8 Basic Book Buying and Reading Tips

I realise this will surprise many, but I have been known on occasion to read a book, or to even buy a book! As shocking as that might sound, it is in fact perfectly true. With books being bought and read now and then, I have developed a few rules for myself when it comes to all this.

I have actually penned a few pieces on this topic in the past, but one can always find room for more such articles. Having collected some books over the years, hopefully I have also accumulated a bit of wisdom along the way as well. Needless to say, if you hate books and you hate reading, you are advised to turn away now!

However, for those of you who are book lovers and book collectors, this piece might resonate with you and/or be a bit of fun. So here then are eight tips or rules about book buying, book collecting, book reading, and book appreciating:

One. Some authors you simply buy whenever you find them. If they have just come out with a brand-new volume, in most cases you grab it – no questions asked. You know they are reliable and trustworthy and will always deliver the goods. And most book lovers already have their lists of most-loved authors.

For Christian writers one can always count on some dependable names. You will always snatch up a Martyn Lloyd-Jones volume, or one by C. S. Lewis. or by Charles Spurgeon, or by J. C. Ryle, or by Os Guinness, to mention just five superlative English Christian writers of past and present.

Two. In the old days it was always a great joy in life to carefully inspect second-hand bookstores for items on your most-wanted list, or to just see what delightful surprises might await you there. While it is still terrific to discover and check out a new second-hand bookstore, or revisit an older one, the internet of course has radically changed things.

Now we have so many online book dealers, and many bookstores have their stock detailed online, that one can do most book-browsing at home, and with the click of a mouse make any necessary orders. So one need not leave home anymore as one tracks down fav volumes. But no question, it is still a hoot to go into an actual bookstore – new or used.

Three. Sometimes you just don’t know if a new book is worth buying or not. A few obvious things you can look for right away: Is it put out by a reliable publisher? Is it penned by a reliable author? Does it get good blurbs on the back from other authors you know and trust? Is it somewhat within budget?

Speaking of which, New Zealand Christian teacher Winkie Pratney once had the “ten cents rule” (which now would be the “one dollar rule”): For every dollar you spend on a book, there should be at least one good idea or one new thing that you learn. So a $25 book should offer 25 new worthwhile insights or ideas.

And if some new books are just too costly, it might be worthwhile simply waiting for them to either eventually come out second-hand, or go down in price in a bargain section of the store. Of course the risk is if you wait too long, the book might disappear altogether, go out of print, and be very hard to find later on.

Four. I am often asked if I have read all the books I own. I usually reply by saying it depends on the book. A work of fiction tends to need to be read in its entirety, or you miss a vital bit of plot development or character assessment, or some other key matter.

But many of the books I have are reference books – such as commentaries or systematic theologies – and often you can just go to the relevant section you are after. One need not read every word of those books. Of course great treasures like those by Chesterton or Lewis you likely want to read every page of.

And you need to learn to read selectively. A good non-fiction book will tell you at the start of each chapter, if not each paragraph, where it is headed, and then details are supplied. Sometimes you can just skim through and get the big ideas, and not worry about the particular details or illustrations until some other time.

Five. If you have a lot of books you will need to keep some sort of listing of them. I happen to have a 105-page Word document in rather small print which lists all 6700 of my books by author, title, and rough cost (in case the house burns down and the insurance guys need to know replacement costs – but let’s not even think that way!).

Better to start such a list early before your library gets too large! Also, I have my list on a OneDrive thingee, so I can see an automatically updated version of it whenever and wherever I need to. This comes in real handy when you are in a bookstore and not sure if you already have a particular book. I have bought far too many duplicates over the years, so I need such a system to help me out!

Six. Some folks might go down the path of ebooks and Kindle, etc. It certainly is a good bit cheaper, and it certainly helps with the storage problems. But if you are like me you understand that this is heretical! Give me a good book I can curl up in bed with, smell its ink, caress its pages, etc.

Seven. Speaking of heresy, there are of course purists out there who never dog-ear a book nor underline a passage. I say amen to the first: death to all page benders! But I must confess that I do use a yellow highlighter to accentuate important bits. Some folks might have a terrific memory and know just where to find a quote in any book, but not me. OK, I partake in yellow sacrilege then. So shoot me already!

