And the Winner Is ... Tellico

Continuing on from yesterday's book cataloging fun, I can tell you that I persevered and with great help from Robby Stephenson (thanks!), I now have my book collection cataloged on my Ferrari using tellico.

So here's what I had to do, to get things to work. Importing in RIS format: I was not conforming exactly to the RIS specification. There needed to be exactly two spaces each side of the hyphen. I adjusted my conversion script accordingly:

import sys

def readBookList():
    return sys.stdin.readlines()

def writeRISEntries(lines):
    for line in lines:
        tokens = line.split('\\t')
        tokensLen = len(tokens)
        sys.stdout.writelines('\\n')
        sys.stdout.writelines('TY  -  BOOK\\n')
        if tokensLen > 37:
            sys.stdout.writelines('AU  -  ' + tokens[37] + '\\n')
        if tokensLen > 10:
            sys.stdout.writelines('TI  -  ' + tokens[10] + '\\n')
        if tokensLen > 8:
            sys.stdout.writelines('SN  -  ' + tokens[8] + '\\n')
        sys.stdout.writelines('ER  -  \\n')

if __name__ == "__main__":
    lines = readBookList()
    writeRISEntries(lines)

and reconverted my Delicious Library exported data and reimported it into tellico. This was very quick. At this point, tellico did nothing more than read and remember the data. There were no pretty book cover images to go with the title, author and ISBN values.

To fix this, I needed to select all the books and run Collection->Update Entry->Amazon (US). This proceeded to check and update each book, with each update taking about 1-2 seconds. It then tried to update the images of the books on the shelf. As it progressed, this got slower and slower (taking upto 8 seconds per book). Apparently the graphics update is in the main thread as the rest of the application refused to redraw when I put the window to the back and then bought it forward again.

Anyhoo, I let it continue and several hours later, there were all my book covers (or at least as many as Amazon US knows about). I quit the application and saved the new book information. Images were saved in with the rest of the data, and this resulted in a 10MB file. Still, it reloads the book data quickly the next time the application is started. As there are no books initially selected, then it doesn't have to display the book cover image detail right away. Selecting all the books does take about twenty seconds, but that's still faster than Delicious Library on my old G4 Powerbook.

One of the nice features with tellico is that I now know how many books per author I have. My most popular author is Jack Vance with 52 followed by John Brunner (37), Terry Pratchett (34), Robert Silverberg (31), Michael Moorcock (31) and Isaac Asimov (30). Do you see a pattern here. My biggest non-SF/Fantasy authors are Martin Gardner (19) and Graham Greene (18).

I now need to spend a little time to fully read the documentation and find out all the other features it has.

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