Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cataloging the Library

Those of us who own a lot of books don't always remember what they all are.  Every once in a while I buy a duplicate by accident.  To minimize that, about 15 years ago I built a book catalog with an early version of Access.  Unfortunately, when Microsoft releases a new version of Access, the database has to be completely rebuilt rather than just updated.  About a year ago I bought a new laptop loaded with Office 2010, including Access, but Barry and I broke up right after that and the old laptop went into storage.  That means not only did I not rebuild the database, I couldn't keep it current with the books I bought while it was out of reach.

So, tomorrow is the VNSA book sale, and as of this morning my catalog was totally out of date.  It still contained all of Barry's books plus the ones I've discarded during the last year, and it was missing the new purchases.  I did have all the books marked with the original owner, but Barry left a lot of his books behind and took a few of mine with him, so I had to do a complete inventory to see what was left.  Since the catalog started with almost 1500 entries, it was a really ugly project.

It took almost all day, but the inventory is now up to date - including the e-books in my Nook - and I can take a current list with me to the sale.  Now all I have to do is rebuild the database in Access 2010.

In my copious spare time.

"Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital. " ~Thomas Jefferson

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