Where do we stand?

DiscussãoUnique Library Thing Book Group

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Where do we stand?

Ago 17, 2012, 12:53pm

So, where do we stand on the number of ULTBs?
I have 115 out of 1188 total books.
What about the rest of you?

Editado: Ago 17, 2012, 1:37pm

I have 19 out of 1302 (not all are owned!).

Correction: after realizing these had to be OWNED (in my library), I went back to recalculate:

14 out of 641 owned (2%?)

Ago 17, 2012, 1:24pm

159 out of 1937 (total books include read but unowned & wishlist, the ultb themselves are or were all owned)

Ago 17, 2012, 1:37pm

Only 41 or the 2242 physical books I have in my possession are ULTB.

60 of my 133 eBooks are ULTB-E. Most of those are medical texts and histories from the early to mid 19th century that I have down loaded from various sources including the National Library of Medicine in the National Institute of Health.

Ago 17, 2012, 1:41pm

After a bit of clean up, I still show 568 items with ULTB.

Per previous discussions, if I have the only two copies of a book on LT, I'm still using the ULTB tag unless there is a strong objection.

I have noticed a couple cases where some over-zealous combiners have grouped books they don't understand. This is especially the case for Jules Verne among my books. For example, highly abridged retellings should not be combined with the full works and yet one I have was, a From the Earth to the Moon.

Also among Verne there are non-English and non-French translation volumes with two or more stories that should not be combined with single-story books of the only one people can recognize.

A Pirates of the Caribbean book that was put out by Theme Park Adventure is not the same as the souvenir from Disneyland and Walt Disney World but it has been combined inappropriately.

It will take time to separate these that I don't care to spend this morning. I recognize that this mild rant is a topic for the Combiners group. However, I mention it here because it does impact ULTB counts.


Ago 17, 2012, 3:47pm

555 out of 5485, about 10%.

Ago 17, 2012, 7:31pm


If you have knowledge about different editions like that you could put it in a disambiguation notice. This would help you keep your books seperate and might educate the rest of us.

Ago 17, 2012, 7:36pm

On the question of "Where do we stand?", alone of course. Hard to be unique otherwise.

Ago 18, 2012, 1:47am

2396 of 12484

Ago 18, 2012, 8:07am

Not counting bookseller catalogues or having the only work in a certain language, 13 out of 910

Ago 18, 2012, 1:41pm

In addition to the number of books that are unique to our individual library. the relitive obscurity of our collections can be found on our statistics page. My statistics are

77/818 Median/mean book obscurity

If I eliminated my wife's Harry Potter books or my murder mysteries and really concentrated on my obscure historical topics I could get it much lower.

Ago 18, 2012, 5:11pm

My library stats are 6/19 Median/mean book obscurity. Seems easier and less fluctuating to track than UTLB's, plus I'm confused how to count unique books that one has that are either on someone else's watch list or in a legacy library. How do other's in this group handle those?

Ago 18, 2012, 10:50pm

I am still in a quandary to find that Nela the Conjuror, a scarce Stratemeyer book under the Bonehill name, was also added to the Harry Houdini legacy library. This is a book someone believes was owned by him. However I think that it is reasonable to guess that the collection is now dispersed. As such, the other entry in LT there is not an owned book. Should this count the same as another copy actually owned and entered into LT?

Also, what if someone goes through a collection and adds interesting books they find there (some ULTB) to their wishlist? With the wishlists on LT treated like owned books, it's a little hard to run down each book demoted because of another listing.

Finally, some people choose to add print on demand books and ebooks. That's fine but what should it mean for ULTB stats?


Ago 19, 2012, 12:35am

#13 Finally, some people choose to add print on demand books and ebooks. A copy of the book is still a copy. Print on demand I can accept if they actually have it, I'm still not convinced about ebooks though.

Ago 19, 2012, 1:08am

459 ULTBs out of 4328 books. 10.6%.

I have no problem with POD books; they are physical, dead-tree books, with pages and covers, that occupy space on my bookshelf, and I can read them. How is this not a book?

I have not so far been entering my e-books, except as a comment where I have the same book in both media, but I may do it in the future, because one of the main reasons for cataloging my library on LT is to prevent spending money on duplicate copies. It seems to me that this is still a concern, whether the duplicate is electronic or physical. There are sometimes reasons to do this on purpose, but I would rather not do it accidentally.

My two cents.

Ago 19, 2012, 9:41am

I don't have a problem with cataloging PoD books. I own many and am even involved in producing some like Victor Horton's Idea. Some books are very hard to find in physical copies but because they have been digitized as scans or OCR from Google Books, Archive.org, HathiTrust, or Project Gutenberg, they are available electronically and some put out slap-dash no-edit upload and forget it PoD books.

My question about this came up when I was observing that The Building of a Book appeared to be available as a PoD with the generic covers so common for that variety of book.

Even if we cared to make a distinction between eBooks and PoD, it would be hard to tell when someone has cataloged either of them since there's no distinction on LT either from vintage books or even between each other. Even if LT added a format field (hardcover, paperback, PoD paperback, eBook, audio book, etc.) it is likely that most people would not go back and update. If this is important to people, they probably tag it accordingly as I do terms like pb (paperback) and DJ (dust jacket).

