Thursday, October 26, 2006

Book Organization

Whether you have dozens of books or hundreds, the more organized you are with them the easier they are to find. I don't suggest using someone else's exact organizational system. The best thing you can do for yourself is to sit down and think about how book organization might work best in your household. Here are a few things to consider:
  • Do you have bookshelves spread throughout your home or all in one location?
  • Do you have books that you reference frequently?
  • Do you have children who can only reach books at a certain height?
  • Do you have older or treasured books you want to protect from sun or heat damage?
  • Do you have books that are too large for your regular bookshelves?
Keep the answers to those questions in your mind as you plan how to organize your books. Decide how you would like to organize your books - alphabetically, by topic, by size, by age-appropriateness, etc. Then decide which shelves you would like to hold each category. You may want to be creative with larger books (propping them next to shelves or stacking them on top.) Here's a peek into the organizational system I use for my family:
  • Books are divided into categories by topic. Various shelves around the house are assigned topics. Some are logical (such as cookbooks in the kitchen) and some are more random.
  • Categories are divided by size. This is a personal preference - I like how the books look on the shelves when they match in size.
  • Sub-categories are alphabetized by author and placed on the shelves.
  • I like to arrange series, boxed sets, and favorites on or above shelves in artful ways.
  • I have a small shelf just for older and favored books, which I keep away from any sunlit windows and heat vents.
  • "Coffee table books" or others that people might browse through are shelved where we sit with company when they visit.
  • Dictionaries and other reference books are grouped together on a shelf that is easy for everyone to access.
  • I don't pack books away. I figure if they're worth owning they're worth keeping out to read again and again.

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