Lousy tags: 'read', 'unread', 'to-read'


Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

Lousy tags: 'read', 'unread', 'to-read'

gen. 27, 2019, 10:45pm

I imagine I'm not the first to notice this.

But tags that relate to you (rather than to the book) just add to the noise.

So these ones: 'read', 'unread' and 'to-read' make lousy tags.

They do, however, make great Collections.

That is all. Thanks.

gen. 28, 2019, 1:52am

These are hardly the only tags that have significance only to the cataloguer. People tag locations where they keep the books, dates of reading, where they acquired them, book format, as well as a zillion undecipherable things. Tags are primarily a personal system, of which a lot are very useful site-wide when aggregated, but site-wide usefulness never comes at the expense of personal preference of the tagger.

Also, to-read tag is added automatically for all the books on your to-read list when importing from goodreads, which is how I ended up with around a hundred.

Editat: gen. 28, 2019, 2:57am

Annoying that Good Reads does that.
Most of the other things you mentioned are fields already offered to a user, and using a tag would not be as effective as using the offered field.
As for locations and ‘read’ or ‘unread’ etc, ‘Collections’ seem are a more useful way to do that.
Worth considering, I reckon.
But of course, personal preferences are just that: personal. So fair enough and thanks.

Editat: gen. 28, 2019, 3:24am

People use LT differently. Also, LT had tags for several years before it had collections. Not everyone changed their usage.

Collections are not a good way of dealing with locations. Not only is a collection not specific enough for some purposes, but collections work better if you don't have too many. We now have a field for our own call number, but that is much more recent than collections. I use the call number field, but have not fixed all the books that should have it. But I don't put things like Discarded, which library I borrowed it from, who I gave it to there. These work better as tags. I use over twenty location tags.

Tags are for whatever the taggers think will be useful for their purposes. If some tags are useful for others, fine. If tags were limited to those that are useful to everyone, we would not only have fewer personal tags. We would also have fewer general tags, because lots of people wouldn't bother tagging.

gen. 28, 2019, 4:35am

I can sort of see the point in >1 GeoffAndElizabeth: in that it's not the fact that they're personal tags that's the problem, it's that they're common personal tags and so bubble up above the background. On any book with many owners most personal tags aren't seen, but something common like 'to read' may be.

Given my tagging use though I'm unlikely to change my habits.

gen. 28, 2019, 3:47pm

Personally, I love the idiosyncratic tags. I wish the subject fields worked better for things like basic genres so the tags could be solely used for individual, quirky connections between books.

The other day I was browsing the work page of one of the more obscure books in my library, and I saw a weird tag that had bubbled up and I thought, "Wow, I like how this person thinks!" so I went to go check out their library...

...only to find out that person was me...

I felt dumb (it was a very specific tag and I had forgotten I'd used it), but I had been very excited for a moment imagining what kind of treasures I might encounter when I clicked through. I've discovered many interesting libraries this way in the past.

(The work referred to is here.)

gen. 29, 2019, 2:32am

All good points. I must relax and enjoy the world of tags (including idiosyncratic ones) more.

gen. 29, 2019, 9:52am

I find tags like "unread" or "to-read" interesting sometimes, because it can say something about the book if a lot more people are marking it "unread" than "read". Maybe it's a new book? or maybe people think they want to read it but never really get around to it.

des. 31, 2020, 3:54am

I'm still in the early days of figuring out categories vs. tags. Last time I had an LT entry surge I tagged locations, and now I'm considering converting. But I'd probably keep both in the interim: it's easy to use the power-search or whatever it's called to find all of a tag and put them in a category, or vice versa. I'm on the fence about "fiction" as well. I love exploring other people's systems.

des. 31, 2020, 12:32pm

I use tags for information about the book and its contents, so 'fiction', non-fiction', autobiography' are all important to me. Collections are more to do with physical details - My Library, Jane's books, Ebook, Read but unowned.

Some use tag types, and I am rather vaguely considering some kind of grouping for the recommendation tags that I use.

I really must try and get more of a grip on tags this coming year, since they are useful not just to me. And do more reviews.

des. 31, 2020, 12:38pm

>10 sarahemmm: Hmm, "tag types", tantalizing...

des. 31, 2020, 3:32pm

When deciding collections vs tags, it may help to take into account some of the features specific to using collections.

For instance, the ability to use collections to control the recommendations that LT gives to you. I segregate out my graphic novels and manga books into a different collection and turn off the recs for that collection, because if I don't, then my recs are flooded with manga. Since manga are often serials, that means I will be recommended volumes 1 through 84 of the same series individually. Not super useful. I also segregate out some of boyfriend's books, and ones on my wishlist.

Another useful feature is that the LT default collections cause colored checkmarks to appear next to mentions of that work all over librarything. So, if I'm looking at something, I can see right away at a glance, 'oh, I have that in my library,' or, 'I read that but don't own it,' or, 'it seems I already put that on my wishlist.' All custom collection labels get the same gray colored checkmark, so I have minimal extra collections beyond the defaults.

gen. 1, 12:34pm


Good points! I think I have been using LT so long that I have forgotten just how many nifty little things there are.

Editat: març 21, 10:08pm

Collections are useful when editing groups of books, because when you go to edit an individual book and then return to “Your books” the same collection is still selected. Tags often go away and you have to re-enter them, which is unacceptable if you need to do it over and over. So my collections are very dynamic for short- and medium-term projects.

març 13, 4:54pm

Yeah those check boxes are nice for collections also.

A bit of a change of subject but are there leading characters or some method we can use to keep tags out of the book list's "tags section"? I'm thinking of the housekeeping tags that only mean something to me.

març 13, 5:15pm

15> If there are lots of tags, the less frequently used ones don't show up. If the tag is useful to you it doesn't matter whether it shows up on the work page or not.

març 13, 5:24pm

I understand that I can add tags freely without worrying about effecting the book area. I was asking because I wanted to know if it was possible.
Thanks for the reply.

març 14, 5:25am

>17 Seayla2020: No way to make tags private

març 14, 8:21am

okay ty. glad to know for sure.

març 16, 4:20am

The tags the OP doesn't like don't bother me at all. But ones like this do: https://www.librarything.com/tag/raised+by+her+grandparents+in+very+traditional+...

març 16, 7:51am

wow those are "reviews" vs tags. I can't fathom the benefit.
The search function on LT is outstanding so having them set as tags vs reviews *shrugs*

març 16, 9:41am

Seayla2020 (#21):

wow those are "reviews" vs tags. I can't fathom the benefit.

Things like that are frequently import errors. It happens.

març 16, 9:55am

oh. ty that make sense! #fathomed

març 16, 3:07pm

Not an import error. That user just uses tags that way. Look at catalog date entries.

març 16, 3:21pm

Most recently today.

març 16, 3:24pm

Thanks, I hadn't looked in detail in this case - I know it's sometimes an import error. Guess this is just an odd preference, then.

març 16, 3:33pm

Weird. The member obviously knows about the review field, because it's been used twice. Odd choice.