Sunday, March 11, 2007

LibraryThing top twenty

On LibraryThing, users can choose to tag their books -- by subject, theme, genre, format, location, or whatever -- or not. Of those users who chose to tag books as "poetry," these are the top twenty books (sitewide) tagged as poetry (or variants thereof, like "poems" or "poesia"), and the number of users who tagged them as such:
  1. Leaves of grass (725)
  2. The Odyssey (663)
  3. The inferno (627)
  4. Beowulf : a new verse translation (612)
  5. The Iliad (586)
  6. The divine comedy (529)
  7. Where the sidewalk ends : the poems & drawings of Shel Silve… (455)
  8. The Canterbury tales (453)
  9. The complete works by William Shakespeare (446)
  10. The waste land and other poems (429)
  11. Old Possum's book of practical cats (395)
  12. The poetry of Robert Frost (394)
  13. Ariel (393)
  14. The sonnets by William Shakespeare (377)
  15. Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (377)
  16. A light in the attic (363)
  17. The Aeneid (358)
  18. Paradise lost : an authoritative text, backgrounds and sourc… (343)
  19. Howl, and other poems (323)
  20. The complete poems of Emily Dickinson (300)
Note that LibraryThing combines multiple editions of a book under one title, so -- for example -- the numbers for Ariel include both the original and the new "revised" edition, and there are probably a ton of different editions of the Shakespeare sonnets. Still, it's kind of interesting, huh?

Also interesting: the top 10,000 works tagged as poetry in LibraryThing. (The list may take a few seconds to load.)

And of the books I've added to my LibraryThing library so far, here are the top ten most popular (by number of appearances in other LT users' libraries) -- note this does not depend on tags, just titles, so the numbers are considerably larger than those in the poetry-tagged list:
  1. The complete works of Shakespeare (3719)
  2. Ariel by Sylvia Plath (926)
  3. Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg (883)
  4. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot (836)
  5. The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath (685)
  6. 100 Selected Poems by E.E. Cummings (446)
  7. The Selected Poems of William Carlos Williams (336)
  8. A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (330)
  9. The Colossus and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath (193)
  10. The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems Selected and New, 1950-1984 by Adrienne Rich (152)

As for my own library, I've got the bulk of my already-read poetry entered -- single authors only, not anthologies -- 268 books. Haven't touched anything but poetry yet. It's been fun to go through the shelves and actually lay hands on each book, thinking about when and where I acquired it. There are a few items I'd forgotten that I owned, like a tiny little locally-published limited-edition chapbook by Yusef Komunyakaa called February in Sydney. And I took a moment or two with each of the signed books, especially those that were signed for me by teachers (mostly in summer workshops), thinking about those interactions & what they meant to me.

I'm looking forward to entering the rest of my books, although it will probably take me ... years.


Garbo said...

The random books appearing in your sidebar thing really rocks!!!

firstcitybook said...

Instead of the books of poetry that have achieved popularity, I would like to know more about the titles that are unique to your collection, or relatively unknown or hard to find, like the Komunyakaa text.