Friday, July 30, 2010

Now About Books...

We love books. And that's OK. But how to deal with them when the holdings begin to resemble a library?

I had a brief affair with LibraryThing several years ago, but I think I've come up with something that will work better for our purposes - a virtual library.

The enabling tool for this is the handy Magic Wand Portable Scanner. It let's you pull the scanner over the flat surface of whatever - the wall, the floor, a book. You get an image file.

So here's the plan. I will go to a box of books or a shelf and spend a few minutes scanning the front covers of the books, labeled so I know which box or shelf contains the book. The physical books go back into the box or shelf.

Then the images can be manipulated into proposed groupings.

Like Discard or Donate or Sell or Keep.

The keepers can then be virtually arranged into categories, like in the book store. Meanwhile, the tangible copies of the virtual books identified for discard or donate can be discretely taken to their destination, without causing the natural "but, but, but... it's a BOOK" reflex.

Meanwhile, books we don't want prominently shelved but can't bear to discard (yet) can be kept in their box without being consigned to oblivion.

I'll report back tomorrow on how this works on some boxes in the basement I know are full of (currently unidentified) books.

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