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S/O of 'Clean Your House' books, Books, Books!

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We have a similar set up, and similar problems. I have all the fiction sequestered in one area (that stuff multiplies otherwise!) and then have them more by activity than genre - philosophy and religion together (DP's sermon materials), all the crafts and games and cookbooks together (keep busy stuff), science, math and computer theory together (reference and lending), theatre and dance together (what do you call that kind of show? who did that? stuff), etc. I also am fond of grouping by size/binding type within those categories - isn't always the easiest for finding if I can't remember what the book looks like, but it makes the shelves look more orderly, and allows me to double stack the trade paperbacks if I start running out of space.

Good luck. When we finally get all the books unpacked and sorted, it'll be time to buy a new house!

Outdoor Girl:
When I suggested sort by genre, I didn't necessarily mean by established genres.  Sort them into whatever groups you like, as long as it makes sense to you and your DH.

Sort by genre for starters. Then look at your collection. Do you have books that are part of a series or many books from one author? Do they fit into another category?

When DH and I got married we first sorted out books by genre, in our case it's 90% Science Fiction/Fantasy and History/Politics. DH owns every Star Wars novel ever written so we gave them their own bookshelf. Then we organized the shelves into series or author depending on the number of books (Wheel of Time gets it's own shelf and prolific authors like Harry Turtledove also get their own shelf). We also then sorted books on themes like alternate history, historical fiction, or anthologies. Political books are sorted by author and history is sorted by time frame (Roman empire, Civil War).

We tweaked our system maybe once or twice a year for book culls and to add new books. DH is a reviewer so keeping the books organized especially if he's reviewing a series makes things easier for him.

For books that fit into one or more category, ask yourself why you bought that book. To use your example, OP, do you use The Brooklyn Cookbook as a cookbook or do you read it for the history? I own a copy of A Feast of Ice and Fire that has recipes from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. It stays on the GRRM shelf because I bought it to ooh and ahh over the food.

We have enough books that we made one room in our very small house into The Library.  Like others have suggested, we've organized the books mostly by genre, with overlap books in the section that basically feels right.  So just do just do whatever makes sense to you.   The main thing is that you should be able to say something on the order of, "You should find that in x section of the y shelf, with the z books."


--- Quote from: MommyPenguin on February 21, 2013, 02:15:10 PM ---I agree with MrTango.  I'd put it by where you'd look for the book.  The Brooklyn Cookbook with cookbooks because that's what you'd probably use it for.  I'd put the Pickpocket's Tale with true crime, because that's probably what I'd be looking for when I read it.  However, if you'd be more likely to look for it when you want to read books about NYC, then you could put it there.

I organize my nonfiction by type, but not according to Dewey Decimal or anything.  I just sort of put all my linguistics books before French, Hebrew, and Chinese, my husband's math books together, engineering together, all Bible study books together, etc.  But I don't attempt to make the linguistics/languages the 400s and the math and engineering in the 500s and 600s, or anything.  Usually once they're sorted, I just eye the shape and size of the books and shelves and decide what makes the most sense (if a lot of the linguistics books are tall, I look for a shelf that has more room in the height, etc.).  I might also put lesser-used books on the highest or lowest shelves, or double-stacked (a row of books in back and a row in front) since they will be accessed more rarely.

--- End quote ---

We do it this way, too. We have somewhere over 2,000 books, sorted by genre/subject and then partly by size. The idea is to put things where they make sense to *you*. For instance, my husband has several shelves of "Fiction I Studied in College." He keeps those books all together because it's a meaningful category for him. I used to keep a history of the Donner Party with the cookbooks. (It amused me, if no one else.)


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