First World Problem

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Wander

Settler
Jan 6, 2017
781
985
Here There & Everywhere
I'm having a dilemma.
I've been sorting my bookshelves out.
Now, the problem is, do I put The Odyssey and The Illiad in the 'Myths & Legends' section or the 'Literary Fiction' section?
Same goes for Mallory's Morte D'Arthur.

It's a difficult one and I've backed and forthed all day.
I just can't make up my mind.

I'm differentiating the 'Literary Fiction' section (which includes other writers such as, for example, Hemingway, Joyce, Dickens, Kafka, Orwell, etc) from the 'Genre Fiction' section (things like Sci Fi, fantasy, whodunnits, etc). The 'Myths & Legends' section includes reference as well as narrative re-tellings of Greek, Norse, Celtic, etc myths.

You see, I view The Odyssey and The Illiad as both works of literature, but they are also dealing with legendary characters and events. Same goes for Morte D'Arthur, to be honest, and it sort of feels like it should sit alongside other medieval works in the 'Literary Fiction' section. But doesn't it also belong with other books on Arthur and the Mabinogion in the 'Myths & Legends' section?

You can imagine the tizz I've been in...
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,876
2,752
S. Lanarkshire
I just put them into the Classics shelf, tbh.
The Latin copy goes into the rack with the Scottish, Gaelic, Latin, French dictionaries though :blush:
because I need the dictionary now to to make sense of it.
 
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oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
2,713
1,261
80
Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
For what it's worth, all translations my Iliads and Odysses are in the myths and legends section along with the Mort d'Arthur, Tirant lo Blanc etc. The point is that I know where they are and can find them in an instant. This is the criterion of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education.
Now, hang on, is Aeschylus in the Greek Classics or Drama section?

We both need to get out more!
 
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TLM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
2,003
945
Vantaa, Finland
Troy is/was real so even if the events were not quite like described there is a factoid base to it. For Odyssey they still have to actually identify Ithaca (last time I looked) do that remains an open question. :D
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,354
4,709
Mid Wales
What you need is a key word, third normal form database, and apply a unique number to each book. Then you just shelve them in number order (which will be topic and author random) and find them by key word searching which tells you what books are relevant.

Or, you could get yourself a pet Orangutan and lots of bananas :)
 
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Wander

Settler
Jan 6, 2017
781
985
Here There & Everywhere
Now, hang on, is Aeschylus in the Greek Classics or Drama section?

I have my Aeschylus in the 'Poetry & Drama' section. Along with Euripides. And Beowulf for that matter, if that doesn't add a level of complication.

Now, I know that both the Odyssey and The Illiad could, technically, fall in the 'Poetry' section. But I think that would be stretching it. This is also why Beowulf falls in the 'Poetry' section, although it is part of an Anglo-Saxon poetry anthology.

I just put them into the Classics shelf, tbh.

'Classics' fall under 'Literary Fiction' on my bookshelves.

I just do it alphabetically by authors...
What about if there's no author, just an editor or translator? Or if it's an anthology?

I once arranged by CD collection by spine colours, so they formed a rainbow.
It looked great, but was a right sod trying to find anything.
 
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Wander

Settler
Jan 6, 2017
781
985
Here There & Everywhere
I must also confess to an ulterior motive.
You see, if I can talk myself into believing they belong in the 'Myths & Legends' section then I make myself an extra 5 inches on the 'Literary Fiction' shelf, where they do really belong.
You see my dilemma?
 

Wander

Settler
Jan 6, 2017
781
985
Here There & Everywhere
"Illiad" should go into the "military history" section

The 'Military History' shelf* (as opposed to the 'History' (non-military) shelf) is full.
There's no room left in the inn.
That was part of the motivation behind having a bit of a sort out. By re-categorising some books I have made space in other sections.
I have, alas, reached book critical mass. The next step would be to get rid of some books, and that's just not going to ruddy well happen.

*Otherwise known as the 'Dad Book Shelf'.
 

Wander

Settler
Jan 6, 2017
781
985
Here There & Everywhere
The only rooms in the house that don't have bookcases...the downstairs loo.

Really!?
You're missing a trick.
We have a ledge beside the toilet and that's turned into a book shelf.
It contains indispensable books such as 'How To Be A Wally', 'The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook', 'Drink, Drinking, and Drunks', 'Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Sh!t', etc.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,876
2,752
S. Lanarkshire
I have a friend whose husband kindly built a shelf right round every room in their house just above the picture rail.
It's a bit of a beggar being 5'2" and trying to reach a seven foot shelf though :roll:

I believe that if you're in the loo long enough to read, then you need fed something 'shifting', iimmc ?
On t'other hand, there's always a crossword puzzle book in there, but then, that's disposable and not something I'd put back on a bookshelf.

M
 
What you need is a key word, third normal form database, and apply a unique number to each book. Then you just shelve them in number order (which will be topic and author random) and find them by key word searching which tells you what books are relevant.

Indeed, and the use of GUIDs would be a suitable candidate for the unique number, e.g. 1551cb50-f20f-4b41-b13e-a313b7bcf37b.
 

Wander

Settler
Jan 6, 2017
781
985
Here There & Everywhere
If there's no author even for a translation then everything goes in M for miscellaneous :)

True story this.
At university, a friend and myself had a go at being DJs at the Student Union.
We turned up with a box of CDs and started laying them out.
'Put them alphabetically, by artist,' I suggested, and left him to it.
A bit later, when I had a look, I noticed that all the bands called 'The...' had been filed under T.
There were a lot of Ts.
 
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TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
8,111
1,908
47
Exeter
I have a question for those with seemingly small libraries

Do you intend to read these books again?
 

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