I offer these questions so that I can tag ULTBs in a way that is consistent with others here. My goal is to find books that interest me in sufficient condition that I think they are worth owning. Anything else is a bonus or fun trivia.


Ago 19, 2012, 6:02pm

Since I joined LT the focus of my library has shifted. I have gone from focusing on collectable contemporary fiction, completest for some authors and signed first editions of others first published works. Obviously that would not involve many ULTBs. Since then I have shifted my focus to the study of history and I am slowly narrowing that focus. To do that I really need to use my wish list to track title I have heard about but not yet found. I have 700+ titles in my wishlist 30 of them are tagged ULTB-W. Since my current research covers 1800 - 1852 I am looking at a lot of period title that have been turned into ebooks. I keep them in a collection called, obviously, eBooks and 60 of the 133 titles in that collection are tagged ULTB-E. I need to keep track of those titles.

I have another 5 books labeled ULTB-SF (for Set Free) in my Read but Unowned collection. Now I am not that attached to those books but I don't want to eliminate them from my library I have read them and they are in my head so I don't want to remove them from my library.

I don't think anybody should give a second thought to adding a title in any format, even to a wishlist, just because it might knock someone else out of a ULTB. I doubt that anyone anytime soon will be adding Nubian resettlement in the Sudan, or A Reply to the Attacks of Dr. Charles Cladwell, or The northern lakes a summer resort for invalids of the South.

Although as I was typing this I noticed that my ULTB-SF had to be reduced by one.

Ago 19, 2012, 6:11pm

I don't have any of these problems as all of my LT catalog can be found in my home on a shelf somewhere.
Even the e-books will be found in my Kindle on the shelf next to my chair.
I never use wishlist.

Ago 28, 2012, 3:08pm

If you are particularly interested in relative obscurity of your whole collection as opposed to pure ULTBs, there's a group called Too Obscure http://www.librarything.com/groups/tooobscure It's not very active, though (and since it was founded back in 2006, the medians and means mentioned in the earliest posts can be pretty impressively obscure). I don't know if some other group has picked up the theme.

Set 20, 2012, 12:12pm

I list my e-books in their own collection but don't include them in the 'your library' collection. I'm not at the point that i consider an e-book as something real, or even as mine, since they are merely licensed to me.

Set 21, 2012, 10:03am

At the moment I count 11 out of 1275. I'm obviously not even trying. All are physical books, but I can't understand why ebooks do not count. Both have the words we read books for, after all.

Set 21, 2012, 11:48am

You can count anything you want to count, spaceowl. (love your name, btw) The thing is, what's the chance that a book that has been made digital is not already listed on LT anyway? I know nothing about ebooks, so please tell me what I am missing.

Set 21, 2012, 1:36pm

#22 If you take a look at my catalog "e books" you will get an idea of what we have. Most of mine are PDFs of books from the 19th century and earlier. Of the 135 titles I think I have only paid for two or three. Some, Common Sense, Capital, and The Wealth of Nations are very popular but many, like Of the Epidemic Cholera, as it appeared in Cincinnati are very obscure. I try to put a link in the comments section to allow anyone interested to find them and so that if anything ever comes of my research I can document it.

Set 21, 2012, 1:42pm

Oh yeah, where do we stand...

60 ultb-e (e books)

30 ultb-w (wish list, most are less that 20 years old, just obscure although a few are microfilms that maybe I should think about a little harder.)

41 ultb, physical paper copies on my shelves.

Set 21, 2012, 1:48pm

Oh. I see now. Well, anyway, just want to assure spaceowl that no one is trying to prevent him from putting ULTB on his catalog entries.

Set 21, 2012, 5:46pm

I just pruned my ultb down to 220 out of 3866 - all physical books or magazines.

Set 21, 2012, 8:45pm

I'm at 113 out of 1529. That's 7.3%.

Also, aaaah, space owl... Good times

Set 22, 2012, 12:19am

I'm at 224 out of 3339. 6.7%

Set 22, 2012, 1:56am

#22: Millions--literally millions--of volumes have been scanned by Google and put online. Many of my ULTBs are digital, though they're all commercial RPG material born digital and likely never printed. My other accounts, prosfilaes-gutenberg*, has almost 30 ULTBs (in a sense) all of which are available from Project Gutenberg. (I only add them to my account if I've read them and want to record that, or if I own the physical book.)

* http://www.librarything.com/catalog/prosfilaes-gutenberg

Set 27, 2012, 7:45pm

I was at 459, but lost 5 and gained 1, so now at 455.

Out 2, 2012, 3:43am

I am still at 48 out of 1721 (owned) titles, to my surprise. 8/497 on my wishlist. 198/1001 mean/median obscurity.

Out 15, 2012, 5:49am

#29 - The more people who are introduced to the genius of John Allison the better.

For everyone else, thanks for the clarification. The total has risen to 12, BTW.

