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message 1: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker How do you organize your books on your shelves at home? Alphabetical by author? By size? By title? By genre?

I'm having a hard time finding a good method that I can keep up with! Of course, a lack of shelf space also contributes to the problem (I have to put the books two deep on one of my bookshelves).

Anyway, I'm also just curious to see what everyone's method is.


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I'm bad--it's totally a matter of trying to arrange them as neatly and attractively as possible on the shelves where I keep the books to read. The ones I'm keeping are stored similarly except that I do try to keep all books by the same author together and all of my husbands sci-fi books together.


message 3: by Peanut (new)

Peanut | 149 comments I have no order whatsoever. My newest books purchased tend to go in front though.


message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I have a question and this one seems like a good place to ask. It does have to do with bookshelves. If you have a book case at home where did you purchase it from? I have been looking and everything seems outrageously expensive.


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jess0702) | 24 comments I always try to organize them alphabetically, but then get lazy and throw them all on top of each other. As far as bookshelves, mine ais from Ikea- I think it was $80? And they look pretty nice.


message 6: by Lauren (new)

Lauren thanks Jessica I will check it out.


message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahsaysread) There can't (for space reasons) be any rhyme or reason to how I shelve. On my two big 5-shelve bookcases, they are all stacked horizontally. For mass markets, I can fit 4 stacks. For hardcovers and trades, I can fit 3. I've found that this saves a LOT of space compared to shelving vertically (as in bookstores).
I also have a 3 shelf bookcase, which is full and stacked the same way. I also have books stacked on 2 other shelves that hold DVD's and random knick-knacks as well. I have to get creative sometimes, as I'm now up to 640 books.
So really, I just shelve based on size and what will fit where.


message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Lauren wrote: "I have a question and this one seems like a good place to ask. It does have to do with bookshelves. If you have a book case at home where did you purchase it from? I have been looking and everythin..."


Lauren, if you're looking for wood, they are expensive. If you're looking for inexpensive, you can get the ones you put together yourself and customize them. They can be painted (if you use a primer) and you can add trim molding which is really inexpensive.



message 9: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Lauren, I found one at an antique store for like $20 and I have a couple of others from antique stores, but I don't know how much they cost. I have one from Wal-Mart or Target, which I've had for about 10 years so I don't remember the price. And my papa made a couple for me. If you have a handyman around, it might not be horribly expensive to buy some wood, joints, and pegs to make a shelf. The nice thing about the homemade ones is that I can adjust the shelves.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Gosh, back in the 60s and 70s, most of us young people without any money would buy some cement blocks and 1x8 pine boards. I even went to a "paint the cement block" party, where my friend had paints out and we all painted our block for her book shelves. Sort of psychedelic, but it seemed to fit the times.


message 11: by Lauren (new)

Lauren yeah I was looking and it looked like sears had a good deal it was about 60 bucks 4 shelfs but it wasn't that tall almost 4ft. I would like to see it in person first you know. I think I will have to get the one you put together and paint no doubt cause wood is just too much at this point for me. Some day I win the lottery and have enough money to build a whole library in my house hehe.


message 12: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 319 comments They're a bit disheveled right now and that's starting to drive me crazy. I'm a bit of an organizing freak so this is a project I plan to tackle very, very soon. Half of them are still at my parents' house because they won't fit on my bookshelves at home.

At my house, they're sorted loosely by genre and then alphabetical by author. Then there are 2 milk crates of those books that wouldn't fit. No rhyme or reason to those. Those left at my parents' are all shelved alphabetically by author.


message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahsaysread) Wal-Mart usually has tall 5-shelf bookcases that you can adjust the height on. I think they're about $60 - $80. I have two of them - they're fine as long as you put them together carefully and don't move them around all the time.


message 14: by Cyndi (new)

Cyndi (chill77) I tried to do mine alphabetically, but then the sizes didn't match up and that drove me crazy. So, mine are by size.


message 15: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) | 365 comments At this point, I organize my books by size; the trade paperbacks stick together on the shelf that has more room for their height and the mass paperback go in the lower shelves. I used to keep the fantasy together and so forth but nowadays, as long as particular trilogies are together on the same shelf, it's all good. I do keep all of my Penguin Classics together though on the shelf; they look pretty together =D

I need a bigger room so that I can get a bigger bookcase, lol. xD


message 16: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jess0702) | 24 comments Lauren wrote: "Some day I win the lottery and have enough money to build a whole library in my house hehe. "

That's my goal too :) I think Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite movies as a child because of the Beast's awesome library.




message 17: by Brandie (new)

Brandie (brandiemichelle) someone as OCD as me should have a method. but i don't have enough space or shelves. so i have to shove where i can. i try to keep all the same authors together and organize by size. if i ever get a real bookcase, i will be in heaven.


message 18: by Holli (new)

Holli I organize mine by size and by hardcover and paperback....that's as far as I go with the organization. All of my Danielle Steel books and James Patterson books are in order of publication though.


Christy (TheReaderBee) (thereaderbee) | 192 comments I try to keep mine together by author, and then somewhat by genre... It doesn't always work out that way though! lol

Lauren, I just got some new book shelves at Target last year. They cost about $20 for a 3 shelf, and #30 for a 5 shelf. They were really simple to put together too!


message 20: by Nadia (new)

Nadia A (bagambo) I have my fave books on a specific bookshelf and the rest of my books are two other bookshelves and are in alphabetical order. Of course, now and again because I keep buying books I just end up putting them anywhere they fit, so the alphabetizing is rather moot.


message 21: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) | 1586 comments I use the good old Dewey Decimal system. It's the only way I can keep the non-fiction straight. The fiction is alphabetized, but all lumped together -- I don't separate out the YA and the mysteries, and I used to keep the sci-fi/fantasy separate, but it got too big for its bookcase and now it's mixed in with the rest.

