Saturday, August 03, 2013

In Which We Discuss LibraryThing and Praise Dylan Thomas For His Empathy With Our Plight


I've had a LibraryThing account for, oh, two years.

I've thought about cataloging all our books. I had sincere intentions, initially. But every time I looked around the living room (and the dining room, and the girls' rooms, and the family room...) instead of getting to work on some data entry, I just quickly diverted my attention elsewhere.

"Oh, sure," I'd tell myself, "it would be a nice little luxury to have all this stuff cataloged, but I'll never get around to it. And what would I do with that information anyway, other than tell myself that I really should haul more of these books to Goodwill?"

Then I'd go make a pot of coffee.

Enter my friend, Magical Mrs. M., who told me about how she uses LibraryThing for record keeping at the end of the school year. Everything her 10-year-old read last year? Tagged. Everything related to biology? Tagged. My ears perked up. Tags. I love tags. I could use tags.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I put Anne-with-an-e to work for me. (I was right -- I'll never get around to it.) So far, she has entered the books on only three of the shelves in our living room, and we're up to a count of 500. I'm a little afraid of the final number, and of how long this project will take, but what can I say? We love books. We love words. We love what happens when pen meets paper.

So did Dylan Thomas:

From the preface ("Notes on the Art of Poetry") to The Poems of Dylan Thomas:

My first, and greatest, liberty was that of being able to read everything and anything I cared to. I read indiscriminately, and with my eyes hanging out. I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on in the world between the covers of books, such sandstorms and ice blasts of words, such slashing of humbug, and humbug, too, such staggering peace, such enormous laughter, such and so many blinding bright lights breaking across the just-awaking wits and splashing all over the pages in a million bits and pieces all of which were words, words, words, and each of which was alive forever in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

"Delight and glory and oddity and light" -- it's a plight I'll endure.

3 comments:

Theresa said...

What a great quote!

Melissa Wiley said...

I used to have the first part of that quote written all over my notebook. I've always thought it would make a great homeschooling bumper sticker. :)

Library thing tags! Brilliant! I bought the lifetime membership a million years ago and have barely logged in since. Might be time to dust it off!

Karen Edmisten said...

Theresa, isn't it, though?
Lissa, I bought the lifetime membership, too. I get chills every time I think of using the tags. :)