By Elly Murray
Hello fellow book nerds! I hope you’re all keeping safe and not going too stir-crazy during this Coronavirus upheaval. While we’re all stuck at home, I thought I’d write a post about how we organize our bookshelves! There are few things in this world that bring me more joy than re-organizing my bookshelf. Something about having everything in a nice, neat stacks (and also getting to go through all my books and remember what I actually have) is just really satisfying. So, I’ve created this little post to examine all the different methods of book organization that our booksellers here love to employ at home. That way if anyone is inspired to reorganize, they have plenty of time on their hands to do that. I’m not sure how many of you enjoy organizing your books as much as I do, but if you do, this post is for you!
I suppose we’ll start with me; most of my books exist on “shelves” of sorts. In order to have a place for all my books I’ve had to stretch the term “shelves” to include several things that are not shelves, including two plastic purple bins, a space under my bed, and a “shelf” that I built myself from pieces of discarded wood. It leans atrociously to one side, doesn’t have a bottom, and could honestly come apart at any minute.
I usually stick to the classic by-author’s-last-name means of organization, but as I’ve accumulated more and more books (to the point where my roommates fear an impending avalanche), I’ve noticed that there are certain books that just don’t work with that method of organization. So, I’m hoping to gain some inspiration from some of our booksellers and how they organize their books!
Our esteemed Mary Ruthless also has two separate shelves, but for paperbacks and hardcovers. Both shelves are organized alphabetically by author’s last name (a woman after my own simplistic taste). She also has all of her comics arranged by main character and size, and then the books on her headboard and bedside table are in order of what’s most appealing to read next, with most appealing on the top and least appealing on the bottom
l imagine the separate shelves for hardcovers and paperbacks must make it difficult if you have several books from the same author or in the same series, when some are paperback and some are hardcover. However, I really like the idea of sorting my books based on what I would like to read next! That would certainly help me wade through the mountain of books that I own but probably won’t read.
Josh has a total of three bookshelves throughout his home, in varying places such as his basement and living room. He says there isn’t really an organization system to his books, except that one of the shelves is mostly outdoor books and graphic novels. However, his shelves are decorated with all sorts of cool knick-knacks! I definitely like to spice up my shelves too, except my knick-knacks are all tiny action figures of sorts.
Katharine's books exist in one of three places: in her closet, her nightside stack, or under her bed. The ones in her closet are designated as “already read” or “not going to read anytime soon.” The category of “not going to read anytime soon” includes classics that she’s saving for when her kids need them, favorites that she’s not ready to re-read yet, and gifts that she can’t toss yet. The ones under her bed are “currently reading” or “next on the list to read.”
Again, I really like the idea of organizing my books based on what I’m going to read next. I do have a small shelf that sits on my desk where I put books that I’m either currently reading, about to read, or borrowing from fellow literary nerds. I also completely understand the notion of not being able to get rid of books that people have gotten you just yet.
Well, all of these lovely organization techniques from our booksellers have certainly given me a ton of new ideas on how to re-organize my bookshelf, and hopefully they have sparked some schemes in your heads too.
And please feel free to let us know in the comments what methods of organization you like to use! I hope you’re all keeping safe during these tumultuous times, and maybe you have some time now to get cozied up with your favorite books. As always, read on!
Mary Ruthless: Owner/Manager