Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

Old old old books.

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message 1: by Matt (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:33PM) (new)

Matt Mazenauer (provlear) | 11 comments I just recently read through some great old hardcover books from a flea market, all printed in the early 1900s. Was wondering what the policy on adding them would be? I could manually add them without ISBNs, but being the techno-snob that I am, I kinda don't think they exist until they have ISBN/ASIN or whatever. If I add them just to show off what I've been reading, am I cluttering Goodreads? And if we're allowed to add something without an ISBN, what stops someone from adding comic books or pamphlets that don't have ISBNs? What exactly is the definition of book, what are the limitations to what we can add?

Blowing things out of proportion,

message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:33PM) (new)

rivka | 41062 comments Mod
They don't have to be really old books to lack an ISBN. Some books published by small presses don't bother with them either. Hasn't stopped me from adding them by hand.

And I don't really add them "to show off what I've been reading," either. In at least one case, I know for sure that some of my friends have read the book too, and other might want to.

message 3: by Lisa (not getting friends updates) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:33PM) (new)

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) | 2409 comments I've manually added many old books that don't have ISBNs. Many great books were written before the ISBN system! ISBN entry is optional here, although I always add them when available.

message 4: by Fibrowitch (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:33PM) (new)

Fibrowitch | 5 comments I have been doing some research into the ISBN system.
While larger publishers started using the system in the early 70's it was not standard through the publishing industry until 1988. So while a big publisher, would have ISBN, smaller publishers, such as SF imprint Tor did not start using ISBN until 1988.

We also have to talk about what we are going to do to update the books from the old ten digit number to the new 13 digit number.

I did find a nice PDF to explain the changes. It was written for the organization by the 'for dummies' company.


message 5: by Otis, Chief Architect (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:34PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 315 comments Mod
Thanks for info Fibrowitch!

The answer as to what we'd like members to add to Goodreads is here: Basically, we prefer to stick to books, but we don't require ISBN's since not all books have them.

ISBN-13's are now available from Amazon, and we are planning to add them soon as a new field in the book data.

message 6: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) Along similar lines, I have some old books, but don't know how to check and see if there is already an entry for them. For example, I have a 1923 hardcover edition of Wuthering Heights. There are over 1,000 entries for this book, and it doesn't have an ISBN. I can't see a picture of the cover already listed, but most don't have them. I have searched for 1923 on all the hardcovers, but nothing came up. Should I just make a new entry and add the photo I have of the cover? At least that way, I won't be messing with the wrong entry when I add the cover?

message 7: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Best thing to do is sort the editions by date; chances are there won't be many from the 1920s, and if yours isn't there you should definitely add a new edition, along with cover image.

message 8: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) Thanks. I think I'll add an entry if that's an okay thing to do?

It doesn't show in the current entries when listed by date, but many of the entries only have the date originally published. I think it's probably because the date doesn't appear on the book itself. I had to Google the illustrator to find out which year this edition was published.

message 9: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Yes, adding an entry is fine.

There are a lot of editions with no current publication date. Most of them have ISBNs, though, so you can rest fairly assured they aren't your edition, since a 1923 edition wouldn't have an ISBN.

message 10: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) Thanks Lobstergirl. Much appreciated.

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