Monday, 17 December 2007


The secret Santa scheme that I joined a few days ago through LibraryThing closed on Friday at 3am (10pm Eastern Time in the USA) and so I am now awaiting my surprise book (or two) - I don't know what you can get for just under £10 ($20).

On Thursday though, I discovered who I had picked to be the Secret Santa to - it was a woman from Houston in Texas and I was given a link to her LibraryThing profile and catalogue so that I could find out a little bit about her and what she liked to read. Her comment on the SecretSanta page said
my tastes run to just about anything between two covers. I especially enjoy fantasy and romance these days, but would enjoy a good nonfiction book too. I went, I had a look at her catalogue and was quite surprised to see how much we had in common when it comes to reading (I understand that the people at LibraryThing deliberately matched some people with similar tastes and some people with wildly varying tastes!) and so it was actually quite easy to find a few books that I thought my Santee would like.

Although I found it easy to pick the books, it was actually quite hard to find books that would fit under the limit of $20 and would be readily available via Amazon. I created all number of permutations until in the end I decided to go for The Villa by Nora Roberts and The Belgariad by David Eddings - this did come to 20 cents over my limit, but I hope that LibraryThing will be able to accept that. If not, I offered them the suggestion of replacing The Belgariad with A Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Of course, this all presumes that my Santee has not read any of these books - neither of them were in her LibraryThing catalogue. Personally, I have not listed EVERYTHING I have read (or owned) in my personal catalogue, yet it does give a good idea of what my tastes are like.

In any case, I hope that I have chosen well and that my Santee enjoys those books! It was rather enjoyable to pick out some books for someone that I know appreciates books. This whole idea by LibraryThing is a really good one - it manages to combine the virtual social network with reality in an intriguing way.

I think that there were just over 200 people taking part in this secret Santa and so I wonder how many people will be surprised (pleasantly or not!), how many will be introduced to unfamiliar authors, how many will be disappointed because they already have that book, how many will be worrying that they have chosen the wrong book(s)!!!

I am hoping that there will be a way to give some sort of feedback - I certainly think that someone will start a new chat topic going in the Talk section of LibraryThing - "what book did you get and did you like it?" If no-one does, then I will, but I would be most surprised if no-one started that conversation!

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