Just Joined; Have a few ULTB's.

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Just Joined; Have a few ULTB's.

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Editado: Jan 26, 2011, 1:28pm

Hi all.

I am trying to understand how this all works.
I have several ULTB's, that only I have listed.

Do I count?

Jan 26, 2011, 12:23am

Of course!

Welcome aboard!

Jan 26, 2011, 12:27am

Thank you!

Jan 26, 2011, 12:54am

Have you tagged your unique books with ULTB?

Jan 26, 2011, 1:09am

I fixed them all but 3.

Jan 26, 2011, 1:22pm

Thank you...I was going to do this last night, but forgot, before I signed out.

Fev 3, 2011, 2:37am

Just joined tonight. I've tagged 40 ULTBs. Sounds like some folks have a lot more.

Fev 3, 2011, 3:46am

I just joined as well.

Fev 3, 2011, 9:23am

I also joined today. Tried to be very conservative about the "generally available rule". Hope I counted correctly. I'll have to figure out the Wiki part later.

Ago 4, 2011, 6:55am

I'm a new joiner, and was amazed to find, when I had tagged items with ULTB, that I had 310, about 18% of my collection. I am not too sure about the full rigor of the cataloguing; there are guide books, auction catalogues, periodicals (bound and unbound) and foreign language items. It is probably because I have a fringe interest in English Local and Industrial History combined with a broad interest in the arts. Can someone check this out and tell me if I have made any big errors in my entries.

Ago 4, 2011, 7:36pm

Hi, Taccyman, welcome aboard!

I only see one book in your ULTB collection that shouldn't be: Sauce (Coronet Books) has fourteen owners.

Ago 4, 2011, 8:05pm

# 10

Nice to see a bunch of railway books.

Ago 5, 2011, 12:57pm

>10 Taccyman: Welcome, good to see people are still joining.

Ago 25, 2011, 12:35pm

My ULTB that I'm quite surprised at is The Human Skull: A Cultural History. Granted it's a translation from 1965 of a Scandinavian book, but I thought more people where interested in skulls. (What? They're cool. I have several plastic ones on my desk at home.)

Ago 25, 2011, 12:43pm

>14 riani1:
There are a few other copies. They just needed to be combined.

Ago 30, 2011, 11:18pm

I joined today. I have 99 ULTBs, but some of those are zines (Murder Can Be Fun) and not properly books. I also have some reprints of Milton Caniff and other comics that don't seem to be the same as other editions, but I could be wrong. It's really surprising that I'm the only person with several Playboy cartoon anthologies!

Set 4, 2011, 5:06am

Hi Group,

Do rememmber to check your "ULBT" tags every few months,
OK at least every year or so.

Just did and a) found many "oncers" I had not tagged and
b) many books which someone else (on LT) had since acquired :-)

This "house keeping" can wait 'till I just finish this page/chapter/book. My TBR pile is (metaphorically) SO high.


Editado: Set 6, 2011, 9:05am

Hi, I have just tagged my ULTBs. I have 270. I have included theatre/opera programs, sheet music and a few other slightly questionable items.

Also (this is bragging), I seem to be the unique holder of a complete series: http://www.librarything.com/series/Eastern+Love

Beautiful books, published 1928, rag paper hand tinted engravings, limited edition of 1000.

Set 6, 2011, 10:49am


I have no problem with ephemera being catalogued into LT. Also, anything with an ISBN number on it, or would have it were being published in the current era.

Set 6, 2011, 12:00pm

>18 marq:

Well, you're allowed to add a book without scanning the cover, but you've gotta scan when you brag about it's artistic merits.

Set 6, 2011, 12:37pm

According to the UNESCO definition a book is a bound non-periodical publication having 49 or more pages. Anything with less pages (but still bound) is called a pamphlet.
I'm not in favour of using the ULTB tag for sheet music, periodicals, maps and other paper ephemera. Maybe it's time to have a good definition in our group of what is a ULTB (B = Book) and what isn't??

;-) Martin

Editado: Set 6, 2011, 6:39pm

>20 2wonderY:

I agree. I will dig out my scanner tonight.

