Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

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Genre and Market Age Indicators

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message 1: by Chriss (new)

Chriss | 3 comments I would like a field to indicate if the work is YA or kids. When I read descriptions of books I find on peoples' shelves I can't always tell if I'm looking at a book for kids, all ages, or what. It would be handy to know right away by looking at the book.

I know genre can get wiggly and tricky with many works, but I'd like to know, without having to see it on someone's genre-named shelf, if a work is a mystery, romance, horror, etc.

Just two thoughts that have occurred to me as I use GoodReads. These would be especially handy if they were hooked into the database in the same manner as the Character field; so, a reader could find a book on someone's shelf and go, "yeah, I'm in the mood to find more mystery titles."


message 2: by Leonardo (new)

Leonardo | 8 comments I agree with the genre idea. Especially if there was a way to find which are the most popular/most read mystery books, horror books, bioigraphies, ...

I also think this field should be filled by selecting among a number of predefined options, and not by freely writing what the genre is, so that there is only one category for horror, and not similar books distributed between horror, terror or whatever other name people might want to call it.


message 3: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse No objection in principle to the genre idea, although I foresee problems. Wrt age, perhaps that could be done as age groups rather than "middle grade" or "YA", as these are not universal classifications.


message 4: by Lisa (last edited Feb 14, 2008 06:07AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 2413 comments Chriss, Re being able to ascertain whether a book is adult vs. ya/childrens: I'm always able to figure it out by what shelves a particular book is on. YA & childrens shelves always show on those books' pages, unless it's a book where very few people have read & rated it. In that case, using one of the store/library links gives me that info. (Edit: ditto for genres/GR users use mystery or whatever.) I personally think there are too many books that are hard to classify by targeted age group. But, if GR people want this, I have no objections.


message 5: by Chriss (new)

Chriss | 3 comments You've got a point, Leonardo, about any genre feature needing to be a selection and not a text field. I can just see a book with multiple classification spellings for horror; horror, Horror, horer, HORRER, etc. I think check boxes, or a dropdown that allowed multiple selections, would be preferable to radial buttons or a single-selection drop box due to the volume of cross-genre works and anthologies.


message 6: by Josh (new)

Josh | 1 comments Maybe if we used the Lexile scale to gauge the readership in conjunction with the drop-down genre list? At least the Lexile will get in the general area without pegging a group as "YA", "Junior", etc.


message 7: by Angel (new)

Angel (mnemosyne) | 48 comments I spent a couple of years doing tech support for educational software that used the lexile system, and we were always getting calls complaining about it. I think the system is kind of confusing, and people always seem to disagree about what lexile a book should be.


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