Monday, April 15, 2019

Ramblings from the Stacks - Organizing Bookshelves

So I'm jumping the gun a bit here but I'm so close to having my very own personal library that I can just about taste it.   So my reading room/office used to be my daughter's room but since she left for college it's been kind of a catch all for the stuff everyone has left behind.  But now that the three older kids are on their own paths we are clearing up the stuff and turning the room into a usable space!  I'm so excited!

We have a number of bookcases scattered throughout the house but they're kind of shared space and nothing something I really want to rearrange at a whim.  But someday in the foreseeable future I'm going to have a wall of bookcases that are all mine to organize how I wish with focus on reading projects and TBRs and whim without any thought to aesthetics. 

But of course with unlimited choices comes a touch of "but what am I going to do?".  I'm leaning towards alphabetically by genre but at the same time I've been having a lot of fun with picking a theme for each month so maybe I categorize by theme?  Like all the books with bookstore owners together regardless of genre? 

What's your bookshelf space like?  How do you categorize your books?  And if you were starting over from scratch would you do the same thing or would you set it up all different?


  1. I sort my books into their genres first so if I want to mood read, I go straight to the genre I want to read. In each genre section, it is alphabetical by author surname. I then sort by the order of books in a series. I like this system as it is orderly and can find anything I'm looking for quickly. I wouldn't want to change it!

  2. That is exciting news! Whatever way you organize you can always redo it on a whim. I have one shelving unit devoted to cookbooks and notebooks with recipes.
    I keep my series in a separate bookshelf so all my DCI Banks books are there as are the hardcover books for Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad, I have most of them on Kindle.

    Oh, you mentioned Kate Morton's Distant Hours a post or so back and inspired me to request it from the library. That's the only Morton book I haven't read.

  3. Tough question! I have books and bookshelves all over my house. All children's and YA books are in my upstairs game room since that's where my kids hang out. Non-fiction and adult books are in my bedroom. All of my adult review books are on a giant bookshelf in my family room (alphabetized) or in boxes in my guest room closet. Children's and YA review books are all in boxes. I know what's in the boxes because I keep track of it all on a spreadsheet. In addition, my husband has bookshelves in his office for his books, my kids all have bookshelves in their rooms for their books, and I have a cabinet in my kitchen for cookbooks. Phew!

    Honestly, if I had to do my book organization over again, I'd get rid of AT LEAST half of my books. I would only keep the ones I really, really love and the ones I plan to read in the near future. As far as arrangement goes, I'd probably go with alphabetizing. That's the best method to ensure you can find a book again!

  4. Lucky you. Waiting for the oldest to still grow up and move out. The bookcase in the office is dominated by the husband.

  5. I put my hardcover series at the top of the bookcases (out of children's reach) and then work my way down to paperback. Mass market I simply donate or pass to a friend. Beyond that there really is no order. Like you I have bookshelves all over the house. One day when I am old, I will have a library/office.

  6. Wow! I'm excited for you to be getting your own personal book space, and hope you post pics. The fiction novels are together by author, then nonfiction is lumped together by subject. Then of course all the cookbooks have a HUGE section. A friend of mine moved a JR Ward book, then put it in with Catherine Coulter, and I dang near had a heart attack!(lol) Congrats again! Hugs....RO

  7. Oh, how exciting! You'll have to share pictures. (Please?)

    I have so many books that there are 12 bookshelves in the house just for my books, another 3 that are shared, and 4 for Robin's books. (That's not counting the several bookcases of DVDs.) So we can't fit them all in one room. There are literally bookshelves in every room of the house except the bathrooms and our bedroom (only because there's no room in our bedroom - but there are stacks of books on my nightstand.) With so many shelves and so many books, I organize by genre, and within that by author, then alpha by title except for series, which are in series order. Plus, two of the shelves in the basement are for books I haven't read yet, which makes them easier to find. Given how spread out the bookshelves are, organizing by color, while it looks lovely on Instagram, would drive me mad when I wanted to find a specific book. (And anyway, I'm an ex-bookseller and a frustrated librarian at heart.)

  8. I have mine separated by reading age category/classification; then organized by genre and then author alphabetized. All of my Middle Grades are Fantasy, so I don't have to worry about those. I don't have too many physical YA, so those are just one shelf arranged by series. I do have a Harry Potter shelf that will soon have to be two! I also have a Dune shelf. 👍✨

  9. YAY!! Awesome to having your own space and library! I have a semi-library and need to rearrange my books somehow and I am unsure how to get it done myself. I guess I might do genre or author haven't decided.