n The Name of the Wind, the magical university library sprawls across dusty space and time, it’s indexing part of a constant war between librarian factions. Some systems would be by title, some by subject, some by magical context. Bureaucratic wars are fought – indexes are burned, and the library, it ends up as a massively confusing collection of books.
I was facing a similar problem with my own Library of Alexander. When I started doing reviews five or so years back, I was just blogging about things I was reading. I’d let my website sort them out, just popping them one after the other. Eventually I decided I needed a list, and since (at the time) there were only a couple of dozen entries, I made no effort to order them other than chronologically. New book reviews went on the top of the list. Very simple.
Cut, as they say, to 2016. Reviewing a book or short story a week, now I have over two hundred titles up. Searching is confusing (savvy computer-users could CNTL-F, but I didn’t think that was a reasonable way to search). Really, I had to alphabetize the mass. Even wrote about it HERE in October.
So cut to Sunday, April 3rd. Woke up after ten hours of sandbagging sleep. Yawning, I posted up my latest review, dropping the title at the top of the lengthy list. The wife and I then walked over to breakfast at the little diner we frequent. Nice walk home – got to wave to the couple down the street we like, always pleasant. Got home, sat down in front of the computer and without any foresight at all, went into the index and added A, B, C title headers. Then I moved the most-recent title into its correct index. Saved, went back to the site, tested. Okay, so it worked; the link directed correctly after the cut & paste.
After dinking with the fonts a bit to get it looking right, I began grinding through the list, cut and paste, cut and paste. At first it was pretty easy. But as titles grouped under their letters, it slowed down. I don’t have my alphabet memorized; I have the notion that ‘M’ and ‘N’ are like June and July of the calendar – some letters appear before them, some after. I know which letters go where, but their relationships, that’s a little hazy. So I’d scoop up a title, move to the letter, then pick up the section of the rhyme… ‘Q, R, S, T… okay, comes after S…’. So yes, 200+ titles take time.
Add to this the realization that something (either in the copying or whatever) caused about ten titles to lose their links all together. This meant that I had to walk through 58 web pages of reviews, looking for the specific blog entries to recover the links. And yes, that took time as well.
But now it’s all set – everything is indexed, nice and neat. So enjoy my library. And Shhhhh!