Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2003 Issue

An Addict Is Born: AE Database Dabbler To Immersed Wants List Junkie In Less Than 10 Easy Steps

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The work that took me more than a week under the old “cut and paste” system (and was nearly impossible for me to read and manage) has now been accomplished more fully using the “Wants List” technology in a day or so. Further, it has been replaced by one document holding all of my AE Database record “matches” in a clean, clear, easy to manage list that I can do all kinds of things with: sort; name; rename; delete “matched” records I no longer want on my list; etc. And importantly, the “Wants List” Software will simply not permit duplication of entries: it will allow you to input different editions or years of the same book or title, but not the same exact record more than once. This is a huge relief as weeding for duplications is no longer necessary.

Speaking of speed, under my old “cut and paste” system I spent nearly a week to execute only a limited number of searches, which I had to sort through by hand. This naturally stymied my speed and made it possible for me to only execute a partial number of my ideal searches. Because the “Wants List” Software is so fast, I have been able now to execute all of the searches I wanted to before but simply didn’t have the time to. This includes “Keyword Searches" as well as every name in that huge pile of individual 30 to 50 name or “Author Searches" that I kept planning to get to but never got to before the “Wants List” Software come along.

As of this writing, I have used the “Wants List” Software to run myriad of “Keyword Searches" using terms like “women & slavery,” “women & aboltion,” “Mrs. & slavery,” “Ladies Anti-Slavery*” and other terms that I choose not to give away here. I have learned a vast amount about the types of searches that tend to be successful and those that do not,and why (for instance: don’t do too vast a search or you will exceed the AE Database’s built-in 1500 record limit. Also, always remember that if you use your imagination, you can find an angle from which to search a subject that you never would have dreamed of before. Just be persistent, and creative.) And I have also searched for more than 60 names that came up in the AE Database bibliographic records that I choose to include on my “Provisional Wish List.”

I am now up to 295 individual, non-repeated “matches” on my “Provisional Wants List.” And I am itching to increase my “Provisional Wants List” just a tad more, arrange it, and go on to the next logical step and load it up to one of the internet bookbuying sites like abe.com and see what range of copies of titles on my list is available and at what range of prices. I can’t wait to inspect the abe, etc. lists for “matches,” bargains, and underrated winners. Who knows? Last month I was just mainly a hypothetical collector. But this “Wants List” Software is truly so addictive that I think I’m actually ready to plunk down my dollars and collect in my field. The “Wants List” Software just makes it so easy to that I’d be almost an idiot not to.

My name is Abby Tallmer, and I am a “Wants List” Software addict. I’ll gleefully tell you more about my “scores” next month, when I’ve gotten even more hooked on my “Wants List” Software habit.

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