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How do you organise your books?

(43 Posts)
ADarkandStormyKnight Thu 09-Aug-18 13:43:50

Just that! I can never find what I want so I'm trying to get some rational system in place.

Mammyofasuperbaby Thu 09-Aug-18 13:49:50

By topic then by era. I read a lot of history so it works for me. My books are all I date order so if I'm looking for early humans it will be at the beginning of my shelf where as Victorians will be at the other end and culture is separate from anthropology so very easy to find

Dottierichardson Thu 09-Aug-18 13:52:52

OP have you thought about moving this to the books thread? You may get more replies. I organise fiction alphabetically by publisher and non-fiction by genre, children's books separately, and then a hierarchy of bookshelves based on those I really love and will reread and those I will discard, and then a lot of TBR piles, but the house is littered with books.

DrPeppersPhD Thu 09-Aug-18 13:58:58

By subject (fiction, non fiction and reference), then series in no particular order, miscellaneous books get put in on the ends of shelves to take up the extra space.

nikkylou Thu 09-Aug-18 14:00:19

Alphabetically by author last name...I have a lot of fiction.
Non-fiction, like my textbooks, normally ends up on a lower shelf as they're so tall and don't as actually have an author so they're alphabetical by theme and then within the theme by name.
I say this as if it's actually organised...books don't always end up where they came from. And has my DP will point out, the sofa/kitchen counter/bathroom window sill/etc. Is not a bookshelf
I'd really like to do it by spine colour but I think that's more of a 'feature' bookcase idea rather than one you actually read.

PanPanPanPing Thu 09-Aug-18 14:02:58

Novels by alphabetical order by author's surname

Biographies/autobiographies by the subject's surname

Reference books - a bit random, but I don't have masses, but I put them in a reasonably logical order

Random other books - again no masses - same as above

The latter two are usually easy to find

However, DP is redecorating and has totally effed-up my bookshelves, but, as a nearly non-reader, he hasn't 'got-it' and told me to stop interfering even though I said I'd deal with the books hmm.

Once he's gone back to work, I'll take them all out and start again grin

scaryteacher Thu 09-Aug-18 14:05:28

When dh gets the new Kallaxs built, it will be by alphabetical order of author's last name. One they are all unpacked from the humongous number of boxes littering the polyvalent room, and I have discarded some, and got them on the shelves, I can then play with genre, publisher etc. I do like to have all my Golden Age Crime fiction together, so put the Lord Peter Wimseys with the Albert Campions.

PanPanPanPing Thu 09-Aug-18 14:07:01

Oh, and the same as PPs. Fiction books have their own shelves. Non-fiction, separate shelves, reference other separate shelves ..... and so on.

Verbena87 Thu 09-Aug-18 14:07:22

If I lived on my own, they’d be arranged by the colour of the spine (because I remember what they look like anyway), but alas I live with a man who likes alphabetically arranges things (even when the colours and fonts look horrible together ffs)

flamingnoravera Thu 09-Aug-18 14:10:14

Mine are by colour. I know the colour of my books and can always find them.
My apps are also arranged in colours on my phone.

DelurkingAJ Thu 09-Aug-18 14:23:04

My and DH’s books split between fiction, non fiction and cookbooks. Fiction alphabetically by author surname, non fiction somewhat randomly (eg all travel books together but smaller subjects scattered), cookbooks all on one shelf.

Children’s books that are mine are alphabetical by author surname. DC’s books are in chaos (but they’re 2 and 5 and I’d rather they read than worried about how the books go away).

DelurkingAJ Thu 09-Aug-18 14:24:16

Those who arrange by colour...do you not have many books? We’ve got 1000s (literally) and I have no idea on the bindings of many (although I do frequently reread so like to keep them).

Verbena87 Thu 09-Aug-18 14:25:57

We’ve got too many books for our tiny house, but not as many as I’d have if space wasn’t an issue. And they’re alphabetical at the moment. Ish.

I think some people notice colours and bindings a lot more than others.

stormymcstormface Thu 09-Aug-18 14:48:55

I’m afraid my pet hate is arranging books by colour - though not half as bad at all as the current Instagram fad of turning them spine to the wall so you can just see shelves of pages... how on earth you’re meant to find anything?!

Personally by topic. Even fiction is broken down into broad genres and then alphabetical by author. History into topics with a rough chronology. Reference and poetry separate.

ADarkandStormyKnight Thu 09-Aug-18 15:03:54

I've put things into categories like penguin classics and Virago, then non-fiction, plays and poetry. Reference books (not many of those)….

Also trying to get rid of ones I really won't read again but finding it very hard.

ADarkandStormyKnight Sat 11-Aug-18 22:16:45

Have had a surprisingly enjoyable afternoon putting most of my books into alphabetical order. I found a surprising number of duplicates!

Magmatic80 Sat 11-Aug-18 22:22:42

Mine are, shelf each:
Reference
Biographies,
Favourite authors have a shelf each
Classics
Children’s literature - classics
Children’s literature - modern
Travel writing
Travel guides
Maps
Coffee table books
Cooking books in kitchen

Donthugmeimscared Sat 11-Aug-18 22:28:59

This makes me feel bad that I no longer have any books. My children do but I now only have time to listen to audio books on the way to and from work

PinguDance Sat 11-Aug-18 22:32:10

I do mine by theme and by a personal sense of ‘books that go together’ - works very well for me but probably impenetrable to anyone else. I also put the books I am most likely to take off the shelves in the middle of my bookcase and ones I don’t think I’m going to look at on the top shelf etc.

ADarkandStormyKnight Sat 11-Aug-18 22:33:23

Some of mine belonged to my parents. I’m trying to cull them because they are just falling apart but my ruthlessness lasts about five minutes.

PinguDance Sat 11-Aug-18 22:37:35

It’s funny how this brings out the inner snob - much like a pp has an issue with arranging books by colour I find it most Pedestrian to arrange alphabetically. I like to keep mine in my higgleddy piggeldy personal order to indicate my superior and comprehensive understanding of my book collection wink

ADarkandStormyKnight Sat 11-Aug-18 22:45:01

My boys are readers and I am often asked “have we got.... ?” And I say yes but then can’t find it.

huggybear Sat 11-Aug-18 22:56:47

I don't have book collections because I don't like clutter and have a small house but I'd probably order them by height 😁

flamingnoravera Tue 14-Aug-18 00:27:03

delurking I have thousands of books. And I have a memory that codes visually and colourfully. Your comment suggests you think that your method is better than mine, but I am not a librarian, I live alone and my method works for me both aesthetically and practically.

Pinkcadillac Tue 14-Aug-18 02:31:52

By genre, and within each one, by author although I need to take into account the sizes. I have as many hardbacks as paperbacks and different sized shelves

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