On cataloguing books (was Re: Obscure Childhood favorites)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue Feb 11 11:37:17 EST 2003

On Tue, 11 Feb 2003 05:23:20 EST, EmmaComerford at aol.com wrote:

>After continuing the arduous task of cataloging my books this afternoon (I 
>started this job in a lighthearted manner, never guessing how long it would 
>take or how hard I would find recalling the origins of some books) 

That's for darn sure.  I've done less than 600 and I'm starting to think
that I woefully underestimated how many books are in this house.  Out of
superstition, I started with my children's/young adult books this time
(because every other catalogue I've attempted has started with SF and ended
with a whimper) and I can't remember where most of them came from.  Some of
them, fortunately, had things written inside that reminded me: I have two
books I got from my babysitter when we lived in Colorado, for example, and
her name was inside the cover.  But most of them I've packed up and moved so
many times that I just don't remember where they came from.  Scholastic Book
Club?  Gift from parents?  Stolen from a classroom library?  I don't know.
The flip side of this is that I'm always finding weird ways of dating the
acquisition of a book.  Christmas 1996, I took a picture of Teleri (who was
almost three) wearing Mr. Potato Head glasses, "reading" a book next to her
father, who was doing the same thing.  Now I know when we got _Treasure Box_

I'm having a lot of fun with BookCAT, especially the various sorts.  Those
are not only entertaining, they also help pinpoint where empty data fields
are so I can go back and fill them in.  But mainly I just like looking at
the lists of books in different arrangements.  I was REALLY grateful that I
had started a Want list when my PalmPilot crashed hard and lost every piece
of data I'd ever put into it, including my book purchase records, and (I
thought) was incapable of reloading the backups.  (It worked out fine.)

Here's a question for the list, not that we need more volume:  What kinds of
subgenres do you perceive in fantasy and science fiction?  It's not a
terribly useful question if you're going for exact classifications, since we
can argue about what urban fantasy is or whether Tolkien is high fantasy or
heroic fantasy or epic fantasy.  But all I really want is a quick-and-dirty
assessment so I can fill in both Category and Subcategory in my little
program.  I have a bunch of unclassified books and I've run out of ideas.

Melissa Proffitt

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