>21 islandbooks:

Yes, definition of a book is a puzzle. ISBN is International Standard BOOK number. Does that mean that anything with an ISBN is a book? I have a cup and saucer and a pond pump with ISBNs (although they do also include books).


as well as decks of cards, decoder wheels etc.. There are even bookmarks that have ISBNs.

You could argue then that anything without an ISBN but like something that has an ISBN now could have had an ISBN if it was published more recently and therefore is also a book.

Editado: Set 6, 2011, 7:35pm

I did a tagmash of ultb, map and came up with 224 responses, 10 of which were mine. A fair number just for maps. To me, maps and serials, are stage above ephemera, and I've already said I was ok with ephemera tagged as ULTB.

For American items, maybe anything that gets listed (or should be listed) in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, but this also includes manuscripts and art works.

Set 6, 2011, 8:37pm

You are tempting me. I have not catalogued my maps and I have a few obscure ones - like Aleppo.

Set 6, 2011, 8:42pm

Anything you can find in a library; maps, CDs, video, etc. It's LibraryThing, after all, not BookThing. Although one of the local libraries had a program to let patrons check out tropical fish. Didn't last, probably didn't stand up to the "RETURN BY" stamps very well.

Set 6, 2011, 11:05pm

The Berkeley (California) Public Library has a tool-lending branch.

Set 7, 2011, 10:38am

Be aware that the 10 digit ISBN standard was formalized in 1970, and the 9 digit ISBN only dates back to 1966. Nothing published and printed BEFORE 1966 can even have an ISBN number. Reprints of older works (e.g., Bram Stoker's Dracula) can have an ISBN for the contemporary edition.

Set 7, 2011, 1:40pm

10-digit ISBNs were introduced in 1967 to replace the 9-digit SBNs of 1966.

This was also around the same time that 5-digit zip codes became mandatory in the US and 10-digit direct dial phone numbers becane common.


Set 7, 2011, 5:36pm

I graduated from college in 1966. Five digit zip codes were fairly well-established before then. I think I remember dialing my own long distance calls as a freshman. In the seventies I was still using one of the Library of Congress identifiers to disambiguate books, although ISBN's could well have been in place and just not monolithic.


Editado: Set 7, 2011, 6:36pm

According to Wikipedia, zip codes were established in the U.S. in 1963, and became mandatory for 2nd & 3rd class mail in 1967.

Also from Wikipedia, 9 digit ISBN's came out (as mentioned already) in 1966, the 10-digit standard was "published" in 1970, but some in Britain used the digit form until 1974.

Before this, there were LCCNs, Library of Congress Card Number, many U.S. books have these printed in them after 1945; and these numbers can be used when adding books with LOC as a source in LT . LCCN's date before 1945, but I don't remember seeing them printed in books before then.

Edit: LCCN's date from 1898. The acronym can also be written out as Library Congress Control Number (current proper name). There was a time when libraries would order LOC cards for their own library catalogue, which used to be all cards.

Set 7, 2011, 6:52pm

I used to order LoC cards for the library where I worked. It was *much* nicer than having to type them.

Out 28, 2011, 7:52am

Well, I'm in. Me and my 312 ultb's. All tagged, covers uploaded.

I especially enjoy ultb's of well-known authors. For instance, the Dutch authors Adriaan van Dis, Nescio and F. Bordewijk. I have 11 ultb's of Adriaan van Dis, all of them signed, 21 ultb's of F. bordewijk and 8 of Nescio. Van Dis told me when signing my books that even he doesn't own one of my ultb's. He didn't ask me for it, luckily, because I fear I would have had to say no.

Editado: Dez 4, 2011, 12:28pm

Hello, just joined with a few ULTB


All french books, some of which were presumably widely sold enough that they should eventually become non-unique as the user base increases.

