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Author Topic: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1  (Read 4384 times)

nickodemos

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[IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« on: February 24, 2014, 08:39 PM »
I posted this in another thread and was told I would get a better response here. So full copy of what I said is below.

I have always been into books. I am between 3-4000 read books so far in my life. During this time I have tried on multiple occasions to try and track down everything I have read with various levels of success.

Of the many programs out there they really do not do simple tracking very well. Some start out well and die. Some just don't have a clue. Others are kitchen sink varieties and the idea gets lost.

After using mousers epCheck program I was thinking that if something along the lines of this could be had it would be great.

Simple and basic program that can collect data from a stable website like worldcat and keep relevant information at hand.

Tabs for author, series, name, and year.

So far there is not alot out there. Many just fall short. Calibre does not come close since as you add books it gets unwieldy. Use of a spreadsheet is time consuming without out import.

I do not want online since as we have seen over the years things change or they get bought out. Or worse they go offline and all data is lost.

Dreaming but if anyone has an idea it would be great to hear of it. And I already read everything in this forum and others, so most things you might post I probably already looked and and dismissed. So I would imagine it would have to be a hard to find program. Also freeware.

Josh

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 08:46 PM »
I know you said you don't want online, but have you looked at Good Reads? My wife is a book nut and she loves it.

nickodemos

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 07:41 AM »
Member there as well. It is where I go most often but again dealing with the net and how things can change after a few years. Goodreads was bought by Amazon and I know from exp what happens when major companies buy a smaller successful one. It slowly gets corrupted and many times destoyed and taken offline.


nickodemos

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2019, 03:51 PM »
It's been five years now and I thought I might try to revive this idea.

Sites have gone down during this time and having the ability to track books simply would be a nice thing to have again. Many of the programs I have tried out there are just to heavy in their idea of use. They say they are easy to use but if it takes hours to learn then it is not easy to use.

As a person who has read thousands of books over the years it would be nice to be able to track what I have read and what is newly released by an author. Website tracking is being used but I would love to get away from that as a site I liked has since went under [fictfact].

nickodemos

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2020, 10:26 PM »
Almost another year has past since last post. Almost six since OP.

Thought I would bring this thread up again.

Attronarch

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 02:54 AM »
How about Zotero?

You can import by ISBN, add series name if it hasn't been pulled, define which tabs are shown, add your own notes and comments, etc.

It can be used completely offline (that's how I use it).

I don't think it can tell you about new publications.

Nod5

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 03:21 AM »
Brainstorm: a minimal but maybe convenient enough book tracker could be pieced together from (1) a sheets app like Google Sheets (example) or Airtable (example) and (2) a script that takes ISBN etc as input and looks up data on worldcat or similar and outputs CSV data to the clipboard for manual pasting on a new line in the sheet app. Maybe Zotero and its browser add-ons can be used to fill the (2) role.

nickodemos

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2020, 09:48 AM »
Just tried Zotero and that's is not going to work, at least for this. I do plan on using it to track data I gather the net and sites I work on. Thanks again for bringing this up again.

After many years of logging information about the books I have read I do not have it in me to go through thousands of books again, with yet another program. My hopes is to find a simple book program that will pull the authors history (excluding non English translation) with the books separated into the series they belong. Updating it would pull new books to the series without the need of trying to track down each author every time I am looking for something new to read.

When you read as often as I do across many series being alerted to a new book in a series is pretty damn nice. Not sure how many times I forgot about following up on a series and then stumble over it again and find multiple books have already been published.

Just that almost every book program I have tried is just to damn clumsy or so filled with bells and whistles that it takes away from the simple joy of cataloging what I read.

Nod5

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2020, 11:47 AM »
Well the Airtable example base I linked does include a categories for series and more.

Quick GIF of that base here
https://i.imgur.com/uOTaqJc.mp4
and here's how the default form for adding new items manually looks
https://i.imgur.com/KwsA2Un.mp4

Though again if you want to avoid manual entry of new items (through a form) a script to scrape worldcat or amazon or ... is also needed.
Airtable free tier also has a limit on the number of items per base which might become an issue.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 12:18 PM by Nod5, Reason: fixed imgur link issue »

Attronarch

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Re: [IDEA] Book Tracking 1.1
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2020, 01:01 PM »
Cataloguing is a solved problem. Bibliographic information is tied to the publication. Book catalogues use ISBNs, ISSNs, DOIs, and similar, as identifiers to which additional information is attached. There are additional systems, e.g. Dewey Decimal Classification, but they do not provide what you are looking for. Auto-updating is an undesirable feature in such systems.

To get what you want you'll need to cobble a custom solution, like the one Nod5 proposed. It'll still be difficult to precisely update new publications, as you'll probably need to automate finding something new by name, then look up ISBN, then check against all published ISBNs by the author, and then if it satisfies all of that it should be entered as new. Series data is also unreliable, as different publishers populate bibliographic data differently. E.g., when I work with books I rarely encounter series included, even if the book is part of them.

Have you thought about speaking with your local librarians? Perhaps at local university or public library? They might give you most relevant leads...after all this is what they are doing professionally.

Another option is building a catalogue in whichever software you like the most, and then having a virtual assistant check for updates every second week, or similar...