Best Practices for adding old books?

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Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby OogieM » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:44 am

I'm looking at moving my book inventory out of my current LibreOffice text files and into Bookpedia. Unfortunately most of my books do not have ISBN numbers at all much less bar codes. An "entry" in the text files consists of the author(s) on the first line in last name, first name format, then next lines contain the titles with things like The and A moved to the end, and a price paid for the book. I've played around trying to parse them into spreadsheets or some other format for faster import but have had no success. In 12 pt font the total is just over 170 pages worth. I really have no idea how many books we actually own, our house has built-in bookcases in every room, bathroom included, and they are all full so I know it's a lot. Just in Kindle books which I did successfully import there are over 850.

So I'm wondering how others with large libraries did the initial import into Bookpedia of very old books.
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby FineWine » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:42 pm

Welcome to these forums and wonderful world of the Pedia's. Remember no question is to stupid. There are lots of pedia experts here and of course our wonderful guru and messiah Conor the originator of these great programs.

To your question. I hope I can help.

LibreOffice is able to Export your data base in what is called a CSV file (comma-separated values file).

    1 - Open the Calc sheet that you want to save as a Text CSV file.
    2 - Only the current sheet can be exported.
    3 - Choose File - Save as.
    4 - In the File name box, enter a name for the file.
    5 - In the File type box, select "Text CSV".
    (Optional) Set the field options for the Text CSV file.
    6 - Select Edit filter settings.
    7 - In the Export of text files dialog, select the options that you want.
    8 - Click OK.
    9 - Click Save. Save to Desktop.

Open up Bookpedia

    1 - File > Import Collection...
    2 - Follow the instructions
    3 - Also have a read of this Bookpedia Help file:Importing entries

TIPS:

    1 - Each line in a Text CSV file represents a record in the database, or a row in a spreadsheet. Each field in a database record or cell in a spreadsheet row is usually separated by a comma. However, you can use other characters to delimit a field, such as a tabulator character.

    2 - If the field or cell contains a comma, the field or cell must be enclosed by single quotes (') or double quotes (").

    3 - Ensure that the TOP line, the "Column Heading" line, contains the Name of each column (Ref No, Title, Author, Co-author, Price Paid) etc. These Column Headings will come across to Bookpedia where you can then marry them up with Bookpedia Field Names. (refer point 3)

    3 - Try exporting just the first page/sheet from your LibreOffice first and then import that into Bookpedia. On importation Bookpedia will offer you an import dialogue box which you can tweak. This box contains two columns; "Import from" and 'Import to". With the "Import to" column you have drop down menus where you select the Bookpedia field where you want imported field to go to in Bookpedia.
    Doing these trial imports you can see where all the LibreOffice database fields will end up in Bookpedia. You can then tweak your LibreOffice export criteria and your Bookpedia import criteria till you are satisfied with the end import result in Bookpedia

    4 - I see you have a huge collection. When you are satisfied with the importation trials, I would do the actual importation in chunks and not as one great big csv file.

Due to the Antiquarian nature of your books you might be able to find a library reference number for them by looking for it in the 'Library of Congress'. Bookpedia has the facility to check several Book data bases/Repositories from around the world for which the Library of Congress is just one of them.

    1 - MenuBar > Bookpedia > Preferences > Sites
    2 - Select the Site(s) you wish Bookpedia to search additional information for. You can also Drag & Drop each Site up and down to arrange an order of search priority.
    3 - Close Preferences
    4 - MenuBar > Book > Update from or Right click > Update from, Again it is best to do this in chunks

Hope these gems are helpful to you :D

Good Luck and please get back to us with any more questions.
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby OogieM » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:46 pm

My Libre Office file is NOT a calc sheet it's a test file and not exportable as a clean .CSV file.

I've tried.
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby FineWine » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:00 pm

OogieM wrote:My Libre Office file is NOT a calc sheet it's a test file and not exportable as a clean .CSV file.

I've tried.


    1 - Are you using the latest version of LibreOffice which is version 6.2
    2 - You say that your 'test file' is not a calc sheet so which component of Libre Office is your 'test file' in; Base or Writer ?
    3 - If it is Writer, is it a Table within Writer ?
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby FineWine » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:12 pm

May I suggest LibreOffice own help and ask page.

