Best way of using a category as a list of options, that would never show on the latest, new and top

I’d like to create a Assets category with different subcategories as «books», «know-how», «suggestion».
I’ll give an example for books, the behaviour would be the same for the others.

The purpose would be to select a book each week for a public book reading event from the list. In order to select it, we would use the Voting plugin. To create a book topic, we would use a dedicated custom wizard.
I don’t want any book topic to pollute the /latest, /new and /top pages for any user.
The (sub)category should be displayed on the /categories page, since the category description make its usage obvious.

Voting would be done by going to the dedicated /c/assets/books page. We would add a NavBar button linking to this page. When a book has been selected, staff can change the topic category for something public and add an event for the book reading.

No user should be able to reverse the category mechanism (either by doing it on purpose, or because they are doing a mistake; the community is absolutely not tech-friendly, the bell look like something fun to click on with absolutely no consequence whatsoever).

It would be misleading for user to see that they are ignoring/muting the category. They are not ignoring it, it is just set up not to be displayed there.

I see two ways to get this done:

  • With a globally muted category, but it would appear on the category page as muted (which would be misleading for the user as they should not ignore it), and some user could unmute it but should not. Plus, it may have side effects, muting having other consequences on the behaviour, and may interact weirdly with the other muting options (combining notification level for category, tags and user may result in not intuitive results).
  • With the suppress from latest plugin, restoring the old suppress from latest functionality, but then I would need to fork the plugin to suppress from new.

Do you see an other way of achieving this behaviour ?

The latter solution seems more complicated but also more consistent with the expected behaviour. So I managed to fork the plugin. It does work (topics are not shown in /new) but they are still counted in the navbar button New (n). Can anyone point me in the correct direction to make the plugin ignore the topic in the counting navbar button ?

Thanks a lot.