For years I got used to saying: “I have several hundreds of books, oh, I don’t know, maybe around a thousand”. And I did. But then the love of my life and I decided to move to a different country. Taking the books with us was out of the question; we’ve left them with our parents and friends.

After some time of living in more or less random places, we’re finally got our own (own-rented, of course) flat, and we’re slowly filling it with books. By slowly I mean our mailman probably hates us, he just keeps bringing parcels to us. I’m not saying every day, but every other day…?

The point is, I have a deep love for the old books, especially the pretty ones, linen- or leather-bound, smelling of lignin, with yellowish pages. And youknow how many pre-owned bookstores there are in Nottingham? Almost none, just a couple of charity shops, and some small private “thrift” bookstores which I’m raiding every fortnight or so.

Oh, how I miss my Polish antiquarian shops!

Anyway, I have Amazon now, and it’s killing the market selling quality books for a penny (plus almost three quids of P&P). In some ways it’s killing my mailman, too.

So, for some time we’ve been buying books, in many cases buying another edition of the books left in Poland. As a proper librarian I’m bound to have it all catalogued (I should get someone to create an ex libris for my husband and me as well). There are several ways of cataloguing books: there’s pen&paper (can’t really endorse this one), there’s keeping it on the cloud like (why do you not have an option to export the library data? I’d like to have a copy of it, just in case), you could go social with Goodreads, and there are numerous programs and apps to keep your books in order (ah, the joy of automatic book recognition by ISBN number!). But.

I love book series. Even more, I love RPGs, and there’s nothing more “serial” than RPG books (with the exception of Harlequins). And I want to have them all, so my program of choice should have an option to add, let’s say, all of the Shadowrun (5th edition) books to the list and then just let me check the ones I’ve already got (overpriced limited edition in red leather, because I’m trash for books. Come on, the limited edition corebook is not even sewn to the cover, it’s glued! You have to be trash to buy it, and then just put it on the shelf so it won’t get damaged).

Is it really so surprising that after trying about twenty programs, apps and websites I went to create an Excel file?