PS: I moved this Topic to the Support Forum
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby Conor » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:09 am

Once you have done a text import into Bookpedia, you can use the gear button on the bottom right of the edit window to search the sites for more info on the book. The order of the author's name or definite articles at the end won't matter for the search. But it would be good to get them into "first last" to match what Bookpedia expects. In the end not an issue, unless you share your entered data to Doghouse for other, as then "first last" is the expected format. Also, all new entries added via Bookpedia will come in that order.

Bookpedia can automatically ignore the articles as well as sort by last name, without having to have the text be in sort order (hold down the option key when clicking on the author's column to change sort from last name to first name). Hence there is nothing lost by having it in the natural order. Not to mention the comma is a delimiter for multiple author's, hence it will look bad in the edit window where the bubbles appear, but would not affect you if you were to keep the "last, first" order.

Adding more info can also be automated from under the "Book -> Update from" menu command, but I would not recommend it with Books with no ISBN. Since a title search might be ambiguous, the gear button lets you preview and choose the correct result, versus the automated way that will pick the first result from the list (not an issue when searching via ISBN or other unique identifier).

The short answer, is massage your data into a text file with the right attributes and then import that file and you can slowly progress through it in Bookpedia.
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby OogieM » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:54 am

FineWine wrote:
    1 - Are you using the latest version of LibreOffice which is version 6.2
    2 - You say that your 'test file' is not a calc sheet so which component of Libre Office is your 'test file' in; Base or Writer ?
    3 - If it is Writer, is it a Table within Writer ?

LO is rev 6.1.6 the latest still version

It's in Writer

No not a table at all. Here are some sample entries. Issues include anthologies where I want to see all the stories/novels etc in them and then books without any author like the Welsh Agriculture Journals (posted as code so you can see the tabs etc. in place)

Code: Select all
Absi, Dr.
   Munzer A. & Sallah, Asmahan Translators
   Merit of the Horse in Islam by Al-Hafez Abdul-Mu'men Al-Dumyati & Sketches on Coursers of the Highest Breeding by Muhammad    Al-Bakhshi Al-Halabi 2 vols in one $35.00
Welsh Journal of Agriculture
   Vol 4 1928
   Vol 5-7 1929-1931
   Vol 8-10 1932-1934
   Vol 11-14 1935-1938
   Vol 15-18 1939-1945
Welsh Plant Breeding
   Vol 11-17
Wright, Gordon
   Cavalry Manual of Horsemanship and Horsemastership, The $0.00 photocopy
Fitzhugh, Louise
   Harriet the Spy $0.75
Fleming, Ian
   On Her Majesty's Secret Service $0.60
Ford, Patrick K.
   Mabinogi, The $18.95
Forward, Robert L.
   Indistinguishable From Magic $5.99
Hau'ofa, Epeli
   Tales of the Tikongs
Instructor Literature Series Booklets
F.A. Owen Publishing Company
Small booklets for schools
   2 Little Plant People Part II
   3 Little Workers and What they Work With by Annie Chase
Leinster, Murray AKA Will Jenkins
   Best Of Murray Leinster, The $1.95
   Doctor To The Stars $1.50
Alabaster, Stacey
   Craft Circle Cozy Mystery Box Set $1.04
      Steps From Death   
      Arts, Crafts and Murder
      A Finely Crafted Murder
      Crafts, Cat Burglars, and Murder
      Weddings, Receptions and Murder
      Beaches, Blogging and Bodies
Alexander, Robert C.
   Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer $3.18
Cyber World: Tales of Humanity's Tomorrow - Short Stories $5.23
      Metamorphosis            Joshua Viola
      Serenade            Isabel Yap
      The Mighty Phin         Nisi Shawl
      Reactions            Mario Acevedo
      The Bees of Kiribati         Warren Hammond
      The Rest Between Two Notes      Cat Rambo
      The Singularity is in Your Hair      Matthew Kressel
      Panic City            Madeline Ashby
      The Faithful Soldier, Prompted      Saladin Ahmed
      Your Bones Will Not Be Unknown   Alyssa Wong
      Staunch            Paul Graham Raven   
      Other People's Thoughts       Chinelo Onwualu
      wysiomg            Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
      We Will Take Care of Our Own   Angie Hodapp
      A Song Transmuted         Sarah Pinsker
      It's Only Words         Keith Ferrell
      Small Offerings            Paolo Bacigalupi
      Darkout            E. Lily Yu
      Visible Damage            Stephen Graham Jones
      The Ibex on the Day of Extinction   Minister Faust
      How Nothing Happens      Darin Bradley   
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
   Mucker Trilogy, The $1.04
   Princess of Mars, A
   Collected Works Delphi Edition $2.09
   The Tarzan Series
      Tarzan Of The Apes (1912)
      The Return Of Tarzan (1913)
      The Beasts Of Tarzan (1914)
      The Son Of Tarzan (1914)
      Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar (1916)
      Jungle Tales Of Tarzan (1917)
      Tarzan The Untamed (1921)
      Tarzan The Terrible (1921)
   The Barsoom Series
      A Princess Of Mars (1912)
      The Gods Of Mars (1914)
      The Warlord Of Mars (1918)
      Thuvia, Maid Of Mars (1920)
      The Chessmen Of Mars (1922)
      The Master Mind Of Mars (1928)
      A Fighting Man Of Mars (1931)
   The Pellucidar Series
      At The Earth’s Core (1914)
      Pellucidar (1922)
   The Mucker Series
      The Mucker (1914)
      The Return Of The Mucker (1916)
      The Oakdale Affair (1917)
   The Jungle Adventures
      The Eternal Lover (1913)
      Jungle Girl (1932)
      The Lad And The Lion (1917)
   The Caspak Series
      The Land That Time Forgot (1918)
      The People That Time Forgot (1918)
      Out Of Time’s Abyss (1918)
   The Moon Series
      Part I: The Moon Maid
   The Western Novels
      The Bandit Of Hell’s Bend (1924)
      The War Chief (1927)
      Apache Devil (1933)
   The Venus Series
      Pirates Of Venus (1932)
   The Other Novels
      The Monster Men (1913)
      The Mad King (1914)
      The Outlaw Of Torn (1914)
      The Lost Continent (1916)
      The Girl From Farris’s (1916)
      H. R. H. The Rider (1918)
      The Efficiency Expert (1921)
      The Girl From Hollywood (1922)
      The Resurrection Of Jimber-Jaw (1937)
   Contextual Pieces
      List Of Reviews And Articles
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby FineWine » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:06 pm

