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Book Issues > Narnia series order?

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather | 44 comments Forgive me if this has been discussed to death; I searched this group's postings for "narnia" and only came up with a two-post thread about the 7-volume boxed set.

Has there already been an interminable discussion about the appropriate order for the Chronicles of Narnia? If not, shall we have one?

Right now they're numbered in plot chronological order. I'd vote for publication order. Or any order (the Wikipedia entry gives several possibilities) that puts The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe first. Part of the thrill of that first-written book is discovering the world of Narnia; reading The Magician's Nephew first doesn't enhance anything and would probably detract from LWW.

Again, forgive me if this has already been done to death; if it has, just point me to the old thread.


message 2: by Cait (last edited Aug 24, 2009 09:22PM) (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments It has indeed been done to death, I'm sad to tell you! But the group search is broken at the moment, so we shall be spared the nostalgia. :)

The consensus was that individual editions should be numbered as they were numbered when published -- so my copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe will always be "Narnia, #1", just as it says on the cover, but other people may have copies of The Magician's Nephew that say "Narnia, #1" just as it is on their covers. We'd rather have the catalog (seem to) contradict itself than have the catalog contradict the actual books!

Narnia is the infamous example, but there are actually other times when we see series get renumbered, and each Goodreads record should always match to its edition.


message 3: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44616 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "Has there already been an interminable discussion about the appropriate order for the Chronicles of Narnia?"

Yes. In fact, the individual books are each numbered as per their covers (when known), which means that the numbering of any given work is inconsistent from one edition to the next. Pretty sure there's a librarian's note on the author to that effect . . .


message 4: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Jinx, rivka! ;)


message 5: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44616 comments Mod
And you got in more detail, too. ;P


message 6: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments *cracks knuckles and smirks*


message 7: by Heather (new)

Heather | 44 comments I looked for a librarian note on the book; didn't think to look for one on the author.

So if I like the idea of LWW rather than Magician's Nephew as #1, I just have to go find an edition that lists it as such?

What about editions that don't have numbers listed on them?


message 8: by Heather (new)

Heather | 44 comments Hang on. I just went and looked, and every single LWW that has a number has it as #2. Do you think someone went through and changed all editions of the whole series to chronological order?

[Aside: Where's a good place to ask questions like "Anyone remember a series of classic British kidlit that was clothbound in yellow, with black spines, and would have been published in the U.S. in the early or mid 1970s?"?]


message 9: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments Many librarians make changes without keeping up with the message boards. I imagine one of those "helpful" librarians changed all the Narnia books so that "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is never #1.

Personally, I'm with you. "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" should always be read first.

As for your aside, I can't remember the Goodreads group name, and I can't see to recall the right word to search for it. But let me know if you want a resource off Goodreads. There are a couple of LiveJournal communities which are very good at that sort of thing.


message 10: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Heather wrote: "Hang on. I just went and looked, and every single LWW that has a number has it as #2. Do you think someone went through and changed all editions of the whole series to chronological order?"

Oh, good grief. Yes, it looks like someone did. At least now there's an "undo" in the librarian change log to fix things like that, but argh! That's going to take forever to undo. Thanks for catching it!

"[Aside: Where's a good place to ask questions like "Anyone remember a series of classic British kidlit that was clothbound in yellow, with black spines, and would have been published in the U.S. in the early or mid 1970s?"?]"

What's the Name of that Book??? can usually help you!


message 11: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments I have sent a message to the librarian who seems to have made the bulk of these renumbering edits last month.


message 12: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44616 comments Mod
In her defense, it looks like most of the editions had NO series number, so she was just trying to add one . . .

But yes, LWW should always be first.


message 13: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Heather wrote: "What about editions that don't have numbers listed on them?"

Those are open season, I suppose! :) Although personally I favor leaving them unnumbered.


message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather | 44 comments Sounds like the hive mind needs to come to some kind of conclusion about what to do with the unnumbered Narnia books, even if that conclusion is "don't number them, because you're just asking for trouble".


message 15: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments Heather wrote: "Sounds like the hive mind needs to come to some kind of conclusion about what to do with the unnumbered Narnia books, even if that conclusion is "don't number them, because you're just asking for t..."

LOL. The hive mind doesn't seem to like to agree on series numbering. I tried with another problem series and didn't get enough opinions to form a majority.

My vote is to number them how they were published originally, even if a publisher incorrectly numbers them later. That way things are unveiled the way the author intended.


message 16: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 579 comments Personally, I'm in the 'publication order' group as well, but there's an equally vocal 'chronological order' group out there. = )
(LW&W must always be read first = )


message 17: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44616 comments Mod
It's too bad we don't have sigs here. ;)


message 18: by Heather (new)

Heather | 44 comments There seems to be a more general "prequel" question at work here.


message 19: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 58 comments Sorry for the extra headache everyone, I'm working on fixing this right now. I'm also adding a more obvious librarian note to the top three editions of each book to hopefully keep anyone from making the same mistake I did.

I kept the numbering the same as it was before I messed things up--most of the editions I changed were the number I changed them to according to the publisher of that specific set of books. I'm going ahead and removing the numbering from all editions that didn't have a number before to be on the safe side, and hopefully later down the road someone who actually has that edition can update the specific number later on down the road.


message 20: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44616 comments Mod
Thanks, Caroline!


message 21: by Heather (new)

Heather | 44 comments Right now LWW is still #2 throughout.


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