Organizing Your Book Collection

Have you ever not been able to find a book that you knew you had? Books are a great addition to any household, but they do take up a lot of space and require organization. This is a guide about organizing your book collection.
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September 19, 2014 Flag

As an old person with an arthritic neck I have dreamed up a better way to shelve some of my books. I place the ones whose titles can be read while the book is lying flat on the shelf in that position. I can stand there and read my titles without leaning to the side or craning my neck. I realize this won't be for everybody but maybe someone can use if.

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September 23, 20141 found this helpful

Marty, this is an excellent idea, and I've been doing it myself with books, videos (I still have VHS tapes that I play), and CDs and DVDs, to an extent. I'm actually leaning toward putting the CDs and DVDs in binders with pockets, but for now, shelving them according to how the titles are printed works very well for me! Kudos to you for posting this idea here!

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September 25, 20160 found this helpful

Yes. I have long since believed this is the best way to display anything you have to read. I even do it with boxed dinners or rice mixes if the words read like a book spine!! Great idea!!

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March 12, 2013 Flag
6 found this helpful

I have moved a number of times and have found through experience that when moving my many books it is best to use a smaller box, when possible. A good choice for me is one that is 1 foot square. This will require the use of more boxes, but has saved my back and the consistent size makes stacking easier.

Similarly, I currently have a small house and can not have all of my books out on shelves. When I recently packed up some boxes with books that I had read I added a printed contents label to the outside. Now it is easier to find a specific book when I want to share it with a friend.

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March 13, 20130 found this helpful

What a great idea. I have many, many books and have a lot of them stored on bookshelves in the basement, but I recently found four more boxes of books that had been hidden behind some other things. I have absolutely no room on the bookshelves, but I do have lots of boxes and many huge shelves to put them on. I have been agonizing over what to do with the books I found, since they are ones I want to keep.

Now I know what I will do with them. I will take your advice, put them in smaller boxes and put the names and authors of the books on the outside of the boxes. That way I can always find what I want, since I will keep them all together on one of the shelves.

Thank you so much for solving my problem. (I am an English Major with a degree in writing and books are so precious to me. I have managed to cull my collection down, but I cannot bear to part with these books that I had thought were lost forever.) Thank you again for your suggestion!

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March 13, 20130 found this helpful

The last time I moved I asked the grocery store to save the egg boxes for me. These boxes are not only smallish but have little handle holes in the sides. I like your idea about listing the inventory on the side!

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March 14, 20130 found this helpful

I usually pack my books in numerous boxes, wrapped in clothes, sheets, blankets, towels, stuffed animals, pillows, etc. I also use the towels and clothes as padding between the dishes. I know you're supposed to pack things from the same room in the same box, but it just works out better this way for me.

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November 8, 2007 Flag

I have purchased quite a few books over the years. I spent so much money on the books themselves that I didn't have enough leftover to buy shelving, and that's where I got the idea for this helpful little tip

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September 27, 2011 Flag

Books are among my most valued treasures! I believe they are part of what makes my house a home. As a senior citizen, I'd like to share with you what I have learned.

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January 16, 2014 Flag
1 found this helpful

Recently, we got rid of many of our DVDs and video game cases so we no longer had a use for these tall narrow shelves. However, they are just the right size for paperbacks.

Use DVD Shelves for Paperbacks

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September 28, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

My solution has four facets. First, go through and alphabetize your books according to title, laying them on the shelf flat with one pile for one or two alphabet letters. If the pile gets too large, start another one.

Books sorted on bookshelves.

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July 21, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

I have organized my books first by subject, for example: home improvement, health, autobiographies, gardening, true crime, Oprah collection, spiritual, fiction, and non-fiction.

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July 20, 2011 Flag

If you have a computer, for the simplest way to organize your book would be to list them in alphabetical order. With that list, place them in a book shelves, starting from left to right (directional reading).

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July 29, 2006 Flag
0 found this helpful

My problem is that I don't know how to organize my books. I have alot of them and lots of shelves. Am I supposed to do them by author or subject or something?

Thanks for your advice!

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January 16, 20090 found this helpful

I have an office with two computers (all the computer stuff and books are in one room) Along one wall I have nothing but bookshelves. I have books from when I awas previously in school, the books that have interested me in the years, to the current school books that I need. I have all my books that I have in one spot. All of them except for my collectables9 from my great granmother etc that I keep seperate locked away in the bedroom.

I don't use a DDS or alphabetize them. One shelf, is the fiction that I have read (holding up the books that I haven't read to see what I want to read next.

Another shelf for the references (thesaraus, dict, spanish-english, family bible etc.)

Another shelf for all the computer books, from pragram manuals to digital photography.

Another, gardening, dog books and a few home improvements books.

Another shelf is strictly for the current semester. I put my books here when I don't need them and have a file for each class.

