I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…

“A bookshelf is as particular to its owner as are his or her clothes; a personality is stamped on a library just as a shoe is shaped by the foot.”

Behind every great reader is a great bookcase… or two or three or more. They come in all shapes and sizes but no matter what form it comes in, we are proud to own it and occasionally show it off. It might be a physical bookcase stuffed to the brim or it might be an e-reader with a carefully crafted reading list – whatever your preference, it represents a great love and many adventures!

There are so many ways to organise your bookcase and everyone does it differently! Mine is certainly a reflection of my personality – it is consistent, logical and well planned. For the most part it is alphabetical, although there are a few exceptions. Here are some of the more popular ideas:

ABC – Alphabetical is the more traditional way of organising books. One of the most common ways is by author last name however there are many other variations such as by author first name or book title!

Genre – This is another favourite. Like most bookstores, it is easy to break your books into general categories such as general fiction, crime, fantasy and non-fiction. This has it’s own complications – how far do you break the genres down!!!

Colour – The more creative types might organise their books by colour. There are some stunning images floating around of rainbow or ombre collections. They look stunning!

Publisher – Apparently some people in publishing organise their bookcases by the publisher or imprint. This is not something I would be able to do… what about the authors who publish their books with different publishing companies? I really like having all the books by the same author together!

Chronological – There was a girl on Instagram the other day who said that her books are organised in the order she reads them in. This would be really cool if I had a good memory!

Thanks to the wonders of technology, there are also some amazing apps/ programs for recording and maintaining your library. Do you keep a catalogue? I have an excel spreadsheet that I started earlier this year. The apps on your phone are a great way of keeping track – that way you have a quick reference when you are looking to buy something new/ filling holes in series and making sure that you don’t double up (unintentionally, of course)!

So over to you… how do you do it? I would love to see a photo of your collection!

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13 thoughts on “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…

  1. sortof by author and sortof by size/spine colour. I like my shelf to look aesthetically pleasing, but I also like it to be ordered logically so I can find the title i want if I can’t remember the colour of the spine. I have odd-shaped shelves, so the rest is neat, ordered, and displayed for ease of viewing! I’m also out of space, so there are stray book piles adding up here and there…

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    • I also like them to look good – I used to have my shelves arranged so that the big books were on the outside and the little books were in the middle. But then I started working in a bookstore and decided alphabetical was better. I find my big bookcase rather annoying with all the little boxes. I just keep dreaming about my future bookcase…..

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  2. I go by Genre and I suppose I should start a cataloguing system but its too daunting with thousands of books. However I have a photographic memory for the book and where it should sit on the shelf. Im not sure how to attach a photo on here so I will email it directly to you. Its just one wall in my den floor to ceiling double stacked.

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    • I would like to have mine by genre but I over-think how far I want the genres broken down! I must admit it was a huge effort but it was good to clean up my bookcase as I went. I still have a few more to do but overall I am glad I did it!

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  3. for a while I had mine organised by read/unread – this meant when I wanted to read something new I could just look at the unread section. Now they are just alphabetical (with popular penguins in a separate pile for aesthetic reasons), but in a future re-organisation I might go back to unread/read!

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    • Thats a great idea having the books organised by read/unread.. the only problem is the overwhelming pile of unread books!! I agree that the Popular Penguins look great when they are all together!

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