A couple of years ago I started cataloguing my books on LibraryThing, a web application for storing and sharing personal book lists. Despite my noble intentions, sorting through hundreds of books takes time, and I soon gave up.
Since then, the book situation in the house has improved somewhat, not so much because I stopped buying as many books as I used to, but mainly because I discovered that some of my book selves are wide enough to take two rows of books. The upside of this arrangement is that now there are no piles of books on the sitting room floor, or the kitchen table. The downside is that it's becoming harder to remember what books I've got, as I can no longer see them at a glance.
Feeling that I was dangerously close to losing the battle of the paperbacks (some would say I'd already lost it) (I know who you are) I went back to LibraryThing and and have spent the last two days building up my online library. I have so far catalogued about 90% of my books and this is that it looks like:
At this moment, there are (at least) 528 books in the house.
111 of these are travel books and language books (text books, phrasebooks, dictionaries etc.).
38 books are cookery or baking books. Pretty impressive considering I rarely cook.
My reading list numbers 130 books. This means that 35% of the non-reference books in the house are unread.
We need a bigger house.
Or a bookcase that takes over a whole wall. Something like this should do the trick.
Failing that, I need to start giving away any books I don't want/need to keep. So far, I have relegated 4 (four) books to the charity shop pile.
I have some way to go...
Subscribing to LibraryThing is free for up to 200 books. For those of us who can't say no to the printed word, a yearly subscription costs USD 10 (£6) or you can buy a lifetime subscription from USD 25 (£15).