Before I jump into this, I just wanted to give a shout-out that at last bookowly has also joined the bookstagram, so you can check out that here.
The best way for book organisation for the easiest access for books has always been nagging me, especially since my second grade when our class had an excursion to a library and we got this big story of how you have to take a marker and, if you wanted to take out a book from a shelf, you had to mark the place, then take the book and afterwards put the book back, if you weren’t interested.
And of course the order – there were shelves for topics and all the books (as in most libraries), organised by alphabet, based on author’s last name. That is all beautiful and wonderful for a library, yet it is not how I manage my shelf and I think it could never work for me.
In my opinion, people who do not often touch their bookshelf, organise their shelves a lot different than those who do. I have many relatives who pack their shelves, but never pick up a book, which means that they don’t actually need to know where their books are (with rare exceptions, of course). Opposed to people who read and buy books regularly.
I have always been very curious about people’s ways to organise their books. Many do it by alphabet, but some use author’s name or the book’s title instead of the author’s last name. It definitely helps to find book you have in mind, if you know the attribute very well. I tend to forget author’s very often and sometimes book titles start with “the ” or “a”, which is not very helpful, if you forget that tiny little word. I do not use this method, because I am very forgetful in these matters and somehow feel like it is too organised – like I need some artsy chaos in my books to make myself feel good.
Some organise their books by size (and alphabet), basically putting books of the same size in one shelf and organising them in that shelf by one of the methods mentioned above. I find this method to be organised chaos, yet as I am bad with names and titles, it’s not very good for me.
I don’t think I actually know anyone who does it, but some prefer to organise their books by colours. You might think that this, although a beautiful solution, doesn’t offer much organisation and help in finding a book when you are searching for a particular one, yet I disagree. I don’t use this technique, but I think it might work for me, because it fits well with people who have visual memory. Which means that they might not know the title or author, but they know the cover. This can be turned in an interior design element and with enough books make the flat or house more interesting, but as I tend to give away books I don’t want to keep in my collection, I don’t actually own that many books in that many colours.
Then there’s the genre (or should I say mood) type of division, which is quite straight forward – put romance with romance, mystery with mystery etc. and your shelf is ready to go. And then there is of course the one where the books are organised by unread and read or favourite (and most re-read) and not so favourite ones.
Probably I missed some of possible organisation ways and types, so be sure to add them in the comments, maybe I will discover a new way to organise my shelves! So… my shelves…
I organise my books by few criteria, I want to be able to find a book easy, if in need, and at the same time have my shelf to be easily maintainable. So, first of all, all the books I’ve purchased in the last month are not really in the shelf, they are separated from their comrades, so I could always see my newest books. Second – all book series I own have separate shelf or shelves (depending on how many series I own at the time). Which means that A Song of Ice and Fire,The Lord of the Rings + Hobbit, Harry Potter, have to share a shelf with Fifty Shades (yeah, I have that trilogy, don’t really know what to do with it). It doesn’t matter to me if I’ve read the series or not, they are all series, so they all stick together. So when I have put my series away, I am still left with a bunch of books, which I also organise. So, first I go by type, usually it is classics, science, chic-lit etc. and then I organise the books in that category by size (unfortunately some of my shelves are not high enough to accommodate books of all sizes, so I have to check, if they will fit) and when that is done, I also organise them by read and unread books, which helps me orientate in my bookshelf. And that’s all, put that all together and you get the shelf I have!
So is there a perfect way? Are some better than other? What are you doing to organise your bookshelf? What ways I didn’t mention?