Books I Forgot I Had

I’m up to 361 catalogued books so far, with about 8 shelves to go. This is not counting my fiction books, though.

So far I’ve found five books with duplicates:

The Country House and How It Worked
Con Men and Cutpurses: Scenes from the Hogarthian Underworld
Regency London
by Stella Margetson
All You Needed to Know About What Materials Were Used When, With What Colors and Gems, Through the Ages (by Marisa Jones for the San Diego RWA Chapter)
Waterloo by David Howarth (a Pitkin book)

I’ll donate these to the Beau Monde Conference’s Silent Auction and hope that my Book Collector software keeps me from buying duplicates as often as I do!

I also discovered lots of books I forgot I had! (I’m a sad case, I know…) Some of them are very old and some…I just forgot.

Memorials Of St. James ‘s Street Together With The Annals Of Almack’s (1922)
A quote:

St. James’s Street, which sheltered Waller and Pope and Byron; where Maclean, the highwayman, lodged cheek by jowl with the “quality” whom he robbed; where Wolfe once stayed and wrote to Pitt asking for employment in 1758; and where Gillray threw himself out of a window; where the clubs and coffee houses took in and gave forth half the intellect and aristocracy of the land; where Dr Johnson, requiring a pair of shoe-buckles, came to the shop of Wirgman, here, to get them, as faithfully recorded by Boswell—St James’s Street is, notwithstanding its famous habitués and its notable events, as much associated with the name of Betty, the fruit woman, as with that of any other person during the eighteenth century.

Byng’s Tours
“Every summer for ten years, the Hon John Byng set off on a tour of England or Wales. He sampled the landscape and history of the countryside, visited houses and sketched ruins. This book contains his journals.”

Edinburgh In The Nineteenth Century Or Modern Athens Displayed In A Series Of Views
(follow the link to the google books version)

Rebels Against The Future: The Luddites And Their War On The Industrial Revolution : Lessons For The Computer Age

This book tells of the Luddite rebellion against technology and relates it to the present day.

This cataloguing job is turning into an adventure!

Do you ever come across books you forgot you had? Do you ever buy a book you already own?

Check my website for lots of new announcements and a new contest!

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Maggie Robinson w/a Margaret Rowe

I’m particularly bad if a book is republished with a different cover. Being a visual person, I go “Ooh! Look! Shiny!”, toss it in the cart and go home to discover I read it already. Because my memory is so bad, it sometimes takes several chapters for me to realize something seems awfully familiar. But then, because of the bad memory, I can’t remember the ending anyway, so I soldier on.

I am in awe of those who remember characters and plots for decades. I sometimes blank on my hero’s and heroine’s names as I’m writing them. 🙂

My research books have so haphazardly collected that I’m not apt to duplicate. I’ve been very fortunate to find things through library discards and second-hand stores. They may smell a little and make me sneeze, but they’ve been very useful.

12 years ago

Maggie, for those books that make you sneeze, try putting them in a plastic bag with a couple of cloves for a week. I’m highly allergic and usually only buy brand new, but some books are only available used, and I find this helps.

I used to find duplicates all the time, then, about a year ago, I started keeping a list of what I bought. Along with it, I started a list of authors I like and don’t like. I’m often drawn by the blurb only to be disappointed by the way the author handles it. Now, I’m only buying books I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy. (I do try new authors every month.) If I buy doubles now, it’s to donate them to my chapter’s monthly raffle.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Maggie, I do the same thing. In fact, you reminded me of another duplicate book on Hougoumont; they had two different covers.

And (sigh!) I, too, forget my characters names.

Judy, I’m going to try that clove trick. Brilliant!

Deb Marlowe
12 years ago

Hi Diane! Moving into my new office, I rediscovered a bunch of books I was thrilled to remember I had.

It’s a nice feeling! Only 1 duplicate though–I thought that was pretty good!

Elena Greene
12 years ago

I have a terrible memory for things like buying milk on the way home, but I’m pretty good at remembering the books I own. I also have a pretty good idea of what is at my local university library, which saves my research budget.

12 years ago

I more often buy duplicate books in fiction. The research books tend to be more expensive and I keep them handy in a shelf so I can see which ones I have. So I haven’t duplicated much in terms of research.

@Judy: Oh, boy, I like that clove trick. I’ll try that too.

Stephanie J
12 years ago

I too will duplicate the fiction books I have, particularly mystery. So often I read books that are part of a series so I buy them before I get to reading them. I can’t tell you how many non-read duplicate books I’ve bought! I usually realize right when I get home.

Maggie’s character name thing cracks me up. I changed up my heroines name in the middle of this WIP without realizing it. What a hassle to go back and adjust everything!

