Updated book topics

October 30, 2009

Mark and the other BookMooch admins have put together a new list of top book topics, and I think it more accurately reflects both what people are looking for, and the books that are available in BookMooch.

These new topics are now in place, and you’ll see lots of new topics that people have asked for (such as “cooking“). They show up in the “browse topics” page, and also on the “recently added by genre” page.

ps: I know that the topics assigned to books aren’t great, but this will be fixed in a bit, when I switch off of using Amazon’s data (sigh, who put “Davinci code” in “cooking”), to use using book data from other sources. I’m hoping that will happen in December.

Here is the new list of book topics:

Action & Adventure
Arts & Photography
Audio Books
Biographies & Memoirs
Business & Investing
Children’s Books
Comics & Graphic Novels
Computers & Internet
Cooking, Food & Wine
Gay & Lesbian
Health, Mind & Body
Home & Garden
Jewish American
Libros en Espanol
Literature & Fiction
Mind & Body
Outdoors & Nature
Parenting & Families
Religion & Spirituality
Science Fiction
Short Stories
Women’s Fiction
World Literature

21 Responses to “Updated book topics”

  1. Jopre said

    You’ve got “Fiction” as well as “Literature and Fiction”.
    But no “Poetry” or “Drama” or “Gardening”?

    • Mark Williams said

      These are the topics are that Amazon uses, so the titles they assign don’t always make the most sense, but that’s what we have to work with. Publishers appear to randomly apply some of the broader topics (such as 18th, 19th cent), so this updated list has omitted these. We have done our best to find topics that are correctly applied by Amazon, but some will not always fit — no need to send tech reports on these as the topics attached to each book cannot be changed. ‘Gardening’ would fall under ‘outdoors and nature,’ ‘poetry’ under ‘literature and fiction.’

  2. Andrea said

    Thank you for your hard work, you are doing a great job. I do, however, have a couple of topic suggestions:

    Urban Fantasy
    YA (young adult)


  3. Hello, sorry for my bad english ! I’m very happy with bookmooch. I think it’s difficult to find books into little languages : esperanto, welsh, breton language for me but they are sure lot of there ! Would’nt possible to create a topic “specially languages” or “little languages” ?? Thank you !

  4. Yeah…the Comics and Graphic Novels section doesn’t seem to have any of those in it… I hope this is fixed by December.

  5. Mike said

    Good work on the topics, though I noticed all of the music topics are deleted. There were where I always search first. The Entertainment category, to me, is too broad and encompasses too many distinct areas. Just my 2 cents.

  6. Jen said

    Yay cookbooks! I am psyched about the new categories, amazon’s groupings are very strangely done.

    Thanks for all you do to keep this community going! I’m enjoying it immensely!

  7. SqueakyChu said

    I’ll be back in December – when the topics correlate better with the books.

    Just kidding! I’ll stick around, but I’m very eager for this “fix” to happen ASAP. Thanks for all your work on BookMooch, John. It’s a great book trading website, now my favorite.

  8. Lisa Richards said

    Thanks for all the hard work.

    Sub genres would also help. As under Romance–Paranormal

  9. Mark Williams said

    More on how topics work:

    We are using the term topic/genre interchangeably here, perhaps ‘subject’ would be better. The list you see above is a list of 35 of these subjects which tend to be used correctly by Amazon and which cover most books. There are many thousands of subjects used by Amazon. We tested several hundred subjects for accuracy and to compile the BM list.

    While some genres such as ‘thrillers’ and ‘fantasy’ do correlate with amazon subjects, others do not, so you do not see them on the BM list. So some genres are represented on their own, and others can be found within a broader topic/subject.

    In general, very broad subjects (ages 0-5, 19th cent, etc.) are often not properly applied, and the same is true of very specific topics/genres such as ‘romance-paranornal’ or ‘urban-fantasy.’

    So please try looking through the recently listed books in a given topic, and you should get a pretty good idea how Amazon is using the topic, and then decide if it is one you want to check regularly, or subscribe to via Twitter.

    The list is not written in stone, so it will likely be updated when needed.

  10. FJBryan said

    Could you break non-fiction up, please? I search for history books, and don’t want to plow my way through everything that will be turned up using non-fiction (like political science, true crime, sociology, urban planning, yadda yadda yadda).

  11. Andrew said

    There doesn’t seem to be a history or politics section. Is this likely to change?

  12. Cindy said

    Ah, that explains why I couldn’t find History when I looked last night. I realize that I’m in the minority looking for history books, and it makes sense to gear your topics to the broadest audiences. I also understand the limitations you are working wih regarding the Amazon info, and as always, I so appreciate all the work you do with Bookmooch!

  13. foggylady said

    Feeling very happy about finding books by topic, I clicked over to
    “Non-fiction” and immediately found Point of Origin, the ninth Scarpetta thriller, by Patricia Cornwall.
    which of course is fiction.
    As are these other fiction books, all under non-fiction:
    Robert Ludlum…..The Ambler Warning
    Michael Crichton …State of Fear and others
    John Grisham’s The Brethern and other fiction titles
    Nora Roberts…several…

    Guess I am back to looking for only specific books by ISBN/title.

    • jpri said

      Some topics are more chaotic than others. “Science Fiction” is mostly OK. Both “Computers & Internet” and “Outdoors & Nature” list “Point of Origin” by Patricia Cornwall. It’s almost as if someone was getting a kickback 🙂

      I suspect that this is due to faulty Amazon data, not BookMooch weirdness.

  14. DubaiReader said

    So where would we search for historical fiction?
    Fiction is such a huge section.
    I’d also like to see a “Global Reads” type category for fiction/non fiction around the world. ie not UK, US, Aust etc.
    Once you leave Amazon will there be other categories introduced?

    Thanks for all your hard work – and for the new Recently Added section. Great job 🙂

  15. misskitty_79 said

    I wonder if there’s any way that we users could be permitted to apply our own genre &/or subject keywords to the books that we upload?

  16. Mark Williams said

    The current search function on BM tends to bring up certain popular authors on the first page of the results. You will see this in some of the broader subjects like non-fiction. Using the new ‘recent books’ function should yield better results.

    We tested ‘drama’ ‘poetry’ ‘history’ ‘politics’ among a few hundred others, and found that these subjects were more often mis-applied than those that ended up on the list above. Please try looking through a few of the subjects that seems closest to what you are looking for in order to discover which ones work best for you.

    The subjects cannot be changed by members at this time, but John may add this feature in the future.

  17. Sandy Whiskers said

    What about History? It’s big enough to have its own category. Non-fiction is just too big, and really could use sub categories (military, us, europe, roman, etc.)

  18. Apollo said

    Science or technical books section? Pretty please?

  19. Lisa said

    I think there was a History topic before. I am missing it.

    However, I am noticing that when I browse on topics, I am finding many, many other books mixed in that is not related to the topic. I wish there was a way we could fix this. I would be willing to help you 🙂

    Please bring History back 🙂

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