Monday, October 2, 2017

How to Organize Book Shelves with a LOT of Books

If you're like me you have books everywhere - on shelves, in stacks, out and about. I understand my own order, but I doubt others could. Part of my problem is lack of space and not enough shelving, but it's also because of my penchant for buying and collecting books. Even when I do organize, the shelving is completely changing all the time.

How do you organize your book shelves?

Here's an interesting article on How to Organize Bookshelves with A LOT OF Books from BookRiot.

Tracy Shapley gives the pros and cons of organizing:

By Genre
By Color (No!!)
Other tips for extreme book hoarding!

Leave a comment about your own preference for organizing your shelves!


David Magayna said...

My books are organized:
Several To Be Read Stacks - these are (optimistically) books I expect to read soon.
Mystery paperbacks
Mystery hardbacks
Science Fiction/Fantasy
Thriller/military fiction
Other fiction
Nonfiction - biography
Nonfiction - history
Nonfiction - other
Nonfiction - reading-, writing-, reference- related
Anything I can't figure out to put somewhere else
Of course there are always a dozen stacks waiting to be dealt with.

Rick Robinson said...

Simple. By genre (science fiction/fantasy, mystery, general fiction, non-fiction. By format, paperback/trade paper, hardcover. Alphabetical by author, always. So:

One room for Mystery paperbacks, alpha by author, then the SF/F paperbacks, alpha by author.
One room for hardcover mystery, alpha by author.
One room for SFF hardcover, alpha by author, also an area for pulp, graphic novels and poetry, all alpha by author.
One room has general fiction, alpha by author, and non-fiction, alpha by author.

LJ Roberts said...

Mine are by genre:
History - by time period
Poetry/Plays - author
Religion/philosophy - by religion/philosophy
Art - artist
Children's books - author
Some collections have their own spots - classic books, every Agatha Christie, Harry Potter, etc.
Novels - alpha by author, chronological within author
My biggest section is mysteries and that is divided by "TBR," which needs to be seriously culled, and "Have Read." - Within both of those it is alpha by author and then chronological within author.
And then there's "To Be Reviewed" and those live on my bedside table and are sorted by the month I should read them, which is the month before they are to be released.

In total, I have ~6,000 books. At least, that's about what it was when I stopped counting.

Katy McCoy said...

I got some bookshelves from IKEA (Hemnes)that were supposed to open on one side only. We set up the shelves without the plywood backs that came with them and then drilled in screws so that the shelves were stable and could be filled from both sides. They're about 6 feet high. I put sliders on the feet so I could slide them slightly. I wish I could have put wheels or rollers on them but at that height, that would have been really unstable. I also looked for some sort of platform on wheels that could have supported the shelves but no luck. They're perpendicular to the wall. When I'm not adding books to the shelves, they're pushed together and when I want to shelve, I can push them apart. I have six - each shelf holds 36 books on one side, so that's 216 books a side or 432 books per set of shelves. That's almost 2600 books in my office (size of a regular bedroom). I'm pretty happy with the arrangement.

If I keep mysteries after I read them, I store them in plastic containers in the garage. But since I've moved to reading more international mysteries and they're tradeback size and cost, I've been reselling those more quickly. I can't reread books (or resee movies) so it's not worth keeping them. I thought at one time, I'd have a used bookstore, but if Logos can't make it in Santa Cruz, that dream is going away!

Katy McCoy said...

Oops - forgot to say that the first bookshelf when you come in the door are the mysteries that are currently waiting to be read. They're alphabetical. Each of my books has a yellow sticky in it that says when I bought the book, from where, and what number it is in it's series. I do this because I have a list of all these mysteries so that I don't buy second, third and fourth copies of things I already read. On the rest of the shelves are the rest of the series, waiting to be read. Once a year, I go through and bring out the next in each series to put on the TBR shelves. As I buy through the year, I just add those into the shelves in alphabetical order. Probably sounds a little over-curated but since collecting books is a hobby, I enjoy "handling" my books. I have other books (history, gardening, a little fiction, popular science, cookbooks) in other rooms. Unfortunately, this has not helped with the stacks of books on bedside tables. It also doesn't help that I work twice a month at the library sale room, whrre I'm my own best customer.