Eight. As to storing your collection, the bigger it is, the more difficult this can become. The truth is, desperate times call for desperate measures, and running bookshelves above your doorways, in your kitchens, in your bathrooms, and any other conceivable place may be the way to go.

But I speak not just in terms of having enough room to house your prized collection. As any librarian knows, there is always the problem of cross-classification. If you sort and shelve your books by subject, sometimes a book can go in more than one category.

All true book lovers and collectors know full well the joys and sorrows of such dilemmas. Should a book dealing with a great saint and his theology and his place in history go in the biography section? Or in the theology section? Or in the church history section? These are painful dilemmas indeed.

Also, should you keep some authors altogether, or put their books in the relevant subject areas? For example, terrific writers like J. I. Packer have written on a wide array of biblical topics, so their books can go in theology sections, in Scripture sections, in Christian living sections, etc.

Or you can keep all your Packer volumes in one place. That is what I have done, along with a few other authors, such as John Piper, Lloyd-Jones, G. K. Chesterton, and Lewis. And then there can be the problem of what to do with rather broad and diverse books in a set: keep them all together, or divide them by topic?

Some sets on systematic theology I keep all together, such as those by Bavink, Bloesch, or Berkouwer. But some series I break up by specific topic, such as Christology, eschatology, ecclesiology, soteriology, etc. This includes multi-authored series like the Contour of Theology series or the Bible Speaks Today series.

And all true theology and commentary lovers will also know about this big-time difficult dilemma: do I keep particular commentary sets (such as NICNT, NIVAC, NIGTC, Word, ZECNT, BECNT, etc) together, or do I break them up by biblical book?

I happen to have my 700+ commentaries arranged by biblical book. That way if I am writing, say, on Ephesians, I can grab from my shelves my 20 or so commentaries all in one go – that is, if my arms are large enough to hold them all!

On and on the shelving problems go. But it is all part of the wonderful world of books, reading and libraries. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And it might be fitting to close with a few of my fav quotes on this topic:

“A house that has a library in it has a soul.” Plato

“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.” Erasmus

“There never yet have been, nor are there now, too many good books.” Martin Luther

“I cannot live without books.” Thomas Jefferson

“My books. I cannot tell you what they are to me – silent, wealthy, loyal lovers. . . . I do thank God for my books with every fiber of my being. Friends that are ever true and that are ever your own.” Oswald Chambers

“What can be better than to get out a book on Saturday afternoon and thrust all mundane considerations away till next week?” C. S. Lewis

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” Anna Quindlen

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx

[1634 words]

21 Replies to “8 Basic Book Buying and Reading Tips”

  1. The smell of a new book and ink!
    But when buying second hand books on line trying to replace that favourite that never came back from loan, I’ve learnt the hard way, NEVER buy from a humid tropical place.
    The smell is not quite right.

  2. Dear Bill, your book library must be amazing. Congratulations on your ability to read, remember, catalogue and recall.
    Alas you put me to shame when ladt year my wife insisted my books be ‘gotten rid of’ ( not that I had many ) Some of the ones I had I doubt could be purchased again. My interest will become aparent : C H Douglas, John A Stormer, David Irving, Eric D Butler, Joseph W Smith, Jeffery M Smith, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, to name some -all gone in a trash & treasure market last year.
    I some how wished I had re-read them before they went. I am sorry they went , she who must be obeyed sold many more of hers. Space to keep seems to be always limiting!
    Ah well
    At least you have yours, Bill well done.
    Mark Bryant

  3. I think an extension to this article Mr M is required as what is missing is very important, and that is how to keep your books. I lent my book on marriage by one of our favourite pastors to Katie. I read that book in a week. It was loaned to Katie on the condition that when she read it she didn’t start lecturing me on marriage. Further, given she is a slower reader than I (not to mention slower all round.) it would be returned within two weeks. it was to be returned in good order, and no underlining of sentences as if to be pointing something out to me that I didn’t already know, since I know all there is to know about marriage, even though I have never been married and only dopy Ryan has shown any interest in me so far. I would not want you to think that I am posting this to remind Katie that she needs to return my book, not to mention my rolling eyes when she lectures me on marriage are not rolling to be ignored. If you could perhaps consider your failing in this regard Mr M, and extend your otherwise excellent article to cover book thieves and those like Katie who take advantage of my loving and kind nature, be sure to mention Katie by name.