Amanda McCabe
12 years ago

Kitty litter also works great for getting musty smells out of old books! (NEW litter, of course! And the clay stuff, not the beads. I just wrap the book in a plastic bag and bury it in the litter for a couple days. Cloves would probably smell nicer, though)

Since I get so much stuff from library sales and the UBS, I do sometimes get duplicates! If something looked interesting once, surely twice is better :))

12 years ago

Side note, I don’t have whole cloves, so I put about a quarter of a teaspoon in plastic wrap, loosely wrapped so it does get all over, and then put it in with the book. Keeps the natural oils from the nutmeg from staining anything. Read this hint when I googled it searching for ways to rid the smell of cigarette smoke from a used book I’d purchased online.

12 years ago

Grrr… that’s so it DOESN’T get all over. sigh. Spell check and grammar check are useless for these kinds of errors. *rolling eyes*

Megan Frampton
12 years ago

I don’t know how you get any writing done, Diane, with all those tempting books around! I love that you are cataloguing them, and look forward to seeing your posts on what you’ve got.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Megan, it helps that I forget what books I have! I have done a bit of reorganizing so maybe I can find them easier. I must admit that, as I was cataloging, I kept thinking, “I’d like to read that!”

Amanda, I think I like Judy’s cloves over your kitty litter!

Stephanie, do you have the “replace all” function to change names? It helps, but you still have to be careful.

Carolyn, I haven’t gotten to my fiction books yet. I know I have duplicates of those, too.

Elena, I should use the library more; goodness. I even have access to the Library of Congress!

Deb, I have this idea that your office is a dream of organization!

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

So far I have no bought duplicates of my research books, but I HAVE come close. Thank goodness for LibraryThing as I can always check the books I have listed as Regency Research Books and a couple of other research categories I have listed.

Now, my romance novels are another matter entirely. I know I have duplicates of those. Some of those duplicates are deliberate. I have duplicates of my autographed books because I don’t like to read the autographed copies. I’ve finally started checking the dates on books by my favorite authors to make sure it isn’t a rerelease before I buy it!

The process of putting my entire collection on LibraryThing is problematic. I am constantly coming across old favorites and I can’t help it. I stop everything to sit down and read when I should be cataloguing or WRITING!

Jane Austen
12 years ago

I do buy duplicates as well, but when I go to put them in order in my shelves I find the duplicates. Most of the duplicates I buy are expensive so that’s the bad part. I’ll see a book more than likely about museums and art and think “It’s too expensive I shouldn’t buy it.” Then I buy it only to discover I had that had apparently thought it wasn’t too expensive before or bought it thinking it was too expensive anyway. I’m pretty good at remembering plots and characters and pages. Like I can tell you where my favorite section is in a book. Now that I have a Kindle and no page numbers it’s more along the lines of what percentage of the book I like the most. Yup, I’m a tad obsessed.

Jane Austen
12 years ago

Speaking of books that sound interesting….I just finished listening to Edward Rutherfurd’s New York. I think reading it would be better because a lot was cut out of the audiobook, but I really enjoyed the Gilded Age information the most. Now I’m looking for some good historical fiction books that take place in the Gilded Age…..any suggestions? I’m really not finding much.

Deb Marlowe
12 years ago

It is organized now, Diane–but we’ll see how long it will last. 🙂

Thanks for the book freshening tips, ladies! These are awesome!

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Jane Austen, yep…Obsessed!

O Doggie One, I am hoping my cataloguing will prevent the duplicates. I have been tempted to stop and read instead of catalogue!

I’m up to 428 books now!

12 years ago

As the coordinator for the Beau Monde’s Silent Auction, I am thrilled to learn you have duplicate books! But it is a mistake we all make – a fun one at that! And best to have the duplicate than none at all.

I find myself wandering through second hand book stores, looking for “research material.” I thought my options would be limited with my recent move to Hawaii, but alas! I found a “SoHo” style bookstore near Pearl Harbor. Plus miltiary personnel, in their panic to keep under their weight limit, donate generously to the Hickam AFB Thrift Shop. What treasures I find as I sort their donations, in effect, a history of their tours around the world!

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Kim, hahahaha, my memory impairment is the Silent Auction’s gain!
I’ve found some treasures at library sales or thrift shops. I found a copy of Life in Regency England at an “antique” shop in Jacksonville Ala, when I went for a high school reunion.

12 years ago

I have over 30 bookcases in my house. All are over full and I have boxes of books waiting for a home. I have been sorting and have found many duplicates and in some cases triplicate or more. I work with books all day (library) and forget hat I have or where I last saw it. Some are keepers (I like old books) and some are paperbacks I’ll not keep once I read them. My keeper shelves are too big.
I’ve been working on organizing my books. Unfortunately, what I really need to do is get rid of some. So hard to do. I’ve pretty much been overwhelmed .

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