Dez 4, 2011, 5:14pm

#33 -- Sometimes, clearing up author records reduces the number of ULTB's. So, I worked on Pierre-Georges Castex, but it didn't change your ULTB's, but I did set the record straight, as the prime author in LT is the Pierre Castex born 1915, not the one who lived 1924-1991. I had to check Worldcat and French Wikipedia to figure it out. My French is fairly modest, so I sent one of the French articles through the Google translator, and the results were so garbled that I decided to handle the French directly.

Jan 13, 2013, 9:23am

Just joined, I have 3 ULTBs:
a scifi story, an engineering book and an insect book for kids.
Het Laatste Offensief; Vliegtuigconstructies; Jakkes, Beestjes!

Scanned their covers myself. Tried to be as thorough as reasonable on the entries.

Will probably add some more later on, there's plenty of old books still to catalogue.

Jan 13, 2013, 11:12pm

I was trying so figured my unica even before I found this group yesterday. As all of you know, the situation is complicated. Of the 1314 books in my regular collection 56 show me as the only owner by LT count, but of these there were only 42 that I felt comfortable putting into a separate list which I called "Only in my library?" I have not yet applied the specific standards of this forum (so none of them have a ultb tag yet), but I suspect that these standards would put me close to the lower number than the higher. There are things that it's hard for me to imagine don;t exist elsewhere in LT, but pretty diligent searching hasn't turned them up.

My Minneapolis collection, which is maintained separately because it is co-owned with my partner, has 22 of 73 ultbs (not surprisingly).

However, if I included my printed music the percentage gets very large indeed. I do, in fact, have a lot really obscure music, but I doubt that I will ever get an accurate reading here because musical items are entered so haphazardly my many users that it's often impossible to tell what they actually own.

Jan 19, 2013, 7:41pm

To all: as I may have said before, here or on another thread, there is a grey area at the edge of this interesting category. If you look at my Catalogue, you'll see that I have almost five-hundred items which I have tagged as "LibraryThing first appearance". I chose this approach before even knowing of this Group, to allow for the possibility of future entries' making my items no longer unique. I cetainly don't want to waste time going back to adjust what is no longer unique. What do the rest of you think of this approach, especially sjnorquist (whose collection is noticeably parallel to my own). Joy to all, -- Goddard

Editado: Jan 19, 2013, 11:20pm

37, HarryMacDonald, the problem is that your list is not accurate.

Just a quick glance and I could see that you were not the first person to list The Island Means Minago by Milton Acorn. Your entry is from Sept 26, 2012 and clearly there was a review posted Feb 27, 2011 before you posted your review (also) on Sept 26, 2012. It appears that your copy was not the 'first appearance'. There are 12 other people who have it also, and I didn't bother to check their entry dates once I saw there was a review previous to yours.

While I understand that you don't want to waste time going back to adjust what is no longer unique, that is something that we all have to do periodically if we want to have accurate ULTB lists.

Editado: Jan 20, 2013, 7:33am

>37 HarryMacDonald: I'd be reluctant to use that, because as pointed in >38 mitchellmom: it may not be the first appearance, just that one failed at the time to properly track down and combine other copies.

I don't mind going through my collection once in a while to remove the tag from items that now have 2+ members, for some books it can be fun (and wish-list fattening) to get a peek at the library of other people who also have that book.

Jan 20, 2013, 8:53am

In rebus 37 & 38. Many thanks to both of you for pointing-out those problems. I can assure you that at the time of entering THE ISLAND, the LT software didn't indicate any other such holdings. I don't know how or why such things happen, though I would speculate that it derives either from the time-lag in certain LT operations, or from that complex issue of the Work vs the Book. Anyway, I'll fix what I can. Meanwhile I am pretty confident that most of the other stuff, particularly the labour-movement, railroad, and much of the art-history is what I have reported it to be. I am also aware that because of the Work vs Book issue, there are false overlaps for me with items as diverse as opera scores and Marx Brothers movies. I've given up trying to fix those, leaving the job to persons with a thicker hide: I got tired of the high-handed lectures -- not from Tim or Jeremy, significantly -- about my general inability to navigate LT, or indeed life itself. Anyway, thanks again, and maybe I'll think about re-tagging, and coming onver to this Group, though the Rules seem ratrher daunting by any standards short of Byzantine theology. Best, -- Goddard

