Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Todays question from The Boston Bibliophile: What cataloging sources do you use most? Any particular reason? Any idiosyncratic choices, or foreign sources, or sources you like better than others? Are you able to find most things through LT's almost 700 sources?

Like most people, I use Amazon most often, simply because it comes up first and I'm not going to go out of my way to make adding books more difficult. However, it is far from perfect. What I find so tremendously irritating about Amazon is the way it seems to ignore what I have actually typed in and try to make other suggestions. Case in point: I recently received a copy of First Daughter for review. When I type "first daughter" into the Add Books search box, Amazon comes up with:

1. What Your First Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good First-Grade Education (The Core Knowledge Series) by E.D. Jr Hirsch
2. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (P.S.) by Loung Ung
3. The English American: A Novel by Alison Larkin
4. Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker by Stacy A. Cordery

and finally

5. First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader

How on earth do you get "The English American" from "First Daughter"?? This is a pretty easy one - sometimes, I scroll for pages and pages to get the right book, especially if I have to search by the author's name. It gets very frustrating!


Leesy said...

LisaLynne, I found that the easiest way to avoid Amazon Overload (when they give you 300 choices for one title) is to use ISBN instead of titles. Saves a lot of time and incorrect cataloguing.

Anonymous said...

I agree with leesy - this is why I always use an ISBN wherever available. It saves me digging through endless lists of titles to get to the one I want. It's always annoying to have a book without an ISBN because that means I have to go searching for it. The ISBN also gives me the correct edition and usually the correct cover for it.

Anonymous said...

Like the other two said, ISBN whenever available.

But some of my books are older than the ISBN system, so I know what you mean about the difficulty in finding the right book by title only.

AND occassionally, for whatever reason, the ISBN and book title don't match on the add book thing. So that's weird when it happens.

Kathleen Gilligan said...

I know what you mean. I had the same thing happen for 'first daughter'... it is weird when the ones they suggest have nothing to do with what we typed!

Lisa said...

But it's so much easier to jsut type in the name! < /whine > But you're right - the ISBN number is probably a better choice. I'm also kind of particular about the edition (most of mine are hardcover and good luck getting Amazon to give you anything other than paperback), so it's really for the best.

Still, the logic behind that search engine eludes me.

Cathy said...

I've been "touch key" for years with my job, so I've always found it easier to type in ISBNs instead of titles. The only time I use titles is when the book predates ISBNs (and there have been many instances of that in my library).

Anonymous said...

I'm doing an excel spreadsheet to enter them all as ISBN.