I woke up fretting about something or other, and lay in bed groggily for a while, but then it occurred to me that I had Mary Anne's copy of Jennifer Crusie's Tell Me Lies, which I'd been saving for a time when I needed cheering up. (For those of you just tuning in, I discovered not long ago that reading Jennifer Crusie pretty much invariably cheers me up.) Ms. Crusie worked her magic again, so by the time I got to my computer for morning email check, I was in a good mood.
And then my email contained something that put me in an even better mood: an announcement that Delicious Monster's Mac OS X application Delicious Library has been released. (Sadly, it's not available for any other operating system or for pre-OS-X Macs, and probably won't ever be.)
I've been enthusiastically waiting for this for a couple months now, so I downloaded it and ran the demo. It's just what I've always wanted. I hold a book up in front of my iSight camera; the application reads the barcode and goes to Amazon and downloads author, title, format, price, publisher, release date, a cover photo, etc. You can also keep a list of "Borrowers" and track who has your books.
It's a gorgeous application. I paid for it almost immediately.
It does have one serious flaw: it failed on every mass-market paperback I tried. It appears to be ignoring the second part of the barcode for them, which causes it to misidentify them. But I've filed a bug about that, and I'm guessing/hoping that they'll fix it quickly (or that it was pilot error on my part).
I was thinking I would hold off on buying the application until that was fixed, but then I tried a couple more books. Seeing the cover of All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories appear on the little bookshelf in the application made my day. It likewise recognized almost all of the gorgeous Night Shade Press books I bought at WFC, including the Lambshead Guide. And Bruce Holland Rogers's small-press collection Thirteen Ways to Water and Other Stories. It recognized Borges's Collected Fictions, and Kelly's Stranger Things Happen, and From Porn to Poetry (the Clean Sheets anthology that includes the (ahem) J. Hartman story "The Secret Life of Humphrey Milquer," and I hope it's obvious that none of those last few items are work-safe), and even Mary Anne's Torn Shapes of Desire (also not work-safe).
I'm half-tempted to stay home from work and scan books all day.
It's silly for me to be so delighted that it recognized those books, of course; all it really means is that they're in Amazon's database. Whatever one can say against Amazon, the fact that they make small-press books easily and conveniently orderable is cool. I'm sure if they didn't exist, someone could put together a book database that would work much like the CDDB does for CDs, and eventually we'd have the same effect; but it's nice to not have to do that.