Nov 8, 2012, 1:12pm

Is anyone aware of tags other than "Unique"? When I joined LT I had thought of using that, but rejected it as subject to misinterpretation. After a thorough soaking in the inadequacies of LT's software, I am glad I made that choice. Tiny example: last night I encountered a situation of a phantom-match for what I thought was a unique entry, only to find upon further investigation that the alleged match was a printed score as distinct from a sound-recording. From the beginning I have opted for "LibraryThing first appearance", and though cumbersome for my aging fingers, I am content with using that. PS: while we all take pride in one thi g or another, obscurity is in the eye of the beholder. I am perfectly content that some of my entries be First Appearances, but to call them "obscure" would to display a lamentable cultural narrowness. There -- I've said it. Forgive it if it seems arch, but you have to take me as I am.

Nov 8, 2012, 7:18pm

#33 - When I've gone through and cleaned up my ULTB tags, I've been retagging those that now have 2+ owners as "former-ultb", which I think is conceptually kind of the same as "LibraryThing first appearance". I think it will be kind of nice to see the day when all of my ultbs will be former-ultbs. (I won't feel as special, but also won't feel as weird!)

Funnily enough, I went to your profile and the one item we supposedly have in common (Piano music by Louis Moreau Gottschalk) appears as a recording ... even though I haven't added any recordings here, just sheet music. I'll have to see if I can't clean that up.

Nov 16, 2012, 7:01pm

Just did a check; took ULTB off 7 books and added it to 4. One of them won't be an ULTB for long: Harry Potter Film Wizardry Revised and Expanded! I'm surprised it's lasted as long as it has!

Nov 26, 2012, 12:07pm

26 out of 711 3%

Some one else has How to Use Pickett Log Log Slide Rule Wow and its their only book!?!

Nov 26, 2012, 12:16pm

That same thing happened to me, misericordia! I was so surprised to see that this user
has only one book, and it's one of mine.
I have separated mine from his because someone went on a series binge and I don't want to be a part of that.
I already counted it as a ULTB anyway, though, because it is just too weird that a one-book-only person has it.

Nov 26, 2012, 1:01pm

157 books out of 1976 listed, 7.9%

Jan 18, 2013, 10:13am

Already this month I have managed to move two books from my wish list to honest ultb status. The Northern Lakes and The History of the Negro in Medicine, both for an ongoing research project.

Abr 14, 2013, 3:20am

After a bit of cleanup, I have 186 ULTBs out of 5610 total cataloged, 4639 cataloged in Your Library (and thus physically owned) - 3% and 4%.

I also have two that I know dang well are not unique, since I cataloged them by using brightcopy's script to copy them from another user, but they refuse to combine; and one that I'm pretty sure is unique, both by what it is and because I'm the only member listed by name as having it (no "private member", either). But it says 2 members at the top of the page, so I'm not counting it... no ultb tag on any of these.

I also had to rescue a graphic novel, which does appear to be unique, from being combined with a novel. Same name, same author, very different content (even leaving the graphical element aside - it's a different story). I do have it marked with {GN}, but someone was combining too fast to read...

And two tags removed because I got rid of the books. No longer physically mine means no longer tagged ULTB, as far as I'm concerned.

I don't tag ebooks, either. I don't think the question has actually arisen - I don't add them until I read them, and while I have quite a few obscure ones (mostly from Gutenberg, so not likely unique, just obscure), I haven't read any yet. The new import from calibre, though, may change that - change me cataloging them, I mean, not tagging them. YMMV, but for me, tagging ultb on ebooks feels weird. Same kind of weird as including them in Your Library - I don't (except for a few that I have as both paper and ebooks - I "catalog" those ebooks by adding the records of the paper books to my ebook collection).

Abr 14, 2013, 11:27am

#40 by jjmcgaffey> I also had to rescue a graphic novel, which does appear to be unique, from being combined with a novel. Same name, same author, very different content (even leaving the graphical element aside - it's a different story). I do have it marked with {GN}, but someone was combining too fast to read...

Might I suggest that, to prevent it getting combined again, you A) add a disambiguation notice to the graphic novel, explaining why it's different from the work with the same title/author, and B) expand {GN} to {graphic novel}? I don't think I would have had a clue what {GN} means if I had seen it before now. I spotted another work in your catalog that has {ss} in it's title. No clue what that one means either. But I think the disambiguation notice would be the biggest help in preventing further combination. Even if {graphic novel} is spelled out, a combiner might assume that all the works with that same author/title are also graphic novels, but just haven't been marked as such by their other owners.

Abr 14, 2013, 11:50am

{short story}. And I'm annoyed enough about having extraneous stuff in my titles I don't really want to spell them out. Grrr...may have to, though (you're right). I hadn't thought about the disambiguation notice, that's a good idea.

Abr 14, 2013, 1:03pm

230 ULTBs out of a collection of 1759... a few dozen of those are obscure periodicals, and periodical issues that belong with one of my themed collections, and another good portion is sheet music. A couple are comb-bound volumes of course readings from college. But then I've got stuff like the Linotype Maintenance Manual. Without the sheet music, it's 180 ULTBs out of 1672. I'm a little disappointed that nobody else has a copy of PVC Musical Instruments and How To Make Them!

