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Topic: How are books categorized?

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hro
Subject: How are books categorized?
Date Posted: 9/4/2011 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2011
Posts: 91
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Two part question:

On the home page, in the section "Books Available to Order" there is a category for "General - Literary," but the results returned include mostly genre fiction, chick lit, romance, etc. It seems that Literary is a catch-all rather than a category devoted specifically to literary fiction.

When I click on the Search tab, it takes me to a page where I can "Browse By Genre." There I can select "Literature and Fiction," then "General," then "Literary." These results yield mostly classic literature (even though "Classics" is supposed to be in its own section, separate from "Literary".)

So I'm wondering: How are books categorized? And is there some search technique I am unaware of which will make it easier for me to find the books I'm looking for?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 9/5/2011 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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Hmm. I don't see "General - Literary" anywhere on my home page. The closest thing I see is "Literature & Fiction" when I click Show Additional Genres. I can change my favorite genres there to Literature & Fiction >> General >> Literary, but that's exactly the same as browsing that genre any other way. It's just showing me the books that are available now.

Genres are given by the publishers when they first announce that a new book is coming out. There's a standard set of genres that's used at many websites and in physical bookstores. If you go to the Book Browser and use the Select Multiple Genres link, you can see the list. The top levels pretty much correspond to the various sections of a bookstore, with the second level being the divisions within the sections.

The best way I've found to identify and browse a specific genre is to search by keyword and pick a couple books that seem to be similar to what I'm looking for. Look at their details pages to see what genres are listed and then browse those genres. If you're looking for "Literary Fiction", maybe look at the listings for "Lovely Bones", something by Jonathan Franzen, and "Middlesex" and see if you get any clues about how they're classified.

Date Posted: 9/5/2011 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Categorization on PBS is not consistent, because the data comes from elsewhere and PBS has not written guidelines as to what should be in what category.  I do a lot of editing of book information, and I find a lot of items which have been categorized as literary fiction which really aren't.

So, how to find what you want depends on what you're looking for.  Cathy's provided some good suggestions; you can also try keyword searching, or using a website devoted to that type of literature to find suggestions, then see if PBS has them.

 

Date Posted: 9/5/2011 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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We can do book edits to add or remove genres. I always try to check that my books on my bookshelf have at least one genre. That is how books get into the searches and the entry banners.

Last Edited on: 9/5/11 5:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
hro
Date Posted: 9/5/2011 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2011
Posts: 91
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I know what types of books I'm looking for. I"m just trying to figure out how to find them listed here, since the books on my wishlist are not available. I guess I'll just need to play around with the search feature and add some keywords, or something.

The thing on my home page is something I did with the settings when I first created the account so it wouldn't be that way on everyone's page. It specificaly shows me available books in Literary Fiction...but the site's definition of Literary Fiction is very different than mine.

Date Posted: 9/5/2011 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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You can have more than one genre show up in the banner.  Up to three?  You can also select to exclude specific authors.  Such as if you have it set to horror, you can exclude Stephen King.

hro
Date Posted: 9/6/2011 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2011
Posts: 91
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You can exclude authors? I know how to exclude genres, but not authors. How is that done?