If you came over my house to take a bookshelf tour, your first thought would probably be, “Wow, there’s a lot of books here.” Then it would probably be, “Wow, everything is pretty dusty…”
After you greeted our cats, I’d take you around to look at my nine shelves and you might begin to look for some semblance of order among our collection of roughly 1,800 tomes. You’d likely find none, and you’d be mostly correct.
Even after years of having our libraries merged, Sweetbeeps still can’t find books he’s looking for. But I, Queen Hoarder Supreme, do actually have some idea of where most books are despite some rather large reorganization sessions. I don’t always find it right away, but I generally know what shelf of what shelf a specific book is on, even if I haven’t read it (which is good because I haven’t read like, 700 of them. Oops.)
We do have one shelf downstairs that is solely for vintage books and I even did my best to organize it by color (because as much as I like to see those beautiful rainbow bookshelves, there’s no way in hell I’m separating authors and series for the sake of aesthetic!), but really that does us little good because we don’t actually READ these books. They’re just for show…and smell.
There are a few shelves that are themed, if you will. Some contain only historical fiction or middle-grade, but these aren’t all of our historical fiction or middle-grade – they’re still spread about the house. I also tried to keep all my comics/graphic novels together, but they don’t all fit on one shelf so even though they’re in the same room, they’re not all together. Anything I have multiple editions of (Jane Austen, Alice, The Hobbit) are all kept together and I always keep authors and series together. I even half of a shelf on a shelf that’s dedicated to short story collections.
But really, there are books of every genre everywhere and I have no hope of grouping them all together, nor any real desire to do so. What I’d really love is to alphabetize my collection – I think I’ve mentioned this before and it would require, like, a literal library because I would always need room for more books.
Instead what I have are books on top of books, in front of books, stacked horizontally and vertically and balanced precariously, crammed in with a bunch of decorations like pop figures, photos, boxes and artwork.
I’m not a library, and I will tell you that if you ever come over and ask to borrow a book, but I think I do a decent job of understanding the chaos that is my collection and I do think of myself as pretty good home librarian.
Tell me about your collection! How do you organize it? Do you like to group by genre, author, color, paperback/hardcover?