Last week we discussed the bones of the structure that will be your Home Library. By this part of the process you should have the layout and the building of your shelves completed. As you sit there staring at your hard work, you realize the shelves seem to be missing something. The Books! Yes my dears, we need to add those lovely books to those shelves now!
But first we need to get some basic stuff done first. We have to decide what books go on those shelves and how we will organize them. Are you strictly a young adult book reader? Are you into the romance books? Or are you like me and have an eclectic taste and read from many genre’s of books? Since I read from many different genre’s, we are going to use that as our example. Make sure you have an open area of floor space to work in because if you are like me, you have a ton of books to sort through!
When you have all of your books piled high around you we will start the sorting process. First we are going to sort the books by genre. Start piles for the different genres that you have. For example — romance, young adult, erotica, urban fantasy, non-fiction, etc. Don’t forget to make separate piles for your signed books, review books, and ARC copies if you have kept any! Then lets get up and stretch our legs for a bit.
Now that you are staring down at your beautiful stacks of books you are probably thinking what the heck have I gotten myself into? Don’t worry lovelies! You are on your way to bliss. Trust me.
Now comes the more difficult decision of the process. No I am not talking about purging and getting rid of any of those beauties — even though you will have to do that at some point. I am talking about how you are going to actually arrange them on those shelves now that they are sorted by genre. I use to arrange mine by author but this was a hard way to keep up with. I found myself constantly adding new authors, adding more books by the same author and eventually I had to keep moving my books around when a shelf filled up with too many from one author. However the plus side of doing it by author is the ease in finding a book when you know who the author is. You just look for the author and then find the book. You could even take this a step further and copy the libraries and do each author alphabetically. Another way to do it is by series. If you have a lot of books that are series, you can go by the series and then at the end add your single novels.
The way or organization that has worked for me and is the way that my library is done is like this including a few extra steps:
1. Sorted by books read and not read. ( with the ARCs and signed copies in a different pile)
2. Sorted by genre.
3. Sorted by author.
4. Sorted by series.
5. Single novels sorted alphabetically.
So far this has been a pretty easy system for me. Let me take you a step further and explain a visual.
I have one bookcase dedicated to just signed books and ARCs that I have kept. Then I have a few bookshelves dedicated to just books I have read and will reread again and again. Finally, the rest of the bookshelves are dedicated to books I have not read. Again, each section of books is sorted by the list above.
Whew! Are you needing a break yet? Go on. Go get your caffeine fix, smoke break or potty break out of the way. I’ll wait.
Now that they all are sorted, we need to start putting them on the shelves. If you have a mix of hardbacks and paperbacks you might run into a problem of height. Personally, this does not bother me but if it is a bother to you then you will have to adjust your system to adapt to this quirk. Some people also choose to sort by color — which I forgot to mention above — but again you will have to adapt that to your system as well.
Now that they are all up on the shelves, step back and admire your hard days work. If you are like me, you will probably either need more shelves or have to purge some of your books depending on your obsession with books. My obsession is pretty bad so I just convince my husband that I need one more bookshelf each month! 😉
Now we need to sit and admire the look of our library. Don’t get to comfortable though! Next week we are going to work on creating a hard copy of your library. The lists will begin and the monotonous work of creating a list to keep track of what books you own and what books will eventually make it into your home library!