Dewey Decimal system?

Ken's picture

I am lucky enough to have amassed a pretty decent number of books on a wide variety of subjects, particularly in regard to subsistence agriculture and sailing. I also have a nice selection of poetry and a minor amount of fiction that I admire. I don't call it a "library" because, while more than half is on shelves, the level of organization is pretty low. I was reminded of this as I unwrapped a book I just ordered and when I went to the shelf with similar topics, I had to laugh, as I already have that book! That's fine; it's an excellent book and will make a wonderful gift, but still... I felt kind of disorganized and it reminded me of a question I have for Green Wizards:

Is the Dewey Decimal system really the best way to organize books? Or is it just the one we're used to? Secondarily, does the system of organization influence how the library gets used? It seems certain to me that HOW I choose to organize my books says something about how my brain is organized and I'm not sure that the DDS is the best or only way to go. Any thoughts or experiences with other systems? What kind of organizing do you do with YOUR books?

Card catalogs: Does anyone have experience with creating a card catalog from scratch? I don't think our local library even kept their old filing system... I need this in a minor way for my own books but even more, I need to understand how card catalogs work because of the central role that 'Dark Age' librarian/scribe/stewards (Green Wizardish folk) play in the novel I'm working on. Clearly they need to know how to find the treasures they have preserved from the industrial era and the use of electricity is prohibited by The Book of Limitations, so card catalogs it must be! But how will they choose to organize their books? And how will I?


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