Monday, December 29, 2008


My sister invited me to join LibraryThing the other day. This is a site to inventory your library, or just list all the books you've read. There are chat rooms and billboards and that sort of socialization for librarians and others who work with or just plain love books and reading.

One of the easier ways to enter data for LibraryThing is something called a Cuecat, aka a barcode reader. Way back in the mid-ninties, Radio Shack was handing out these clever little critters (they are shaped like a stylized cat) left, right and center. The idea was that you could read the barcode on a product and get information above and beyond what was on the lable. Well, I never was able to find anything that had info out on the web. I really think the reason for their existence was to allow advertisers to develop a database of people who bought whatever objects and target them for further advertising. They are a lot more subtle about collecting their data, Kitty

Anyway, I thought, that's just the ticket. I don't want to have to type in a kazillionty-three ISBN numbers (which is what the barcodes translate to) to populate my portion of the site. So, I did an exhaustive search, mostly moving piles of books and computer literature into other piles, until I found my Cuecat. Calloo, Callay, O frabjous day! HOWEVER, my Cuecat is ancient in technological terms: not a USB device. Either I find a converter, or I'll have to bite the bullet and acquire a new one. Maybe there will be more on this.

The word of the day for December 29, 2008 is "bibliophile" — Pronunciation: \ˈbi-blē-ə-ˌfī(-ə)l\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from bibli- + -phile
Date: 1824
: a lover of books especially for qualities of format ; also : a book collector.

Our quote for today is from Pablo Neruda (1904–1973), Chilean poet. Memoirs, ch. 11 (1974, trans. 1977):
A bibliophile of little means is likely to suffer often. Books don’t slip from his hands but fly past him through the air, high as birds, high as prices.



  1. That sounds like a great site. I'll have to check it out, but the idea of entering all those barcodes . .yikes.

    I had to laugh when I saw the CueCat. We had one too, although I think it only came in handy once or twice before it was phased out of our lives for good. Memories!

    Happy New Year


  2. I love the quote from Neruda. Isn't that the truth, "high as birds, high as prices"?

  3. I would hate not to be able to ever afford to buy books. They are my life!
    I've neer heard of CueCat.

    Let me wish you and your husband a Happy New Year.
    Health and happiness always.
    Jeanie xx


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