Monday, May 12, 2008

A Bone to Pick with Random House

Why, just recently the BC had hoped to contribute another positive post, putting the charm back in Bookcharmer.


We have a bone to pick with RandomHouse, and we shall use it as a prime example of why controlled vocabulary and people _knowledgeable_ of the subject who ardently apply the controlled vocabulary are critical.

In a quick browse of the RandomHouse website, I chose the link to see Art titles currently available from RH. Frankly, I am not only shocked that RH would consider Carole Jackson's 1987 _Color Me Beautiful_ to be art related, but that they continue to advertise they sell it. (I'm an "autumn", fyi.) The cover photo alone is dated enough that Jackson's color theory, which has had me wearing earth tones since the late 80's, even if it still holds water, probably isn't going to move many copies.

Visual Shock A History of Art Controversies in American Culture by Michael Kammen, yes.

How to Be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less, no.

So, how do all of these titles get lumped by RH under Art?

I'm also piqued by the dates of the backlist, academic titles having such limited runs that a book published just a few years ago might quickly be Out of Print. But RH gets points for:

Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing + The Marketing of Culture
Written by John Seabrook, 2001.

The bookcharmer wonders if nobrow is on yet.

But this momentary distraction does not smooth the irritation of each publisher having free rein to categorize at will. Have these people never heard of LCSH until they need the CIP information on the verso??? Well???

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