Online Book Format general questions

First, I am not asking for specific “howto” information here. I am looking for what you might call a “block diagram” view of building an unusual website. A book, quite literally.

I write essays. They are not “timely” like a blog. If I want to write something to be forgotten tomorrow I’ll Tweet. When I write a new essay I want it to be exactly as visible on my site as all the others, forever. Like a real, paper book. I want to build a site that will enable me to connect a given essay to others as a group or chapter. I might want a chapter on Government, which has links to one or more essays on The U.S. Constitution, but at the same have access to a group of essays on the Constitution topics without wading down through Government. At the same time there might be a totally separate section on observations from nature, and yet another on global warming, but one cannot observe nature without observing global warming, which has become an inescapable part of the natural world we live in, so I need cross linking there too.

I want all essays to be equally visible and equally findable, using things analogous to Tables of Contents and Indexes in a book. I want to be able to structure them in such a way that if you want to read about the design and function of the United States government you can find that, but if you are more interested in the physics and mechanics of global warming you can find that. Then I want you to be able to consider your new knowledge of global warming while you consider the functions of government. Information architecture.

I am hoping someone can say something like, “Vocabularies will do what you are looking for.” Or, if worse comes to worse, “Drupal isn’t a very good solution to your problem.” I already know that WordPress is pathetic. I could build sort of a crippled version of what I want using Joomla, but it really wouldn’t be satisfactory. It appears that the World Wide Web has evolved toward being the World Wide Market Bazaar, and business solutions don’t address my needs at all.

Sadly, Drupal’s “book” function won’t do what I need, although at first glance it looked perfect. But – 9 daughter pages? You’re fired. I need potentially infinite daughter pages. And the book function does not appear to allow for cross linking either.

Vocabularies and Items might lead to where I want to be, but I can’t tell yet. Can I assign one essay to more than one Vocabulary or Item?

My site used to be up as a WordPress site, but WordPress is designed to show the last thing I wrote and make others items harder and harder to find. Right now today I have 67 essays for this book. I write a few each week. I myself could’t find older essays very well on the WordPress site.

Long ago I created a site similar to what I want to do now. I hard coded every page, created my own menu structure, links, and what it took. I’d rather not have to do it that way again.

So – Drupal experts. Do you see a set of Drupal tools and procedures that might help me display my essays in a useful way? What Drupal tools would I use to do it? Get me started on the road and I expect I can find out detailed instructions through my old friend Google.

Thanks to all.


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