TBIF: Thank blog it’s Friday! 12-19-08

Tuesday Thingers – questions for LibraryThing users from The Boston Bibliophile*

Today’s Question: The LT Home Page feature. How are you liking it? Or not? Do you go here when you log into LT or do you use your profile page more?

I use my personal home page all the time – I really like how it centralizes things. However, sometimes I don’t get very far down the page, since the feature I use most is one near the top: my recently added books. It’s so convenient to be able to find them here when I want to get a link for a review rather than search my whole library.

If I go past that section, I’ll usually take a look at my “connection news” to see who has added what books and reviews lately, and I’ll take a look at my stats. I just noticed that my tags are shown on my home page, so I can skip that tab now when I’m narrowing my search for a particular book. I also like that there’s a note on my home page if someone has left a comment on my profile, so I know to go to that tab and read it. And if I want to see different things on the home page, I can change and customize it. Really, what’s not to like?

*This may be the next-to-last Tuesday Thinger, at least for a while, as Marie is in need of a blogging break and is looking for a new host for this meme. I’ve learned quite a bit about LibraryThing since I started participating in Thingers, and it’s been fun, so I do hope it will continue!

Booking Through Thursday – “Generosity” and “Treats” 

Do you give books as gifts?
To everyone? Or only to select people?
How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?
What is the best book you ever bought for yourself?
And, why? What made it the best? What made it so special?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Well, there was a generous and unexpected treat on BTT this week – two questions to answer! I’m not sure whether this was a mistake or advance planning, since next Thursday is Christmas Day and both the planners and players might want to take the day off, but it was a nice surprise all the same.

Taking the questions in reverse order:

Treat: I have been buying books for myself for most of my life, going back at least as far as junior high school – for the record, that’s over thirty years and a LOT of books. In fact, I’ve bought most of my own books, period, since other people are too nervous to buy them for me (see my answer to the next question).

I no longer have some of those books; they’ve been read and given away, loaned out and never returned, or misplaced somewhere along the line. Others have been read once or more, but are living in boxes now, and there are currently well over 100 in my LibraryThing catalog that I haven’t read yet. Selecting the single best book I have ever bought for myself is extremely difficult, but if you’re going to hold my feet to the fire, I think I’d have to say this one. I still have the copy of East of Eden that I bought during college (not for college – this was recreational reading at the time), and I’ve read it several times since then. The book has everything, and in my humble opinion, it’s one of the best novels of the 20th century.

Generosity: I’m going to combine my answers with a little “books for the holidays” meme that I found at My Friend Amy and have been meaning to do for a couple of weeks now.

I give books frequently as gifts – for Christmas, birthdays, and Father’s Day, among other occasions. I’m lucky in that most of my closest family members and friends are readers too, and they usually are happy to receive books. I’d like to flatter myself that they particularly appreciate receiving books from me, because I do make the effort to be knowledgable about both the books on the market and my recipients’ interests and favorite authors.

What books are you giving this Christmas?
I can’t answer that question in this public forum at this time, but I’ll be glad to let you know after Christmas, once they have been received. There are several, though.

What makes a book a good gift book?
It’s chosen thoughtfully, with the recipient’s tastes in mind, and/or it’s enthusiastically recommended by the giver.

Do you give the same books to a lot of different people or pick out books individually?
It depends. I usually do it individually, unless I’ve come across one that I know several people will enjoy.

Do you always give books you’ve read yourself, or are there occasions where you give something that you haven’t read?
It depends. Sometimes I’ll give books that I’ve read (but it will be a new copy!). In some cases, I may have read a different book by the same author, but much of the time I give books I haven’t read, since my recipients’ interests may be different from mine – and to me, the “thought that counts” is what the recipient, not the giver, would like.

As far as being a book recipient myself – well, honestly, I’m happy to get then, but I’m a better book giver. My taste is books is wide-ranging but hard to classify, but a bigger consideration is that people are never sure what I’ve already read, or have waiting in TBR Purgatory, so they don’t tend to give me books all that often. However, I’m more than happy to receive bookstore gift cards – the gift of a book-shopping spree is one of the best anyone can give me!

Are you giving – or hoping to get – any good books as holiday gifts this year?

Friday Fill-ins #103

Fill in the lyrics…with the correct ones or ones of your own 🙂 Have fun with this, don’t worry if you don’t know ’em…just make up something silly or do a silly one and a serious one! The most important part is to have fun with it.

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you hear what I hear? (The wind doesn’t have ears. How did it hear anything?).
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay (talk about lying down on the job!)
3. Go! Tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old…
5. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light. (Ironically, this is one of the most melancholy Christmas songs I can think of.)
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing in the shower. (I think this is “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” but I only know the first three or four lines of that song!)

Janet did this last year, too:

1. Away in a manger, no room for a traveler without an American Express card.
2. Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh.
3. Hark! The herald angels – wait, you mean it’s not “the hairy angels”?
4. It’s coming on Christmas…it don’t snow here, stays pretty green – gonna make a lot of money and quit this crazy scene. I wish I had a river I could skate away on. (It’s weird, but I only know the second verse of this song.)
5. When I was small I believed in Santa Claus, Though I knew it was lost cause that he’d bring me anything but coal in my stocking.
6. That Christmas magic’s brought this tale to an end, thank heavens.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to unwinding, tomorrow my plans include some not-quite-last-minute Christmas shopping and Sunday, I want to do some baking; I’m bringing breakfast to my co-workers on Monday!

I didn’t play around with the lyrics too much because I knew most of them…if you have more creative responses, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

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  1. I enjoyed reading your answers, Florinda, thanks for participating in such a fun way! #3 was one of my Mom’s favorites (Go! Tell it on the mountain).

    I’m hoping I get the latest book about John Lennon 🙂

    Have fun baking! What are you bringing for breakfast? How nice!

  2. Janet – That song’s one of my favorites too, but it’s only done properly when sung gospel-style, if you ask me.

    I’m bringing a couple of different kinds of muffins, monkey bread (instead of cinnamon rolls this year), and probably some fruit and bagels – still working out the menu. I do this every year instead of buying gifts for my co-workers – it’s actually easier.

    LarryG – I guess it’s caught up with me after all, but I could probably use some more of it :-).

  3. Go tell it on the mountain: Ricola!

    It’s coming on Christmas; the search for batteries!

    I think the herald angels sold newspapers, I could be wrong.

    I’m sorry. Feel free to delete this. 🙂

  4. Happy BTT’ing! I think the most important thing about getting a book for a friend or family member is to make sure to match the book effectively with their personality or interests.

  5. Mike – Delete it? Are you kidding?! Those are great, especially the angelic newspaper vendors :-).

    D Dubs – I think so too, which is why I don’t give books to just anyone. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I don’t really use my LT homepage all that much, now that I think about it. I’ll have to spend more time exploring it, I think.

    I love buying myself books. Probably too much. Haha! And I do enjoy giving books as gifts, especially when I know the person I am buying the book for. It’s much harder when I don’t know the peson well enough.

    I love your asides and responses to the Friday Fill-Ins. 🙂

    I hope you had a good weekend, Florinda. I took my staff out for lunch last Thursday. We went to the Olive Garden and had a little Secret Santa exchange. It was nice to get out of the office.

  7. Wendy (Literary Feline) – Book-buying for others is tricky, I think, because personal taste is such a big factor. I agree that it goes much better when you know the recipient pretty well.

    The weekend was pretty busy but not crazy-busy. I got everything together for the office breakfast I’m hosting on Monday – hope people enjoy it! (They usually do.)