Jan 20, 2013, 10:00am

In rebus 37 et seq. Repeated thanks to all, with bells on. Just ran through my FirstAppearance list, and snagged three items, including the Milton Acorn cited. All the other cases where other participants listed the same work were subsequent to mine. There remain the spurious overlaps caused by LT's policy on the Work vs the Book. I won't flog that one any more. Curiously one case where two members were reported showed me as the other member, even though the works and the entries were identical. I guess we should be glad that the sysetm works even 51% of the time. The eagle-eye we turn on each other helps to fill-in much of that other 49%. Peace to all, -- G PS: Jarandel, I heartily agree with you about the innocent pleasure of checking each other's collections from time to time, but honestly cannot fathom the motivation of those who participate in LT but keep their holdings private. Still, I keep an open mind. Can anyone enlighten me on this point? The only person with whom I've previously had this discussion -- the "rsterling" who is all over the site like paint -- didn't much clarify the matter to me. Still, it was probably a Receiver-problem, not a Sender-problem: I am a notorioulsy slow learner. -- G

Jan 20, 2013, 10:20am


I think the reason The Island.... book didn't indicate to combine when you entered it, is because you seem to have added a period to Milton Acorn's name. It does not show now, but when I saw it last night, it showed as this: Milton.Acorn, thus that would cause the LT software to think it was a NEW author and not know that it was to be combined with Milton Acorn. Someone else, must have come along and combined the books after you entered yours in September. (I combine books all the time, even books that I don't own, just trying to clean up the loose ends!)

Have fun with LT! I struggle with the work vs. book issue too, but have found this is a great data base to utilitze. It is what you want it to be!

Jan 20, 2013, 12:03pm

Hi, Mom! Yepp, I caught that period too. That doubtless was at-least part of the problem. You are right about making LT what we want it to be. I am, however, still chuckling over a lecture I rcvd some months ago, warning me that LT was, in essence, Tim's Spalding's private sandox, and if we didn't like it, we could take our little shovels and scram. Keep smiling! -- "Harry" (Goddard)

Jan 22, 2013, 7:46pm

>37 HarryMacDonald:, I guess the LT first appearance thing is less interesting to me than the fact of continuing uniqueness, but it is an intriguing idea. I don't think I will pursue either option for my printed music, much of which is unique, because of the sloppy (and bizarre) ways that people have chosen to enter scores, and because it is so often impossible to tell scores from recordings in some members's listing. I will probably glance through my "Only in my library?" collection once in a while to update it, but I don't use the official tag.

Jan 22, 2013, 8:07pm

To all the latter-day posters. I cannot for the life of me understand why those who catalogue sound recordings and/or scores don't indicate the format on the Title line. I'm not saying that my system is fool-proof, but a title which indicates "Sound recording: LP" cannot possibly be mistaken for a score. But here I am, of-course, preaching to the choir -- whether they sing from memory, or from score! Keep the faith, all of yezz! -- G

Editado: Jan 22, 2013, 8:35pm

I haven't been adding [score] to entries because to my mind "Score" is the default for say, Beethoven, Piano Concerto #4. Similarly, I would not add [book] for Jane Eyre. However, having seen the consequences, I will be going back retrospectively at some point and adding [score] to musical titles.

Jan 22, 2013, 8:23pm

> 45
As somebody who has not (yet) entered "[sheet music]" (I don't usually think of my mostly piano music as "scores") in the title of my works that are such, I think the reason is that when I was entering it, I didn't consider it part of the title. Well, I still don't. It's metadata. It's only due to the limitations of LT in not supporting the metadata needs of nontraditional media that one needs to do this. At some point I will go through them and change them, though.

Editado: Jan 22, 2013, 8:45pm

>46 sjnorquist: omargosh. Yes, there is the nomenclature issue as well. Musicians don't tend to think of three page piano pieces as "scores", but on the other hand I don't think of volumes of sonatas as "sheet music". (Volumes of music are called "sheet music" at the bookstore where I work, and it drives me crazy.) Musicians routinely refer to choral "scores" as "octavos", but this, of course, has meaning in the regular book biz too, and would probably cause confusion. I'm probably going to opt for [score] or [printed music] in the title line. I already use more accurate descriptions in tags (octavo, miniature score, full score, piano-vocal score, etc.)