That is going to be very difficult to move your collection into Bookpedia.

The latest LibreOffice version is 6.2.5 which you can download from their site.

Because you initially only entered your data in as if you were writing a document as opposed to a spread sheet with named columns it is going to be difficult.

BUT I have found TWO ways you can get your libreoffice text file into Bookpedia. BUT either way is going to be long and laborious and will require several long winter nights to achieve (well in my southern hemisphere anyway :D ).

The first way is do you have the Apple iWorks program 'Numbers' (the latest version 6.1 preferable) you can download it from the Apple App store it is free. I recommend Numbers because it has a better CSV format that Bookpedia will recognise.

Now what you need to do is to go through your entire LO Writer text file and tidy it up;

    1 - Insert line breaks between each separate entry in your LO Writer text file is a must do as it will lessen copy & paste errors.

    2 - Fire up Numbers using the Blank spread sheet template.

    3 - In the dark grey header line give each column a header; Author, Title, Series, Price

    4 - Now here it gets long and laborious - just start copying & pasting each LO Writer entry data segment (Author, Title, Series, Price) into the appropriate columns in numbers with one entry per spread sheet line.

    5 - I would make one spread sheet per alphabetical letter. You can create as many sheets as you want in the singe Numbers file. (Insert > Sheet) and give each sheet a name (A B C etc)

    5 - When you have completed your first sheet (A) export it; File > Export to > CSV chose to export to your Desktop.

    6 - Fire up Bookpedia and; File > Import Collection, select the file on the Desktop

    7 - The pop-up Bookpedia Import box is self-explanatory.

    The second way is that:

    1 - Insert line breaks between each separate entry in your LO Writer text file is a must do as it will lessen copy & paste errors.

    2 - Now just copy & paste each piece of data from your LO Writer text file; (Author, Title, Series, Price) into Bookpedia.

    8 - Now just follow the advice Conor and myself gave previously on searching so you can fill in as many missing details as possible.

Which way you choose is upto you. Sorry there is no other way. LibreOffice says in uses international file formats but I do not think so, plus as I stated above, the way you initially catalogued your data has not made things easy at all.

Conor may have an easier way.

Good Luck and what ever you decide to do please post it into this Topic.

Cheers
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby Conor » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:51 am

I just wanted to iterate what Finewine pointed out. The format is ever changing makes it very difficult for a computer to make sense of the data, as it never in the same place. Sometimes the tab indent indicates a book, then for the next item it's the series, or just the short stories listed in a single book with the author appended.

