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Tuesday Thingers

I missed last week, so I’m excited to come back and answer this question from Wendi:

ttHave you ever used the Swap This Book function which can be found on the main page of any book (here is an example of Flirting With Forty by Jane Porter: link shown on book page, what it looks like if you click on the link)? If so, what do you think about it? If not, are there any other swap sites you utilize to exchange books once you are done? What do you do with your books if you no longer want them anymore?

Nope, never! I don’t swap books.  I am very reluctant to part with them, even ones I mildly disliked.  I always think that I might want to consider it again later on in life and I’ve had random urges to reread books in the past.  I also feel that in a sense, I’m building a collection that perhaps my children won’t want (although I hope they will!), but that I will certainly want to draw from for the rest of my life.  Besides that, I normally buy used books that are cheaper than the cost of postage, so I’m not even spending more money, just taking up a ton of space.  I do look forward to the day when I can afford to buy more new, though.

Now, if I really hate a book, so much so that I don’t want to keep it, I will give it away.  I usually give them to charity shops that I buy from frequently; there is one supporting a hospital near my parents’ where the large majority of my used books come from and another children’s charity near my fiance’s house.  I donate them there so that perhaps someone else can hate them less, and even if they don’t, at least the money is going to a good cause!

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Tuesday Thingers: LT Authors

ttToday’s question from Wendi: Did you know that there are 1497 authors participating in LT Authors? If you haven’t checked it out, head over for a moment and see if you can find out something new about an author! If you don’t have time to go snooping, have you ever looked at the LT Author page before? Did you know that it is for authors and readers alike? Have you ever looked up a favorite or new author on LT to see what they read and if they have left any comments or reviews themselves? Have you ever told an author about LT Authors and encouraged them to check the site out?

I have looked at the LT authors page before and I recognize a number of the top names.  I don’t recall encouraging any authors to join LT, I’m not sure I’ve been on enough of a personal level of contact for that and most of the ones that I do email are already on there.  I definitely check out their libraries and I’m always disappointed when I acquire a book by a new-to-me author who is on LT only to discover that their library contains very few or no books.  I liked it better when they had to add 50 to be recognized, but I can see why they would prefer to attract new authors by eliminating that rule.  In any case, it’s an awesome feature of LT and I hope it’s still around if I ever manage to publish a book – it will be academic and not very high up on the list, but I can dream, can’t I?

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Tuesday Thingers

ttToday’s question: Here is a list of the main areas of Library Thing:
1. Home (http://www.librarything.com/, before you log in)
2. Home (once you log in, contains Your Home, Your Profile, Connections, Recommendations, Reviews, Statistics, Clouds, Gallery, Memes)
3. Profile (Recent activity, tags, comments, members with your books)
4. Your Library
5. Your Tags
6. Add Books
7. Talk
8. Groups
9. Local
10. Search
11. Zeitgeist (Stats, Top Lists)
12. Tools (Widgets, Store)
13. Blog

What area are you most familiar with? What area is your favorite? What area are you curious about? Are there any that you have not really looked at?

First of all, thanks to Marie at the Boston Bibliophile for hosting Tuesday Thingers for so long, and more thanks and a welcome to Wendi at Wendi’s Book Corner for picking it up! I’m looking forward to your great questions, Wendi.

I think I’m most familiar with Talk and my home page. I like the initial home page, my statistics, and my reviews. I also spend a lot of time on Talk, but I’m a bit of a lurker. I don’t talk much but I like to find out what’s going on.  I don’t really look much at the widgets/store, not since I put mine on my sidebar.  I also don’t really look at the zeitgeist too often.  It doesn’t seem to change regularly, so I don’t feel compelled to check it very much.  I think I’d like to spend more time with LT local, but it rarely has information about my specific location.  I liked it when I was in Boston, but it hasn’t been useful since then.

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Tuesday Thingers: Holiday Book-giving

ttToday’s question: Holiday gift-giving. Do you give books for the holidays? Did you participate in LT’s SantaThing, either this year or last, or in other blogging gift exchanges? Were you happy with what you received?