    Your grateful and expectant daughter in Christ, Sarah xx.

    PS. in case Mr Mason reads this post. I realise that expectant in the context that I have used it may be mistaken as expecting a baby, not what I want it to mean which is- I expect Mr M to extend his article. be assured it’s my lacking in literary knowledge and not my lacking in morality that may need to be applied here.

  4. Excellent article Mr M, Thank you so much.

    I tend to place my books by author, since I like to see how some author such as CS Lewis can write a book that has captured the imagination of children. Not just in one generation but over many generations, and sitting alongside the Narnia Chronicles is Mere Christianity, that book is what got me interested in my Christian faith beyond church on Sunday and mid-week youth. I read that book, so many times I started to think like that book. I felt at that time; those were the only books CSL authored. I didn’t know those books were just the tip of the mountain. I thought everything I needed to know was in those books, yes even the fantasy of Narnia. Then one of my home school teachers at that time gave me another book to read by CSL, and another branch of knowledge was planted in my mind. I think that was the point I realised I would never be able to have enough books. I even tried listening to an audiobook while reading another, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I have many books now. My dad and I have started collecting Dr Lloyd Jones works. I didn’t know he even existed a few months ago! And time after time Mr M mentions an author I have never heard of before.
    I remember when my mum was teaching me Violin, she would introduce me to a piece of music that was so beautiful it almost made my violin weep. I find that with some books too. I have books that stand on my shelf like kings. What I have realised, with every new experience I have with a book is that even my most loved and treasured books have a value that if there was a fire, and all the books on my shelf, were the only remaining copies. And I could only save one; it would be the Bible since all the other books would be meaningless without that one book, yes even the Narnia Chronicles. I think if I needed one evidence for God to take into a court, it would be the Bible not for what it claims, but for the very makeup of the words. I would have to use-inspired as nothing else fits so well.

  5. Number 9: find a house with extra storage and make at least one room a dedicated library, with floor to ceiling bookshelves, over-stuffed chairs, plenty of cushions, good quality carpet, and a fireplace (for the winter days), doors that open out onto a wide verandah that overlooks a peaceful garden setting….one can dream?

  6. When I communicate with those on here, I remember something about them that I thought was important to them. It may have been something quite unconnected with what we were discussing. One such man on here told me he was an engineer, he didn’t need to tell me that, but he wanted to. If that was important to him, it was important to me. likewise, there is a very old man I visit who is in a home for old people he is a very nice kind man indeed and that’s all he needs to be, however, he was a soldier in the war and has medals and he is very proud to have been so. he tells me every detail of every friend he had in his army of men. I know some of then so well now I could write their history. if I come across a book on my travels about the war I buy it for Tommy. while scanning the bookshelves this week amongst other books a came across a very old engineers book and I bought it for the engineer on here. I only realised when I got it home I couldn’t get it to him as he lives in a far off land and the book would only be sentimental value to him anyway. the reason I brought this particular book was that inside the front cover was a presentation sticker. The sticker stated that this engineers book was presented to a what must have been a young man since it was presented to him at his Sunday school. The date in the book is 1948 and I suspect this brave young man had a father who had gone off to war and possibly perished. His church in the absence of his father ensured this young man was encouraged to learn more about engineering. the book has been used but is in perfect condition. my science teacher told me the book was an engineers pocketbook that was packed full of data and then he said something I hadn’t realised, the book was released yearly with updates so an engineer would pass his outdated copy to his apprentice and get an updated copy for himself. I think this book was someone’s treasure perhaps as the young Sunday school man became an engineer and bought copy after copy of this yearly data book but he only kept one copy, the one handed to him as an encouragement to follow in his father’s footsteps perhaps. maybe that is so or maybe not, but I want it to be so.

    I will scan the cover (inside too) and place it on here when I have done so.

  7. Many of us have the same problem with our music collection, fortunately I have overcome the problem by converting Vinyl and CD’s to MP3’s (at a high bit rate for quality)
    All music now available at home and in the car, but I haven’t tossed out the originals there in storage. My kids don’t have a music collection there stuff comes from the WWW, the new world order it seems.