The only bit that would be easy for Numbers or any other parser is the dollar sign is easy to recognize and register as a new data column. Once in Bookpedia, it can also take care of changing the author to "first last" and moving the definite articles to the beginning of the title. Bookpedia can sort by last name and ignore the articles without having to have the title broken up from its natural order.

If you can get each book on one line, then you are almost there. That will be the challenge with text manipulators ,but I know nothing about Writer, maybe there is a way to get that data exported in a closer format to that. Something along these lines:

Code: Select all
Forward, Robert L.   Indistinguishable From Magic $5.99
Hau'ofa, Epeli   Tales of the Tikongs
Instructor Literature Series Booklets    F.A. Owen Publishing Company    Small booklets for schools     2 Little Plant People Part II
Instructor Literature Series Booklets    F.A. Owen Publishing Company    Small booklets for schools     3 Little Workers and What they Work With by Annie Chase
Alexander, Robert C.    Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer    $3.18
Alexander, Robert C.    Cyber World: Tales of Humanity's Tomorrow - Short Stories    $5.23    Metamorphosis – Joshua Viola, Serenade - Isabel Yap, The Mighty Phin - Nisi Shawl, ...
Burroughs, Edgar Rice   Mucker Trilogy, The    $1.04
Burroughs, Edgar Rice   Princess of Mars, A
Burroughs, Edgar Rice   Collected Works Delphi Edition    $2.09
Burroughs, Edgar Rice   The Tarzan Series
Burroughs, Edgar Rice   The Tarzan Series   Tarzan Of The Apes    (1912)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice   The Tarzan Series   The Return Of Tarzan     (1913)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice   The Tarzan Series   The Beasts Of Tarzan    (1914)
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby OogieM » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:11 am

Thanks to both of you. I've done a few simple tests and the time to fix the format of the text files into something that comes in automatically is just abut the same as cut and paste each book into Bookpedia individually.

One additional question though:

How do people track the contents of anthologies? So a book of 20 short stories where you may wish to search for a particular short story? Do you group each anthology into a separate collection with each story as a separate book? Same basic question for the big "Collected Works of" anthologies that may contain 15 or 20 novels, some non-fiction, letters, short stories etc.

Use case is I am trying to see where a particular story/novel is. What physical or kindle book contains it so I can find it. Or I remember having this or that book or story and want to check before I buy another copy. Or I wnat to compare different printed versions of a particular short story. I have quite a few where I may have the same short story in 4 or 5 different anthologies and they are all slightly different. Its interesting and useful sometimes to find all the versions I have an compare them.
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby mommahawk » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:24 pm

There may be a better way, but this is how I do it. I list each of the books in the Summary box. It will then come up in a search. I do the same for like books that are a collection of biographies, where each chapter is on a different person. I list each person in the summary box.
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby FineWine » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:50 pm

mommahawk wrote:There may be a better way, but this is how I do it. I list each of the books in the Summary box. It will then come up in a search. I do the same for like books that are a collection of biographies, where each chapter is on a different person. I list each person in the summary box.

I do the same except I have added a small tick box placed just under the Title field which I have labelled anthologies I then make a smart collection labeled Anthologies using that tick box.
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby Conor » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:08 pm

I do the same, expect that I have renamed "Custom Text 1" to "Stories". Works same as summary, that allows new lines, but lets me keep it separate. Summaries does have an advantage in that it can be a limiter for scope in the internal search, by clicking the magnifying glass. Although that never really been an issue in use, I just thought it would be for a broad search like "Space", it's going to come up everywhere as a result. But was an unfunded fear.

Like movie collections, this is one solution. If you have tons of data for short stories and want to make them separate entries it can also be a solution, You can then drag and drop the entire selection while holding down option into the details view and it will link them all together. But does mean you have a bunch of items that are not really books, popping up as results on searches and changing you item count at the bottom of the window. I know some users do this and then drop all these items into an excluded collection to keep them segregated. Although its more of an issue with movies, where box set movies are totally different and do have a number of details that change and need to be kept track of.
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Re: Best Practices for adding old books?

Postby OogieM » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:36 am

Thanks everyone, I'm testing those methods of handling collections and anthologies to see what works best for me give the types of searches I do. No definitive answer to "best for me" yet. I appreciate the discussion of potential alternatives.
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