Thursday, June 5, 2008

How do you alphabetize books by author??

Today we have a very special edition of Ask Ms. WhatACard. Today's question comes to us via a google search, where one curious searcher asks, "How do you alphabetize books by author?"

Okay, random person, here's the trick: Look at the author's LAST name. That's the name that comes last. Usually there are just two names, like Kurt Vonnegut. In this case, Vonnegut is the last name. Sometimes there are THREE names, such as Orson Scott Card (no relation to the illustrious Ms. Card, your humble blogger). Please, don't let that throw you. The author's last name is still the last name listed.

Next, take the first letter of the last name. In Vonnegut, that would be a V. Stephen King...a K.

Here comes the hard part, but don't worry, I have a trick for you. Sing the alphabet song. Use the order of the letters in the song to help you remember what order the alphabet is in. Now put the authors in that same order.

I don't want to get too complicated and confuse you with the possibility that two authors' last names will start with the same letter. Or even worse, that two authors will have the same last name. Those are more advanced topics. Let's wait until you master the easy stuff first.

Or, you could just use my "sort by book size and color" method. I think that may be more your speed.

Random related thought: Crap, my sarcasm setting must have gotten left on high today.


Threeundertwo said...

I have to be honest, when I worked shelving books at the library in college, I sometimes had to sing the alphabet song quietly in my head for the P-Q-R-S-T part, just to make sure I got them in the right order.

Now even my spices are alphabetized.

Debz said...

WOW! I didn't think I would actually laugh today - but that got a chuckle. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Like THREEUNDERTWO, I alphabetize my spices, too! :)

What about if a person has a compound last name? Van Allsburg? I had a short argument with the high school page at the library the other day, because he wanted to alphabetize it under A and I wanted it to go under V. I won, but I believe that's because he was afraid of me, not because he ceded to my alphabetic excellence.

What A Card said...

Oh, KCR, that's far too advanced! Although I am amused that someone thought Van Allsburg should go under A. Perhaps it was that guy who did the google search. You drove him to seek help from my blog of all places.

Alphabetizing Dude--My site has nothing useful or true! Seek better counsel! :)