This question was recently bumped by edits: In what order should I read the Robert Langdon books? At first I was going to delete it because it's off-topic for our site, but then I saw the incredibly high view count, meaning that (like many suggested-order questions) it's being useful to drive-by users. I say drive-by because the vote count is so low compared to the view count. On the other hand, the answers are ... not great, especially this and this which provide no support or justification whatsoever for their suggestions. So I'm bringing it to the community: should we delete this question like other off-topic questions, or leave it because it's being useful?

  • FWIW, roughly the same question exists on the new Literature site and also on Movies & TV.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 16:01
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    Do we still have historical locks?
    – user31178
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 16:21
  • @WebHead Yeah, but I'm not sure what the point would be here since it's already closed.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 16:22
  • The only answer on Lit doesn't seem very detailed, at least not as much as the accepted one on SFF, so if the thing gets deleted, I think it'd at least be a good thing if the accepted one was re-posted to Lit, as a CW or whatever.
    – Jenayah
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 16:22
  • 6
    @Randal'Thor Because the wording changes on the close reason, and sort of signifies "Normally this would be deleted, but we've preserved it instead"
    – user31178
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 16:23
  • @Randal'Thor - What is a historical lock, and what is it used for?
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 17:23
  • @Randal'Thor what about migrating it to literature? And one correction Movies.se version is about films only. And I will protest against deleting it as it's not really a bad post worth deletion at all. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:45
  • Can we send it back to Lit.SE now that it exists again? (and then merge it since the same question is there already)
    – Skooba
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 17:42
  • @Skooba We can't migrate questions older than 60 days. A CM could send it back again, but it seems like a waste of time to ask them since the question already exists on new Lit anyway.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 12:39
  • @Randal'Thor Ah, didn't realize it had to be a CM (I thought a diamond could still do it). In that case I agree with the historical lock.
    – Skooba
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 12:40
  • @ShaneLeeYaw Re migration, see above comment to Skooba. Re deletion, blatantly off-topic posts are almost always worth deletion, regardless of whether or not they're good questions. I would've deleted this one without hesitation if I hadn't seen the view count.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 12:58
  • @Randal'Thor I know old question migration rule and I am sure we both raised t to CM in past and they did it. This question is quite good quality and I think it's worth keeping even if with history lock or by migrating if possible. Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


I say this has many of the qualifications that matter to keep it and put a "historical lock" on it.

What is a historical lock, and what is it used for?

Aside from being popular (good votes, despite being off topic, and high view count, it's also helpful as a sign post of "Hey, this series isn't actually on topic here!" If people are searching for it and they find this question, they don't need to learn how to use Meta or ask a question and get it closed, first.

In personal experience, I've often found historical lock questions on Stack Overflow and similar sites extremely helpful in figuring out types of questions that are on-topic for that stack. And, speaking from my early days as a user of Stack Exchange, some of the historical locks were actually how I discovered other stacks even existed, since comments pointed towards Programmers, Code Review, Code Golf, etc. Similarly, we could be pointing to Literature (if this would be on topic there. I make no assumptions on that), or some other website.

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    One issue with this is that the answers aren't great (and we can't add new ones to overtake them in votes). Is this what we want the future hundreds of thousands of visitors to see?
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 17:28
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    @Randal'Thor Perhaps. It shows that answering off-topic questions isn't necessarily a good idea. Does it do any harm? I'm not sure, which is why I'm glad people can vote in this case, because this isn't something that comes up often enough for us to me to have a really strong or solid opinion on.
    – user31178
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 18:17
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    Given the voting here (currently +11 / -0 on this answer), I've gone ahead and done as you suggest.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 22:25

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