Recently I've been pondering writing some programs to help me catalogue books and stories I've read. This is mostly so if I read a story and wonder if I've read anything by that author before, I can find out by asking such a tool.

I've long been searching for an established metadata format that could be used to describe books: their publication date, the author(s), title, alternate titles, alternate authors, etc. I'm particularly interested in one which could cope with anthologies.

Unfortunately, searching for the word "book" in conjunction with any term like "XML" or "metadata" is flooded with reviews or sites selling things like "Teach yourself XML in 28 seconds" and similar.

Today I found out about the The Internet Speculative Fiction Database which looks to be a useful resource. I wonder if they have thought about this encoding stuff, and whether they are open to discussion on having web service access to the database?

I should probably talk to my librarian-friends about this, too.