Another for history books, another for philosophy.

There are a few other shelves that have just a few books, magazines that I am just starting on the subject. I use these at the upper shelves and put decrations on.

I don't bother with alphabetizing, As long as the books on the same subject are together, it's better than color coding. I did it once before, it looked great, but I was the only one that knew where everything was.

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January 26, 20090 found this helpful

My bookshelves 'rotate' by interest. The centre two shelves hold my current study/interest, and on those two shelves, the books may loosely be grouped by field or author. For example, I give workshops using the MBTI personality instrument, so my central shelves have the topic with the groups of (roughly) workshop materials, spirituality and personality, HR/Career, and general MBTI. Prior to this I was sorking on some history projects. When I changed fields to MBTI, I moved the History shelves to a different bookcase, keeping the same order.

What I like about this is that I can still 'browse' my collection of books, because sometimes inspiration comes from seeing something you don't expect.

One of the things I don't like about electronic library systems is that most all of them don't have a browse mode that is loose like the above. With an old-time card catalog, you look for what you want, and you browse the cards before and after it, and often you will find something else helpful, even if you did not have the 'key words' to look for it directly.

Bottom line, choose whatever organizational form you like, but if it is too tight, don't forget to browse a bit, too.

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June 13, 20110 found this helpful

I organize my books by subject. (Animals, health, cookbooks, herbs, etc.)

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October 4, 2005 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am looking for an inexpensive way to store all my daughters books. She is 2, loves books and has SO MANY! At first, I used a jumbo diaper box, but since she has accumulated more, it is overflowing and she can't see what books she has. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

July 3, 20070 found this helpful

If there are too many books for a child to chose from it can be over stimulating for them and they may quickly lose interest in the book and want to get another.

I would suggest that you have your child select about 10 books and then store all the others away, use these 10 books for a couple of weeks and then get all the books out again and let your child select 10 books for the next fortnight. You will see that the child will have a favourite book that they will chose every time.

I used to do the same basic idea with toys, I would have one big toy box that the children would fill with toys and then all the others would be stored away.

When they had a holiday break from school the first day was always spent re-organising the toy box, everything was put out on the playroom floor for the day and they would have great fun finding toys they had forgotton about and the next morning we would fill one box again and store away all the other toys. This was also an opportunity to throw away any broken toys and give away any they no longer wanted.

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July 14, 20070 found this helpful

I have done the same thing as u, and so now i have three -four cereal boxes, diaper box etc, and have picture labled them as fairy tale book, animal book, alphabet books, and so on... so she has learnt to sort also as she chooses to read one by one and the bins remain clean atleast for 10-12 days, after that i need to reshuffle them and tidy it a bit.Hope this is helpful to u..happy reading time.

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June 20, 20080 found this helpful

I had the same problem and I got two wooden crates (like the ones peaches come in), attached wheels to the bottoms, painted them and labeled them books. That way he can move the boxes easily and also easily flip through the books to choose what he wants to read. When I want to we can also roll the book boxes into the closet for a neater look. Good luck!

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December 16, 20080 found this helpful

December 27, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

Most book lovers eventually encounter the same problem sooner or later: how to organize their book collection. If you have a few books then this might not be such a problem. When you start entering the triple digits, however, organization becomes essential when it comes to finding the book that you are looking for.

There are different ways of organizing your books and they don't all have to center around the card catalog. Although categorizing them by genre, author, and title is one way to go about it, it's not the only way.

The first thing you want to consider is the type of books you have. Do you have any special ones? Are there ones that are signed or first editions? If so, then these should be separated from the other ones. Are there books that you often need to get to at a moment's notice? If there are books that you need for your work or that you just enjoy reading over and over then find a special place for them that's near your desk, bed, couch, or wherever you are when you tend to read them.

When you are in the mood to read something do you generally tend to think of your books by genre or author? If you think of them by author then this is the way that you should organize them. Group all of the books together by the same author and then alphabetize those books. In this method, organizing your entire collection alphabetically is a good idea.

On the other hand, when you're in the mood to read something and you choose your material by genre then you might want to consider separating your books into genre first and then by author. For instance, on one shelf you might have romances and include your Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele books. On another shelf you might have your horror genre with your Stephen King and Peter Straub books. Organizing your books this way will help you find the book that you want depending on the mood that you are in.

You can also organize by size. If you're placing them on a shelf then start with the largest and work your way down to the smallest. Or, you can lay the largest one down and stack the others on top of it, largest to smallest.

Some people are fortunate enough to have large spaces and can fit lots of nice, big bookshelves into their homes. Others have smaller spaces. So how can you organize your books in a small space? Try using flat boxes that can slide under your bed. You can also try stacking your books rather than placing them side-by-side which is actually better for the books anyway!

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