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bklvr896
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Shelving Issue Discussion

I thought of tacking this on to one of the numerous "I hate the shelving" threads, but decided not to.

 

I wish the shelving was better, way better than it is.   But as I was adding books to Calibre this morning, and I noticed the metadata I had this thought.  For some of the issues, such as sorting series books in order, it seems as though the first step is that there needs to be some standards and consistency set up for the metadata.  BN and the other retailers can't and shouldn't be altering the metadata.  First and foremost, they don't have the resources and shouldn't be expected to.

 

The publishers should set up standards so there is consistency in the metadata, which could then be used for sorting and shelving options, because without consistency, there is no way the software can be programmed.  Series names and series numbers should be in a separate field, not part of the title and then those fields could be used to sort and to shelve.  Authors names should be in a consistent format, some seem to come down as first name last name, others last name, first name.  What to do when the book is anthology and has multiple authors? 

 

What I noticed today in Calibre was that books by the same publishers in the same series are not necessarily consistent.  Some downloaded with series information, some with partial series information, some with none.  One series, apparently when the author changed publishers, they also changed the name of the series.

 

I agree there are some areas that BN could and should improve, even with the existing inconsistencies in the metadata, but other areas, the publishers need to make changes, then BN the retailers could use that to make shelving and organizing our books easier and more efficient.

 

BN is certainly lacking in some areas of shelving, but blaming BN for the series number being at the end of the title, that's a publisher issue and needs to be addressed to and by the publishers.

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

There are issues with even trying to figure out what the sequence is supposed to be. If you check the Chronicles of Narnia on B&N you will find that The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is listed as #2, with The Magician's Nephew as #1 and A Horse and His Boy as #3. Even though that is the chronological sequence, it is not the way they were published and certainly not the way I read them.
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bklvr896
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion


MacMcK1957 wrote:
There are issues with even trying to figure out what the sequence is supposed to be. If you check the Chronicles of Narnia on B&N you will find that The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is listed as #2, with The Magician's Nephew as #1 and A Horse and His Boy as #3. Even though that is the chronological sequence, it is not the way they were published and certainly not the way I read them.

I checked Amazon and they have it listed this way also.  So it would seem that the publishers need to have some consistency and then perhaps the retailers could design software to take advantage of the information.

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BFCoughlin
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

Exactly.  With series like the Narnia books, there are different ways to choose to sort them.  So even if B&N allowed for sorting in a series like this, it would have to choose one option over the other. So is there a way to allow for a plan where one could add a shelf that sorts at whatever order one chooses? 

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bklvr896
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion


BFCoughlin wrote:

Exactly.  With series like the Narnia books, there are different ways to choose to sort them.  So even if B&N allowed for sorting in a series like this, it would have to choose one option over the other. So is there a way to allow for a plan where one could add a shelf that sorts at whatever order one chooses? 


Manual sort order, it could be an option.  There are so many variables that could come into play.  I previously mentioned anthologies.  Who gets to decide primary author for sorting.  

 

the whole idea of consistent metadata would help the filtering options on the website also.  If the publishers used consistent guidelines for tagging, viable filtering might be possible.  

 

And while we're at it, consistent text sizing.  In some books, the change from one text size to the next is ridiculous. 

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Mercury_Glitch
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

As a heads up on the Narnia books, the way they are organized now is, I believe, chronological order of the series.  This was a relatively recent change, within the last 8 years I think.  However commentators have said you don't lose anything from reading it in the order prior to this change. 

 

B&N and Amazon are just compiling with the wishes of the rights holders.

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are only the thread of the Pattern.
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Larryb52
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

the text sizes are sorta crazy the steps are too larget you get too little just right or huge, need small steps...and archiving books needs to be made easier, if we trying to keep it simple between , the text sizing, shelving and archiving there all take work. Should of been made easier...

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keriflur
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

[ Edited ]

Mercury_Glitch wrote:

As a heads up on the Narnia books, the way they are organized now is, I believe, chronological order of the series.  This was a relatively recent change, within the last 8 years I think.  However commentators have said you don't lose anything from reading it in the order prior to this change. 

 

B&N and Amazon are just compiling with the wishes of the rights holders.


Readers generally will get the most out of reading a series in the order it was written, which usually matches the order of publication, but not always.  This applies to all series, whether written chronologically or not, and and has more to do with how the writer brain works than any criteria of the individual books or the series as a whole.

 

I'm not a Narnia person, but if you know the order they were written in, reading them in that order would likely give you the best experience.

 

As far as sort order on a nook goes - why not offer a manual sort?  If goodreads can do a manual sort order on a shelf, and it can, then I can't come up with a reason that B&N can't do it on a nook shelf.

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

Ultimately, if you want to allow users to organize by series, you have to leave both series and sequence editable by the user. I can think of a number of series (Childe Cycle and Ender Quintet right off hand) that were not written in chronological sequence and really shouldn't be read that way. The Niven/Lerner Fleet of Worlds books are classed by the publisher just as part of Niven's Known Space, but IMO should be treated as a separate sub-series. Alan Dean Foster has a number of series which could be considered series of their own or part of his Commonwealth series. Ultimately the reader has to choose their own organization structure.
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bklvr896
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

 

This where I see tht the idea of sorting and organizing by series starts to run into issues.  Different people want sorting in different ways with series, apparently.  A manual sort would be the easiest to implement.  Allowing users speed it the metadata opens a whole new issue.  If I don't want to sideload my books and I don't, then BN has to offer some method to do this, which means the version you save in your library is now a different version, do they have to store the whole book.  And what happens when you have to re-download the books for some reason. 