Abr 14, 2013, 1:21pm

#42 by jjmcgaffey>
Well, the disambiguation notice is more important, in my opinion, for preventing a wrongful combination, and if the disambiguation notice spells out "graphic novel" or "short story", then it should be easy enough for the almost-combiner to figure out what {GN} or {ss} means in the title. Of course, you can catalog it however you'd like, and in ideal world, even just a different ISBN should be enough of a distinction in this same title/author graphic novel case, but of course there are some LT issues with relying on ISBNs.

Abr 14, 2013, 2:45pm

jjmcgaffey have you asked for help with the one that won't combine in the combiners group?

Abr 14, 2013, 9:45pm

45> Not yet. Yeah, I should. But busy. It might magically work, and if not it will still be around and annoying me later when I have more time...

43> Heh. Does it count that I have a PVC digeridoo? A friend made it - he can play it, I can't. But now he has a real one and I have the PVC one...I keep meaning to take it to one of the places I go where people who like weird instruments gather - BayCon, for one - but haven't managed it yet.

Abr 15, 2013, 3:40pm

My count is 1919 out of 4297 (45%). I just cleaned up and could eliminate 20 titles. Most of the uniques are scores, patterns and charts.

Abr 21, 2013, 3:22pm

I finally figured out how to sort books by owned numbers and I seem to have an extraordinary 3129 books ULTBs out of 13 800 plus - seems very high, is it possible? I still have to do the marking up as ultb on the tag lines.

Editado: Abr 21, 2013, 3:34pm

114 books out of 1085 listed, 10,5%
and 4 on my wishlist

Abr 21, 2013, 4:07pm

#48 by Africansky1>
Welcome, Africansky1. It's certainly not impossible. My collection is also about 1/4 ULTB (used to be about 1/3 a year ago), and there are some members with even higher proportions. Some of the works might just be in need of combining (and some combiners specifically look at ULTBs for things to combine).

Abr 21, 2013, 4:09pm

Though it is a bit crazy to think that your set of ULTBs is bigger than my entire collection of books, haha.

Abr 21, 2013, 4:40pm

thank you Omargosh - I think I need to do some more sorting, checking and clearing up - but all that will take time. Yes my library is a large one - fills 3 rooms under our living part of the house and created 2 years ago, a great pleasure but just leads me to indulge in books. I read all the time but still more to go . Keeline thanks for your help in getting going on ULTB.

Abr 21, 2013, 5:12pm

435 out of 4326 - pretty close to 10%. A lot of those are pamphlets and Sotheby auction catalogs; I'm sure they're ULTBs mainly because other people don't bother to catalog them.

Abr 21, 2013, 7:46pm

86 (down from a peak of 101 after my last cleanup effort) out of 3202 for me . . . 2.7%.

Roughly 1/3 forgotten maritime history and aviation titles from the 1920s/30s, 1/3 recent scholarly books on pop culture, 1/6 other titles that make perfect sense (small-press poetry collections, a 1900 rhetoric textbook), and 1/6 titles that make no sense at all (am I really the only one who has Variety's Complete Science Fiction Reviews or Martin Harry Greenberg's anthology Hollywood Unreel?).

Abr 21, 2013, 7:58pm

A lot of mine are obscure music books or 'zines. And cookbooks - the school or whatever kind, comb-bound collections of donated recipes. And various other oddities - computer manuals and the like that most people don't bother to catalog are another group. I have only 184/5628, or 3%. While I was checking, I found two that had been combined and had 23 and 35 total members (so I untagged them - I had 186 tagged at the beginning of my checking).

Abr 22, 2013, 2:21pm

I have 9%, 118/1209.
This is something I did not expect

Abr 22, 2013, 4:40pm

288 of 2236, 13%

Un-ULTB'd 20 books since last measurement.

Editado: Maio 11, 2013, 8:32am

176 out of 2099 (total books include read but unowned & wishlist, the ultb themselves are or were all owned), most of my latest ULTB additions seem to be non-fiction for juvenile readers in french (and originally written in that language).

Maio 11, 2013, 8:49am

Adjusting my gross total by subtracting Wish-List, Read but Unowned, and Wall of Shame (stuff I've read with revulsion), I have a base total of 1,600 titles, of which about 600 are First Appearances. Within that, roughly 500 are unique. I think that's a pretty alarming percentage: no wonder people often wonder what I'm talking-about! Peace to all -- G. PS: for the purists who scorn Recordings, the figure adjusts to about 350 out of about 1,100.

Maio 11, 2013, 9:36am

108/1322. I had to remove two just now because other people catalogued them. I still have a few with another member but they're private members and I don't consider them real. 8% ULTB in my library, which is all actually owned and in my house. Very few read, but I have looked at all the pictures. ;)

Maio 11, 2013, 10:27am

578 out of 5608, 10.3%.

Maio 11, 2013, 11:32am

Hi Guurtje,

I think I combined a few of your ULTB's, so you've dropped to 10% I guess. Sorry...

My total (until someone starts combining...) 296 of 2269, 12,9%

Maio 11, 2013, 4:15pm

62 > Don't be sorry Sneuper. You are one of the many persons who does a lot of work for LT.

Anyway, I still can say that from the most of the former ULTB's I had, I'm the only one in our language.
I can't have them all! I removed them from my ULTB-collection. For me it's an easy way to keep track on them. Now and then I go through the collection and see right away which one is'nt an ULTB anymore.

