May 21, 2010

Call for Comments: How Do You Organize Your Library


As I'm sure you're tired of hearing about, I recently moved. That means 1000+ books packed up, transported, and unboxed

Now I've got 1,000 books and a wall to wall book shelf consisting of forty 18''x18'' square shelves. I'm also contemplating expanding it to be floor to ceiling and adding another twenty 18''x18'' booknooks but that would require another trip to IKEA. It may or may not be a necessity...

Partially Filled Shelves with Computer Station

Alternate View

While I'm unboxing and organizing, I'm still not sure how I want to shelf my collection. Luckily, I can compartmentalize books in subsets of 5-15 (depending if it's a Peter F. Hamilton Hardcover or a Charlie Huston TPB). Still what gets top shelf eye-level treatment and what gets relegated to the bottom corner?

So how about you? How do you organize your books?

4 comments:

  1. You're talking about eye-level stuff like a store! I can't imagine that, but we own over twice as many fiction books as you. (Many are in storage since our last move; we need more shelves.) With so many books, for me it's all about ease of finding what I'm looking for.

    Our two main (fiction) sections are mass market paperbacks (plus books close to that size) and hardbacks/trade paperbacks. I can remember what format a book is, so this works for me and facilitates optimizing shelving layout.

    Within each size section, our fiction is alpha-by-author. Within an author, books are alpha-by-series (or title, for standalones). Collections go at the end of an author's run. I used to put anthologies alpha-by-editor, but since I don't always know the editor, now I put all anthologies (still alpha-by-editor) at the end of each of the two main sections (the by-size ones). I also have a special section for tie-in fiction, just before the anthologies; e.g., Dragonlance books are after the "Z" authors, and then anthologies are after that.

    Since the library's a back-burner project, I haven't bothered shelving non-fiction, graphic novels, etc. (I used to keep the latter with comics, but before we last moved, I started putting them in a special section.)

    I have a somewhat inconsistent habit of putting (new-to-me) unread books in their own section, in the vain hope that I'll get around to reading them sooner. But each time we move, I throw up my arms and merge them with the main section. ;-) I buy more than I have time to read....

    Finally, as many books as you own, I recommend a book database, if you don't use one already (it's time-consuming to populate...). Sorry to ramble on so much....

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  2. P.S. Within a series, I put books in chronological order by book timeline (not the order they were published).

    I know I sound very OCD. ;-) But with over 2,000 books, it'd be impossible to find anything otherwise....

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  3. I don't have a lot of shelf space so I organize first by size for space efficiency: paperbacks all go together, by genre, author, organized by series, two rows deep, larger or odd sized books go together, and hard covers get their own shelves. I've got the same shelves :)

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  4. I organize by genre first, then author, then publishing chronology and series. I just mix my hardcovers and paperbacks together.

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