty others that are shared by fewer than ten others. Some of them aren't suprising. Dante, Chaucer, and the Currency of the Word : Money, Images, and Reference in Late Medieval Poetry is a good example. I'm a bit surprised that no one else shares The Writings of Medieval Women : An Anthology, though. And I'm kind of sad that no one else has The Alps as Seen by the Poets or Billy-Boy because they're both beautiful books and I'd like to think that someone else has had the opportunity to enjoy them.

According to my stats, my median book obscurity is currently 107, and my mean book obscurity is 590. This means that, on average, I share books with 590 other members. But half of my library is shared by 107 members or less, and half is shared by 107 or more. Kinda cool.

This will also be an interesting exercise in Total Book Estimates. For a while now I've been tossing around 4,500 as the number of books I have without having any real idea about the true totals, and now I'll have the chance to see how close I am. Based on how many books I've entered, and how many I estimate I have left, I think it's going to be pretty close.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Cathedral Mittens--One (Almost) Down

Cathedral Mittens

After a pause for bronchitis, I started in on the Cathedral Mittens again. I got all the way to the end of the first mitten, and all I have to do now is the thumb.

Cathedral Mittens--Detail

The decreases caused some thought and planning. I caught on pretty quick that the instructions would leave a very nice gold-black-gold three-stitch symmetrical border at the decreases. This worked great for the window pattern rows. Where it didn't work so great were the two black rows in between the window pattern. I concluded, after some squinting at my crappy black and white photocopy of the pattern (because, yes, I forgot to check while I was home and in the same room as the book), that the black rows didn't include the gold stitch. Which is fine with me, because it was enough of a pain to carry the black all the way across the row for two--count them two--stitches per round.

I'm still really pleased with how these are turning out. They're going much faster than I had ever imagined, bronchitis aside, and they're truly beautiful. I'm amazed at the work that went into developing this pattern.

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