So, that’s not a huge number by some people’s standards, but if you consider that we transported them from Australia to France and that I’ve now familiarised myself with every single ISBN… I think it’s plenty (for now). Cataloguing these books has been a side project of mine for most of the past year, so I’m very happy to have reached the end of it. We also went so far as to scan the covers for about 1000 books which were old or rare enough to not have covers online already.
The reasons behind cataloging all our books are many and varied, but the important ones are:
- Now we know exactly what we own, we won’t (often) accidentally buy books we already have. This is a big problem when we’re shopping in Australia or England - or even in online sales. You need to be able to check quickly!
- If we ever lose our collection in a fire or some other disaster, we know what we used to own and can work on buying the good books again.
- We can work on building the collection and buying missing books in series.
- We can keep our wishlists alongside what we own, so when we buy things they’re automatically removed from the wishlist.
- Because Goodreads lets us view intersections of “shelves”, we can cross-reference our wishlist and books we own with best-of lists in order to work out what we should buy next or read next.
I’ve already added some excellent best-of book lists to Goodreads, so our cross-referencing lists are very useful. For instance:
- 1001 Books: To buy from 1001 Books / To read from 1001 books (that we own)
- Guardian Top 1000 Books: To buy from Guardian Top 1000 / To read from Guardian Top 1000 (that we own)
- Kids 1001 Books: To Buy from Kids 1001 / To read from Kids 1001 (that we own)
- etc etc. with many other lists.
- We can also do similar things with genres. For instance: Sci-Fi to read (that we own)
Because of the sort options available on Goodreads, we can sort according to best ratings or the number of people who have read it. So, we can get a community feel for how popular the book is as well as the best-of book list’s idea of what is a good book. Also, when you finally click on the book, you can check out what everyone actually says about the book.
And yes, being in France means that most of the books we read will be books we own and if we want to read something new, we’ll probably have to buy it. Yes, we might read some French books from the library or borrow something from an English-speaking friend. But that’s occasional compared to most of our reading.
Ultimately, finishing the cataloguing means my free time can be spent READING the books, which I’m pretty darn excited about. So, this is the list of books I’ll be ultimately focusing on reading this year. Plus, I’ll read whatever interesting books cross my path in the meantime. I’m looking forward to a great year of reading.
Some vaguely interesting stats on our books:
- Currently, we own just over 4000 books.
- We own about 900 non-fiction books and just under 2800 fiction books (apparently the rest aren’t tagged as either – oops!)
- We own about 700 sci-fi books and 800 fantasy books.
- Apparently, there’s at least 150 graphic novels or comics in our collection.
- We also seem to have nearly 100 books on food (cookbooks and other things).
- Despite not having kids yet, we own over 500 young adult books and over 1300 kids books — over 450 of which are picture books.
Anyway, I’m excited about it — it was a really big project and took up a lot of my time and now it’s DONE. Yay!