How Do You Organize Your Books?

April 18, 2015 Discussions 12

I like organizing mine alphabetically by author. If the author has 1 or more series, the series is organized in reading order. Which is not always published order, or book order. (Valdemar, Pern, Vorkosigan series’, I’m looking at you…) And series I like best get put first under that author.

This tends to only work when I first move into a house or apartment. After that, it’s too much work to shift books from one shelf (or bookcase!) to another every time I buy or am given new books. I’m up to 10 bookcases now, though only 8 are completely full. 1 is half full, and one has both my ceramics and my TBR shelf. Plus a half-shelf of books I’m getting rid of.

I’ve considered organizing by favorite author, or favorite series instead. And then doing anything else alphabetically by author. But I find new series so often now, I’d have to re-arrange even that type of organization.

It would bug me too much to have books just stuffed wherever, in whatever order on my shelves. And while I’ve seen some people have two rows of books on each shelf, I don’t want to have to unpack the front of a shelf in order to get to the back row.

I do separate hardbacks from paperbacks. Unless it’s part of a series. All my series books get kept together even if it makes the shelf look a bit odd with paperbacks, then a hardback, then more paperbacks, or vice versa.

If I don’t keep series together, I tend to forget I have a particular book and go buy it again. Not that I don’t do that already, but it would be much worse!



So how do you organize your shelves? Alphabetical by author? Alphabetical by title? Favorite series or authors first? By book size? By book color? Do you separate hardbacks and paperbacks? Do you organize by subject/genre? And how many shelves/bookcases do you have?

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12 Responses to “How Do You Organize Your Books?”

  1. Lola

    I have a weird organizing system. I do keep series together, but not all the books by the same authors. I also don’t really have a reaosn for where I place my books on the shelf, unless it’s part of the series, I usually place it whenever it fits. I have a few shelves that are higher so the larger books go there, while the shorter books go on the shorter shelf. I keep track of all my books on goodreads, so I don’t accidently buy a double book, although my memory is usually pretty good when it comes to books.
    I always find it interesting to hear how other peopel organize their books and sortign it on alphabetical order sounds like a great method. Although to you organize on name or surname? My only issue with sorting on alphabetical order is that every time you have a new book that has to get close to start you risk having to move all your books so it stays on order.
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    • SilvaraWilde

      I do it alphabetical by last name. And yes, that’s my current issue. I have 7 bookcases sorted by author’s last name, in order. And then one (completely filled!) bookcase that starts over from A, because I didn’t want to shift 7 bookcases worth of books! And it continues on in alphabetical order again on the next bookcase. So I have to remember which set has the books I’m looking for. So I’m thinking I need a new sorting method. I just don’t know what one would work for me. Which is why I’m poking you all. *grins*

  2. C.J.

    I’m one of those organized chaos/stacks of books people. All of my books are stacked here or there in no particular order. I take my kids to the library once a week (and sometimes I go during lunch at work), so whatever I’m currently reading is from mostly from the library.
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    • SilvaraWilde

      I used to go to the library all the time. Unfortunately, my local library isn’t anywhere near as nice as my previous ones. They hardly ever have what I’m looking for, or if they do have it, the waiting list is huge!

      Plus, I tend to buy the book if I really like it and know I want to re-read it. Which just contributes to my hoard of books, and the problem of sorting. I don’t think I could stand to have them just stacked randomly. It would bug me every time I looked at my shelves! I’m in awe of the people who do it that way and can find particular books easily though!

    • SilvaraWilde

      My To Be Read shelf and my Getting Rid Of shelf aren’t organized at all. The books get piled on whatever way fits, and I grab books off the TBR shelf randomly. It’s my ‘already read and keeping’ bookcases that need an organization overhaul.

      I think it’s my book OCD at work. I have to have them in some kind of organized way or they drive me crazy. I just haven’t been able to come up with an organization that allows me to keep adding books without shifting them all over!

    • SilvaraWilde

      *laughs* I thought about doing it by genre, unfortunately I have a LOT of fantasy. Over 90% of my books are fantasy of some kind. So in some ways, they’re already sorted by genre even though I have them sorted alphabetically by author at the moment!

      I’m thinking I may go with ‘favorite series/favorite books’ in the middle sections where I don’t have to stoop to read titles, and don’t have to climb on chairs to get at books on the top shelves. But then I don’t know how I’d arrange the rest. So I may just leave them all as is and deal! *lol*

    • SilvaraWilde

      *laughs* I’m constantly running out of shelf space. This just makes me buy more bookcases! Luckily my new (relatively, moved in just under a year ago) house has this room upstairs that is kind of like a slightly more than double-width hallway in the middle of the upstairs, and not good for a whole lot. So I’ve turned it into my library. It has 10 bookcases, and still has room for a few more. Especially if I put them back to back in the middle of the space. *is totally insane, she knows*

      This would be a major reason I need to re-think how I organize them all…

    • SilvaraWilde

      I have 2 series that have to be bought as hardbacks, because all the other books in the series that I own are hardbacks. But I’d spend too much money buying only hardback copies of all my books. And if I find a new-looking hardback in the local used bookstore, but most of the rest of that series that I own is in paperback… I’ll buy it anyhow. Since they last longer for me that way.

      So I guess it only matters to me about keeping the same format, if I started out with hardbacks? *laughs*

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