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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    BC, Canada

    How do you organize your books?

    In one room, or all over the house?

    By genre, or alphabetically?

    Fiction from non-fiction or all mixed together in a nice selection?

    Any special collections? (See Bibliomaniacís new column.)

    How many categories do you have for your books?

    Do you have a system for tracking your books?

    Or do you organize them at all? Free spirits are also welcome to join in!

    As for me, I keep all my books in our "library", as our home is too small for me to leave my books lying around. I do have a small choice selection in our guestroom. It's nice in case the person can't sleep at night, and then she has something to read without having to leave the room. And if you're like me, you're more prone to snooping through book collections than medicine cabinets when I'm at another person's home.

    On one shelf, I have my to-be-read books, (sadly is numbered at around thirty) which is organized by book size. The bottom shelf is designated for textbooks and old school notebooks. Another shelf is for series paperbacks, and is then organized by author. My other shelves are separated into softcover vs. hardcover, and are then alphabetical. I also have a special section for my biographies.

    This is working so far, but when we move into a larger place, I'd like to organize by time period & country of origin as well.

    I am currently using Readerware to catalogue my books. I love it because it can be used on the palm pilot as well. This way when I go to a used bookstore I can tell whether I already own a book just by searching on the palm. My entire collection is at my fingertips.

    Ummmm.... I really hope that someone else out there is as obsessive as I am. I swear that I'm only this way about my books. The rest of my house - going to hell in an untidy hand basket.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    My books are in my office and my husband's are in his. We have one bookcase in the living room with travel books and one bookcase in the hallway with "reference" books (dictionary, language books, yearbooks, etc.)

    My books:

    I try to do the third/third/third concept (third of a shelf books vertically, a third horizontally stacked and a third open for "nicknacks")

    Then, since I'm a historian, I do topically, then chronogically...

    History bookcase:
    -Top three shelves are medical/science history, including my phrenology head
    -Bottom two shelves are regular history books

    Crafting Bookcase:
    -top shelf is cookbooks
    -bottom shelf is knitting, etc.

    Fiction bookcase:

    -historical fiction on top shelf
    -books "to read" or recently read on second shelf
    -science fiction/fantasy/childrens
    -anthropology and misc. on bottom shelf

    I also have a comic book box, but some of those are leaking out onto the shelves and I have an archive box in the closet full of books to be sold (on, so it's an ongoing process).

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Oh I wish I had that much space for my books! I still live at home so I have most of my books packed in boxes in the spare bedroom closet - though the boxes sure are organised!

    One for my art books, one for the few textbooks that survived the purge as well as oversized books, one for *eep* romances, and another for fiction.

    I have two crates in my bedroom containing fiction - some to read, most recently read, and another with half series and the other half - more romances (I do an every-other month purge on those, depending on how many I succumb to any given month). And there is a stack on my bedside table waiting to be read, or halfway through.

    Crafting books are kept in those upright magazine stands along with a years worth of 3 or 4 magazine titles, which get purged quarterly.

    I LOVE my books, but I try to keep the numbers down - and I have my mom to thank for that. She MUST own a book (as opposed to borrowing it) and rarely ever gets rid of them . . . AND she's a teacher, now teacher librarian - I can't even guess as to how many hundreds of books she owns (it's a small house, so they take up a lot of precious space) . . . I try to think optimistically though - books are better than alcohol! ;)

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Hell's Kitchen
    My system is all over the place. I have one bookcase for theater and music books; they are divided by technique, biography and fiction (plays/scores).

    My general reading shelves are organized by category, author and size.

    My cookbooks are in the kitchen; my craft books (I only have a few) are above my craft table; my desk shelves contain writing, reference and travel books, as well as the magazines I save.

    In my bedroom, I have a few light/night reading books for fun.

    Now, I'm thinking of redoing it all...

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Far away
    Well, right now they are all packed in boxes, but as soon as I move into my new place I will buy two bookshelves for my books (because I doubt one will be enough). I usually keep fiction separated from non-fiction, and the fiction alphabetized while the non-fiction is loosely grouped according to subject.

    I'll keep all the books in one place - though I might keep the cookbooks in the kitchen, it depends on how much space I have.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Austin, Texas
    We have three bookcases:

    1. Textbooks: Arranged by size. Also includes notebooks and course packets that I want to keep. This case is the one I constantly think about reorganizing, but the one I use the least.

    2. Fiction: This is the smallest one, since I use the library for most of my fiction reading. They're in no particular order, just whereever they'll fit.

    3. Non-fiction: The biggest one. It's about five feet tall. The top shelf is poetry and plays. The next two shelves are pop culture and film studies books, arranged by topic. The bottom shelf is about half pop culture/half magazines and comic books. We're probably going to have to buy a specific magazine case at some point, that's really gotten untidy and out of hand. Coffee table books are stacked up on top of this one, by size.

    Cookbooks live with the spices, on the cooking bookcase in the dining room. Craft books live on the craft table.

    I usually rearrange the system each time we move. Next to setting up the kitchen, rearranging the books is my favorite thing to do in a new apartment!

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Right now, I have them separated into fiction, nonfiction, and children's/YA. Fiction and nonfiction are organized by color and size . . . because it's pretty. It's also kind of fun knowing that I am the only person in the house who knows how to find a book. It's very High Fidelity of me. Children's/YA is organized by size, with series books grouped together in order (of course).

    My cookbooks and writing books are the only books that have their own spaces, and they are organized by size.

    I have done the alphabetical thing in the past, and have also organized them only by size, but I am pretty happy with how it is right now. My collection isn't as big as most of my friends believe it should be, because I loooove to donate and throw things away. It's a compulsion. If a book is on my shelf, it means either:

    A) I haven't read it yet.
    B) I am completely in love with it and would read it again and again.
    C) I use it as a reference.

    Nothing stays in my bookcase that is only OKAY. Those books get sent to the used book store for credit!

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Middle of Nowhere, Illinois
    Cookbooks are in the kitchen

    Knitting books are in the livingroom on an endtable because thats where I knit.

    Craft books are my craft room, then ordered by type of craft.

    All other books are in a small room we call the library(it just fits the computer & 3 book shelves). They are ordered by subject. The fiction is in 3 subjects of novels, short stories, and poetry.

    I keep teasing my soon to be husband that one day I'll come home and all the books will cataloged and have call numbers on the spines. He's toyed with the idea but we really don't have that many books.

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    mine are done by size/type. paperbacks all together, hardbacks all together. then within that, i'll do fiction/nonfiction. i have a whole section dedicated to the xanth series and some other stuff by piers anthony.

  11. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Rochester, NY
    My DH and I each have our own bookcases. I've got them organized into categories, such as travel, language, comics. Fiction and non-fiction are pretty much mixed in together but sorted neatly. And my DH has his stack of D & D books. Cookbooks are on a bookshelf in an out-of-the-way corner of my kitchen. All my craft-related books and magazines are upstairs in my crafting space. The kids books are in their rooms.

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