Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

Do you combine editions of just one book, or do you go through an author?

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message 1: by Seth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Seth | 12 comments I'm curious. When you see a book that needs editions combined (for me it's usually when I enter a review), do you just combine that one book, or do you stay on the author's page and work through all the books?

I've been working through all the books that I can (loads of titles in German and Spanish that I *think* I know, but four years of Latin doesn't cover either well enough), knowing that some authors will be pretty messy.

So this does mean I only do it when I have some time (opening author's page/amazon/locus index, etc. to find if editions are the same, etc.), instead just when I see one to merge in.

I'm not at all sure which is better, if either. What's the more common practice?

message 2: by Femmy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Femmy | 26 comments I think it really is up to you, whatever you have the time for. That's what I do, anyway. When I have time, I work through all an author's book, with google's translator open in another tab, to combine the German/Spanish/French titles. For Agatha Christie, I even have Wikipedia open, because many of her stories have several titles. But sometimes I combine only a couple of titles, leaving the translated titles for another day.

I think, any act of combining, whether it is one title or one author, helps.

message 3: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

John I do entire authors at a go; I combine foreign titles only when I am absolutely certain that they match English ones.

message 4: by rivka, Former Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

rivka | 45207 comments Mod
I do much the same as Femmy, when I have the time. (Although I find most useful for books-published-under-multiple-titles, rather than Wikipedia, and I prefer Babelfish to Google's translator.)

message 5: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Rob McMonigal | 12 comments I do it as I notice, honestly. Sometimes that means doing more than one at once, sometimes not.


message 6: by Seth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Seth | 12 comments For some authors I've found the author's own page or an obsessive fan site more reliable than Wikipedia. (I use the term "wikibelieve" to describe my reaction there.) I also like the locus index ([]) for any sf/f.

It gets time consuming for books like some Sheckley that came out under many different names with almostthe same text or The Forever War which has three different texts based on which editor had a go at the more political sections, so I've been skipping combining unless I have the time for all or most of the English titles.

I agree it's basically whatever you have time/interest for. We're volunteers after all :-) I'm just curious how the rest of us work.

message 7: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 2400 comments I normally start with a specific book, and if I notice other books of that author when I get to the page where we can combine, then, if it's needed, I will combine those also.

message 8: by Caroline (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Caroline | 58 comments I do the same as Lisa. If I see something messed up, I'll go in and fix it, and while I'm there if I notice anything else wrong I'll fix it as well. It's always really satisfying for me to take a messy list of books and get it all combined as it should be.

message 9: by Otis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 315 comments I agree, I just do it when I notice it needs fixing. Also, check out the new 'auto-combine' feature, which will auto-combine works with the same basic title.

message 10: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 2400 comments Just curious re the auto combine feature:

What if someone types in Harry Potter? Will all the Harry Potter books be combined? Also, some books are parts of sets: such as all the Jane Austen novels together or Maus I and Maus II are separate books but are also in one book together as well.

What will happen in these types of situations? Know librarians have always had to be careful, but seems to me we'll have to be exceedingly careful now.

Or do the titles have to be identical or nearly identical for this feature to work?

P.S. I've occasionally had to separate books that should not have been combined.

message 11: by rivka, Former Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

rivka | 45207 comments Mod
The auto-combine doesn't even combine titles that are the same except for a comma. So I think the Harry Potter books are safe. ;)

It would be useful if it showed WHICH titles it just combined, though. I double-checked and didn't see anything odd, but with an author with many many titles, that would be rather a pain.

message 12: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 2400 comments Rivka,

Good to know. Every once in a while I've had to separate books. One example is when a critical analysis & notes of whatever book are combined with that actual book. Another example is when a book is combined with a book that includes that book but other books as welll/multiple books in one book.

But could see this auto-combine feature also being helpful. For authors with many books, there can be a lot of scrolling while combining; it especially happens with books that start with a "the" or an "a" and those are sometimes included or left off.

message 13: by rivka, Former Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

rivka | 45207 comments Mod
The titles have to be identical for the autocombine to recognize them as the same, so it won't help with the a/the problem. However, the filter by keyword does -- helps with the scrolling issue in general, except when most of an author's books all have the same useful keyword.

I've had to separate out books in those same situations. But sometimes those "book companions" are difficult to spot as such.

message 14: by Otis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 315 comments Auto-combine doesn't have anything to do with the search box (maybe we should move it away from that).

It basically will combine any book titles that are exactly the same (minus the parenthesis). This is very useful for authors whose titles have not been combined at all yet.

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