This morning’s mail in my inbox contained an invite to join Shelfari. Initial instinct was to go for the ‘delete’ button. And then I saw it was from my young friend Anand Balaji. I don’t know him as a compulsive ‘forwarders’ of serial mail. So I chose to open, to find it was about books; about networking one’s book-reading contacts. I reckoned Shelfari would be a window to show off my collection. Plus, I could browse other people’s book-shelf, and engage the interested few in a chat on our mutual collecions, readings and book gossip.
Though I haven’t been reading much of late I boast of a sizeable collection. I am among those who like bragging about my books; and, to get listeners, I am even willing to loan them, even though I know most borrowed books are rarely returned. A few months back I discovered the Library Thing, where I catalogued my books. But then, after listing a score of books there (which was labour-intensive) I found something else to do. And my Library Thing list remained un-updated for a while. Now I am into Shelfari. And I have made a fresh start at listing books….I know what you might be thinking. Wouldn’t be surprised if this list goes the way the other ‘Thing’ did.
The thing about my collection is that I picked nearly all titles on my shelf from pavement spreads in Delhi, Hyderabad; from used-book sales abroad, for 50 cents or a dollar a piece; some have been gifted by friends; or sent to me for review. Admitedly, there are a few titles I had neglected to return to its rightful owners.
Over the coming days and weeks I hope to catelogue them online in ‘My Shelf’. And my e-contacts could count on finding in their Inbox a Selfari invite. Hopefully, we could put in place a network to access one another’s book-shelf online.