  8. Recall recently Andrew Bolt confessing to living in a residence which was more a library than most usual domestic abodes would dare to be!…

  9. At this rate I’m going to end up with a reputation as a most disagreeable sort. 🙂

    #1. Why wait for new authors to release new books? There’s a nifty feature called pre-ordering whereby you can buy a book before it’s released. I usually only do one or maybe two splurges a year with the last being a dozen or so books back in October or thereabout and I’m still waiting for one – it’s out August this year. Of course I’m already looking at a few others and as of today one is listed at a mere 525 days to go. It might be a wee bit too early to order that since I’m skeptical the author will have started it!!! 😀 Obviously much harder to pre-order non-fiction material, but not impossible.

    #2. I’m fussy these days – preference for new hardbacks. It’s still a pleasure wandering into (new) bookstores to look at random stuff, and every now and again I walk out with more than I went in, but it’s a very different approach to online browsing which is more looking at\for specific items and following links – recommended items etc. I also find https://www.fantasticfiction.com/ quite useful for checking what’s coming in the near future, and for past listings of an author if I don’t have most of their works. My big complaint as regards bookstores is that most are so small – no more than a room or two in an average house. I much prefer those large 2 or 3 storey versions you occasionally encounter. 🙂

    #3 Not that it’s so much help these days but it used to be possible to get some really nice deals via The Book Depository using a VPN. If you have the time and hunt around you can save yourself quite a few dollars – sorry that sounds like an ad! Sadly with the government now demanding GST that gap has closed, sometimes even going the other way. My approach is to create a spreadsheet listing all the various items and possible purchase options starting with the basic price from TBD. I try various VPN locations using my local currency (saves conversion hassles), then add GST, and possibly look at local physical stores – usually vastly more expensive. Mostly the savings are only a few dollars but occasionally you can save a third or more and altogether can be enough for a ‘free’ book or two. 🙂

    #4. I’ve read most of my fiction – there’s only one I can recall getting by a favourite author and discovering Undesirable content which I never managed to finish. On the other hand I know I’ve an ethics book which looked good back when I purchased it but I’ve never managed to get into it, and I later discovered the authors went regressive theology so their arguments will likely be grossly flawed.

    #5. I probably ought to create something to track my own collection but …:-\ Yes I do have a couple of duplicates but even scanning the bookshelves doesn’t always help! Rather than a Word document wouldn’t a database be a better option though? You’d have access to full size print and could simply run a search by author, title etc to find what you want rather than scanning pages of really tiny print. (If it helps it should be possible to transfer Word>Excel>Access, but you’d have to proof it and at 6,700 records you might prefer to stick with what you have – especially if its growth has slowed.)

    #6. Each format has its benefits but paper for pleasure, electronic for necessity. It seems e-books may be more widely available, don’t tend to go out of print, and are easier to search within. On the other hand your ownership of an e-book can be disputed – here today, gone tomorrow.

    #7. Shudder!!! Intellectually I can appreciate that defacing a book with notes may not strictly speaking be sacrilegious, that there may be benefits from adding or highlighting material, but I remain highly conflicted.

    #8. Actually classification is really pretty easy – just look up your preferred cataloguing method and see where the rules call for the item to be placed. Of course if it’s an esoteric sort of item then your local public library may not have it, but there’s always state or national libraries, theological colleges with online catalogues and Library of Congress – assuming you don’t want Dewey. For instance:
    A Christian manifesto / Schaeffer, Francis A (1982) rev. ed. 261 SCH
    The 261 refers to the Social theology and interreligious relations subsection of Dewey (https://www.oclc.org/en/dewey/resources/summaries.html). My local public library doesn’t have the item – only something by Schaeffer’s God hating son 🙁 but a theological library with an online catalogue did have it. Odds are most people won’t bother with library levels of classification though 🙂 For myself my NF is sorted more by size than subject, but my collection is pretty much small enough that if I’m looking for something I’ll probably be able to find it.

  10. Just on the point of e-books. I have a kindle, but I much prefer real books as most do I think. It would be good if when you purchased a paper copy of a book an e-book was made available preferably for free or at least at a nominal charge since purchasing their paper version gave you the right to read that book anyway. E-Books are useful for homework assignments as I can get a book delivered to my kindle in seconds and they are often at least 1/2 the price. Some books are lifelong books, and some are for a season or two its best to spend the most on the longterm investment and the least on the ones to get you a good grade for a homework assignment since the homework marks ultimately count for little.

