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Questions > What are "Purple-Chair" books?

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message 1: by Joy H. (last edited Nov 14, 2011 02:11PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 121 comments What are "Purple-Chair" books? See the following GR web page:
http://www.goodreads.com/genres/purpl...

Where does the expression come from?


message 2: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7029 comments It looks like a name someone has given one of their shelves.

The Genres are crowd sourced based off shelf names


message 3: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 15 comments Tolstoy and the Purple Chair My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

There you are, Joy, the reference is likely to this book.


message 4: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 121 comments Paula wrote: "It looks like a name someone has given one of their shelves.
The Genres are crowd sourced based off shelf names"


I wonder how many people are aware of the term "Purple Chair Books". I'm wondering if it's newly-coined or has it been around for a while. I tried googling but didn't find much about it.


message 5: by willaful (last edited Nov 14, 2011 02:45PM) (new)

willaful I would guess it was coined by whoever made the shelf and is meaningful to that person.


message 6: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 121 comments Dottie wrote: "Tolstoy and the Purple Chair My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
There you are, Joy, the reference is likely to..."


Yes, I figured that's where the expression began, but the book was only published a few months ago. How could the expression get into the vernacular so quickly? How many people have read that book?

Furthermore, what IS the meaning of the term?


message 7: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 121 comments willaful wrote: "I would guess it was coined by whoever made the shelf and is meaningful to that person."

Yes, but why has Goodreads has created a whole web-page based on one person's newly named shelf?

Again, what does the expression mean?


message 8: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43570 comments Mod
It refers to books featured in (or mentioned in) that book, I imagine. Not sure what "the vernacular" has to do with anything, but it does seem like that shelf/genre/whatever would be useful to some readers.


message 9: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 845 comments its not one person though, if you can scroll down, you can see multiple people have commented on books on that shelf

does the expression have to mean something? maybe they made a shelf in keeping with the theme of the book - or something like that - I have it, but haven't read it yet


message 10: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43570 comments Mod
Dee wrote: "its not one person though, if you can scroll down, you can see multiple people have commented on books on that shelf"

No, it's just one person's shelf. The reviews you see if you scroll down are just reviews of the various books so shelved.


message 11: by Paula (last edited Nov 14, 2011 03:04PM) (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7029 comments Joy - there is also one called Watch-film-soon - which is one of your shelves. Genres are based of of shelf names for good or for bad

http://www.goodreads.com/genres/watch...


message 12: by Dee (last edited Nov 14, 2011 03:15PM) (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 845 comments are they the books that are mentioned in the purple chair book then

eta - since I found my copy of the book - at least 3 of the first 4 are books mentioned in the book/ books that she read during the year

here is the website she launched - http://www.readallday.org/blog/


message 13: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments Joy H. wrote: "Dottie wrote: "Tolstoy and the Purple Chair My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
There you are, Joy, the reference is likely to..."

Yes, I figured that's where the expression began, bu..."


This is from the description of another edition, not the default GR edition, of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair:

"Catalyzed by the loss of her sister, a mother of four spends one year savoring a great book every day, from Thomas Pynchon to Nora Ephron and beyond. In the tradition of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and Joan Dideon’s A Year of Magical Thinking, Nina Sankovitch’s soul-baring and literary-minded memoir is a chronicle of loss, hope, and redemption. Nina ultimately turns to reading as therapy and through her journey illuminates the power of books to help us reclaim our lives."

So, I'm guessing there are 365 books listed in some way in "Purple Chair". Maybe some people are treating the book as a book list.


message 14: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 15 comments In my personal opinion genres named from shelf names is a BIG glitch and should be addressed by the powers that be. I mean good grief I have a shelf called The Pantry Shelf and that is DEFINITELY not a GENRE of books and should not be showing up to anyone in any way as a genre.


message 15: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 845 comments it could be interesting to read the books that she read during that year


message 16: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments From the author's website:
http://www.readallday.org/about_365.html


message 17: by Joy H. (last edited Nov 14, 2011 04:54PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 121 comments Thank you all for getting to the bottom of the mystery.

I agree with Dottie that the GR members' shelves should not be morphed into genres by Goodreads.

I agree with Shay that the book in question is being used by readers as a source of titles for a reading list. In other words, (as Rivka and Dee suggested) "The Purple Chair Books" are simply books mentioned in the book: Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading.


message 18: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Joy H. wrote: "Yes, but why has Goodreads has created a whole web-page based on one person's newly named shelf?"

Joy, you have asked the million dollar question.

Why, indeed?

It is GOOFY AS HELL.


message 19: by Michael (new)

Michael (kovaelin) | 3 comments Is this actually a "thing" now?


message 20: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 121 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "Joy H. wrote: "Yes, but why has Goodreads has created a whole web-page based on one person's newly named shelf?"

Joy, you have asked the million dollar question.
Why, indeed?
It is GOOFY AS HELL."


Yes, Lobstergirl, it sure is, especially when the shelf has a goofy obscure name like "Purple Chair Books"!


message 21: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 121 comments Michael wrote: "Is this actually a "thing" now?"

Michael, can you clarify your question please?


message 22: by Mark D. (new)

Mark D. (quantumpanda) | 1 comments Related issue: if all genres are crowd-sourced, that would explain why I get so many "genre" recommendations that are not actually in the genre in question. There are distinct differences between Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Science as genres, but when I look at my recommendations in those categories, I'm seeing the same books.

I don't quite so much mind the overlap between Fantasy and Science Fiction, as the line between those can get pretty blurry (which is why most people label them as a single genre, "Science Fiction/Fantasy"). But Science, in any bookstore or library anywhere, is a nonfiction genre, very different from Science Fiction. Yet out of 50 recommendations I viewed today for me in Science, all but 3 were actually Science Fiction.

I'm going to post this over in the Feedback forum as well, but I thought I'd mention it here after seeing the comment that explains why this happens.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 362 comments Right. It's a known side-effect - not a bug, but just what happened because of the crowd-sourcing. Makes me glad I don't use genres at all. :)


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