Booking Through Thursday – Storage

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This week’s question is suggested by Kat:

I recently got new bookshelves for my room, and I’m just loving them. Spent the afternoon putting up my books and sharing it on my blog . One of my friends asked a question and I thought it would be a great BTT question. So from Tina & myself, we’d like to know ‘How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?’

 Storage is a problem. I haven’t got enough space for all my books so they are double shelved where possible and also in piles in different rooms. I have fiction arranged a-z by author surname in bookcases in the dining room and I keep the unread books in a separate bookcase in the lounge. This seemed like a good idea when I started it but doesn’t work because there is no room to transfer them to the other bookcases when I’ve read them. So now that bookcase is a mixture of books I’ve read and books to-be-read. I also have one bookcase mainly containing children’s books in a spare bedroom – not arranged in any order – just as I put them on the shelves. These are a mixture of my own books from childhood, including some that were my parents’ childhood books and some from my sister who collected secondhand books.

I arrange non-fiction a-z by subject and within that a-z by author surname. These are mainly in bookcases lining one wall in the hall at the back of the house with some on two small bookcases on the landing. One of these is the bookcase my Dad made me for my bedroom when I was about 8. It doesn’t look anything special – just a three shelf wooden bookcase he painted white, but I could never part with it. It’s looking a bit the worse for wear now. I keep a mixture of books in it –  including literature, Shakespeare plays etc, biographies, and history books.


The books in piles are a mixture. They are in most rooms – I’m not very tidy. Some are books I’ve looked at and read a chapter or a few pages before deciding whether to start them properly, some are books I’m reading and others are books I’ve read and not put away because I either want to re-read them or write about them and some because there’s no room to put them on the bookshelves.

17 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday – Storage

  1. Great topic! My partner Clive and I downsized when we bought a place together, and between us books are the most challenging storage issue.

    I try to purge/recycle regularly and also have a big to-read pile. I keep my most precious books in our bedroom bookcases, so visitors can’t even see them, let alone touch or (eek) take them off a shelf to peruse. Hope that doesn’t sound selfish – I just can’t stand it when people take books off the shelf without asking first!

    Glad you still have the bookcase your father made – very special.



  2. I understand why that little white bookshelf is so precious. He made it just for you. I’d never change it or think of tossing it either.


  3. I’ve got a bookcase my dad made me too. It’s in my daughters room with her books on it. It seemed the most appropriate thing to to with it.


  4. I love the little white bookcase.

    You raise a good question about how if you organize everything, then there’s no room to add new books to your shelves… I hereby claim this as my excuse for not organizing. 🙂


  5. Most of our books are double-shelved, too, from necessity. Not my favorite way of shelving because I’m always losing track of books. I’d really love to have floor-to-ceiling shelves on every wall, so I could spread all the books out and have them at the ready! But I guess that has to wait until I build my dream library one of these days.


  6. I solved my shelves problem by having some custom made at home… and having the rest shipped to where my parents live in a much bigger house. 😀 I love my shelves. My mom designed it for me 😀


  7. I think every avid reader will find that their bookshelves are inadequate. For some odd reason no matter how many bookshelves I buy, I end up with no space. The sad facts of life.


  8. I live in such a tiny space (about 500 square feet). I have a bookshelf in the bedroom that holds about 100 books. I tend to keep my “special” books there (signed hardbacks, antiques, etc.). There is also a built in bookcase with doors (and glass knobs!) in the living room. I double park books in that one, so it currently holds about 200. The fiction books are separated by size and then arranged alphabetically by author. I’d rather not separate by size (pretty much hardbound vs. paperbound), but this does use the space more efficiently. The rest of the collection (massive and mostly fiction) is stored in my garage in see through plastic bins that are numbered. Those books are entered into my LibraryThing account with a notation as to which numbered box they are currently located. If I remove a book from a plastic bin for some reason, it does not have to go back to the same box I took it from as long as I change the notation in LibraryThing. I adapted this method from one used by a California State University library that has many books in storage. Of course theirs uses a huge warehouse and a robotic retrieval system! My storage system seems to be working. It allows me to keep more books than will fit in my tiny space, yet they are very accessible.


  9. You are so blessed to have a book case your father made for you. I think all of us who love books have houses who look alike. We have books in every nook and cranny. Happy BTT!


  10. I wish I had more space for books, as it is we only have a wall with enough room for 1 book shelf and that shelf is a mess, I have no order anymore for my books or hubby’s,lol.


  11. Wow! You are so organized. I have limited space and must constantly rotate away from my main bookcase into boxes in storage then donate to library. It is so hard to give up books, but it keeps me honest!

    Thanks for such a wonderful blog!


  12. I’ve always wanted a wall of books … and a few years ago my husband built me one in our study (one of my best presents ever), which enabled me to get my books off the floor and onto shelves. I tend to arrange mine by genre (fiction) or topic (non-fiction). And then of course, there are the miscellaneous, genre/topic-defying shelves!

    But beyond that, there’s no real system.


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