February 08, 2008

Decisions Decisions

You may or may not recall seeing my shelves before. And you may or may not remember hearing about how they are sorted. The entire right shelf contains all my classics. The left shelf goes something like this: top shelf, cook books and sewing book; second shelf, non-fiction and poetry; third and fourth shelves, fiction; bottom two shelves, childrens anthologies, science encyclopedias and homeschool books(these will soon be moving as I am running out of room for my books).

Well, I have been cataloging my books on LibraryThing for the last few weeks and have made a discovery. I have not been too consistant about sorting. I have found biographies placed whereever there is room. And I have some modern writers in fiction and others in classics. I have all of my C.S. Lewis books together on classics even though many of them are non-fiction. As I tag the books on my LibraryThing account I am finding I need to move these books around but I am now stuck as to what to do with those modern writers that I feel have written classics, like Toni Morrison and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, even Margaret Mitchell. Where do I draw the line between fiction and classic? Books published before the 1960s? If the authors are dead? Maybe both? Can a non-fiction title be a classic? I hadn't thought of these intricacies before but now I fear someone looking at my LibraryThing list might think me an idiot for how I label my books. I would sure appeciate any assistance you wonderful people could offer me.

7 comments:

Trish said...

Ha! That's why I have a very specific way of organizing my books: Books I've read; Books I haven't read. :) And my cataloging is totally personal (on MS Access...although I hope to switch to Excel soon). I do have them labeled there, but I kind of guess at the "classic" part.

Good luck!!

Jeane said...

I would call Marquez books classics, although I think the technical definition is something that's been in print for over fifty years (??) Nobody's going to think you're an idiot for how you sort your books! Mine are in three groups: fiction (including fantasy & children's), non-ficiton, and the unread pile. The ones on the shelf are alphabetized by author, the TBR is just a heap! Oh, and the cookbooks are in the kitchen. For some reason, I never really think of them as part of my library, "just" reference.

Table Talk said...

I organise my books by gender and then alphabetically, but somehow that just doesn't translate itself to Library Thing tagging.

3M said...

I usually go by 50 years for a classic, although I still count To Kill a Mockingbird as one even though it doesn't quite make the cut-off.

Petunia said...

Thanks for your input. I guess I will go with the 50 years for a classic with a few exceptions.

Booklogged said...

I have the same questions, Petunia.

Carrie K said...

I'm with Trish although my cataloging also includes Books That Have Been in the TBR stack so long that I'm shelving them where they belong.

Queens in line of reign. History somewhat with queens. The odd King (Henry VIII especially.) History by date. Fiction about historical figures that's not shockingly stupid goes there too.

But I did read that .....some lovely erudite historical figure continually rearranged his books.