Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Banned Books & Tuesday Thingers: Playing Tag

Today's question is about tags- do you tag? How do you tag? How do you feel about tagging- do you think it would be better to have standardized tags, like libraries have standardized subject headings, or do you like the individualized nature of tagging? What are your top 5 tags and what do they say about your collection or your reading habits?

I do tag. I am not very organized about it, although I try to be. Said by the woman who uses several different versions of the same tag because she can't make up her mind. I think part of my problem is that I am not quite sure yet how I want to go about it. You would think by now I would be. I have been cataloging my books on LibraryThing since December of 2006 and blogging for nearly 2 years now (2 years next month, in fact). These things take time. At least, that is what I tell myself.

My purpose in tagging is to make it easier to organize or search for particular books (LibraryThing) or posts (my blog)--more so for myself than for my readers or viewers. I admit that when I first started tagging, it wasn't for anyone but me. Who would want to read my blog, after all? Who would want to look through my library? So, with that in mind, I decided to keep it simple. In regards to my books both in my library and those I review on my blog, I tag them by book type or genre (by my own definitions--we all know that book classifications can be controversial). My most commonly used tags for LibraryThing include TBR, ARE, Fantasy, Fiction, and Crime Fiction. As for my blog tags (talk about being all over the place), the most common blog tag you will find is "Review".

I do occasionally look to see how other people are using tags and think I might try their style on for size. Truth be told though, I probably will continue to do my own thing.

Someday I will get the hang of this tagging thing. I really just need to settle down in front of my computer and take the time to get more organized. For now though, you are more likely to find me reading or blog hopping. And there's a little something called work that always manages to get in the way . . .

Andi over at Tripping Toward Lucidity and Michelle from Fluttering Butterflies posted a Banned Books list, sharing with readers which books from the list they have read. Like Michelle, I think it would have been an even more interesting list had some of the reasons for banning had been listed. As many of us know, however, the reasons tend to be quite varied, often times making no sense at all. At least not to me. I am the kind of person that if you tell me I should not read something "for my own good", I'll want to read it to see why you'd think that in the first place.

The titles in bold are the books I have read, and the titles in red are ones that I have on my shelves waiting to be read. It is kind of embarrassing how little of these titles I have read, much less own. This is just a small sampling of the books that have been banned over the years, however. Think of all those that did not make this particular list. The Harry Potter books, for example.

#1 The Bible (I actually own several different versions of the Bible and have attempted to read it on two occasions. Not sure I will try again.)
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (I have read bits and pieces of this one.)
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (One of these days, I'll get around to finishing this one!)
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Capital by Karl Marx
#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (I tried but couldn't get through this one--maybe someday.)
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (Another one I tried but did not make it through.)
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 A Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Émile by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Émile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes


  1. LOL @ "Said by the woman who uses several different versions of the same tag..."

    I could make up my mind. It's remembering what it was made up to do! (lol)

    Compared to me, you are VERY organized. I only wish I could be as half as organized as you.

  2. Yes, if I could just get organized, I could go back and make sure all my books are tagged and the tags are all uniform. Of course, deep down I know that's never gonna happen.

  3. I haven't seen this list of banned books before, and it would be very interesting to see reasons why. I find it a bit humorous that Little House on the Prairie is on the list!

  4. i like tagging a lot for organizing- being able to see what i have, being able find things, make connections. it's fun. :-)

  5. I tag but am not sure how organized I am about it. I'm sure there's room for improvement.

    As for the list, reading it makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of them. Not because they're banned, but because I've been wanting to read quite a few of them. I didn't know that the majority of them were considered banned in the first place. I've read 16 of them so far.

  6. Doesn't it make you wonder what is wrong with people that they would want to ban something like Little House on the Prairie, To Kill a Mockingbird, or Bridge to Terabithia? A few of those titles, I can imagine the reasons for wanting to ban it - or at least the weird justification book banners would use - but some them? I just don't get it.

  7. The part of your post about tags intrigued me. As a library cataloger, I keep being told that a "controlled vocabulary" (i.e. tags) is no longer necessary with computers, since everyone searches by keywords anyway ...

    I've read more on the list than I thought I had - some of them due to the fact that I was a political science/philosophy major in college!

  8. I'm going to do both of these on my blog fairly soon, so I don't want to give away too much here :-), but it looks like you use a combination of read-status and book-type/genre tags on LT. I do the same. I'm actually less descriptive with the tags I use on the book-review posts on my blog.

  9. Thanks for doing this one! It's always fun to see what others have read. :)

  10. I tag a lot and my tags are really a mixture of genre, content, and status as in read, to read, to review. All for my own benefit though I think.

  11. Banned books is very interesting and I agree with Laura about Little House on the Prarie. What's up with that. I'll need to research that one. I'll have to go through that list and see which I've read. Thanks for adding that.

  12. Oh, I'm so glad that there're tags available in blogs, because without them I don't even know where to look if I want to find something from the archives.

    You and I blog about the same time! ;) How time flies, eh?

  13. Oh, you must read The Handmaid's Tale! And it's short...what could beat that? I've always wanted to read Les Miserables as well (got about 50 pages in before it was due back to the library). It is my favorite broadway show--now if I could just figure out how to have the book sing to me, that would be perfect!

  14. I'm with you. I only tag for myself :)

  15. I've just been thinking about the whole tagging thing myself. I keep thinking I need to do it but then I just get lazy and put it off :)

  16. I don’t tag at all. I’ve tried it before but it just irritated me. Everything can be found by searching in the top bar anyways. I think I’ve done that list before... Not sure.

  17. I don't tag my own stuff but bookshop stock is categorised so that I know where to look.
    And now I'm off to do the Banned Books meme.....

  18. I read The Handmaid's Tale and was kind of freaked out by it. I still need to get the Bell Jar.
    Great list!

  19. Thank you all for stopping in and commenting! I do wish I was more organized about tagging. It will be one of my future projects. :-)

    The banned book list is interesting. I was surprised to see Little House on the Prairie and Bridge to Terebithia on the list too. They seem like such harmless books!

  20. I have been blogging for nearly two years too. I use LibraryThing to catalogue all my books and Visual Bookshelf on Facebook. The tags I created for LT are very basic stuff such as 'fiction', 'non-fiction', 'Christian', and 'last name alphabet-alphabet'. Just so I know how many books are in each category and stuff like that. :)

    You're right, these things take time...

  21. Alice - It is hard to believe it's been so long, isn't it? Time has flown by. I figure I will be tagging books for a long time to come. :-)


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