Saturday, October 14, 2017

Reverse book lookup

No practice excels that of browsing along a library shelf containing books on the subject that has awakened your interest, and sampling them.

Henry Hazlitt

It might not be an earth-shattering revelation, but It may prove useful someday.

Swimmingpool; taken by Benjamin Miller; source: freestockphotos.bizSometimes you have a book in your hands that you like so much, that you'd like to find more on the same topic. There's a way to do just that in your local library. You can take a look at the copyright page on the book, grab the Library of Congress classification, and use that to walk to the proper aisle and shelf and look around. Even if they don't have the very same tome you are sourcing on, the library surely has something on your topic near that area. If the source book is not recent enough to have the classification, you can still get it by running a query on it through the Library of Congress online catalog at

Here is an example of an interesting section that I stumbled upon recently. It begins with

  • No control
    • BF Skinner's Beyond Dignity And Freedom @ BF 621 S456 . You know him as the figurehead of operant conditioning branch of the behaviorist school of psychology. I find it nice that his initials match the classification number.
  • Self-controlled behavior
    • La Maîtrise de soi  by Chauchard . BF 632 C43
    • Le Pouvoir De La Volonté Sur Soi-même, Sur Les Autres, Sur Le Destin . BF 632 J33
    • Self-control :power to the person by Mahoney BF 632 M22
  • Control by others
    • Ulrich's  Control of Human Behavior. Found ten copies.  BF 632.5 U4
    • Brainwashing by Hunter- Accounts from the Korean war and elsewhere. Interesting chapter on how to resist it.  BF 633 H8
    • Thought reform and the psychology of totalism ;a study of brainwashing in China by Lifton. BF 633 L53

  • Control with help of others; counseling, interviewing
    • Applied psychology by Crane BF 636 C73
    • Peale's Power of positive Thinking BF 636 P37

  • Control of others; negotiation & salemanship BF637 and on

  • Getting to Yes By Fisher Ury BF 637.N4 F57.1991 .  A classic of negotiation. Ury's solo work Getting Past No, is even better.


Post a Comment