Is That My Book?

I love books. I’ve zillions (give or take a few zillion) and apart from the many problems I have in finding a place to keep them, my next problem is making sure I don’t accidentally buy more than one of the same book. Even if it’s a great book, all things being equal, I’d prefer to avoid that if possible.

Some of my books

Some of my books

The problem is worse for Mrs Logical because she *really* doesn’t know what I have and even when she looks, it’s easy to miss a book, not least because some of them are in boxes etc. Ray Mears’ autobiography, anyone?

Anyone for Ray?

Anyone for Ray?

So, to solve my first-world-problem, I could create a list in a document that I print. That would work, but I don’t want to type anything in, carrying it around would mean I’d have to beef up my arms, and I’m not kidding about how many I have – far too impractical.

I could maybe take photographs of groups of them and carry them on my phone, but that seems silly and means I have to scan images looking for titles etc. Scratch that.

How about this – I could stop buying books. There, problem solved! No….good grief, no…I was taking a look at an ISBN database which I suspect isn’t even a collection of *all* books, and they had over 18 million. No way can I risk missing out on some of those goodies.

I could buy a software or look for something that is open source. Yeh, but where’s the fun in that, I ask you?

No, there’s no avoiding it – given I love the web, programming and finding solutions involving technology, I’m just going to have to develop something for myself.

Alright, folks, here’s my requirements then. I need a system which will:

  • Record which books I have
  • Tell me whether I possess a book
  • Allow me to record new books
  • Give me stats about my books – how many in total, books by author, that kind of thing.

I’m not going to get too carried away – I want something achievable in a reasonably short time and besides, I want to validate it as I go, so MVP it will be.

Next step, technology choices. The code as it progresses can be found here.


Written by Stephen Moon
email: stephen at

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