On Organizing Books

There are so many ways out there for people to organize their books, and I have tried a lot of different ways! I wanted to share my favorite organizing techniques and which ones just don’t work for me.

Row of Books in Shelf

Alphabetical by Author
I think this is pretty standard and is a format I used for a long time, but when you own as many books as I do it gets really hard {and tedious} to have to reorganize the shelves every time you add a new book.

Alphabetical by Title
While this method works really well for my DVD collection, it would be even more tedious to add new books than rearranging the shelves by author!

Woman Reading Book

By Genre
I have never actually sorted by books based simply on genre before, though I do use a loose method of this in my current organization plan. I think it might be fun to break things down by romantic suspense and YA fantasy, but I think there are too many books that could be categorized in multiple genres for it to really work for me {I have tried this with my DVDs and ran into this problem}.

By Series
I use this method somewhat in my organization. I hate to have a series divided, but I also hate to have authors divided, so when it comes to a series that has multiple authors contributing, I have a hard time knowing where to put it.

Free stock photo of books, room, library, bookcase

Rainbow by Cover
Aesthetically, this method is gorgeous and I love looking at pictures of rainbow shelves. Realistically, for myself and my OCD about this type of thing, it just doesn’t work. It would separate my authors, series, genres, etc. and I just couldn’t deal with that.

Wherever they Fall
This is the easiest organization method to maintain, because you essentially just books the books on the shelf wherever, with no need to keep authors or series together. I use this method for my CD collection because I like to mix up my music, but definitely not for my books.

Free stock photo of books, library, indoors, information

Spines Hidden
This is something new that I have just started seeing {as of this writing, approximately 3 months ago}. People organize their books on the shelf with the spines hidden, so you see the pages and not the spine. This way it’s a surprise when you pick your next read.

My preferred style is kind of a mix…
I start with separating books that have been read from books that have not been read. All read books that I am keeping are kept together regardless of category or genre. I then do a rough separation of unread books by genre category: YA fiction, Adult fiction, Memoir and Nonfiction. From there I sort my nonfiction further by category, but everything else is sorted by author, but not alphabetically. I have all of an authors works together, but the authors are in random order on the shelves, as are their books {with the exception of series, which are in order}. Because I’ve been reading- and collecting- adult fiction much longer, this category takes up the largest section of shelves. Memoirs take up the smallest section.

How do you organize your books?

2 thoughts on “On Organizing Books”

  1. What a great post! I really like my books to be in author order for fiction, and genre order for non-fiction. I tried doing it alphabetically, and just confused myself(lol) I lao like for them to sized properly. My DVD’s have to be done alphabetically, and makes them much easier to locate. Thanks a bunch! Hugs…RO
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