    MR Mason’s comment concerning pre-ordering books is good advice as if you know you want the book pre-ordering often gets you the book at a lower price. I pre-ordered Dennis Prager’s, The Rational Bible (Exodus) last year and saved about 20% by doing so. The Genesis version is released mid-May. I didn’t pre-order this time as my dad was already buying me three volumes of a multivolume set by another author each month until we have the set. But if my exam results are good, my dad will reward me with yet another book so that I will get the RBG then.

    I would advise the adults who love books to visit charity shops. (In my location, the books are much cheaper in charity shops than a secondhand book shop.) and purchase any Christian books they have. I never pay more than £1 for books since most books are priced at £0.50 anyway. Hand those purchased books out to the kids in your churches, and you should do that for two reasons.

    1. You can select a suitable book that has a quality author for them (you are influencing what goes into them).
    2. you are passing on your love of books to someone who may also become a book lover.

    I buy every Bible I find in charity shops this has had consequences as the Bibles used to be £0.50 to £1.00 now they are £1.00 to £1.50 due to the demand, my demand lol. I am blessed as there is a couple in my church who help fund my Bible give away. What I find most gratifying is that there are now always more copies of Richard Dawkins- The God Delusion on the charity shop shelves than Bibles some are priced at £0.10.

  11. I too like print book (I don’t care about ink smell though. Perhaps you have an ink sniffing habit you need professional help for?? The less said about caressing the better). But I will get kindle books for two reasons one is price if it is significantly lower than any of the used book options and two if it is free. occasionally I have found books on kindle for free at certain times. (like pilgrims progress). (also some cookbooks, art and architecture books three other interests of mine) If it is free it is DEFINITELY worth getting on kindle! only other reason would be a good book that is kindle only.

    I don’t dog-ear but do highlight (I am getting better at being more selective) and sometimes I use post it note strips to mark pages. they don’t leave a residue and are flexible so they don’t hinder putting the book back on the shelve.

    As for storage I say use what works for you. many people have a filing system that works perfectly for them but makes little sense to others. I say if it works for you use it. it is YOUR library not anyone else’s.

    I like the Groucho quote. At least that is one Marx worth listening to!

  12. Dear Bill,
    From one book lover to another. You really should move on from a Word document to track your books. Have you tried LibraryThing? I have an app on my phone and can easily check books by author, title or keyword. The app will scan the bar code and add a book to my library in seconds. Anyone can view my library and I can compare with others who own similar books. My library is here: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/tim.dieppe
    You can also take a look at C.S. Lewis’s library, for example.
    In fact I also use Endnote to track all my books and articles and to keep a reading journal. That costs some money though.

  13. Mr Dieppe,
    Could you please send me the link to the app for LibraryThing.

    Mr M, LibraryThing is not for your library as it will crash the internet under the weight of all your books!

    I, on the other hand, have created a LibraryThing account so when I get bored at school I can look at my beautiful library of books.
    I would like to know of any books you do not have, as I would like to add those to my library even though I do not have them.

    Guys, LibraryThing is brilliant, however, the app which I haven’t tried yet btw will be necessary, as LibraryThing is not smart at all, you have to type the full title of the book which if you have more than a few hundred books it would take too long, time is for reading after all. Once set up, obviously adding new books wouldn’t be a problem since you will only be adding two or three at a time.

    Oh, my LibraryThing ‘shelves’ may be found here- https://www.librarything.com/catalog/Sarah.Clark I still have many books to add but I’m going to use the app to populate my account.

    Finally, if I were you, Mr M, I would sign up for LibraryThing even if you are not intending to use it at the moment, as you can then use “Bill Muehlenberg” or “CultureWatch” later (before it’s taken by someone else).