112 books out of 1095 listed. (10 more books since april 21st)
And 2 left on my wishlist.
I dropped indeed; from 10.5 % to 10.2 %

Maio 24, 2013, 3:53am

I checked all my ultb's: 556 left out of the 578 in message #61.

Jun 26, 2013, 4:12am


I'm glad to find this group!

My ULTB's make up 176 out of a total of 1871 (9.4%)

Jun 28, 2013, 11:59am

Welcome to this group ... Great idea . I have been to
Turkey and visited the great palace mosaic museum in Istanbul and bought a book that has joined the ULTB list .. But it is such a special Istanbul museum more people should have this special guide . Published in 1987 it is still the standard smallish guide book ... Now at 87 pages.

Editado: Jun 28, 2013, 5:56pm

At last count, I was at 10.05%; now with several additions to the non-ULTB collection and one that has been added by another user, I'm at 9.88%. 437 out of 4421.

Editado: Ago 4, 2013, 11:34pm

It is a challenging task/interesting information to know that some books/other printed materials owned by you is unique, only one being catalogued in the LT's website.

It will be more interesting if a member who is not "secretive" and "reserved" to share by giving details about his/her books in a special group for discussion and "chit-chat" or "small talk" about a particular book.

Is there a complete listing of uniquely-owned books by members to view ?

Ago 5, 2013, 2:52am

If you click on the ULTB tag, you'll see the books - or some of the books - that have that tag. Other than that, no - there's a listing of books you own that only one other person owns (Stats/Memes>Memes>Vous... (I forget the French, it's "You and no other"), but no listing of books that are owned by only one person.

One reason for that is that quite a few singletons are either spam or mis-combinations - books entered in such a way that they didn't combine with the work they should have joined. So it may not have been considered worth the effort of programming such a list.

Ago 6, 2013, 8:37am

I've been at 47/1710 for quite some time now. Apart from a few specialised items, most of my ultbs are 30ish years old - I guess nobody else has kept them!

Ago 6, 2013, 10:01am

Some changes in mine when I checked them yesterday.
UTLB currently at 42
UTLB-E 60 (down 2)
UTLB-W 28 (down 3)

One of the E books I lost to a Legacy Library, Harry Truman had a copy of Official Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention held in Cincinnati June 2-6 1856

Ago 6, 2013, 10:43am

#71 by TLCrawford>
Looks to me like one of you has Official Report of the Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention, 1948 and the other has Official Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention held in Cincinnati June 2-6 1856 so I'd say a separation is in order, in which case you can restore your copy to its former UTLB status.

Ago 6, 2013, 1:45pm

Thank you for pointing that out. It does make more sense for Truman to have a copy for a convention that nominated him.

I have no idea how to separate them. Isn't there a limit to the string length that the software looks at when it separates titles?

Ago 6, 2013, 4:45pm

#73 I separated your copy and several more that combined due to the 22 (or whatever) digit rule. Restore your ULTB tag.

Ago 7, 2013, 7:49am

Thank you!

Ago 8, 2013, 6:59pm

#73 by TLCrawford>
Sorry I didn't respond earlier. In the future you can separate such things by going to the "Editions" page of the work (link in its left navbar) and each edition line will have a "separate" link next to it. It looks like these ones probably got autocombined since the Truman account first entered the work as "Official Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention, 1948.", so that zero-copy shares a 58-character overlap with the title of your copy, so the autocombiner stopped caring something like 38 characters before the important difference in dates. :-)

Editado: Ago 8, 2013, 10:58pm

Correct me, if I am wrong to state whether the following facts I gathered can "sort out" our books in our book catalog/listing to show more reliable ULTB, with an indicating of a "Human Face" icon with figure (1) as a ULTB tagged exclusive of those books that are actually- untagged ULTB, when no indication of tagging of any sort is being used.

1. Each book will have a specificed ISBN number, and this is unique, Maybe, a different edition and reprint of the same book will have different ISBN numbers. When a book bear more than one ISBN number, I believe we should use only 1 ISBN number for the book to be listed in an individual LT book catalog listing.

2. If,only ISBN number is being used and sorted as a "primary" indication, our book will be shown as an only single copy being catalogued among the LibraryThing's members more accurately.

3. ULTB as in the context of a specific edition/reprint of a book, actually with the same content.

Ago 8, 2013, 11:40pm

ULTB is intended to refer to works, not editions. Most books with an ISBN are modern enough that the odds of someone having s sexing copy goes up dramatically. Many of my ULTBs are older books. I just added one today, Inca Emerald by Samuel Scoville.


Editado: Ago 9, 2013, 1:47am

The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition.

Take of an example, a novel, East of Eden by John Steinbeck were published by different publishers with different editions/reprints will have different ISBN from each publisher.

You might consider your book as "ultb", but not really true, another member having the same book's title published by a different publisher will bear a different ISBN.

As quoted by you: "ULTB is intended to refer to works, not editions" . In this case, similar titles/works with different ISBN(different publishers) will reflect as "ultb" - face icon (1) if you happen to be an only member with that edition. Is this true? I suppose you can tagged your book as "ultb". Is this correct ?

