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Sunday, 27 August 2006

The tools in LibraryThing allow you to create an accurate tag cloud, and to tag all books appropriately. Having started entering my library into this wonderful online interface on 14 August, today I have completed tagging all my books. Finally!

My most popular tag by a long way is 'fiction'. This includes, of course, all novels, poetry, drama and other fictional writings. Next is 'twentieth century' — obviously most of the works I own fall in this period. I took the period for tagging from the date of first publication, even though the date that I used for the volumes themselves is the date of the edition I own.

A friend at work suggested breaking it down even more, but I decided that it would be too time-consuming. For example, you could go for decades: 'nineteen-forties', 'nineteen-seventies', etc. (Maybe I'll make that my next project.)

If you want to see the whole of my cloud, click here.

It's a bit of a struggle, staying consistent throughout the whole 41 pages of entires. Making sure that all tags are allocated for each book in turn, not missing any, and sometimes going back to add tags that occurred to you later in the process. I like my tag cloud. It's neat and efficient. Most books took four tags. An example is Ian McEwan's Enduring Love: 'british', 'twentieth century', 'novel', 'fiction'; and for Banjo Patterson it would be (although I don't have any of his collections) 'australian', 'poetry', 'nineteenth century', 'fiction'. (I decided to clump England, Scotland and Wales together for some reason. If I were Scottish no doubt I'd choose to do it differently.)

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