Monday, January 22, 2007

The times they are a-changin'

Many years ago when I started creating the database that eventually became FictionDB, categorizing books was a pretty easy thing to do. Romances were romances, mysteries were mysteries and all was right with the world. Well, things have changed pretty dramatically in the last couple of years. Genre lines are blurring and bending. Every month when new titles are released, I have to determine what genres they fall into. Is it a historical romance with a vampire sub-genre? Okay, I can handle that. But what if it's a futuristic setting with werewolves, vampires, and witches who are obsessed with Manolo Blahniks? Hmmm. Not so easy.

I've known this day was coming. I've known it for several years, but the actual having to do something about it just seemed more than I wanted to deal with. Well, I've finally whipped myself into shape and have started the conversion process. Within the next couple of months, you will be seeing books categorized in as many sub-genres as they require. It may seem like a pretty straight-forward thing to do, but unfortunately for me, it will require a behind the scenes rewrite of several key areas of FicitonDB.

Not only are genre lines blurring, but so are the lines between adult fiction and juvenile fiction. To this date, FictionDB has focused on adult fiction. Young adult fiction has been sprinkled in where an author writes predominately adult fiction but has also written a few juvenile books. I find myself reading more and more young adult books and enjoying them immensely. And, of course, just about everyone reads Harry Potter. So starting next month, FictionDB will also contain young adult/juvenile fiction that may be of interest to all age levels. I have chosen to include books written for ages 12&up. So while you may be reading the Magic Tree House books to your kids, you probably won't find them on FictionDB.