LibraryThing tips and links

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LibraryThing tips and links

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1Spurts
Redigeret: mar 25, 2017, 12:48 pm

Post stuff found or figured out in your explorations here.

2Spurts
Redigeret: mar 25, 2017, 12:51 pm

The LibraryThing equivalent of goodreads "Find Duplicates" is at https://www.librarything.com/profile/Spurts/memes/workdups

(under "Memes/Stats" then the little asterisked "see work multiples" in top "Library Statistics" section).

Possibly other ways, but that's the one I found.

3Spurts
Redigeret: mar 25, 2017, 12:57 pm

YouKneeK told me how to set a book as currently reading (https://www.librarything.com/topic/253364#5986219 ):
"...I don’t know if there’s a better way, but this is how I would manually put a book in currently reading status:

1. First, the book has to already be in your library, if it isn't already. On LT, you can't just go to a work page and click a "Currently Reading" button. If it isn't in your library already, you first have to add the book through the "Add Books" option. You can also use the "Add to Your Books" button on the work page, but all that really does is take you to the "Add Books" option and pre-search for the same title. So, if you have to search for the book anyway (as opposed to already being on the work page because you followed a link), then you might as well just go to "Add Books" from the beginning and do your search there.

2. Once the book is in your library, go to that book’s page and click “Edit your book” from the menu bar on the left. (If you just finished adding the book, you can get to the book page from the screen you're already on.)

3. Click the “show all” button under “Collections”.

4. Your list of Collections will expand and you can now set it to “Currently Reading”.

I find that, if I’m manually adding a book for the first time, it sets it to “Currently Reading” by default. I would have sworn it didn’t used to do that, so I’m not sure if I changed a setting somewhere or if I’m misremembering."

4YouKneeK
mar 25, 2017, 3:20 pm

I like the idea of this thread. Here are a few others that come to mind, mostly about customization:

  • When you're on the page to add a new book, there’s a check box for “Currently Reading”. If you check that, then going forward it will automatically add new books as “Currently Reading” unless you uncheck it. You can also set default tags in the same area. (Somebody in Green Dragon reminded me how I had done it in the thread Debbie linked to.)

  • There are lots of helpful formatting tips at this link. I referred to it quite a bit when I first started posting here.

  • Your home page is very configurable. Click on the main “Home” option in the top-left. At this point, you should be on your Dashboard. Now explore the various links along the left. If you find a panel you would like to see by default on your Dashboard, just click the + in the top-right of that panel and add it there. (You can also move panels to the other screens.) Each panel also has some configuration options that you can play with by clicking on the pencil icon. To rearrange the panels on a page, click the up/down arrows on one of the panels and you can set everything where you want. On the same page where you reorder the panels, you can set it to one or two columns. In the end, you’ll have a glorious home page that shows you exactly what you want to see, all in one spot, every time you log on.

  • There are other configurable things too, so just keep your eyes open as you’re on different screens. For example, you can rearrange the panels on a work page. Go to a work page, scroll to the bottom, and click “reorder modules”.

  • You can also set up a variety of custom styles for your shelves that you can toggle between, and you can choose which style visitors should see by default when they visit your shelves. And there are lots of columns you can add beyond the defaults. One column I particularly like is the “Reading dates” column. There are also “Date Started” and “Date Finished” columns, and they have the same info, but the “Reading Dates” column ties them together so that you can sort on both things at once, which keeps everything in better order. You can sort by up to two fields if you click the up/down arrow icon (to the right of the sort styles) also, but it’s more convenient to be able to just click a single column header to sort.

  • Yet another tip from a GD member: You can add a “currently reading” message on your profile by inserting the following code on your profile, replacing my profile name with your own. Alternately, you could add it to your Notepad (Home / About You) and then move it to your dashboard for easy visibility. Important note: this only works with tags, not collections. So, if you want to use this, you have to create a tag called “currently reading”. You can use different tags, just change the appropriate spot in the code.
    <a href="http://www.librarything.com/catalog.php?tag=currently+reading&view=youkneek"> <img src="http://www.librarything.com/gwidget/widget.php?view=youkneek&tag=currently%20reading&top=Currently%20Reading" />

  • If you want to make sure you don’t lose sight of a group topic that interests you, you can click on the star to the right of the topic name. Going forward, if you want to quickly find your starred topics, there’s an option to filter by just “Starred” topics. (If you’re on the Talk page, it’s on the menu to the left. If you’re using the talk panel on your Dashboard, it’s at the top.)

  • You can ignore topics that don’t interest you by clicking the ‘x’ to the far-right of that topic. If you do this by mistake and/or want to get it back, go to “Talk” (menu option along the top), click “More options” on the left if it isn’t already expanded, and look for the option “Ignored topics” just above where it says “Fewer options”. If you haven’t ignored any topics, you won’t see that link. Click on it, then click the green + to the right of the topic you want to stop ignoring.


Oops, I didn’t set out to write a book… but there it is. I’m not sure many people are even watching this group anymore, but maybe some of it will be useful to somebody. :)

5Spurts
mar 25, 2017, 4:33 pm

And another spot to see duplicates is under "Your Books" menu, the "Miscellaneous" tab.

You can click the "power edit" icon (yellow lightning bolt on blue background) to batch edit.

(Honestly, I question why LT even let me keep adding the exact same ISBN edition.)

6MarthaJeanne
Redigeret: mar 25, 2017, 4:55 pm

>5 Spurts: Because you might have multiple copies of the same book. This is very important for small libraries that use LT for circulation.

>2 Spurts: You give your link. https://www.librarything.com/profile/MEMBERNAME/memes/workdups should give each person's own page.

