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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Updating my book editions - or what to do when you're really bored at work.

I have been slowly, slooowly going through all of my books (1500+) and making sure that the edition listed is the one I actually own.  I was perplexed by the number of "textbooks" and "ebooks" I was running into (I don't, generally, have much of either), as most of my books have ISBN's.  But, oh well, short term pain for long term gain and all that.


Querying BL, they informed me that the best way to update editions with reviews is from the review itself (you'll lose your review if you remove a reviewed book from your shelf, of course) and books without reviews were best updated from the Import Page (Settings -> Imports -> GoodReads Import Page button).



So, I finished up the painful process of updating reviewed editions last week.  Painful, because I was going to the review, putting the correct book in the review (via the "+" sign), then going to my shelf and deleting the duplicate, erroneous edition of the book.  Because changing the book in the review doesn't replace the edition on your shelves, it just adds another one.  I'm certain there is solid logic for this, though I can't think what it would be.


That done, and ready to cry from boredom, I decided this week to tackle the other ~900 books I have shelved but never reviewed.  This turned out to be somewhat easier, as most of it is done from the import page and the shelf page - check the edition on the shelf page and if necessary, update it on the import page.  I discovered something rather important, well, 2 things rather important, that generally sped things up for me no end.  They are:


1.  If you loathe having to move your hands off the keyboard, hitting ESC closes the pop up window.  So clicking on the cover and checking the edition from the popup/lightbox and clicking 'esc' is a rather quick process (assuming a snappy internet connection of course).


2.  As I mentioned above, most of my books have their ISBN numbers.  But I thought, well, maybe they came through corrupted or something, as I was in the thick of the Great GoodReads Migration.  So I'd go to GR, look up the book, copy the ISBN, go to my import page, click Change and enter the ISBN to update the edition.  And I started to notice that the ISBN on the import page was the same one I was copy/pasting in. Hmmm...  So, I just started copying the ISBN from the import page, clicking Change, entering the ISBN number and voilà!  Correct edition!


Soooo, what's up with that??  I have a theory.  It's just a theory - no actual facts to back it up - but here it is.  During the massive influx of imports, (and maybe still), BookLikes was farming out records to whatever sources they had to try to balance the load.  I know every one of my books marked "TextBooks" showed a Barnes and Noble source, for example.  And if I search a Hardcover's ISBN's using Barnes and Noble, they show up as "textbook".  


If you are either OCD or so bored this sounds like a viable time killer, I hope my experiences will help make your job easier.  The only other advice I'd offer, is to go to your Settings Page and click on the Search tab and click on every conceivable source.  I have no intention of buying from Amazon and Powells won't ship to me for less than the cost of an internal organ, but it was helpful to have each as a fall back for the other, just in case (although Powells images are NOT high quality, sometimes it was the only correct one I could find).  Amazon was still the best source of the lot, sadly.


Another tip:  if you have a lot of Kindle's, choose Amazon.co.uk.  You can use the paperback's ISBN and the co.uk site will give you a paperback and a kindle version to choose from.  Not a bad stopgap measure in the absence of ASIN numbers.