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?
My tagging methods have changed somewhat over my year at LT. When I first joined, I used my tags as a basis for organizing my physical library. Basically I was using hierarchical tags, but I was not calling them that. A set of tags for a book might be historical fiction, Europe, England, 16th century. Books were organized alphabetically by each successive tag. Historical fiction was after just fiction, but before history. Historical fiction from England came right before historical fiction based in France. It was a somewhat cumbersome process and was sort of annoying to have to think through every time I added a new book to my library.
After having to pack and unpack all of my books, I decided to abandon my tagging organization – mostly because I didn’t want to have to meticulously order all of my books again. Besides that, I think tagging is more interesting when there is some content tagging, as opposed to mere genre/subject tagging, like I was doing before. This helps me see the cross-genre connections between my books. All my books dealing with immigration, for instance, books that wouldn’t necessarily be shelved together.
This subject-based tagging is definitely a work in progress, but it is made so much easier by LibraryThing’s new tag page, which easily lets me tweak my tagging so that I don’t have two similar tags.