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Old 06-04-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
KenJackson
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Looking for a book site

GoodReads and LibraryThing are two book sites that seem to try to be non-bookstore answers to Amazon.com. That is, when you hear about a book and you want to find out about it, where do you go? For the quickest, best results, I always go to Amazon.com. These sites seem to be an attempt to be a solution that is not a commercial bookstore.

It kind of irritates me that the best source for information on a topic is a site that profits from selling me the results of that information. Amazon's information seems pure, but the influence and power they wield must at least tempt them to use it in some way I wouldn't like.

I'm pleased that LibraryThing and GoodReads exist, but they don't always provide two key pieces of information that I am always want to know first:
  • The date first published
  • The length

I want to know the length because I don't like novellas. I don't want to waste my time reading fiction that's too short to adequately develop the plot.

And knowing the date of publishing is crucial to knowing what to expect technology-wise.

I enjoyed reading The Two Faces of Tomorrow, which is scifi that was published in 1979. One reason I read it was to specifically notice references to any "futuristic" technologies like cell phones and the internet. They at least had touchpads--whatever they are.

The knowledge of, use of, and assumption of the presense of the internet pervades practially everything written today--especially technical and scifi. That's an interesting detail. One could almost guess what year a book was written in by examining what it says or implies about the internet.

But back to book sites--are there any other really good, library-like, Amazon-like sites that have book information?
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:25 AM   #2
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Not really. I just use Goodreads + Wikipedia + Amazon. Smashwords lists the word count all the time, but that's only for indies.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:26 AM   #3
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doesnt goodreads show pbook page numbers?
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:34 AM   #4
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Goodreads usually has date the book was first published.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29579

If a book was manually entered by a member, it may not contain all the info. Usually, I look for another version of the same title; the GR official one.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:36 AM   #5
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For information about books, Fantastic Fiction is good. It's the site I generally use when I want to find the correct order of books in a series, for example.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
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... Fantastic Fiction ... It's the site I generally use when I want to find the correct order of books in a series, for example.
Ah, yes. That's another thing. When a book writeup mentions that it is Nth in some series, I immediately want to know what the other books were and the order they were published. There's something to be said for starting at the beginning.

I can see Fantastic Fiction has dates and is good at sequences. Thanks.

(Though I don't see any page counts or any mention of ebooks. )
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:00 PM   #7
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Goodreads has page count (not for ebook editions though)
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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Goodreads has page count (not for ebook editions though)
Some ePub editions have page counts, presumably ADE-derived, but I'm not sure. It's not consistent at this point. They are improving things for ebooks. There's discussion about adding word counts. I also remember seeing something about possibly adding location info to Kindle editions. (Each format is supposed to be a separate edition, just like with paper books.)

They've also made impressive strides in series information too.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
Some ePub editions have page counts, presumably ADE-derived, but I'm not sure. It's not consistent at this point. They are improving things for ebooks. There's discussion about adding word counts. I also remember seeing something about possibly adding location info to Kindle editions. (Each format is supposed to be a separate edition, just like with paper books.)

They've also made impressive strides in series information too.
My bad on that; I don't really traffic with ePubs

I would love for them to put location info for Kindle books - that would be awesome I applied for Librarian status so this is something I would definitely help with if they ever added the feature.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Loosheesh View Post
My bad on that; I don't really traffic with ePubs

I would love for them to put location info for Kindle books - that would be awesome I applied for Librarian status so this is something I would definitely help with if they ever added the feature.
The location mention was some time ago, so I don't know where we are on that, but I, too, am hopeful. It would be awesome if you become a librarian. It would be like having a spy on the inside. (insert evil laugh) Seriously, though, I think you'd be good at it. I thought about applying but I'm already there far too much as it is.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:04 PM   #11
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I love when sotres try to put page counts on E-Books. Apple has my ebook listed at 345 pages, and another retailer has it as 150 pages. For E-Books, I wish they would just stick with word count which at least would be consistent.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:30 PM   #12
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The location mention was some time ago, so I don't know where we are on that, but I, too, am hopeful. It would be awesome if you become a librarian. It would be like having a spy on the inside. (insert evil laugh) Seriously, though, I think you'd be good at it. I thought about applying but I'm already there far too much as it is.
I'm sorry I wasn't too clear - I did get Librarian status. So far I've mostly been working on correcting/adding series info and adding book covers where I come across a need, which is mostly in my own shelves of course I haven't been doing this in any organized way but I plan to. Right now I've only added a fraction of my books into Goodreads; I'm really dreading that task 'cause I have over 2000 ebooks
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Loosheesh View Post
I'm sorry I wasn't too clear - I did get Librarian status. So far I've mostly been working on correcting/adding series info and adding book covers where I come across a need, which is mostly in my own shelves of course I haven't been doing this in any organized way but I plan to. Right now I've only added a fraction of my books into Goodreads; I'm really dreading that task 'cause I have over 2000 ebooks
Congrats! I'd buy you a drink but, well, you're not here. I have just over half of mine on my shelves there. Oddly, my OCD doesn't extend to Goodreads, so I use whichever edition has the best cover. And, since I like to see page counts, I often use a paper edition except when there is no paper edition.

Okay, okay, I'm done hijacking this thread.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:02 PM   #14
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Okay, okay, I'm done hijacking this thread.
But I'm not done ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
Oddly, my OCD doesn't extend to Goodreads, so I use whichever edition has the best cover. And, since I like to see page counts, I often use a paper edition except when there is no paper edition.
on both points. At first I used to choose only covers that matched what I had in Calibre but then I caught onto page counts so I went that route instead.

Ok, now I'm done with the hijacking
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:58 PM   #15
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I love when sotres try to put page counts on E-Books. Apple has my ebook listed at 345 pages, and another retailer has it as 150 pages. For E-Books, I wish they would just stick with word count which at least would be consistent.
I've also noticed some sites list ebook size in KBytes or MBytes. I haven't checked into this, but I assume that varies widely depending on whether images are included and how much formatting.

Ideally I would like to see paper-equivalent pages, though I suppose there are difficulties in calculating that for electronic-only books, so I'll settle for the word count.
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