Jan 23, 2013, 3:59am

It would already help combiners and separators if people would indicate in the details what something was.

To me it too looks wrong to add the media to the title. But it is necessary on LT to prevent wrongful combinations.

Jan 23, 2013, 4:28pm

>41 HarryMacDonald:

One reason why people use LT but choose to keep their libraries private is because they enjoy the site's functionality in terms of book cataloguing (saves them the trouble of learning about databases and SQL) without feeling any specific need to share their book buying habits with the world at large, or because they have no desire to use Talk or any other non-strictly-cataloguing area of the site. Others may be keen to preserve their privacy -- especially if they use the same username (or a very similar one) on other sites. They might have an unusually large collection of erotica, valuable manuscripts or first editions that they don't want anyone to find out about. They might have several books about mental issues and psychiatry that reveal too much about their own personal history; similar considerations hold for apostates / book thieves / victims of online bullying. Perhaps their tagging habits are too private.

Importantly, not wanting to share your personal library with the world need not entail any specific reason for secrecy, much like not wanting to be filmed in public areas does not mean that you have something to hide -- "it's none of your business" is, to my mind, a perfectly cromulent reason in its own right.

Jan 23, 2013, 4:38pm

In re #50. Well-argued, and well-expressed. I have no problem with privacy, but HAVE had some problems on LT with persons who hide behind anonymity/pseudonymity and then leap out with some irrational, or at-least time-wasting twaddle. . . . I like the word "cromulent". That comes, I believe, from the days when the South Dakotans cast-off the yoke of their oppressors from the Isles of Langerhans. Means something like "sounds especially good when played on a crummhorn". Or maybe not. Thanks for your observations! -- Goddard. . . Now if we can just separate the song-sheets from the song-folios from the scores from the LPs from . . .

Jan 23, 2013, 8:32pm

> 47 and > 49
Somewhat responding to myself, I did something today to make me more agreeable to putting "[sheet music]" or "[score]" right after the title, despite it being metadata. I was looking in an online catalog for a book today and came across an entry which turned out to be a review of the book, but the title didn't include "[review]", which would have been helpful. I was surprised that the entry included a link to read the full text, and disappointed that it wasn't the full text of the book.

Jan 25, 2013, 10:39am

> 51
Cromulent is one of the neologisms that the Simpsons have given us (usually "X is a perfectly cromulent word.").
& I agree with private users making a mess of things: there's no way of contacting them and gently bringing that to their attention.

>47 omargosh:, 48, 49, 52
That is what many users here do to disambiguate e.g. films from the books they are based on or editions of sheet music from actual music: they'll add [movie] or [dvd] to their dvd titles (like this) and [cd] to their music albums (like this). Sadly, many users don't make that effort (causing a mess for combiners). One user who makes a point of avoiding such ambiguity is theabbotsmusick, who uses that account for music only. His entry titles all include distinguishing tags.

Jan 25, 2013, 11:20am

I have tagged my orphans with "ultb" (715 currently, with some missing) in order to take advantage of the people here who actively seek those out for combination. (Thank you all!)

Goddard, "first appearance" is a nice category, well worth keeping. It may cost you some labour, though, to ascertain that any given entry really is such, given the many ways different people may enter stuff. If it looks as if yours is the only title in the database, I'd first check the author page for any other uncombined copy of it. Then you might do a site-wide search on the title, in case the author name itself wasn't properly combined, or if there are variant authors (Anonymous vs. Various vs. Editor vs. "No Author" etc.)

Of course, there's no end to possible typos, say, in either the title or author name, which could still obscure that other copy of the book in the database. Still, until any such are found or corrected (we do combine terms with obvious typos, rather than chasing down every last member who makes them and nagging them to edit), if the author and the title have been properly combined, to all purposes such a title would be unique to the database.

