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cataloguing

I've decided that I want to add a custom column in Calibre for genre. Currently, I have a bunch of default columns--title, author, date added, language--as well as a few custom columns--series, and finished (yes or no, manually updated). Adding and maintaining the current columns is easy because there's just one answer for most of them and mostly I just have to manually massage a few things that import wrong--because I prefer to view authors LastName, FirstName as well as sorting them that way I have to fix incoming books--but it's quite easy because I do them as they come in, and it's in easy batches. Same with updating "finished". If it's unfinished, I just leave it blank--there are three options, yes no and blank. I just update to yes if it's finished. Sometimes I use no to indicate in progress, but it doesn't matter. And it's not like I finish several books a day, so volume is very manageable.

But I want to add genre. I'm paralyzed with indecision right now, because I have to think about how to catalogue things. I have googled lists of genres, I know how to do it in calibre, I just can't decide how I want to do it. The manual says I can even nest genres hierarchically (http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/sub_groups.html) so you theoretically can have infinite granularity of genres--sort of like speculative fiction > fantasy > epic fantasy > medievalesque fantasy > political fantasy and sort on any of the above. But this kind of flexibility means I can't make up my mind how to even begin. I mean, I can see so many ways to just rearrange the sequence of the hierarchy. Part of the problem is that I have more than 200 books in Calibre and will add more, and once done it's going to be a huge task if I want to rearrange it later. How do cataloguers do it? How did the creators of Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress do it?

Fortunately for me, there are genres I don't read much. Mostly this is horror (too scared), mystery/thriller (dunno why, just don't reach for them often), Literary Fiction, non-fiction. The problem is the granularity I can feel myself tempted to add for the genres I read a lot in.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/164794.html.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
evelyn_b
Feb. 16th, 2015 12:39 pm (UTC)
This is the problem that confronts me every time I have to reorganize a bookshelf. How much is this level of detail actually going to help? Then I get stuck on trying to develop a System. Broad categories alphabetical by author are best for me.
spiralsheep
Feb. 16th, 2015 04:45 pm (UTC)
I organise my bookshelves like you (broad category rarr; alphabetical by author's surname), except my To Read shelves which are order by broad category and then by size to make it easier for me, as I'm leaving my home, to quickly choose a book that'll fit in my bag.
silverflight8
Feb. 17th, 2015 01:41 am (UTC)
My mind was still on ebooks and I was like "but the difference between 1mb and 4mb is trivial on even a dedicated ebook reader, and even less on a tablet/phone!*"

*unless you're like me and had a nexus 4 with about 5gb of free storage and used fully more than 2gb on photos so that you started running out of room for anything else, music and so on be damned
spiralsheep
Feb. 17th, 2015 09:02 am (UTC)
Hee!

/old
silverflight8
Feb. 17th, 2015 01:40 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah, that too. But like, before I can even use the system it has to be perfect to my standard, or else all I want to do is fix it, ahahaha.

Since it's an ebook library, it's very easy to sort and resort, so long as the data is there; I might end up cutting myself off at really broad categories just so I ca get stuff done.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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