Perhaps you’ve seen them when searching for Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: J MONTGOMERY. Or maybe you’ve noticed those little white stickers at the bottom of every library book’s spine: M PAT,TERSON W L'AMOUR , F CUSSLER. These letters—called “call numbers” in library speak—are meant to indicate where a book should live in a library, plus the first three letters of the authors last name. They're basically the book’s address in Library City, and tell you exactly where to find what you’re looking for. And while it’s obvious that “F” is fiction, “M” is mystery, and “W” is western, other call numbers are a little more confusing, particularly for children’s books: E, YA, and J.
“E” is the easiest to explain—pun intended—because it stands for “Easy” or “Early Reader”. These are books for the littlest of tykes who are either pre-readers or just taking their first steps into reading. Thus, all of the picture books in my library are labeled “E”, followed by the first three letters of the author’s last name.