Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Books are Getting a New Home!

Photo by Ian Wilson on Flickr
With my impending marriage (er, poor word choice?), I will soon be moving into a brand-new apartment. Of course, I am excited beyond belief, for several reasons. First, and most obvious, I will be switching from living with 5 roommates to living with only one. Second, I will have infinitely more (well, it seems like infinitely more) storage space--and do you know what that means?!

More space for books, of course! Almost all the books I read come from the library. One reason is that I can't afford to buy books all the time, but mainly I just don't have any space to put them. But now that will be different!

But now I'm faced with an interesting dilemma: how do I organize my books? Ever since I started keeping my own collection, I've pretty much just put them wherever they would fit. But now that I'm planning on actually adding to my collection (slowly, of course, since I'll be even poorer after I get married), I'm not quite sure how to arrange them.
Photo by Moyen_Brenn on Flickr

Do I arrange them alphabetically by author? (Is that too difficult to maintain?) Do I arrange them by genre? Do I organize them by which ones I'm most interested in reading? Do I have specific shelves for favorites and TBR (like a real-life Goodreads...intriguing...)? Do I color-code them? (I've seen it done. Could make a striking display, but doesn't seem very practical.)

How do you organize your books? I'd love to get a good idea of what to do with mine before I throw caution to the wind and continue my current habit of stuffing them into every random nook and cranny...


  1. I arrange my books by size mostly. Secondarily, by genre. So the small fiction books are together, the large fiction together, etc. I have trouble finding the one I want though. I would like to have a better method, but this works because my shelves are different sizes and the books fit better this way.

  2. That last comment and this one are from Mom. Don't know why it's putting it from Jeff.

  3. Ooh, fun! I remember a friend of mine gave me a bookshelf for a wedding present---I'd been using milk crates or something up to then.

    I have my books in sections. Lit/fiction is alphabetical, but history is chronological. The others mostly just get a shelf each: poetry, biography, essays, reference, etc. Mythology and medieval lit have their own shelves. Religion has several, divided sort of by subject. Science too. SF/fantasy and children's lit each have their own bookcase at this point. And my TBR pile lives on my nightstand.

  4. So I'm thinking the most practical way to do this is by genre. To make things fun I'll probably do sub-genres too. I probably don't have enough books (yet) to organize them much within the genre. I do like the idea of arranging the history chronologically though. This is great. Thanks for the ideas!

  5. I'm not all that organized, but I'll still share what I try to do! As Mom said, you do have to organize by size to some degree, because you'll have big books that will only fit on certain shelves, and you don't want to waste those big shelves on teeny books. I also arrange books by what I want people to notice when they're at my house. I usually check out other people's bookshelves (in their living rooms), and I like it when they have an interesting assortment of books. I even occasionally read other people's books if I'm waiting for them or when I used to baby-sit. So I think the living room books should be interesting, on a variety of topics, and non-offensive (unless you want to start debates). The prettiest books should go in the living room, too.

    My other organizational comment is that some books belong in certain rooms. My dictionary has to be in the living room because that's where I use it. I keep relaxing books in the bedroom for drift-off-to-sleep reading. And I think it's also a good idea to have some bathroom reading available!