 

But I still think the first step is consistency in the metadata, even if it doesn't sort a series how you want it would still be better than what we have now.

 

of course to achieve consistency, the publishers would have to talk to each other and some might start talking collusion or conspiracies. smileytongue:

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

Of course, first the publishers would need to care enough to even bother caring about the quality of the metadata at all.  I own The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and The Girl Who Played With Fire, both by Stieg Larsson.  I also own The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Reg Keeland , Stieg Larssen.  (Keeland is the translator.).

 

I have numerous other books that alphabetize under the name of someone who wrote a foreword, or edited  it. 

 

If they can't even bother to try to get the author name correct or consistent, clearly the publisher doesn't care.

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keriflur
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion


MacMcK1957 wrote:

Of course, first the publishers would need to care enough to even bother caring about the quality of the metadata at all.  I own The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and The Girl Who Played With Fire, both by Stieg Larsson.  I also own The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Reg Keeland , Stieg Larssen.  (Keeland is the translator.).

 

I have numerous other books that alphabetize under the name of someone who wrote a foreword, or edited  it. 

 

If they can't even bother to try to get the author name correct or consistent, clearly the publisher doesn't care.


It's the same way with music. On half my Goo Goo Dolls albums, the artist is Goo Goo Dolls, and on the other half, The Goo Goo Dolls is the artist.  And sometimes Pink is P!nk, but not always, even when they're all downloaded from Amazon.  The nice thing about music is that you can go in and edit the metadata, because there's no DRM (I buy from Amazon, who doesn't use any DRM at all on music files).  With books, it's not so easy.

flyingtoastr
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion


Mercury_Glitch wrote:

As a heads up on the Narnia books, the way they are organized now is, I believe, chronological order of the series.  This was a relatively recent change, within the last 8 years I think.  However commentators have said you don't lose anything from reading it in the order prior to this change. 


It's been that way for far longer than 8 years - when I read them as a child (going on twenty years ago *twitch*) the boxed set I purchased was in the "new" order.

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion


flyingtoastr wrote:

It's been that way for far longer than 8 years - when I read them as a child (going on twenty years ago *twitch*) the boxed set I purchased was in the "new" order.


I was a child somewhat earlier.  The boxed set my family owned (purchased when the author was alive) began with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

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ewilson1114
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion


MacMcK1957 wrote:

flyingtoastr wrote:

It's been that way for far longer than 8 years - when I read them as a child (going on twenty years ago *twitch*) the boxed set I purchased was in the "new" order.


I was a child somewhat earlier.  The boxed set my family owned (purchased when the author was alive) began with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.


My family's set was also from when the author was still alive and it was in publishing order, however, when I was a child they were already publishing them in chronological order. I still read them in publishing order as I prefer it but I used to have heated arguments about the order with my best friend! 

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Mercury_Glitch
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

The box set I read had The Lion... as the first novel in the series.  I'm not sure when exactly it was purchased, but it's post 80s. 

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are only the thread of the Pattern.
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MacMcK1957
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

A rather obvious point is that there is no question which book was considered first by the filmmakers?
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Mercury_Glitch
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion


MacMcK1957 wrote:
A rather obvious point is that there is no question which book was considered first by the filmmakers?

Consider how many grew up with the order the movies were following (I haven't heard anything about a new movie), versus the number of people who had read The Horse and His Boy first.

 

I think the stronger point is that the publishers changed the order at some point.  So what happens to series then?  Assuming DRM is here to stay.  Would you have one version of the Narnia books on your Nook and then, if you needed to reload them, a different version if another change happened?  What about if you buy them and then the publishers change something and your friend buys them? 

 

I think that holding B&N to the flame for not implementing the ability to sort by various identifiers given by metadata is fine.  However I think, as has been mentioned already, that the publishers need to get their act together and work out standards for series, and for giving author credit.

 

Another example is the Bourne series, Ludlum hasn't written in the series for awhile now, but other authors are.  On the covers Ludlum has his name printed in rather bold face while the actual author is usually mentioned, but in a less obvious fashion.  I don't believe these are ghost writers, which would plauge Patterson fans to insanity if they were shelved by ghost author.

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are only the thread of the Pattern.
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keriflur
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

Neither the Ludlum nor the Patterson authors are ghostwriters. Ghostwriters do not get their name on the cover, they are ghosts - readers aren't supposed to ever know they were there. IMO it makes sense to keep shelving the Ludlum series under Ludlum as this keeps the series together, but I can definitely see why it might not make sense to someone else, especially since he's not at all involved in the writing process (being dead can get in the way, I guess). As for Patterson, he partners with the less famous authors, but he's still part of the process, so it makes sense he'd be listed first, as the bigger name.
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MacMcK1957
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Re: Shelving Issue Discussion

Consider how many grew up with the order the movies were following (I haven't heard anything about a new movie), versus the number of people who had read The Horse and His Boy first.

 

Actually the issue is The Magician's Nephew, which takes place about 50 years earlier (Earth) or 1000 years earlier (Narnia).  The Horse and His Boy takes place during the reign of the Pevensies as high kings and queens when they are adults, before they return to the wardrobe and become children again.  The traditional order put those two stories 5th and 6th to fill in the backstory before The Last Battle.  The rearranged sequence buts TMN first and THAHB third.