Saturday, June 16, 2007

Book Clouds

A few days ago, I wrote about two web sites I discovered for cataloging your books and sharing your "shelves" with the public. One of the interesting features of the sites is the "cloud" -- Shelfari has a tag cloud, and Library Thing has an author cloud. They generate lists based on your entries, and the more frequently something occurs, the bigger its name in the "cloud". It's a fascinating visual display of information about your personal library. I'm working on another post about reading, but I thought I'd share what currently appears in largest letters (meaning the most frequently appearing in my library) from my tag and author clouds.

The main tags in order, but not exhaustive are:

non-fiction, history, literature, fiction, classics, short stories, religion, Christianity, biography, American history, politics, theology, spiritual writing... and more. Now, this is a very incomplete list, because I've only added tags to a very small portion of the books that I've classified, but it's still fascinating to me as I look at which genres seem most conspicuous. There will be some shifting as I tag more, but this looks like a fairly accurate hierarchy of my interests.

The prominence of authors in my Library Thing catalog does take into consideration all the books I've added so far. There's still room for shifting as I add more, but so far it looks like a fairly accurate, albeit incomplete, representation of my favorite authors -- I must add that Charles Dickens is actually number one, but I haven't catalogued any Dickens books yet -- I own the Oxford Complete Dickens, a set of 23 hardcover volumes of everything Dickens published -- so be aware, Dickens' name will eventually be the largest in my author cloud. So far, however, the leaders are:

C. S. Lewis, Elizabeth Goudge, William Shakespeare, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Clifton Fadiman, Louis L'Amour, Marcel Proust, J. K. Rowling, Max Lucado, Alfred Hitchcock, J. R. R. Tolkein, David G. Hartwell (the editor of several short story collections I own), Robert Heinlein, Mary Norton, Ray Bradbury, Flannery O'Connor, Annie Dillard... and more.

I also have to add a few more disclaimers -- my favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, but since she wrote only the one book, her name will never appear large in my author cloud. Similarly, Flannery O'Connor, one of my biggest influences, will not appear as large as she actually is in importance. I own all her published work, but her early death precluded a very large body of writing. The clouds aren't perfect representations, but I just thought they were interesting enough to share, and hopefully you will find some author or subject here that is a favorite of yours, or perhaps a new author you might want to try. You can see my shelves at both websites by following the links.


Brat said...

Max Lucado is THE BEST!

C.S. Lewis has been a fave of mine since 'The Screwtape Letters." I no longer have a copy of that. :(

I really need to read more Dickens.

MissDaisyAnne said...

I know you from Shelfari and on your shelfari homepage I saw you had a blogspot, so do I, + I now see you like Dickens, very good! I am reading poetry this summer, I will end it with Shakespeare later in the summer. Every summer I do a study and poetry is it for summer of 07. I love Charles Dickens, I am supposed to be reading Our Mutual Friend, but cannot as yet enjoy it. My favorite book is David Copperfield. I will be a regular visitor to you site for now on!