I don’t normally give books for the holiday, but this year my friends are getting them. I can’t afford much more than that and no one in my family really likes books, so it’s a bit of a struggle.  And that’s why I didn’t join up to buy books for the holidays – no one in my family will read them even if I buy them.

I did not participate in the book bloggers’ exchange simply because of my position in the UK.  I can’t afford to send a gift to the US and since I’ve spent time at 3 different addresses this month, I wasn’t even sure where to ask for mine to be sent.  I’m hoping my life next Christmas will be more settled and that I’ll be making at least a little money.  I’ll be participating if that is the case.  I did participate in SantaThing because I knew I’d be home and I figured that I spent very little over my first term in grad school and I could treat myself.

Well, that was before I got an email informing me that my student loan payments were overdue.  I’m still in school and I thought my payments were deferred, but apparently something went wrong.  I’ve been advised to pay them and send in the deferment applications ASAP, but this has now put me out of a lot of money I didn’t expect to lose when I don’t have an income.  So, regretting that choice, but it’s a bit late now – luckily my parents have agreed to give me back $25 and count it as part of my gift.  I’m not totally destitute but I really need a part-time job when I get back!

I also participated in SantaThing last year.  I got one book I liked and wanted, but the second one I already owned, so I exchanged it at the bookstore.  I still haven’t read what I exchanged it for, unfortunately, but my Santa made good choices and I was pleased.  This year’s gift hasn’t arrived yet, but according to LT it should be here by tomorrow.  I hope I’ll be happy with what my new Santa has chosen!

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Tuesday Thingers: Home

ttToday’s Question: The LT Home Page feature. How are you liking it? Or not? Do you go here when you log into LT or do you use your profile page more?

I like the LT Home page. It provides everything at a glance. I particularly like the list of my recently added books; it’s just long enough that I often don’t have to go far to fill in reviews or ratings. It’s nice to see what my connections are doing and the most prominent topics on Talk. I also like looking at the most requested ER books and the most popular books added this month. Overall, I think it was a good addition to LT, although probably not as worthy as the much-anticipated collections feature will be, or so I hope!

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Tuesday Thingers: Reviewing

ttToday’s question from Marie at The Boston Bibliophile: Most of us book bloggers like to write book reviews- if we don’t love to write book reviews- but here’s today’s question. When it comes to LT (and your blog), do you review every book you read? Do you just review Early Reviewers or ARCs? Do you review only if you like a book, or only if you feel like you have to? How soon after reading do you post your review? Do you post them other places- other social networking sites, Amazon, etc.?

I try to review almost every book I read. Sometimes I skip books in a series because they are very similar and don’t need their own individual review. I read quite a bit faster than I review so I sometimes leave books out in the interest of catching up before I forget what I’ve read. I’m still reviewing the books I read at the end of November, so I have to work on that! I do review all ARCs and published books for review that I read, however, even if I hate them. I generally just try to review everything I read, it’s easier that way and the purpose of this blog was originally to keep track of how I felt about them myself. This is after I reread a book, only realizing partly through that I’d already read it – I’d like to not only remember that I read the book (I keep track of that now) but whether I liked it or not.

I always post all reviews on LibraryThing when I remember to, although I currently have a large backlog that needs to go over there. I usually post the whole review, but add a link to my blog in case people like it and want to leave a comment or read my other reviews. I do publish reviews on Amazon, but I don’t really like that people say I’m not helpful when I give a book a slightly negative rating. Not all books deserve five stars. So I’m not encouraged to do so by Amazon, but I do like to put reviews of less well known books over there, especially the ARCs that I receive.

What’s your reviewing policy?

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Tuesday Thingers: Most Popular Book

ttWhat’s the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you think? How many users have it?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone here.  I think this will be a common answer; this book is #1 on LT with 37,356 owners.  I have the rest of the Harry Potter series as well.  And I have read and loved them, too.  Not quite as much towards the end there, but I’m very appreciative of J.K. Rowling’s characters and world-building mainly.  I’d love to live in Hogwarts even just for a few hours.  I have friends who think that the plot is the draw, but not for me; I just want to exist there for a short while.