I am very disorganized as a rule, but darn it, my books are in order!


message 22: by Mandy Sue (new)

Mandy Sue (mettakaruna) | 811 comments Mine used to be alphabetically by author and then by title but since moving they are now by size. I don't have the shelfing space I used too. =(


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahsaysread) I think all this talk about book organization has given me a renewed desire to move some stuff around and make more room for my books. I have some stacked on random shelves with other stuff, and those piles are getting dangerously high. I think that I'll spend a chunk of my weekend putting some random stuff in storage so that my books can have more space.

What's kind of sad that this is actually exciting to me! LOL


message 24: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle My books are usually grouped by author or series. I have a walmart special 3 shelf in my bedroom of tbr books and then a 5 shelf and another 3 shelf downstairs of mixed gardening books, cookbooks and a bit of everything. All of my permanent collection are housed down there too. Those shelves are an embarrassment in willy nilly books.


message 25: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Sarah, Don't worry. This thread is making me want to spend time organizing my books too!


message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahsaysread) Yay! Thanks Lori, glad I'm not alone :o)


message 27: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I need to figure out what I'm going to do because I have a lot of my books on these two really ugly grey metal industrial shelves, which really don't belong in my room. And they're also way out of order. I think I may do with fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and mass market editions. And then alphabetize by author or subject, for the non-fiction.


message 28: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (mouser083) My boyfriend built shelves on one whole wall (so far) of a room for me. Ceiling to floor. All my books are alphabetically by author. If I have more than one book by that author then it goes alphabetically by title.


message 29: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 319 comments Sarah wrote: "I think all this talk about book organization has given me a renewed desire to move some stuff around and make more room for my books. I have some stacked on random shelves with other stuff, and th..."

I've spent a few hours this week working on my shelves. It really is fun!


message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahsaysread) Amanda wrote: "My boyfriend built shelves on one whole wall (so far) of a room for me. Ceiling to floor. All my books are alphabetically by author. If I have more than one book by that author then it goes alphabe..."

Ohhhh I would love that! My honeyman has promised me my own room for a library someday. That will be the best day ever!




Elizabeth (Alaska) Ach! You throw books away? Do you know about paperbackswap.com? Or at least give them to your local Friends of the Library to recycle and they can earn a buck or two for a good cause.


message 32: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (mouser083) Sarah wrote: "Amanda wrote: "My boyfriend built shelves on one whole wall (so far) of a room for me. Ceiling to floor. All my books are alphabetically by author. If I have more than one book by that author then ..."

I've always wanted a "library" room in my house, so he's making my dream come true little by little. =)


Elizabeth (Alaska) Oh good, Claire, that's a big relief, and a good method to recycle those books. I keep no books. I don't plan to reread them, so I see no point in keeping them. Thus, my book shelf just holds the numerous volumes waiting to be read.


Kat (A Journey In Reading) (ajourneyinreading) | 390 comments I dont really have any organization to my books, other than all of my James Patterson are together, and my "classics" are together.

The hard part for me is going to be in the next few weeks trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.... will be moving from a 4 bdr house to a 2 bdr apt! Oh the horrors of no place for the books!!!


message 35: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) shelves? shelves?...I currently have book coffee tables, book towers and book side tables all over my house...

Ally


message 36: by Rose (new)

Rose (roseo) I am so grateful that I now have Goodreads to organize my books and Paperbackswap to send those books I've read and do not wish to keep. These sites have helped the "piles" dramatically. :D


message 37: by Sarah (last edited Jun 20, 2009 06:23PM) (new)

Sarah (sarahsaysread) Amanda wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Amanda wrote: "My boyfriend built shelves on one whole wall (so far) of a room for me. Ceiling to floor. All my books are alphabetically by author. If I have more than one book by tha..."

Well Amanda, then we are two very lucky chicks!


I'm happy to say that today I was able to clear off a whole two shelves that were previously holding art supplies and board games in order to fit more books! Sadly, I still have too many to fit, and therefore the piles stacked on top of the entertainment center and dresser are just smaller than before.


message 38: by Holli (new)

Holli I agree Rose!!!


message 39: by Alisha Marie (last edited Jun 21, 2009 07:57PM) (new)

Alisha Marie (endlesswonderofreading) | 6 comments My books are in the built in bookshelf in my brother's room. (Why didn't I take that room, you ask? Because, unfortunately it's the smallest room in the house and I need my space more than I need a built in bookshelf.) When I moved them down there, I was going to have them by author, but unfortunately, the bookshelves are the ones that get smaller and smaller the higher up they get (who was the genius who came up with THAT bright idea?), so instead there shelved by size. I have the hardcovers double stacked in the bottom shelf (plus a couple of paperbacks that couldn't fit in the rest of the bookshelves), the trade paperbacks and smaller hardcovers are stacked in the second and third shelves, and the mass market paperbacks double stacked in the last shelf.

And then, the books in my room (which don't have a bookshelf, built in or otherwise) have no organization at all except for how recent I bought them. I've got the semi-recent ones in a cabinet underneath my desk, my Harry Potter books in the middle cabinet of my desk, my recent buys on top of my wardrobe, and my brand spankin' new books on the side of my desk. I think I may need to buy another bookshelf.


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