Organizing Books?

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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July 30, 20060 found this helpful

I personally organize Fiction alphabetically and Non-Fiction by catagory. You could also learn the Dewey Decimal System that they use in Libraries. That would be a big help in the future.

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By Patsy (Guest Post)
July 31, 20060 found this helpful

I would organize the books by age group. 0-3, 3-5, 5-7, etc. etc. You would know right away what age group they are suitable for.
Good luck!

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By KLS8800 (Guest Post)
July 31, 20060 found this helpful

There are so many ways you can do this: The above suggestions are great. My mother worked at my elementary school...she worked in the library and as an assistant. DDS Dewey Decimal System works, we had over 1,000 books of all types at home as well. From reference, to children's to adult sci fi, fiction, non ficiton...She did the DDS at home, too. Personally, I would say go by faves. Your favourite genre, such as fiction, then alpha by author. It is your system, do what makes you feel most comfortable.


Just a hint for school...if you have your computer in your room. Keep a dictionary, grammar dictionary, Thesaurus, and even a spelling dictionary (just used to confirm spellings, not giving out defintions. It will help when you are doing reports. Not only was my mother in education, but my beloved grandmother also was an educator...I never handed in a report, thesis, or any type homework that was not perfect or near perfect. Organising your personal collection will spill over into organising your school books, then your work will become more organised, and on... Good luck.

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By judy2311 (Guest Post)
August 1, 20060 found this helpful

I have a large collection of books of all sorts.
I list them by subject first, then by titles so they are easy to find.
Hope this helps you.

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August 1, 20060 found this helpful

I organize books by SIZE

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By Dawn Reitz (Guest Post)
April 27, 20070 found this helpful

My name is Dawn Reitz and I am a professional organizer and the owner of AMOR ( in Las Vegas. There is a product called IntelliScanner ( that can help you. You just scan the bar code on the book and create a catalog on your computer for quick and easy access to your favorite books or specific topics. Then (as a feng shui consultant) I recommend arranging your books in a non-clutter and attractive way. Check it out. Hope this helps you.


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By DEBBIEDJ. (Guest Post)
January 10, 20080 found this helpful

I organize mine alphabetically by author. Then i further organize them by published date. When i go to book sales all my books are on my pda to let me know what i have and what i need. If you don't have a pda try a card file. You can set it up by author a-z and by pub date just like in your shelves. I also know what hardbacks and what paperbacks I have.

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By Cathy (Guest Post)
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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By Cornflower (Guest Post)
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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July 3, 20160 found this helpful

I too have an extensive library, and finally have shelves to put (most) of them on. I have found the best way for me is to alphabetically by authors. All the A's together, B's etc. .. . Then If I am looking for a specific book. I can go to the a, b, c, . . section and find it. But then I also have other catagories.


I put all my poetry books in one section, Mythology in another, Fairy tales in another. If I have biographies, I put them with the author. For instance, I have a biography of Charles Dickens so it is put with his books. I hope this helps. It has me.

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