I Don’t Dislike the 800s

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I have a reputation around the library of not liking the 800’s, meaning books that have a Dewey number classification in the 800s: plays, poetry, essays, literary criticism, satire and humor, literature.

When I made the comment that has earned me that reputation, I was referring to the amount of shelf space we devote to the 800s in comparison to the number of times books in these categories are checked out in a year. It was in the context of a discussion about books needing to “earn” their shelf space and a comparison to retail – more retail shelf space is devoted to items that sell. In our case, “selling” generally means circulating, although some books, of course, are used within the library and not checked out to a patron.

In the case of the 800s, we devote much more space to them than the circulation percentage would warrant, but we aren’t in the retail business either.

Collection maintenance, ordering new titles and discarding old ones, is a delicate balance within libraries. We want to have the new, hot titles; we want our shelves to look inviting; we want patrons to check out our materials; but we also want to have that old, favorite title a patron wants to reread or a title someone wants to browse, but not check out.

Our librarian staff is experienced at finding this balance, using a variety of tools, including circulation statistics, lists of standard titles, and their experience helping patrons. We also keep current on old titles that might have a new life through a movie version or renewed attention to the author.

Come visit soon; I’m betting we will have what you want to read next.

P.S. I really don’t dislike the 800s, actually I read quite a few books of essays, but I admit, I don’t read poetry very often.


800s: plays, poetry, essays, literary criticism, satire and humor, literature

Posted by Ann Rohrbaugh at 09/13/2010 08:18:34 AM | 

The truth is that when I come across poems in books like Chicken Soup for the Soul, I generally just skip them. They are harder for me to read than regular prose.
Posted by: Joy ( Email ) at 12/29/2010 9:45 PM

Hehe, I guess that people do not read poetry and satire nowadays. Perhaps it is due to all those pesky tv shows and fiction novels :) Personally I probably wouldn't read any literature criticism unless it would be a school assignment. As a writer, I find that poetry helps me widen my views though.

Posted by: Petteri ( Email ) at 1/7/2011 2:51 AM

like yr "I don’t read poetry very often.",me too,just being too busy.
Posted by: Trevor Schonack ( Email ) at 2/13/2011 9:57 PM

Well, I appreciate Haiku and one must learn to see the beauty in it! Give it a try, it will help you relax and smile a lot!
Posted by: Chris ( Email ) at 2/16/2011 9:32 PM

Hola! I personally love old poetry as in Shakespeare and all that but dont really know much about this one, i will look into it! thanks :D
Posted by: Jeffery ( Email ) at 3/11/2011 2:05 AM

Just because you don't read poetry often does not mean you dislike it. You just have a preference for other reading material like essays.
I'm the opposite and like to read poetry. Not so
interested in essays.
Posted by: James ( Email ) at 4/26/2011 2:16 AM

Great reviews article , it very helpful about my decision to buy this one. Thanks
Posted by: spy phone software ( Email ) at 5/20/2011 11:59 AM

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