By the way, one way of telling whether you were really the first one to enter something is to look at the sequence of member names on the work page. This, however, will only work for works with relatively few copies. For instance:


The order of entering of the title was 1) benwaugh 2) me 3) VolupteFunebre

Again, the application is limited, but not completely useless if you mostly enter relatively rare titles.

Jan 26, 2013, 3:42am

I lik the idea of "LibraryThing first appearance" too. I've started using it.

Editado: Maio 30, 2014, 4:35pm

message removed...missed rule, sorry to disturb you guys.

Jun 2, 2014, 4:12pm

Seriously missing a rule is nothing to be sorry about...

Jun 2, 2014, 5:52pm

well it comes down to the matter of xeroxing a book for research purposes, with no commercial intent. I'd not have photographic evidence of owning more than a pile of sheets of paper, actually a plain binder with a label. I think that would violate the photographic proof rule, though I co-pied all the appropriate bibliographic info. So I'm looking for guidance here. Please help.
The commercial outlay was probably what a second hand copy would cost, but I very strongly doubt that the availability of the book is any better than when I committed the act. It was the only surviving copy available, for sale, or even for inter-library loan.

Editado: Jun 2, 2014, 7:41pm

I've cataloged a few out-of-print works my husband had copied (or was giving a copy of). I've also cataloged (and tagged ULTB) a few unpublished manuscripts from established authors and in one case a handwritten scroll. I debated some before doing so, actually untagged them at one point, but I decided that the uniqueness of the items trumped the "rules".

I admit that some might disagree.

In the case of your copy, I presume you're discussing something that's still in copyright? If it's old enough, it doesn't matter if it was once copyrighted. Also, it's only the owner of the rights who can call you out on it. If the author is dead, only the estate. If the publisher is out of business, they can't sue you. It still might be murky if someone wanted to republish the works; books for which the rights owner cannot be found (as in the hypothetical out-of-business publisher or deceased author) are called "copyright orphans," because nothing can be done with the work until the copyright lapses.

Jun 3, 2014, 3:57pm

" nothing can be done with the work until the copyright lapses." Which is what is so aggravating about our endless copyright laws.

Thanks for reviving the thread, I am off to check my counts.

Jun 3, 2014, 4:14pm

Europe has passed laws towards allowing digitizing and display or commercialization of orphan works after due diligence had been used to ensure they are indeed orphans (an estimated 40% of works in large patrimonial libraries was apparently deemed likely orphans and potential candidates for such a project).
Though works can of course be withdrawn if right holders wake up after the fact, some authors fear the checking may not be diligent enough.

Jun 3, 2014, 4:29pm

It reminded me to check my counts, too. Haven't entered any books (that I own) in a long time. I guess it says something of the success of LT that maybe 20 of my books needed to come off the loner's list.

I do make a couple of small exceptions on count. If I've cataloged a single-copy book in both my and my late husband's catalog, it shows two copies, but since it's one physical book, I count it as an ultb. Same if I've got more than one copy of something no one else has; since I'm the only cataloger, I count it as ultb.

So, end result with the two accounts is a modest 300 ultbs. Still have stuff uncataloged, though.

Jul 4, 2014, 1:19am

I just discovered this group. Within my very eclectic collection of 2200+ books I find I have 53 unique titles - some obscure items on music, health, local interest. Also a couple of odd cookbooks and a number of rare books.

Jul 11, 2014, 5:20pm


I love it, "uniqueness trumps the rules"

Jul 11, 2014, 10:17pm

>64 misericordia: What the heck, considering that most of the really odd works will wind up in a university library special collection, I think they count.

Jul 14, 2014, 3:36pm

I am in the process of discarding some books - culling and thinning out to make space for new ones. I wonder if ULTB status is a reason itself for keeping something one is doubtful about?

Jul 14, 2014, 4:14pm


If you like the idea that someone in LT has a copy of every book ever published, then you wouldn't want to get rid of a ULTB book. I have, however, disposed of 1 or 2. But, I leave them in my LT library as Withdrawn.

