I’m the type of person who likes to keep an author’s books together but organized by series, and I try to reflect that in the portion of my review archive that is organized by series. Since starting this blog, I’ve kept an archive of the books I’ve reviewed and talked about on my blog. The problem with doing this is figuring out an organization method because it isn’t perfectly simple like alphabetizing books by author or title. There are several elements of the series that have to be kept track of.
I created a series index page five years ago because I wanted to keep track of which series books were in. I organize it alphabetically by author, then overall series/universe (if applicable), and then series. I worry about two series sharing the same name, so I have thought that it was the best way to organize it. For example, Esther Friesner’s Princesses of Myth series shares a series name with Joanne Wadsworth’s series. If I had dealt with both of these series, it would be hard to decide how to list the series if I went alphabetically. Do I make the next step in alphabetization by author, book title, or number of books in the series?
As I have edited the page to add more series and covers, I realized that it might be easier to use a different system. The problem with my system is that I think I made it harder to find the series. It’s unnecessarily complex. I’ve been fortunate to not have two series of the same name so far, so it has been unnecessary to follow anything this complicated.
Another problem arose. I recently read Snow White and Rose Red, by Patricia C. Wrede, which is in a series that multiple authors contribute to (The Fairy Tale Series, started by Terri Windling). If I read more books in the series, how would I keep track of them since they’re written by different authors. The same problem would occur if I reread The Royal Diaries and published reviews of them on this blog. It would be difficult to show that they are part of the same series.
I like the idea of alphabetizing the list by series name. If you want to read a book from a series, you want to know the series name, not so much the author’s. Example: “I want to read the second book in the Twilight Saga.” There are times when I remember the title of a book or a series name before I ever remember the author’s name. Alphabetical order by series name is more intuitive.
The problem with alphabetizing entirely by series name is that it does not account for spin-off series or several series that are in the same universe. I like to group those together because they’re related. One example is the Princesses of Myth. Each princess has her own duology under the umbrella universe of Princesses of Myth. There’s Nobody’s Princess, Sphinx’s Princess, Spirit’s Princess, and another duology I haven’t read. Because of this umbrella series and others, I think it’s better to take a second step. That second step is that when necessary that the series within the series should be alphabetized under the umbrella series.
By the time you see this post, I will have changed the organization of the Series Index under the Review Archives menu to follow the last organization method I mentioned.
If you keep a list of book series on your blog, how do you organize it? Though I didn’t talk about it above, how would you organize the list with a series that has multiple names, like Charlaine Harris’ The Southern Vampire Mysteries (a.k.a. The Sookie Stackhouse Novels and The True Blood Novels)?