Books on my shelves
Librorum istic inopiam esse quereris. Non refert quam multos sed quam bonos habeas: lectio certa prodest, varia delectat.
Sen. Ep. 45.1
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I have been trying to compile a catalog of the books on my shelves for a long time. It seems important, both from inventory organization standpoint, but more from a "Show me your bookshelves and I will tell you who you are" standpoint. (I will be talking about books here; the situation with CDs is even worse (a lot worse, actually)).
At first I thought the most difficult part of it would be to create the tool for managing the catalog; but I soon realized that the actual going through all the shelves was so time-consuming as to be prohibitive.
The advent of networked tools such as LibraryThing has made it a little less daunting. The current catalog lists, mainly, the most important nonfiction parts of my collection which are directly relevant to my work. As Arnold Dolmetsch excellently explains:
...Both the German and the French versions are in my library, as well as most of the other works quoted in these pages. And indeed if I had not been the owner of these precious books I could not have accomplished my work, for it is only by studying them again and again, at leisure, for years, that the light has come to me.