Saturday, January 8, 2011

What Does Your Bookshelf Look Like?

Over the winter holiday, I drank hot chocolate and celebrated Christmas and had a chance to see a bunch of different friends and family.

I also moved.  The husband and I bought our first house back in October, and settlement was just before Christmas.  Thankfully, it wasn't quite as stressful as when Donna moved because I wasn't also planning a wedding or ripping down wallpaper.  But I am currently living out of boxes and everything takes twice as long to do because first we have to find where we packed things before we can do anything.

BUT.  I'ts going to be totally worth it in the end, because I am the proud owner of a mega-awesome office.

This is only half the room.  Two of the walls have floor-to-ceiling built in bookshelves, PLUS we still have the six bookcases from our old place, which means I'll finally have room for all my books!

And oh yeah, that door?  It leads to this:

My second floor deck!

It might be covered in snow now, but come the springtime it'll be adorned with planters and adirondack chairs!

The only problem is first I have to finish doing this:

It's my own fault, really.  In my head, yellow bookcases with light blue backing and dark blue trim sounded awesome.  And they are.  When they're finished.  Which will happen.  Eventually.

In the meantime, as I started to put away some books in our old bookcases, I realized something.  I need a system.  I need to figure out a way to put the books away that makes sense.

I've decided to do it by category.  Here's what I have so far:

Graphic Novels (mine)
Graphic Novels (husband's)
Literary Adult Novel
Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Adult Historical Fiction
YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Paranormal
YA Contemporary
Reference/Writing Books

But I feel like I might be missing something.  So, I turn to all of you: what other categories should I have?  Or should I go a completely different way?  I have two friends who organize their bookshelves by color.  How do YOU all organize yours?


  1. I live under the "it looks messy and unorganized but I know where everything is" system, so I'm the last person that should try to dole out advice. If you work out a system like that and stick to it, you'll definitely earn my admiration!

    I'll look forward to seeing the finished bookcases!

  2. What an amazing office this is going to be! Please post a picture when you're done.

    For our family bookcases, I arrange by color. Somehow I seem to remember best that way (and I like the way it looks).

    As for the rest of the books, we don't have enough space. My husband's theology books are currently jammed into an cabinet and a trunk. I've got loads of other books in my office closet.

    The little bookshelf in my office has a combo of reference, writing, and currently read books, though I have set a shelf aside for Elevensie/2k11 classmates' books.

  3. I organized by bookshelf into several categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, Nonfiction, Picture Books, and To Be Read. Yes, I have all my childhood picture books with me... I need them! The To Be Read section is last because the size of it fluctuates greatly, so the placement allows it to get cluttered w/o ruining the general look of the bookshelf. Yeah, a bit neurotic, but it works!

  4. Your office is going to look so awesome. And that walk out deck is such a great plus. I can imagine opening that door in the nice weather, letting the fresh summer breeze in...

    I'd love to see pictures when it's all done! :)

  5. Sara, I'm drooling with jealousy. Floor to ceiling built-in bookcases! Oh, how I wish...

    Good for you for working hard to make your office the way you want it. I agree with Caroline -- show us pics when it's finished.

    And I can't believe you don't have a MG category or a Picture Book category! And how about Classics? I have a Classics shelf with lots of Dickens, etc. Also a Short Story collection and one small Poetry shelf. Aside from those, I tend to cram all adult contemporary fiction together, all reference together, all kids' books together (I've totally run out of bookshelf space)and within each section, I usually shelve by author. Comes from working in a bookstore!

  6. Allison--I'll definitely post pictures! And that was my system, too, in our old house. I shoved books in every nook and cranny that would hold them.

    Caroline--I have two friends who organize by color. I think it looks really pretty, but I don't know if I could ever do it. In my mind, books have friends, and Paranormalcy would be sad if it wasn't on the same shelf as Nightshade :)

    Liz--Ooh, picture books and historical fiction. I'll need to add those to my list.

    Liz P.--Thanks! I'll definitely post pictures. Look for them sometime in...summer? :)

    Joanne--You're right, I definitely need MG and Picture Books! I think I'm also going to steal your Classics section--my husband has old copies of Robin Hood and Three Musketeers, and I wasn't sure what to do with those. And I felt weird putting Jane Austen and the Brontes in with the Adult Lit. Fiction--I mean, they ARE, but they're so much more than that...I think they would work well in Classics.

  7. I usually arrange them by author. Of course, the authors aren't arranged in any order usually, but then, I have to make them fit where they will, so some of the smaller collections of authors get smushed whereever I have room.


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