Organizing Your Book Collection

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!

Lending Books, Organizing Your Book Collection

About The Author: Rebecca Patrick-Howard is ThriftyFun's organizing expert. Click here to ask an organizing question.

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November 15, 20200 found this helpful

I don't have the money for a bookshelf but I do still have an old empty dresser, so I put my books in it and label the drawers Fiction or Non-Fiction with a sticky note on the outside. As far as organizing your personal collection by title, genre, etc. Library Thing is a GREAT website!

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September 23, 20210 found this helpful

In my craft room: I use an old type of VHS cabinet for all my paperback books. This keeps them clean and safe. I like paperback to not yellow or look aged.


Hardback are on a shelf.
All Bibles and Christian books are on two shelves.

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