  14. When my husband married me he was appalled that I came to the marriage with twelve crates of books.
    Twelve years later he tries not to think about it much.
    A few thoughts from a younger bibliophile-
    1. Homeschooling has made the book problem of even more enormous proportions. We have five, going on six children in a small three bedroom queenslander, so this is no joke.
    Currently-not-in-use textbooks are placed in vacuum sealed bags inside crates under our house, content labelled.
    Currently in use school books have their own shelf upstairs and the rest is family books.
    The children have started their own book collections, and I notice that once they run out of space, books end up arranged on their clothes shelves etc.
    2. For the spouse of a hayfever sufferer, bookshelves with glass fronts have been worth their cost. But you need to keep pest control in mind as I sadly found a few precious volumes were nibbled at early on.
    3. We have officially run out of book space. So sad but true. The children and I are determined that we will enjoy the good book gifts that God has given us and not covet. However!
    One solution has been to visit a book exchange. Becoming friends with the owner, we can ask for help tracking down specific titles etc.
    If a new book MUST be purchased (and sometimes they must), an older book gets passed on and makes room. This is making our book collection more silver and gold and less bronze etc. If it doesn’t get read, it has to move on.
    Also an advantage of the book exchange is not having to take my children to public libraries anymore, which are full of witch-craft and gender rubbish, not to mention just bad writing. My ten year old’s favourite authors are Noel Streatfeild, P.G. Wodehouse, Paul White and Dickens. Older books that respect a child’s intelligence are a blessing of second hand book stores.
    4. A great resource for storing your library in digital form is the app called Libib. If you have a smart phone, you can scan barcodes to add books to your virtual library, but another advantage is- you can link up with others. I am blessed to be in a homeschooling community of avid readers- mothers and children. If I know I can borrow a book from a friend, I won’t buy it.
    5. Lastly, a practical thought that has bothered me lately. What happens to book collections when the people who love them die?
    My vegetable garden is so carefully tended that if a naughty little truant runs amok in there, I am deeply distressed. But at most, the garden represents 12 months of careful tending.
    Not so a library! Years of tender love and cultivation goes into a book collection!
    A spouse of a bibliophile may also have anxiety about the task of going through books after a loved one’s death.
    I wonder if anyone else has thoughts on this?

  15. Lauren,
    So you brought twelve crates of books to your marriage, and your husband didn’t bring any, you are genuinely an accommodating lady indeed lol.

    Regarding what happens to someone’s library when they pass on, well the purpose of the books in that library was either for earthly enrichment or to get into the God mindset for your eternity, either one, the books have served their purpose.

    As to the concerned relative having to decide what to do with the books, I have to tell you, when my mum died in the accident I inherited her Violin which is worth a fortune. I inherited her jewellery, her wedding dress, that I will wear on my wedding day if anyone ever wants me of course, and she had a hundred or so books mainly music books, books on raising children and about 20 books on various topics to do with our faith. I never worried about what to do with my mum’s books and I never will. I did worry how I was going to manage without her, so did my dad too, as I wasn’t even a teen at the time of the accident, but I am a nightmare teen to my dad now lol. Your library will not be a burden to someone; your loss will be though. My mum’s books are a reminder of my mum since the books summed up what she was and what things were important to her and what wasn’t (by the absence of books on that subject). I keep her library separate to mine as even the order of her books tell you a lot about her. Music was her life so much so that it was partially responsible for taking her life. However, the first books to hand on her bookcase were stories she read to me, then her family Bible, then books relating to family and the last books on the bookshelf were her precious music books. When I marry I won’t be able to take all my mums books with me, however, I will take my mum, albeit in my heart. I will photograph that bookcase and tuck the picture in the family Bible for my children to find and when they asked me about that picture I will tell them about their grandma and the importance of books.

  16. Mr Dieppe,
    Thank you so much for the links. My friend Alice has populated my library with many of my books for me. I did our homework, and she did the endless typing into LibraryThing. My dad is a GP, and he is so taken with LibraryThing he is going to use it for his medical books. He has ordered the little scanner that looks like a cat and the bar code stickers with the details of his practice on so I may wait for the scanner before adding more books unless we get a hard homework assignment, in which case, Alice will be adding more books into my LibraryThing for me.

  17. Hi, Mr Dieppe,
    I know, but the scanner is cute, it’s a pity they didn’t offer it in different colours though.

    My friend Molly has put the app on her phone, and we are going to try it at the weekend by creating a library for her granddad’s books. I think the barcode scanner will take a while to arrive as it was priced in dollars and not pounds, so I guess it’s coming from the states.

    Alice and I have populated most of my library into LibraryThing by hand already. I only have another 50 books or so to add, and I will do that once my exams have finished.

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