In fact, this post makes me nostalgic for a re-read.  Maybe over Christmas when I’m in the same place as all those heavy hardcovers.  And can I mention how irritated I am that we have to wait until next summer for a film that’s complete?  I promised Keith he’d experience what he calls torture in November; he’s now thrilled that he has until July.  So basically, I’m expecting to be a married woman before I see this movie!  Hmph.

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Tuesday Thingers: Widgets

tt Today’s question from The Boston Bibliophile: Blog Widgets. Do you use them? Do you have them on your blog? Do you know what I’m talking about? :-) A blog widget is that list of books “From my LibraryThing” and such, that you’ll sometimes see on someone’s sidebar. If you use it, do all of your books show up or do you have it set to only show certain books? Do you have a search widget, which would allow your blog readers to search your library? Have you ever made a photomosaic of your book covers? You can find widgets and photomosaic information on the “Tools” tab in LibraryThing.

I do have a widget and I’m very fond of it. It’s just a regular “random books from my library” one, which shows 5 books and only the ones with covers. I’ve definitely refreshed my blog just to see what comes up when I’m bored. I only exclude books that don’t have covers from it because I think they’re a bit boring, otherwise it’s all out there. I like the photomosaic widget but I think this one fits best on my narrow sidebar.

I also use the “currently reading” widget on other websites I frequent which don’t take the covers one, but I have enough space to put up more than just the books I’m reading at any given time on this blog. On Facebook, I used an application that listed my favorites, currently reading, and newest additions. I think if LT had multiple fields on their widgets, I’d use those three, but I like random books for now.

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Tuesday Thingers

ttPopular this month on LT: Do you look at this list? Do you get ideas on what to read from it?
Have you read any of the books on the list right now? Feel free to link to any reviews you’ve done as well.

Here’s the list:

1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
3. Nation by Terry Pratchett
4. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
5. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
6. American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
8. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
9. Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer
10. Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

So, I’ve read and reviewed four of them.  Three of those were ARCs, at least one of which I would probably not have picked up anytime soon on my own.  I actually bought Guernsey and it’s currently my favorite book of the year.  Of the rest, I’d like to read Dewey and possibly The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, but that’s about it. As many others have said before me, I don’t use this list for anything except to look at as interesting.  I don’t follow bestseller lists of any kind either.  I mostly read what I’d like to read.  If it’s on the bestseller list, that’s okay; if no one has ever heard of it, that’s okay too.  I pick up recommendations from other bloggers and LT mainly, although I am more inclined to pick something up if it’s won an award.  I seem to do this no matter how often I detest award winners because some are just so good that they are worth the duds.

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ETA: Unrelated to Tuesday Thingers, I have just installed a new spam-catcher for WordPress.  My spam volume has increased to ridiculous amounts lately and I can’t stand wading through it (it’s of the extremely vulgar type) to find new commenters; I’ll go somewhere and come back an hour later to 15 spam comments.  So I’ve got an autocatcher on now and I’m not sure how well it will work, so if your comment has not shown up in a day or so, it may have been miscategorized.  I’ll still monitor for new comments; once you’ve commented and it’s shown up, you will never have to be moderated again.  Just a heads-up!

Do any of you get ridiculous amounts of spam, or is it just me?

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Tuesday Thingers: Stuff

ttToday’s question: LT Things- t-shirts, bags, cue cats- are you into the “stuff”? Do you use a cuecat to enter your books, or do you enter them manually? What do you think of the stuff?

I had at one point two cuecats, but I don’t have any other LT stuff. I had two cuecats because I won one and then Tim sent me a second after my fiance spent hours trying to fix my widget when it was actually LT’s fault that it was broken. Since I didn’t need two, I gave one to a friend to help with her cataloging and I’ve kept one although I almost never use it. It seems more trouble than entering all the ISBNs and I’d done the majority of cataloging before I won the first one. Now I enter books when I buy them or when I finish them if they’re borrowed, so it’s not really necessary. I wouldn’t mind having other LT stuff. Probably not a bag as I wouldn’t like to carry their (or any) logo all the time, but I’d quite like a T-shirt.

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