cataloging books

i’ve kept a record of every book i’ve bought or read since the start of the year 2000. when i began doing it i didn’t really think i’d keep it up. i started keeping track for three reasons:

  1. people who see me reading regularly often ask how much i read and i never had any idea what the answer was. did i read a book a week, two books a week? i knew there were certainly weeks where i get through three or four books but also weeks where i finish nothing and i wasn’t sure what the ratio of these two types of weeks to each other was and what average came out at.
  2. i’d just bought a new palm pda and it felt like a useful project to put on it. of course i never use the palm anymore and the database is only up to date on my website.
  3. i’m a complete geek when it come to having statistics to play with. i never got into statistics at school and college (probably because it’s seen as the girlier side of mathematics, call me contrary but i sometimes feel i picked my college classes because they were the ones where i’d be the only girl) but i’m a sucker for raw data to analyse all the same.

i’ve read 58 books so far in 2003. if i keep reading at the same rate i’ll read about another 30 books before the end of the year. i have only actually bought myself 39 books this year. so i’m reading faster than i’m buying! i think this is some kind of record.

in fact my to be read pile has only 13 books i’ve bought in 2003 still languishing on it. i’ve made a bargain with myself to finish all 13 of those by the end of the year and not add too many more to it. if i manage to read every book i’ve bought in 2003 in the next four months it will definitely be some kind of achievement. i’ll probably celebrate by going on a massive book buying spree in january…..

in comparison i bought 127 books in 2002 (a lot of used bookshop raids in there), 99 in 2001 and 103 in 2000. i have no idea why i’ve bought so few books (relatively) this year. i’ve certainly used the library more than in the past few years but that doesn’t seem to account for all the difference.

  • in 2003 i’ve read 26 books i bought in 2003.
  • in 2003 i’ve read 8 books i bought in 2002.
  • in 2003 i’ve read 3 books i bought in 2001.
  • in 2003 i’ve read 0 books i bought in 2000.
  • in 2003 i’ve read 21 books i haven’t bought at all.
  • in 2002 i read 90 books i bought in 2002.
  • in 2002 i read 20 books i bought in 2001.
  • in 2002 i read 8 books i bought in 2000.
  • in 2002 i read 13 books i hadn’t bought at all, or bought before 2000
  • in 2001 i read 60 books i bought in 2001.
  • in 2001 i read 14 books i bought in 2000.
  • in 2001 i read 8 books i hadn’t bought at all, or bought before 2000.
  • in 2000 i read 51 books i bought in 2000.
  • in 2000 i read 10 books i hadn’t bought at all, or bought before 2000.

my record for reading books bought in previous years isn’t good at all. if i don’t read the 13 books on my bookshelves that i’ve bought this year by the end of december i think history shows that i could probably give them away without noticing.

for the time being i’ll hold onto the 29 books i bought in 2002 and haven’t read yet, the 11 books i bought in 2001 and haven’t read yet and the 21 books i bought in 2000 and haven’t read yet. clearing them out one way or another can be 2004’s project.

Blood Sympathy by Reginald Hill

Cover of

Fun stuff. Having read so many of the Dalziel and Pascoe books I know that Hill can turn his hand to any kind of story he likes so I wasn’t afraid of trying his non Dalziel and Pascoe books. This is a different kind of crime book, I was never too sure how close to reality we were – it’s a bit of a farce, a bit of a caper, a lot of a funny crime novel and mainly just very enjoyable to read.

And I love the message in the front: “This novel is set in a town called Luton in Bedfordshire which has nothing to do with the town called Luton in Bedfordshire.”, or words to that effect. That’s kind of the way the humour in the book goes too. I’ll be back for more of Joe Sixsmith.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 29th July 2003.

Sea Glass by Anita Shreve

Cover of

Anita Shreve is one of those authors who I love to pick up and ponder over in the bookshop. I love to buy her books and have them sitting waiting to be read. But for no good reason it seems to take me ages to get around to actually reading the books. It feels like the books will be work to read. I don’t know where I get this from because when I do eventually pick the books up to read I find them absorbing and fascinating reads. This one was no exception.

I was surprised to find the story set in exactly the same place as Fortune’s Rocks was, but it was lovely to revisit the place in a different time. In this case the time is around about the time of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The story is told by switching between characters; initially few of them know each other and they gradually come together as the book goes on. Great way to tell a story.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 24th April 2003.


cool new (to me anyway) google feature: google calculator. nothing very complicated but handy because, well, because google is always to hand really.

i thought the units were a bit limited to begin with but i’ve changed my mind. so long as you don’t ask it to do wonkily dimensioned calculations it seems to manage everything i throw at it: the speed of light in furlongs per fortnight, converts stones into kilograms and plenty more. (i can’t get it to do anything with firkins yet though.)

a very neat idea to integrate this kind of thing into google.

[found via designweenie]

The Big Dig by Linda Barnes

Cover of

A bit disappointing on the whole. After a long wait for the latest of Carlotta Carlyle’s adverntures I wasn’t as thrilled as I hoped to be. I was pleased with the way Barnes is taking Carlotta’s character forwards and the directions that some of the recurring characters are going off in wasn’t what I would have expected – this is a good thing. Whether it’s true or not I’m not sure, but it feels to me like this series has used the ‘two unrelated plotlines veering together on a collision course’ thing too many times before. It’s not an unbelievable coincidence that drags the two halves of the story together really, just as it hasn’t been before, and I did enjoy it, it just wasn’t quite as plausible as I’d have liked.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 7th August 2003.

more accents?

English accents and dialects vary more widely within the U.K. itself than they do in other parts of the world owing to the longer history of the language within the countries of the U.K.

interesting. i’ve got into discussions about this before and my opinion has been firmly on the side that though it seems that way to me i think it’s more because i’ve got a uk accent, and uk accents are what i’m used to and so i can distingush uk people’s accents from each other more readily than i can people’s accents from other parts of the english speaking world. seems not.

from how to tell the origin of an accent at wikipedia.

no spam

i’m getting to like knowspam a lot. it’s not the perfect solution (which would be for all the spammers to give up and go home) but it’s stopped me from having to wade through bits of junk mail to date! and that’s not even all the spam i’ve had in the last four weeks….

olden days….

oh good grief, sometimes i hate archiving!

i didn’t realise that the wayback machine had captured me looking very 1996 and 1997 like. scary but true. i’ve recaptured my two homepage images (1 and 2) in case the wayback machine loses them as i still have a soft spot for them, which isn’t the same as liking them. besides they both took me hours to create without anything that would pass as a graphics package.

i definitely had a graphics-free website up before the rainbow version but it seems to be long gone, i’d like to think it would be more pleasing if i found it but it’d probably make me shudder even more.

[it’s kris‘s fault i went looking for this stuff!]


bonne marie’s instructions on how to put zips into knitting are fantastic. i followed them all last night, up to and including the happy dance because it actually worked. hopefully i’ll have a new jacket all sewn together this evening.

it’s near impossible to find information about zips on the net, well, challenging anyhow, you just fall over zip files all over the place.

update: jacket complete!