Book/page totals

Top 10 Lists

Saturday, August 05, 2006

This site has been live for about a year now, and I recognized recently that I hadn't ever posted anything about it, or how it started. I finally decided it was time to post some kind of explanation, however long overdue.

Sapphire and I have been readers and book-lovers for a long time, and we enjoy sharing those written worlds we enter; like the quote from Katherine Mansfield (one of the randomized quotes in the header), the pleasure of reading is increased by sharing books with others who also love them. For a few years now, Sapphire has been keeping track of what she reads and making little notes about them; not only that, but she takes book recommendations from people she meets, as a way to make connections, and she actually writes those recommendations down and reads them. For a while now, I have wanted to do something similar, but I didn't want to start it until it could be "perfect"-- some database driven website that allowed me to search or list the data in any of a number of different views, and automatically total page numbers; something very powerful and extensible and completely impractical for me to create or host at that time. I recognized that it wasn't something I could implement, so I never pursued it. Sapphire's example made me realize that I could at least keep track of what I read, if nothing else (since something is better than nothing); when I read more about Blogger later on and discovered the many creative "blogger hacks" that clever users have figured out, I thought it might be a fun tool that could easily accomplish many of the things I had wanted to keep track of my reading. I shared my idea with Sapphire, and eventually she agreed to contribute to the site with me. (For those who are interested, these are some of the hacks I'm currently using: expandable post summaries; delicious tags; randomized quotes in the header, listing the titles of all posts on a page, along with some hacks of my own-- like using a blogger post for special shared content, like the page totals & favorite book lists on the main page.)

Since then, I have posted everything I've read (and was able to back-post the books I had read earlier that year, since I'd kept track of them and even written about some in my personal journal). Sapphire doesn't post everything she reads, but she posts things she finds particularly interesting or wants to write about (or has time for), and she does update her page and book total numbers.

Our posts are not organized by when we write them, but rather by when we finish the books. When added their "linkroll" feature, I added that to our front-page navigation as a way to make recently posted books visible, whether they were read recently or a while back. This organization also makes it challenging to distinguish between non book posts, like this one (which is one reason I haven't gotten around to writing it yet). Sometimes I feel constrained by the limits of Blogger, but then I remind myself that I have something much better than anything I would have otherwise. This site has become a way for Sapphire & I to share what we read with each other and with other people who care about us and are interested in what we read-- and also with complete strangers who are interested in the books we read, although they know nothing of us.

If you like the site or the books we read, or if you have books to recommend, please leave us a comment and let us know!


Anonymous said...


Searching through Blogsearch Google I stumbled upon your site. What caught my attention is that you are reviewing a lot of the same books I do on my blog, and the reviews are kinda the same.

I had to comment to let you know it is great to meet others with this 'passion'.

-just is case- Check out my reviews if you like and leave a comment. If you want to contact me, you can do so with the contact form on my site.


Anonymous said...

thanks for making a link to my site on yours. I really appreciate it and did the same for you on my site.


Google Search