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text 2017-10-12 13:08
BookLikes How to: book search tips

 

Searching books isn't always a piece of cake, especially with a never-ending virtual bookshelf and a catalog with multiple editions. Jenn, to the rescue with some handy tips for all BookLikers! 

 

-- A guest post by Jenn, Murder by Death

 

The first and best way to find a title in the book database is to search by ISBN (or ASIN).  There are a couple of benefits to using ISBN for searching:  it will find the edition you have in your hand, and if it isn’t in the database, searching by ISBN/ASIN will kick off an import of the book, saving you all the work of having to either add it yourself, or asking a librarian to add it for you.

 

(Tip:  If you search by ISBN and multiple entries of the same title come up, let a librarian know by filing a book report.  That way they can merge the multiple records into one correct edition.)

 

Sometimes you don’t have the ISBN/ASIN handy, or the book is too old to have one.  Then it’s helpful to know a few tips about how to get the most out of BookLikes search.

 

Note: there are two search fields covered in today’s tips:  the BookLikes database, which is the field at the top right corner of the BookLikes pages, and the search field on your shelf page, which only searches the books you’ve shelved and has a different set of rules.

 

 

Searching the BookLikes book database

 

Generally, searching by title is very straightforward, especially for unusual titles, like The Maul and the Pear Tree, but the infinite variety of titles guarantees that some will work better than others without having to tweak how you search. 

 

Partial titles work. If they’re unusual enough.  So using The Maul and the Pear Tree, I can get away with searching The Maul and, although just searching The Maul is not enough: 

 

 

 

Articles A / An / The are optional:  UNLESS it’s a really common title.  So while The Wychford Poisoning Case and Wychford Poisoning Case will both return the book I’m looking for, if I try to search for A Shock to the System by Simon Brett, I’m better off including that A. 

 

 

 

 

Special characters:  The book database search is pretty forgiving overall (see note below) when it comes to &, apostrophes, commas, non-english alpha characters etc.  So searching for Mr. Pottermack’s Oversight will work as well as Mr Pottermacks Oversight, although the number of results returned might vary.    

 

 

 

Likewise, searching Jo Nesbø will return results for Jo Nesbo and vice versa.

 

(Note: there are some exceptions for non-english characters; when in doubt, try both.  This also holds true for the ampersand [&]; while I generally find it is interchangeable with ‘and’ there have been exceptions, so it’s always good to try both.)

 

 

When you’re getting too many results and none of them are the book you’re looking for.

 

Let’s say I’m looking for Ten by Gretchen McNeil. This is like searching ‘cats’ on google.  It’s too common a word and I’m going to get results that look like this:

 

 

 

Of course searching Ten Gretchen McNeil works, but generally the less typing, the better.  With that in mind, I tweak the search so that it says Ten Gretchen. Now I get:

 

 

Ten McNeil also works, but gives us two results. It’s always better to use the least common words when you have the choice to do so.  So if you’re trying to find a title that’s likely to return a lot of results, using part or all of the author’s name too will find your book faster.

 

 

Omnibuses are omnipresent

Because the BL database searches for all records that match the words you searched for, omnibus editions, if they exist, will appear in the results.  So searching for Murder on the Orient Express will return the single title edition as well as any omnibuses that include it as part of the title.   Most of the time the single edition title will appear at the top, but sometimes the omnibuses will overtake them and you’ll have to do a bit of scrolling.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE:  At the time of this writing, books that have been published under different titles in different countries and tied/combined together in the system can only be found by one of the titles (the ‘main’ one).  For example, Agatha Christie’s book Lord Edgware Dies was published in the US as Thirteen at Dinner.  As it’s the same book, they’re combined under Lord Edgware Dies.  This means that, at present, a search for Thirteen at Dinner only turns up omnibuses that contain that story.  This is a bug and it has been reported to BookLikes.  In the meantime, if you can’t find your book and you know of an alternate title, try searching by that title.

 

 

 

Searching your shelves

 

The search function for your shelves (the field that sits atop your shelves instead of at the top right of the page) is an entirely different beast from the book database search and can be summed up briefly:  This is an EXACT MATCH search function.  If a title has apostrophes, commas or any other special characters and you don’t include them, the search won’t find your books.

 

This means if I’m trying to find The Devil’s Novice by Ellis Peters on my shelves and I type in The Devils Novice (no apostrophe), it’s going to return zero results. 

 

How to get around this:  I either have to include all the punctuation in the title OR just search for a part of the title.  So searching Novice (or novice - it’s not case sensitive) will bring up my shelved book.  Other searches that will work include:  Devil (because it will search partial words), and Ellis Peters although these will return multiple results.

 

Note: you cannot use partial words combined with additional terms:  Devil Ellis or Devil Ellis Peters does NOT work; partial words must be used alone.

 

The best rule of thumb for searching your shelves is, unless you know the EXACT name of the book, stick to a few words of the title: Miss Peregrine instead of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  The shorter the search terms (while still keeping them effective) the smaller the margin of error.

 

Still not finding your book?