For information:


PS: I am very unclear about the real benefits of ISBN ?

Ago 9, 2013, 2:21am

79 >

An ISBN identifies a unique edition of a work. It is helpful for cataloging, searching, and inventory; in the last case, it is similar to a SKU (Stock-Keeping Unit) or the UPC which you find on most of your packaging these days. SKUs might be vendor specific, while UPC barcodes and ISBNs are manufacturer specific.

Any book can come out in multiple editions. Each edition may be a different size, binding, or even a different publisher or translator. It's still essentially the same manuscript. If I read a hardcover of Joe's Novel, you read the paperback, and my mom reads one in a library binding, we've all read the same book, despite the fact that each different binding has a different ISBN. As a reader, it doesn't matter. As a vendor or a manufacturer or a library, having each one clearly marked with an identifier is very handy.

The LT idea of a "work" is based on the "we've all read essentially the same book" concept, rather than the edition concept. That's why different ISBNs are combined to make a "work." The LT work consists of all editions, bindings, publishers, translations etc. of a given book.

The ultb tag is conceptualized as a marker for a book that is a unique work on LT, not a marker of ownership of a unique ISBN or of some other form of unique edition. If you have a one-of-a-kind, hand-bound, hand-colored illustrated edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, with its own unique ISBN, you have a lovely book, but it's not an ultb, because more than 14,600 other people have cataloged copies of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Here on LT, users can and do corral stray editions into larger works. So the status of an ultb can shift simply by the efforts of a combiner. Sometimes, combiner/separators use the ISBN to look up an edition on WorldCat or somewhere else to verify whether or not books with similar/identical titles really belong together. (However, if the ISBN doesn't match what the LT user has entered as the Title/Author, the combiner/separator rule of thumb is to assume the Title/Author as entered is what the LT catalog meant it to be, as a lot of people don't care whether or not the ISBN is accurate, but want the title and author to look right in their catalogs.)

If I have over-explained, I hope you will excuse my verbosity. But I hope this addresses your question.

Ago 9, 2013, 11:37am

Your explanation is superb. Thank You to You, phaedraB

Ago 9, 2013, 1:22pm

79 and 80 - a most useful discussion on ISBN and a helpful cross reference to FAQs about ISBNs. I actually needed to know this stuff to help in correcting a misallocated ISBN number for a particular recent book. I notice that ULTB ( excuse all this alphabet fruit salad) are more likely to come up for earlier books ( say pre 1965? date of introduction of ISBN?). I found it interesting that a book say published in 1928 ( eg Harold Nicholson's Some People a minor classic, is published in a new edition with an introduction by Nigel Nicholson (Harold's son) in 1958 but acquires an ISBN for the 1982 reprint edition. This is just an example of what is happening. ULTB status seems to be very much a function of obscurity, true rarity, early books, and countries that fall outside main coverage by LT membership . Are there also more ULTBs in foreign languages? I have spotted a few errors on ISBN numbering but that must be rare.

Ago 9, 2013, 3:25pm

#82 by Africansky1> Are there also more ULTBs in foreign languages?

I'd say so.

Set 2, 2013, 5:05am

I have undertaken a major clean up of my electronic catalogue, working through titles and authors and checking for unnecessary duplicates or double entries . I found a good many titles where the definite or indefinite article had been omitted ( a lot of missing A, An or The ). Net result for ULTB category is that ULTB currently applies to 2941 books of total library of 13975 , ie under 20% of my collection . I am sure that ultb number will come down further . Turned out to be worthwhile as one does not wish to print a catalogue until at least 90 or 95 % accurate.

Nov 22, 2013, 12:42am

latest nos of ULTB books 2913. I notice one needs to revise periodically as what one thought of as ultb also acquired and added by others .

Nov 22, 2013, 9:36am

#85 I hadn't checked lately and found that I could remove one from my list. I now have 1915 out of a total of 4358.

Nov 22, 2013, 12:57pm

#85 by Africansky1>

Yes, a periodic check will reveal if anyone else has a copy of one of your ULTB books. Usually it is not so difficult to do. Do a tag search for ULTB and then sort by member copies (down).

Changes most often occur because the book you have has been combined (correctly or not) with others. I have a short-run book documenting the history of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. People have (more than once) combined this with the standard park-issued guidebook that is completely different. I'll separate it out and put a disambiguation notice eventually.

While looking down the list, I am sometimes suspicious when there are a couple people so I open the link with the number of copies in a new tab and see if it looks reasonable. In one case, a user account was created and the one and only one book in their entire library was this book. It's possible but unlikely so I left that one alone for further research.

As more people use LT, it is more likely that the books you found interesting enough to get are also interesting to someone else. Indeed, finding those people who are kindred spirits is one of the joys of LT.


Nov 22, 2013, 1:11pm

One thing I've noticed which is a tad annoying is that the system shows other members with a given book BUT it is on their wish list. I have it. They do not, apparently. As a result, I am not removing my ULTB tag for that.

I also don't remove it when the title also exists in a legacy library.

