The Personal Library Series

The Personal Library series is a written exploration of how people interact with their book collections that led to the proposal of an app, Bookchain, for peer-to-peer sharing of privately owned books and facilitating growth of local reading communities. The series started as a self-motivated summer project in 2018. It is largely inspired by my experiences with reading, owning and sharing books, using sharing and community-based apps, minimalism, and disseminating information as an aspiring academic and researcher. Though I have drafted and will soon publish my last blog post (for now) on the subject, I am fully committed to continuing development of Bookchain as an ongoing passion project with the help of a small team of similarly passionate, entrepreneurial bibliophiles.

Currently published articles relating to Personal Libraries and Bookchain:

  1. Introduction to the Personal Library introduces the main themes of the series and loosely outlines a plan of topics to be covered in blog posts.
  2. Buying Books describes some of the prime motivations for buying books to help create context for further arguments about how we should treat our books.
  3. The Bought Book traces two simple stories on the life cycles of books to highlight the way most books are wastefully managed once purchased and read.
  4. Origin Story: A Parable of Endless Castles ties my motivations and ideals back to a specific summer role-playing a librarian on a Minecraft server. This post is anecdotal and less directly relevant than the other essays.
  5. Starting the Ideal Personal Library introduces the reader to the first brave step in developing your own personal library.
  6. Sharing the Personal Library underlines the importance and benefits of sharing in the Personal Library system.
  7. The Wrong Book Apps discusses how existing categories of book apps are insufficient for the Personal Library. A new app is needed for the new age of book sharing.
  8. Bookchain: Drafting the Personal Libraries App describes an app to facilitate lively, peer-to-peer book exchange through Personal Libraries.
  9. Small Shelves discusses one common precedent to Bookchain and its unique potential for supporting the Bookchain system.
  10. The Book Stops Here suggests how Bookchain can help book-dragons share their valuable book collections with trustworthy peers.
  11. Why Just Books? explains some of the reasoning for developing an app specific to books and not other forms of popular media.
  12. Personalizing the Public Library introduces the mutually beneficial relationship Bookchain and Personal Libraries could have with the public library system.
  13. Bookchain for Niche Interests emphasizes the role Bookchain could play in connecting people with niche interests through the example of my interest in Korean books.
  14. Lend, Donate, Sell? addresses the possibilities for donating and selling books through Bookchain and how and when those functions will be introduced.
  15. The End of the Beginning summarizes the summer’s work in developing the idea of Personal Libraries and the Bookchain app. It is the last blog post on this subject until significant progress is made in creating the app.

Stay engaged:

If you’re curious for more ideas on the Personal Library or Bookchain, please like or follow this blog. I would always love to hear your ideas or questions regarding the Personal Library, so feel free to comment on the posts or contact me directly at Once I have made more progress in developing the app and finding the appropriate balance for this project in the context of graduate school, I’ll share further information on the topic here.


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