>3 Spurts: Some ways of entering books can change the default collection(s). Change it to what you want on the add books page before searching.

>4 YouKneeK: If you change the sort by clicking the top of a column the previous sort becomes the second sort. So if you want to sort by author then title, First click on the title column, then on the author column.

7YouKneeK
mar 26, 2017, 9:18 am

>6 MarthaJeanne: Good to know, thanks!

8Familiar_Diversions
mar 27, 2017, 12:11 pm

>5 Spurts: Keep in mind that LT is very different from GR and Booklikes. Your catalog is literally *your* catalog. It took me ages to figure that out. I do a lot of work combinations, but that's to keep the works clean - what people do in their own catalogs is (generally) their business. So the site may have one page for a particular title, but my catalog might have three duplicates of it - one for the hardcover edition I keep in my living room, one for the paperback I have in my bedroom, and one for the duplicate paperback I plan on offloading during my next book shopping trip. The only one who sees those duplicates is me, or anyone who decides to go browsing through my collections for some reason - the site as a whole still just has one page for the book.

9Spurts
mar 27, 2017, 2:17 pm

>8 Familiar_Diversions: I also have multiple editions of some books.

But, I'm compulsively anal that my data files kept those separate by using ISBN and asin numbers -- where importing data from site not allowing duplicate/multiple-copies ISBN editions should not be giving me duplicate/multiple-copies of ISBN editions here.

On the other hand, I do like how LibraryThing handles bookcovers.

10MarthaJeanne
mar 27, 2017, 2:26 pm

A classroom may well have several copies of the same edition, and need separate entries to keep track of who is using each of them.

11Familiar_Diversions
mar 27, 2017, 2:27 pm

>9 Spurts: Eh, I like being able to have duplicates. But if they bother you, LT does at least have some nice tools designed to help identify duplicates in your collection. I used that a bit right after I'd cataloged all my paper books, so I could locate the ones I unintentionally owned multiples of and figure out what to do with them.

12YouKneeK
mar 27, 2017, 5:57 pm

I think what Debbie is trying to explain in >9 Spurts: is that she started with a set of data from another site where it was impossible for her to have the same ISBN listed twice. After importing that same data into LT, she ended up with the same ISBN shelved twice on LT. Given her data, that should have been impossible. Do I have that right, Debbie?

Debbie, Is it possible you ran the import more than once on the same set of data? I haven’t ever used the import function here but, since LT does allow duplicates, I assume it would add the same records twice if you tried to import them twice because it wouldn’t run a comparison against your existing data. Maybe the import process had started and processed some records, but then it got hung up partway through and didn’t finish? Then, if you started it again with the same entire set of data, the first few records got duplicated?

13Spurts
Redigeret: mar 27, 2017, 7:52 pm

Yes, initially I was talking about imported data file where duplicates should have been impossible. Kind of a moot point now because I'm pretty sure I've cleared the duplicates now that I figured out "how."

LT still shows I have duplicate ISBNs for a few hundred books but when I look there aren't really any. The number of duplicate ISBNs LT says I still have decreases every time I look so I think it's just a cache issue that will eventually catch up.

I meant more to post how LT let me find and edit duplicates in case it helped anyone than anything else -- in case it helped someone else.

14Spurts
Redigeret: mar 27, 2017, 7:55 pm

Crap, now when I looked the duplicates I recently deleted are back. And it's been years since I imported any data files.

Was power edit the wrong way to delete duplicates? Is that why they came back?

15Spurts
Redigeret: mar 28, 2017, 7:17 pm

Forget my comments on how to find and remove duplicates here. I am so the wrong person to post how to's.

What I've been doing to delete them (meaning the red "X" when looking at regular "your books" statistics/meme or when in power edit choosing "Miscellaneous tab > Find-ISBN-duplicates>check desired books > Delete Books tab > Delete Selected Books" ) is actually creating more.

Seriously, books I used to have two of I now have three of after deleting one of the two.

I need to back off before I breed more duplicates.

*sigh* on the plus side, I found a couple of groups I like. But, I'm utterly frustrated with LT again. Need to take a break for a week or so and decide if I want to keep trying to figure it out or continue to just use it to backup reviews from book sites that don't offer backup features.

If I cannot get even the book catalog here in good shape, not sure the backup file from LT will be that useful.

The help pages here need updating where they say "How does the Universal Import work? LibraryThing picks out all the ISBNs in your file or URL, discards any duplicates and puts everything into your import queue. To ..." (emphasis mine).

16MarthaJeanne
mar 29, 2017, 2:03 am

Discards the duplicate ISBNs in your file . The discarding is before the import.

17Spurts
Redigeret: mar 29, 2017, 8:19 am

>16 MarthaJeanne: Yes, help said it would discard any duplicate ISBNs in the file I imported*. Which made the duplicates I now have a surprise that nothing I have tried manually corrects -- although it briefly appears to work then duplicates reappear (or sometimes even reappear now in triplicate).

Don't want to load LT threads down with lots of images (even a single image has gotten some nasty reactions from groups I'm no longer trying even though group rules didn't prohibit), but screenshots are at http://donealrice.booklikes.com/post/1547282/librarything-question-why-do-duplic... .

I think it would be less frustrating if I couldn't find any features for removing duplicates than using menu choices that sure like they should clean them up but they come back.

*It's been at least a year since I imported a data file.

18Spurts
apr 2, 2017, 3:10 pm

I think I've succeeded in cleaning up duplicates. At least, they haven't come back in a few days. I power edited to move a few into smaller temporary collections, waited a day for LT to catch up, then power edited just those much smaller collections to delete the duplicates.