It would be nice if the links to other members with a copy on the book page took you to the book listing and not just their profile page. It requires an extra step. If I want to see their profile, I can click their name link once I'm there.


Nov 22, 2013, 1:58pm

brightcopy I believe has a userscript that does that.

Nov 22, 2013, 2:11pm

It only works from the list of "recently added" people, though, not just anyone who has the book.

Nov 22, 2013, 2:18pm

#89 by JerryMmm>

I'll have to look to that. I missed reference to that in the Hacking LibraryThing group. It might have some application even if it is not ideal (per #90).


Nov 22, 2013, 2:30pm

Oh it's definitely good, I wasn't dismissing its use at all, I have it and it's lovely! But, it only helps for that if they're in the recent list, so just pointing out it isn't necessarily a help.

Nov 22, 2013, 2:56pm

ah. Well, maybe brightcopy can expand its use.

Nov 22, 2013, 3:23pm

I have 417 out of 3050 works.

Nov 23, 2013, 12:33am

140 out of 3564. I went through them this evening, and deleted 14 which had gained members since the last time I culled them, whenever *that* was. Most of my ultb's are children's.

Nov 23, 2013, 9:03am

117 out of 1728 or 6.7%, down from 122.

Jan 12, 2014, 1:29am

A new year check and down to 2765 out of collections total of 14174.

Jan 12, 2014, 10:00am

I have 419 (up 2) out of 3097 (up 47) works. Four of my previously ultb works have been added by others since my last check.

Jan 12, 2014, 2:11pm

565 out of 5839; 9.7%.

Ago 25, 2014, 6:26am

120 (down from 127) out of 1843; 6,5%.

Ago 25, 2014, 8:51am

575 out of 5880; 9.8%

Out 5, 2014, 9:38am

314 out of 2392: 13,12%

Editado: Out 15, 2014, 2:36pm

180 out of 738: 24.39%

Dez 17, 2014, 8:38am

432 (up 13) out of 3267 (up 170) works. 13.22%

Dez 17, 2014, 10:18am

568 out of 5884: 9.65%.

Dez 17, 2014, 10:24am

88 out of 2141 - 4.11% did not look at other's lists to see if it is wished or borrowed.

Dez 17, 2014, 9:39pm

63 out of 356 - 17.7 %

Editado: Dez 18, 2014, 4:16pm

I picked up one, Seckatary Hawkins in Cuba, and now my count of ultb stands at 42. My Median/mean is 86/879

Dez 18, 2014, 3:18pm

115. Dropped two and picked up two. Somebody else added Creative Loafing.

Editado: Dez 18, 2014, 7:51pm

>108 TLCrawford: Sorry to tell you but there are more copies of Seckatary Hawkins in Cuba in the system already. I'm just combining yours now.

Dez 20, 2014, 10:00pm

Oh no! The Cazanova Treasure is a reprint of Cuba? I did not know that! Oh well, not we have a first edition and the reprint. Thanks for pointing it out.

Jan 21, 2015, 3:56pm

New year check .. Down to 2548 of 14469 ( nearly 300 books acquired last year ) . Happy hunting for ultb books.

Jan 21, 2015, 4:26pm

Only 113. Somebody did some combining, and I hope to make the acquaintance of the 2nd lister of an old and tattered novel.

Fev 2, 2015, 1:30pm

I have 148 out of 2,461.

Fev 2, 2015, 2:40pm

I have 58 out of 2360.

Fev 2, 2015, 5:46pm

90 out of 2150-

Fev 3, 2015, 1:36am

120 out of 1446

Fev 3, 2015, 3:00pm

582 out of 5893 (9.88%).

Editado: Fev 13, 2015, 2:16am

67 out of 595 (11.2%)

Fev 13, 2015, 2:05am

I am trying to bring down my ULTBs and find that sometimes something comes up as 1 owner but this is the result of how one writes up the title . Eg in the case of a 2 vol work if others have written up as 2 single volumes ( ie 2 books ) and I have written up as 1 title with two volumes this could show up as a singleton when it is not the case .. Specific eg entry for Dyos 2 volumes on the Victorian city and another 2 volumes on Iranian architecture . I am trying to make corrections but fairly time consuming!

Editado: Fev 18, 2015, 7:53am

I wish I could bring down my tally as it would mean that more people have the same sort of stuff as me on here.

Anyway, 285 out of 938 = 30.3%

edit: 1 down, so now 284 of 938.

Mar 14, 2015, 10:16am

130 out of 1948 = 6.67%

Mar 31, 2015, 9:52am

We're at 692 ULTB of 7538 books, 9.4%.
I've posted my annual stat extravaganza https://www.librarything.com/profile/johnandlisa

Mar 31, 2015, 2:59pm

Since November or so 2014, where I had been at 582, I have added 23 and subtracted 39: now 556 out of 6512 total. Two question marks are still listed with ULTB. One of these books seems to have had a Travel book about Dublin combined with a travel book about Lisbon. I'll research this when I have time.

Mar 31, 2015, 3:23pm

579 of 5900; 9.8%

Editado: Abr 2, 2015, 3:29am

45 / 1749 - down a bit now.

But it's my 8th Thingaversary today, so shopping I shall go!

