So yesterday I found myself very frustrated with some life issues and really couldn’t concentrate enough to read (which meant I had to miss the mystery read-a-thon — darn it!!). While I needed to mull over the problem and come to some kind of resolution, I also wanted to do some kind of mindless activity. Adding labels to my blog posts fit the bill (I know, I live a very exciting life). I have wanted to do this for quite some time as I think it will make it easier for me to find previous postings, and hopefully it will aid new visitors to my blog to delve into posts that may interest them.
Now, adding labels is not as easy as one might initially think. At first I just created the label “Book Reviews” but then quickly decided that if I plan to maintain this blog over a long period of time (and that is the plan ….. at least for now) then I may want to segment that category further. So, I modified the label to “Book Reviews 2009”. Not a major intellectual decision, I must admit, but I do think it was necessary. After labeling about 50 posts, however, I quickly realized that each review should probably have a double entry: one for the year in which it was reviewed, and one for the genre of book. This would make finding reviews MUCH easier. Ok – good decision, Molly. Now, what will the genre categories look like? I don’t want to have the categories too specific, at least for now, so all mystery, thriller, suspense type books are currently filed under the Mystery label. All books that are found in the Young Adult section of the bookstore are filed under YA. No biggie.
BUT…..what about the vast number of general fiction books that I read? I read a fair number of classics for academic endeavors as well as personal pleasure. I also read a fair number of current “best sellers” (for lack of a better word) because so many great reviews are written on blogs that I feel I must read the book right away to be a part of the blogging buzz. Many of these books are GREAT novels, but what is the defining line between “literary” fiction and “contemporary” fiction? For my purposes I made this distinction: if the book is a classic, and/or if it is frequently taught in an academic setting, and/or it has won a literary prize for fiction — then I deemed it “literary”. If it is just a great, modern-day book, but did not make the cut as listed above, then I simply labeled it “contemporary” fiction.
Now granted, there was no scientific reasoning behind my labeling. This was purely personal randomness. So I ask you: what do you think is the dividing line between literary fiction vs contemporary fiction? OR….do you even think such a line exists? I am very interested in hearing your comments, and realize that I may need to make some changes to the current labeling of posts based on your opinions.