Jul 14, 2014, 5:00pm

>66 Africansky1: I just disposed of an old Turkish-English dictionary in bad shape; I never entered it here, and I'm not sure that anyone here has a copy, but WorldCat turned up dozens of copies across the US, and old Turkish dictionaries are worse then old English dictionaries in that Turkish readers frequently can't read the old Arabic script. There are enough copies that any one who cared could lay their hands on one, so this one wasn't worth trying to restore it.

Of course, if you're taking your ULTBs to a place where they will be resold, unless your library is open for lending, there's no need to sacrifice shelf space to preserve this copy.

Jul 14, 2014, 5:04pm

When I get rid of a book, I put it in my Deaccessioned collection, but leave the ULTB tag.

Editado: Ago 22, 2014, 10:46am

>69 PhaedraB: I put it in my Weg collection, and delete the ultb tag. I use the tag only for books I physically possess.

Jul 15, 2014, 5:23pm

>70 henkl: I figure, it's still the only copy cataloged on LT, even if I no longer physically possess it.

Jul 16, 2014, 10:29am

As I've mentioned before, I will sometimes use the ULTB tag under the following circumstances even though LT reports multiple copies cataloged:

* I have two or three copies of a rare book but they are the only copies anywhere on LT Malcolm the Waterboy

* I have one copy cataloged and the others listed are part of a Legacy Library

* I have one copy cataloged and the others are part of a wish list

* I have one copy cataloged and the others are eBooks.

The last three have come up only a couple times thus far but I expect they will be more common if I do any looking of my rare-on-LT volumes.


Jul 16, 2014, 11:47am

>72 Keeline: Not counting Legacy Library entries is a good idea. I have a couple of books that are present in those (but at least one living member also shares them, so I don't list them). I have only one item in my Wishlist, and it's a book I'll probably never own (I'm not willing to part with the cash, and there seems to be only two copies for sale (but repeated on multiple sites).

Jul 16, 2014, 11:52am

I tag as ULTB books that are catalogued by me and a private user. Slippery devils!

Jul 17, 2014, 4:15pm

74> you are cheating, we will reduce your total by 1/2.

Jul 17, 2014, 4:24pm


Jul 21, 2014, 11:16am

>72 Keeline: Keeline: When/If all books are eBooks will you still think it is ultb?

Are eBooks more or less ethereal than wishes?

Are most Legacy Libraries memories or real?

So how unique is unique?

Jul 21, 2014, 10:23pm

#77 by misericordia>

There will always be physical books, if only used ones.

Downloading a free public domain eBook takes very little effort. Once available, it is not scarce.

A wishlist is a book someone has heard about but has not succeeded in finding at a price they will pay. This is why I'm not happy that wishlist numbers add to the size of libraries in the top 10,000 libraries list. It is easy to add 5,000 wishlist items (no financial or physical investment) and make it seem as if one has a really large library. I won't get any traction on changing this, regardless my views.

Many legacy libraries are based on published lists, not actual collections that are still held together.

Unique is a term with very literal definitions and some ones that are more impressions. The literal is "one of a kind". It is often misused to become uncommon. This leads to terms like "very unique" which are pointless in the context of "one of a kind".

A term like ULTB is more meaningful when you have (own) a book (a real book) that is uncommon enough that no one on LT has it and has cataloged it.

It is for these reasons that I have adopted the policies I have for when to use the tag. I ask(ed) for commentary to see if this conforms to a consensus of how others use it.


Jul 22, 2014, 10:20am

I agree that downloading an e-book takes very little effort but scarce and unique are not the same. I have 144 e books in my library, 58 of them labeled utlb-e (not poaching on ultb). Why are books so readily available still only represented by a single "copy" on LT? Because very few people have any interest in the subject. I did however just remove that tag from three books that others have added to their libraries.