Abr 2, 2015, 4:36am

>126 sarahemmm:
Congratulations and happy hoarding!

Abr 2, 2015, 6:40am

Thank you - I am having a great time deciding on my 8+1, though I doubt any will be ultbs.

Abr 3, 2015, 1:19pm

162 ULTB for ~1921 non-wishlist, non-digital, non-discarded, non-videogames items ~8,4%

16 ULTB-E out of 207 E-Texts ~7,7%

Abr 8, 2015, 2:09pm

148 out of 3812 = 3.9%

Perhaps there could be another group (is there one?) for books shared with 2 or 3...

Abr 26, 2015, 12:52pm

Abr 26, 2015, 11:18pm

>130 SaintSunniva: Well, "Vous et nul autre" is a listing of books you own that are owned by only one other person - with the same caveats as ULTB, combining changes things. It's on Stats & Memes, in the Memes section about 2/3 down the page in the listing on the left.

Abr 27, 2015, 1:35pm

>130 SaintSunniva: SaintSunniva: it's amazing how easy it to start a group...Go for it.

Abr 27, 2015, 2:03pm

Hey! I just added the final book from the small stack I bought at an antique store yesterday, and it's another ULTB, so that's 149, now.

With Wolseley to Kumasi: a Tale of the First Ashanti War by Capt. F.S. Brereton

Abr 30, 2015, 5:47pm

Nice! I looks to be from an author with many ULTBs.

Abr 30, 2015, 7:45pm

#135> Thanks! I paid a bit too much for it (around $15) given only the fact that when I opened it up later and started scanning the text I realized that the writing is wretched. I almost always will only buy a book that I might like to read, no matter how beautiful it is. Often these old adventure stories are fun, but this one looks like it will be a struggle, if and when I ever decide to read it. But it is a cool time piece, though.

Jun 13, 2015, 3:30pm

427 out of 1152 = 37.07%

It just keeps on going up...

Jun 16, 2015, 12:57am

#136> Too bad the writing is wretched; sounds like an interesting subject! I take it that the title refers to Gen. Sir Garnet Wolseley?

Jun 16, 2015, 11:06am

#138> Beats me. It'll be a while before I read the book. But given that you seem knowledgeable on the time and place, I would take it that you're correct.

Ago 11, 2015, 7:40am

have added a lot of books to the catalogue of late but also a good few whittled out of the ultb category .. So now standing at only 2416 of total collection which now comes in at close to 15 000 .

Out 10, 2015, 4:32pm

576 out of 5,999; 9.6%.

Maio 25, 2020, 11:16am

>138 staffordcastle: Just passing by, and thought you might like to know that the Sir Garnet Wolseley is a pub in Norwich, next to the outdoor market in the centre of the city. It has a website, with some nice pics and a bit of history too: The Sir Garnet

Ago 13, 2020, 10:01am

97/3766 or 2.58% That seems low!

Ago 13, 2020, 12:36pm

>134 rocketjk: There is also a connection between Garnet Wolseley and Arthur Ransome, not that the older man would have thought much of it.

Here is the extract from Thomas Whiteside, The tunnel under the Channel (1962, pp. 48-49) that I used for Garnet Wolseley's LT character description back in 2014:

"... Lieutenant-General Sir Garnet Wolseley, the Adjutant-General of the British Army. A veteran of the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny who was considered to be an expert on the art of surprise attack - his rout of such foes as King Koffee in the first Ashanti War of 1873-4, as well as the great promptitude with which he was said to have "restored the situation" in the Zulu War, made him a well-known figure to the British public - Sir Garnet Wolseley had a dual reputation as an imperialist general and a soldier with advanced ideas on reform of the supply system of the British Army. In fact, his enthusiasm for efficiency was such that the phrase "All Sir Garnet" was commonly used in the Army as a way of saying "all correct." The actor George Grossmith made himself up as Wolseley to sing the part of "a modern Major-General" in performances in the eighties of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. Sir Garnet later became Lord Wolseley and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army."

In the collection of Arthur Ransome's letters, Signalling from Mars: the letters of Arthur Ransome, he writes to Rupert Hart-Davis, trying to thank him in his usual jocular style, having just receivd a full copy of The Oxford English Dictionary, including:

"We are planning to move to a larger house to make room for IT. When the new part of Lowick was built in 1748, no-one foresaw that it would have to house a Great Oxford English Dictionary. Not one of my hats will any longer fit my head as I go prancing round, the owner of a Great Oxford English Dictionary. Long ago, in the time of the Zulu wars, Sir Garnet Wolseley told the drill sergeant of my prep. school that the British soldier should walk 'as if one side of the street belonged to him and he expected the other shortly'. What sort of walk would he have prescribed for owners of Great Oxford English Dictionaries? Hang it, with that book in my room, I have got BOTH sides of the street already." (Full text on another thread, here).

Not exactly #BLM-compliant.

The Sir Garnet is also a Norfolk wherry in Ransome's The Coot Club and The Big Six. She is described as the fastest wherry on the river.

Ago 13, 2020, 11:57pm

>144 Cynfelyn: Thanks for all that. Ransom's comments about the OED definitely handed me a laugh!