  1. Is it spelled right? It’s always worth double checking, as BL doesn’t have “did you mean” functionality.  If the book has been published under an alternate title and you know it, try searching by that title instead and then looking under “other editions” on the book page.
  2. Search by ISBN/ASIN: if it’s not in the system, it will be by the time the search finishes.
  3. If there’s no ISBN/ASIN on the book, try searching by author; sometimes a record will have the wrong language setting, keeping it from appearing in the results.
  4. Add the book. If it’s still nowhere to be found, please consider taking the time to add the book to the database so that it will be there when the next reader comes looking.

 

 

Have you had a particularly challenging time trying to find a book?  If so, please share it in the comments below; sometimes a title needs some special love from the librarians (bad imports leaving languages out, etc), or someone else might have a tip to make those searches work better.

 

Happy BookLiking!

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review 2017-04-21 22:57
New York City Monsters Anne Paradis
New York City Monsters: A Search-and-Find Book - Anne Paradis,Lucile Danis Drouot

This is absolutely an awesome book. The whole series is actually. The kids and I have read a few of the books from the series. The kids love finding all of the monsters on each page and I love that they get a lesson about things in each of the cities. These books are fun for the kids and the parents both.

 

This book is about exploring New York City. All of the main sites are listed throughout the book. You get to see the Statue of Liberty, The empire State Building,  Grand Central Station and more. There is a small paragraph written about each site. Also there are Monsters hidden all over the place. There is a spot on each page telling yo how many Monsters to find. 

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2017-02-06 02:13
Defending Jagger (Search & Seek Book 1) - Amanda Mackey

I had the privilege of receiving this book via Quirky Blind Date for my reading pleasure. My review is voluntary and I received no compensation whatsoever.

When I received this book, I had no idea what to expect, as I never heard of the author before. This was a new experience for me; however, based on the synopsis I figured that it would be an interesting journey. Defending Jagger tells the story of a young man sentenced to spend twenty years of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit and the teacher who made it her mission to prove his innocence.

Rosalind McAllister teaches creative writing at the Arizona State Prison. She chose this career as she hoped to make a difference and she believed that in teaching in the prison system she could accomplish that goal. She is brave, intelligent and compassionate. She had her share of disastrous relationships; as such, she was not looking for love. Therefore, the last place she expected to find it was in a prison.

Jagger Reid worked his way into my heart the moment I met him. Adapting to prison life changed him in many ways, but the one thing that remained the same was his compassion. He did not have an easy life growing up, but he tried to make the best of it. He was a natural protector, which was clear from the fact that he was willing to go to prison for a crime he did not commit, in a bid to protect his brother. He was selfless and never did he stop to think about the effect that his actions would have on him.

The secondary characters were interesting, but the one that intrigued me was Cutter. I hoped for more information about him, but it was not forthcoming. I knew why he was in prison, but I had no idea as to the circumstances that led to that particular incident. Who was he? What kind of life did he have while growing up? Based on how he related to Jagger, he did not strike me as a cold-blooded person. I found his banter with Jagger entertaining. Their bond went beyond friendship.
The story elicited a range of emotions. It made me laugh, angry and sad. I laughed at Cutter and Jagger’s antics, I was angry, when I learned about the issue surrounding Jagger's incarceration and I was sad for all he had to endure in prison.

Defending Jagger is an engaging read and emotional story about the sacrifices made for the ones we love. It demonstrates how easy it is for one to pass judgement on others without knowing their circumstances. It will tug at your heartstrings and have you turning the pages, as you will be eager to know the outcome.



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text 2014-02-10 21:41
Search for right edition
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

I like to have all my books in a series in one edition (which was quite a challenge with ASOIAF but I made it).

 

I always expected it would not be a problem with the Rivers of London series, as I had found the first three books without any problem. So, when Broken Homes was published, I just thought I'd just wait for 'my' edition (height about 19,8 cm), but we're three quarters of a year further now, and I still can't find any sign of it. There are many paperback, 17 cm or 21 cm, what was wrong with the edition I wanted.

 

Has anyone, who like me is a bit neurotic when it comes to getting the right edition, perhaps noticed the 19,8-ish paperback edition of Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch?

(I've check BookDepository and a Dutch retailer (and a big German bookshop), but couldn't find it. Still, I might have just overlooked it...)

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text 2013-12-17 20:23
Searching for Quote Info: Some Links to Bookmark

I am still a lurker on the GR Librarian forums because I never know when a great tip will pass my way. Like this thread where I found out about a link to use to search all of Gutenberg's books!

 

Anacleto Search of Project Gutenberg's Ebooks

 

I am SO wildly happy about that. Because when I quote I like to also give a link to the full text so it can be read in context.

 

So many people love to share quotes but often don't stop to realize that yes, those are wonderful words from Famous Author - but no one has any idea where those words were used. Since you loved them, you want to go read more, right? Oops, except there wasn't any source quoted, just the quote and author's name. So if you're making the jpgs and gifs for a beloved author? Please add the source? Meanwhile the rest of us will spend time trying to track down the book, because often quotes make me want to read more. And sometimes it's much more enlightening to read the quote in context - because the author could be taking the idea in a completely different direction than you'd assumed.

 

That's why I love the ability to search Gutenberg, because I've often tried to track down a particular quote using that site. Except I've been going into each book and using the Find in page option, so that new (to me) link should speed things up. Now I just need something (public domain) to search for...

 

Oh and a great place to check for the sources of popular quotes: Quote Investigator. They're really through.

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