Our Library

Life has settled down enough, and for long enough, for us to work on our library. We recently purchased two new bookshelves (one assembled, the other on its way). It suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea how many books my wife had, if we had duplicates and if there were glaring gaps in our world knowledge.

Cataloging the library

I started to make an excel spreadsheet on Office Onedrive. I thought about going a step beyond capturing our titles, and the opportunity adding a few columns of data could present for future presentations in my wife's classes: or in the purchase of new books. I decided to log the following.

  • Title

  • Author

  • ISBN/ASIN

  • Author gender (male/female, both for books with multiple authors)

  • Genre

  • Pages

  • How old (2020 - year first written)

  • Pub Year (what year our edition was written)

  • Publisher

  • Pub Address (going to fill this in later with the specific address)

  • Setting (limited to the main setting; this is a geographic field)

  • Goodreads (link to the book review on Goodreads)

  • KHITK (will add a link to our own book review on this site when done)

  • Who's (my book or my wife's)

The spreadsheet has some minimal conditional formatting to show the book length and age.


Screenshot of the excel table
The Excel Library

Basic Pivot Tables and Charts

As I'm adding the data in, I added a pivot table and chart to see how the data would plot out. Eventually, we'll be able to see how much an individual author impacted us, and how much reading we've done in total.

Pivot table
A basic pivot table and chart showing pages by author. Colored by male/female writters

Adding a Map

The advantage of using the geography field is that I can plot out our books by the location they were set in. I'm thinking this could be a neat way to explore how different authors have opened the world to us, different time periods these locations captured authors imagination and to help us pick books on places we have never read about before. A basic map can be seen below. I've removed locations our library does not cover (I still have about 300 more books to add to the data set).


flat map
Basic Map, only displaying the main setting of the book

Making it 3D

The next stage of the project will be to create a 3D map. This has the added value of allowing advanced visualizations.

Bar height indicates how many pages the author wrote in that location

I think when it is all done, I'll make an ArcGIS story map from the data. I'll post an update when I'm finished adding the books.

Displaying our titles

I've added an embedded version of the spreadsheet and a "widget" from my goodreads account to our books page.


Will have to improve the look of the page but you get the general idea from the screenshot below: providing a button linking to the library spreadsheet and a view of the covers and reviews from goodreads.





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