Library Thing: TLAPD Literary Treasure Hunt

*EDIT: Answers have been revealed (IN CAPS).

LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books, while connecting them to a community of like-minded book lovers. LibraryThing (known by users as LT) is a great resource for new book suggestions, bookish news, or learning about literature. Similar to Goodreads, LT functions as a virtual library, and connects you to the libraries of others. (Find our Goodreads profile here; Our LibraryThing profile here.)

LibraryThing offers powerful tools for cataloging and tracking your books, music, AND movies. LT has access to the Library of Congress, six national Amazon sites, and more than 1,000 libraries worldwide — making LT a highly extensive database. Users can search, sort, and “tag” books, or use various classification systems (including the Library of Congress, Dewey Decimal, or other custom systems) to organize their collections. LibraryThing is also a great social networking space, allowing users to see other peoples’ libraries, including libraries similar to yours, making it easy to swap reading suggestions and make recommendations. Users are encourages to sign up to win free books through our Early Reviewers and Member Giveaways programs.

We became members a few months back, when we heard about the Early Reviewers program, which allows members to win free advance copies of new books. Every month, the site releases a list of available books and lists the amount of copies available. Anyone who is a member is allowed to “request” a copy, and winners are drawn by the stated date! It does work on a lottery system (versus sites like BloggingForBooks, which works on a give-and-take book-for-review system, or Penguin’s First To Read earn/redeem points system); but you never win if you never try! It’s that easy to (potentially) win some new books!

If you don’t have an account on LibraryThing yet, now is a great time to sign up! All you need is a member name and password to join.

Avast! The Dread Pirate Spalding has stowed sixteen treasure chests on LibraryThing Island. Your quest, me hearties, is to find them! The isle is vast and can be precarious to navigate for even the saltiest dog. Fortunately, Cap’n Spalding’s literary crew have written some choice doggerel—much inferior to members’ poetry—to help you find every treasure.

  • Decipher the clues and visit the corresponding LT pages to find the treasure chests.
  • If a page has a treasure chest, you’ll know right away.
  • You have 48 hours (until approximately 9am Eastern, September 21st).
  • Come boast of your haul on Talk.

Shiver me timbers, the prizes are hearty:

  • Any member who finds a chest will be awarded a Swashbuckler’s stash badge.
  • Any member who finds at least six chests gets their account upgraded to a lifetime one.
  • Members who find at least twelve are entered in a drawing for ten t-shirts or book bags.

What a fun challenge! We have only been signed up with LibraryThing for a few months, so this was a great way for us to familiarize ourselves with the site more.

We learned A LOT about the searching options on the site by clicking around and exploring.  Thanks to everyone who posted in the Talk Thread, we have been able to find 12 Treasures, so far! We wouldn’t have gotten this far without all of the helpful clues from the LibraryThing community, and we encourage you to read through the spoilers when you get stumped. The way to complete the challenge is to explore the pages of the site, so don’t be afraid to get lost in a web of links!

Below, find the poetic clues for the 16 treasure chests hidden around the site. We found 12 of 16; out of fairness to the game, we will not reveal the answers until the contest closes on September 21, 2017.


Diabolic book dealer,
Cloud computer, buccaneer,
Child-lover, child-eater,
Chocolat nibbler, chocolate dealer.


Bearded author, often tweets,
Bicycles wrong on one way-streets.
Short-titled book of times long gone.
No mafia connections, but a don.


This library of a Viking city
Has a hall that’s rather pretty!
And tourists come and tourists wait
To glimpse its truly great Vulgate.


“La la la” the piggies sing.
And from the sock-drawer B. B. King.
Essential author, here to stay.
It’s quiet now. What do you say?


Some swabs go in for history,
Or walk the plank “biology.”
But I have hooked the field for me!
They call it __________.


Ooooooooooh, if sunday night battles be something you wish
Yet upon your safe house you lack a satellite dish
Some might seek dark shoals for this popular show
Braving torrents and currents in search of HBO.
What has a plot that twists more than a dragon through air,
A crown and a kingdom played like musical chairs?
(Not each installment is the treasure ye seek,
But a hoard of tomes, enough for a week!)

7 (RUM)

Made of sugar, time, and spices
Often served best over ices
Add me to liquid to raise the prices
Or yet alone my strength suffices.


Abandon all hope, ye who seek to travel the sea
Far apart from the dregs of humanity
Fathoms and chasms of lonely blue waves
Wash over man’s abandonment and graves.
This tale speaks of one man’s woe
Nearly drowned off an island off Santiago.
Desolate maybe, as Defoe says,
One of many in the Isles Juan Fernandez.


Sometimes a ship, when plowing the bluffs,
Lets loose the cannons before the blast.
Momentum is lost and sails often luff
In the roar of a falling mast.
Yet this duodenary tide doth swell up the breeze
And steer the ship right through the storm.
Grab some booty before it goes out to sea,
To best gather your mates and inform.


What do you do with some drunken sailors?
What do you do with some drunken sailors?
What do you do with some drunken sailors

Put ’em in the Tags until they’re sober
Put ’em in the Tags until they’re sober
Put ’em in the Tags until they’re sober


Sailing, sailing over the public domain
For many a stormy wind shall blow ere Jim comes home again!

12 (H.M.S. BEAGLE)

Row, row, row your boat,
This library’s afloat!
In days of old, it was Darwin’s hold:
Transporting the Legacy as he wrote.


If you’ve a junior buccaneer in your midst,
They’ll enjoy this tale for tykes.
This tiny raider is also our narrator,
Singing sea chanteys whenever he likes.


I found that diggin’ fer buried treasure
ain’t a pirate’s life fer me,
sailin’ with peg legs & parrots is
a romance, not reality.

If truth be what ye seek,
of non-fictional piracy,
these pages reveal everything
you’ll find it all, “ac-Cordingly”


Ye’ can mash us with adventure, fiction and fantasy,
flag us with Stevenson, Crichton, and J.M. Barrie,
but if you want to find our name tag pinned to our chest,
try something other than rovers, freebooters, and the rest.


The trade winds blow west, upon the San Francisco shore,
to bring your ships the best tackle ye can store.
To get there, a journey you must make,
South of Treasure Island, through the Golden Gate.

When you reach Mission Bay, shore up and travel west,
turn left at Valencia Street, your journey’s end is abreast.
If you reach Amnesia Beer & Music Hall, you’ve ventured just too far,
Turn around now to stock up on compasses, spyglasses & more.

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