I use ultb-w for my wishlist books that no one has cataloged and that I am the only one looking for. Again books that no one else is interested in or that they just don't know about yet. I have a lot of books on my wish list, 744 but only 26 tagged ultb-w. The oldest was published in 1693 and I know where to find it on microfilm. I have very little hope of ever getting a copy but still... The newest was published in 2009. A History of Blacks in Kentucky: In Pursuit of Equality, 1890-1980, it's semi-academic, published by a historical society and of limited interest but one day I will find a copy at a price I will pay. The ultb-w lets me know that if I stumble on a copy of it and another book on my want list at the same time this one gets priority.

I agree that ultb should only be used for physical books on our shelves but I see value in other designations that someone might want to use.

Jul 22, 2014, 4:36pm

#79 by TLCrawford>

This seems like a reasonable way to handle these situations.

I get many PDFs from Google Books, Archive.org, etc. I even make many of them myself. I have been building an archive of Edward Stratemeyer's personally written stories, including the 168 books and many dozens of story paper serials, dime novels, and short stories. Obviously it is not complete but I've made considerable progress beyond what is available for free online on the easy sources. I don't catalog these at this time and am not sure if I will. If I have the book, I might add a link to the PDF in the comments field.

The whole nature of ULTB is that the books are perhaps quite scarce or they are at least obscure enough that only one person has cared enough to get one and catalog it. At the end of the day it doesn't mean a whole lot but it is fun to have a way to see which books are less often cataloged on LT.

I also like legacy libraries and have seen lists of the books owned by one of my collected authors and have thought about building a legacy library for him.

My personal choice was to not use the LT wishlist feature once I realized if affected the apparent size of our library. As a personal definition, shared by a few I suspect, a library or collection reflects the books one owns and not titles once read or heard about through some means. Others have different views of this and that's fine. It just makes it hard to make any sort of meaningful comparison.


Jul 22, 2014, 8:31pm

>80 Keeline: I quite agree about wishlists. I have only one book in mine, because it's a book I'm still ambivalent about, and I use the link often enough to search for it that it's just too convenient not to keep it. I used to have a couple or so more, but I removed them for the same reason that you don't have them.

I have a few ULTB books. They're all physical books, in my possession (and in some cases, they are probably the only copy there is, not just on LT, but in general).

Jul 23, 2014, 9:10am

I use the wishlist to control my shopping. When I am browsing the shelves and see a familiar title I have learned to check LT mobile to see if I already own the book and if I have already decided I was interested in buying it. If I don't already have it and I don't have it already I do a little research and, lately, I pass it by. If I did not find it on LT at all. I would likely buy is. If someone I know on here gave it a bad review there is not a chance I would spend money on it.

Jul 26, 2014, 5:22pm

Thanks for the feedback . With culling , shedding books and checking , new additions by myself and others now brought my ULTB total down to 2671 out of 14300+ . (Was much higher ) .

Editado: Jul 30, 2014, 7:56pm


I am sorry, it is a sad thought, but there will not always be physical books or for that matter e-books... I mean there were no books before 3200 BC give or take. When parsing the mean of unique be careful of your usage of "always". If unique is one of a kind then always isn't the next 10 or 100,000 years.

I don't understand what the slight amount of effort download loading a e-book does to it's validity as a ULTB. ULTB means unique within Library Thing not the whole wide world or world wide web. In addition ULTB is not the the same a Scarce Library Thing Book. (hmmm SLTB less the 5% of the of the... NO NO NO not going down that road...)

Wishlist, sure they are much less real than e-books. Putting a ULTB tag on a wishlist book is sort of pointless. I could put "The Dynamics of an Asteroid" by Professor James Moriarty on my wishlist. But really what would be the point. Once there should/could I really tag it ULTB. (Thinking thinking NO NO NO I am not going to do that...)

Finally, If I am not mistaking Thomas Jefferson Library (in my thinking the premier Legacy library) does in fact exist, in actual full physical manifestation. It is the Library of Congress if I am not mistaken.


I was trying to find the Legacy Library page when I glanced at the "Vous et nul autre" page. (Go to the Stats/Memes tab and scroll down on the right side to Memes heading.) This page use to be a list of books you and one other person had. It now has a index for 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. ZERO! ULTB in a FLASH!!! WOW! WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN!!!