Best way to sort e-library

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Arkeo
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Best way to sort e-library

Post by Arkeo »

Hello, and happy new year to all

First of all, please excuse me if I posted in the wrong subforum, I am aware that this isn't a truly academic topic but I hadn't any better ideas.

After several years of collecting e-books I'd like to sort my virtual library; there are several thousand documents and I cannot postpone further. I have created root folders like Theravada / Mahayana / Tantra but many texts don't fit well and I suspended working on this task. Below I list a couple of typical cases I don't know how to treat.

1) I know that from the Tibetan viewpoint Tantra is "simply" an array of methods well inside Mahayana but the drawbacks of mapping that concept in a folder structure are obvious starting from the many subfolders needed. Not to say that there is the possibility (I don't know if true) that Indian Buddhist Tantra is perceived or should be considered as a vehicle separated from Mahayana. To add a further problem, Tantra seems to be almost a Tibetan specificity, at least based on the titles of my books.

2) Should an academic study on a Tibetan text about Yogachara be moved in the Mahayana folder or should I create a root folder named "Tibetan Buddhism"? It would equally right to move it in the general Mahayana folder or some folder for Tibetan Buddhism. Besides, at least for me, it is not to easy to recognise the same idea in a Tibetan or Chinese presentation. Assumed that some decision was made, where a study about Yogachara in Chinese schools should be moved? A general Buddhist Philosophy folder would soon become an unmanageable monster.

Generally speaking history, geography, teachings, tenets and many other topics overlap, and several documents with close contents would be scattered everywhere. So, how could I organize my library? Any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you very much and, again, happy 2021. As usual sorry for my bad English.
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Ayu
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Re: Best way to sort e-library

Post by Ayu »

Topic moved from Academic Discussion to Lounge.
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emaho
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Re: Best way to sort e-library

Post by emaho »

I'm using calibre to manage my ebooks. It's a free program that reads and converts all sorts of files. It's primarily for the epub-format, but you can also manage PDF and Word files with it. You can add keywords to all texts and use the sort and filter functions. Using the folder structure of your computer is too inflexible imo :shrug:

https://calibre-ebook.com/
"I struggled with some demons, They were middle class and tame..." L. Cohen
Danny
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Re: Best way to sort e-library

Post by Danny »

Well you could create a Tibetan sub folder into a kangyur and a tengyur.
The Kangyur would be pretty straight forward,
But the treaties or tengyur would then have to branch into school specific sub forums. Is a big task.
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Tlalok
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Re: Best way to sort e-library

Post by Tlalok »

Personally I don't think a folder approach adequately deals with the interlinkage between Buddhist texts. You'll run into difficulties about finding a clear demarcation where one doesn't necessarily exist, particularly if you're limiting documents to appear in only one specific folder. Instead, I think using a system based on tags would provide more flexibility while also respecting the intertextualities of buddhist literature. This is particularly the case if you're planning on having a library with texts from different traditions, many of which have their own, mutually exclusive way of organizing the texts.

Honestly this task is one that could employ a team of data scientists, librarians and archivists for centuries without a clear solution emerging, so simply developing a model that only kind of works is a massive achievement.
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Arkeo
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Re: Best way to sort e-library

Post by Arkeo »

Thank you very much for the helpful suggestions.

Even being aware that my PC is too slow for Calibre I gave it a chance; as I was afraid of it turned out a bit impractical solution, at least until I'll have a better PC. I found a reasonable tradeoff with three root folders named "texts", "essays" and "technical"; for example lam rims, commentaries and teachings from reliable masters are in the first one; the books of Paul Williams, those "popular" by authors such Hopkins are in the second folder and the most technical and/or academic in the last one. I only created subfolders when needed. For now it works and it seems that I can find everything. Thank you again :)
PeterC
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Re: Best way to sort e-library

Post by PeterC »

My primary device for this is Kindle, and that organizes into collections that aren't mutually exclusive - so a book can appear in multiple collections. That generally solves my problem - you can have folders by lineage, by nature of text (sutra, shastra, etc.), by type of practice, by teacher from whom you received it, etc. The search functionality isn't great but having lots of categories like that makes up for it.
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