Classifying Books

Caleb W scalebw at
Tue Nov 12 16:35:33 EST 2002

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-dwj at [mailto:owner-dwj at]On Behalf Of
> Kathryn Andersen
> Sent: 08 November 2002 09:29
> To: dwj at
> Subject: Classifying Books (was Re: Advert for something relevant that
> makes me happy)
> On the shelves, I cluster things by the amount of space they take up,
> and generally split by nonfiction/fiction/fanfiction.  Thus Really Tall
> Books go on one set of shelves, and smaller nonfiction on another,
> fiction paperbacks are in another set of shelves, and fiction hardbacks
> on a set of shelves which have more room, and the A5 fanzines are
> on one shelf by themselves, and the tall fanzines take up a couple of
> shelves underneath a bunch of videos...

That's similar to what I do. My top shelf has the really big books (e.g.
hardback Asterix books, as an example that comes quickly to mind), which is
where and also my "Adventures in Odyssey" (a Christian radio drama series)
tape albums, which are roughly video sized. The next shelf down has the
hardbacks and larger fiction, as well as my Christian books (biographies,
devotional, fiction) on the right. My next shelf has standard size
paperbacks, with extra books piled up on top horizontally to fill the gap
between the top of the books and the shelf above. The next shelf has
paperback fiction, although it's a bit eclectic and really whatever fitted
on there. The bottom shelf also has standard paperbacks, but is large enough
to have two lots, one on top of the other. If I get desparate for space, I
have been known to use my speakers as bookends on top of the wardrobe.

> And the fiction goes alphabetically by author.  It's just easier to find
> that way.

I don't do that. I tend to group authors together, but they might be split
up by size (for example, I have my Dalemark books on a separate shelf from
the other DWJs since they are larger) and I tend to group by type - see

> But I've never actually done a database of my books.  It's hard enough
> maintaining a database of my videos!  (And more important, because
> the books are much more easily found than the videos, since the
> non-commercial videos are just numbered, in drawers).

I've started databasing my books. I put in the new books I get and I'm
partway through inputtting my existing collection. I don't really need a
video database.

> About the only place I'm categorizing things is on my "Favourite
> Authors" page, and for that I use multiple categories per author,
> but not that many categories altogether.  Let's see...
> - Doctor Who
> - Fantasy
> - General
> - Historical
> - Mystery
> - SF
> - Teen/Kid
> I say Teen/Kid because I'd rather lump together "Childrens" and "Young
> Adult" because many of my favourites cross that borderline anyway, and I
> can't be bothered separating them out.
> Yes, Doctor Who has a separate category because I've got enough
> commercial Doctor Who books to justify it, and multiple favourite
> authors there.  Though I've stopped buying the DW books for a while now,
> but I still have the older ones.

I've got several vague sections - fantasy, science fiction, humour, etc etc.
Doctor Who has its own section, taking up three quarters of my middle shelf
filled to one and a half times capacity. I organise the books in
chronological order as they happen to the Doctor, with the novelizations and
"Missing/Past adventures" mixed in underneath, with the novels on top (I
found that many of them had been remaindered and were going cheaply in The
Works bookshops lately). I occasionally buy them new - I bought two last
year, one this year and there's another recent one I've heard good things
of, "Camera Obscura" by Lloyd Rose. Of course, Doctor Who could be several
sections - being the longest running book series about one central character
there are now, what? around 400 titles - novelizations, missing adventures,
the on-going "New Adventures" series published 1990ish-1996ish, the current
BBC Books on-going line, the novellas, a few short story collections... No
wonder the BBC have cut back the publishing schedule!

Caleb W.

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