Sunday, October 08, 2006

Shelving Books

Ok, so we all have our own particular neuroses, but I'm convinced that one of mine is not that weird. It's the simple fact that I prefer to shelve my books by size. All the hardcovers together, all the trade paperback together, all the mass market together, etc. I can't explain why I do this, other than the fact that it not only "looks pretty", but it gives me a great sense of contentment (this may have been born of years of not having adequate bookcase storage, and being forced to do things by size because it makes stuff stack better).

So, how do other people shelve their books?

18 comments:

kiwi said...

By subject and then alphabetically by surname. It's not pretty, but when you have tens of thousands of books there's really little choice.

Hope you're feeling better, Jenny.

Jodi Meadows said...

It's not weird! (Unless we are both weird...)

I shelve mine by size, and alphabetically once they're nice and level.

I was recently forced to tell a multi-published friend that I would not have a shelf full of her books...but only because her books all come in different sizes.

*sniff*

BuffySquirrel said...

Shelves?

*looks around at piles of books*

That's what those long bits of wood my husband's books stand on are?

Virginia Miss said...

Most of my books are separated by hard cover and paperback, but I do have some mixed shelves. Certain shelves are devoted to specific topics, such as history, Arthuriana, sailing, gardening, and cookbooks, but the rest of it, especially fiction, is rather disorganized.

Years ago I had many more volumes, but after having to get rid of thousands of books moving overseas and back, my collection is small enough that I have a vague idea where to find things even though my stuff is no longer alphabetized.

Laurel Amberdine said...

Well, right now the books are all packed in boxes and in my mother-in-law's closets.

When I can shelve them properly, they're organized by, genre/topic, then publisher, series, and author.

Gina Black said...

Books are better off when shelved by size, so that's how I do mine too (although I'll put trades and HBs side-by-side sometimes).

I, too, suffer from books-piled-on-the-floor syndrome. I'm about to start treatment.

Kimber An said...

Shelves? What's that? I like to keep my books around me at all times, just like my children. And they like to keep their books all around them all the time too. Consequently, we have books all over the place. The only ones we keep in any kind of order is our school books. And even that's a major challenge, since we like to pack them around and take them to bed with us too. When they first opened up Borders bookstore in our town, I asked if I could just bring my sleeping bag and move in. But, they wouldn't let me.

kiwi said...

And who said the book industry was in trouble!

Bernita said...

By loose general topic, regardless of size or cover:
reference ( music, languages, religions, occultology )Classics ( Greek and Roman), politics,psychology, general history ( by country) war ( by event),intelligence, science, exploration, English lit ( chronolog ical), Canadian lit, American lit, French lit ( all loosely alphabetical), poetry, anthologies, biographies ( alphabetical) comedy.Favourite fiction collections ( mysteries, SF, romance, etc.) by author.
Those are the shelves, doesn't include the piles on every flat surface and on the floor.

Andrea said...

I think I might actually have you beat. If I like a particular author, I'll pay attention to the binding of the first book I buy (hardcover vs trade pb vs mass market) and subsequent books from that author I buy I try to stick with the same binding.

So I shelve them by author and by size, and I'll go out of my way to keep the books by author all the same size. That's probably pushing the shelving thing to the extreme.

Aliette said...

Since I only have a few shelves high enough to hold hardbacks in a proper position (ie not horizontally, which makes it damn hard afterwards to take a book without the whole pile collapsing on you), I shelve the hardbacks first, and then possibly all the paperbacks by the same authors as the hardbacks.
After that, it's more or less random, although those books I read less are on the top shelves (which I can barely reach standing on my stepladder).

Jordan Summers said...

I tend to shelve the big ones on both ends of a shelf and work my way in with smaller books, but they have to go from bigger to smaller.

Maprilynne said...

By subject. My husband arranges them and he's pretty anal about it. But within the subject it they are arranged by size. Go Figure.

S. W. Vaughn said...

I think there are shelves somewhere under all of these books!

When I'm able to organize them, I do the same thing. Hardcovers, trade paper, mass market. I think I'm still at the "because it makes stuff stack better" stage, though. :-)

Nice to find your blog!

writtenwyrdd said...

I go first by genre/topic, then by author. But I do have that conflicting need to have same-sized books together. It makes things difficult when I have trade, mass market and hardback books from the same series!

Cath Smith said...

Yup - me too, by size and author going from big at the ends of shelves to smaller in the middle. It takes me ages to rearrange when I get a new book. :D

So, not weird at all.

Keesa said...

Nononono! Not weird at all. I do it that way! Books...look alike, you know? All the really old hardcovers in this area, all the hardcovers with bright dustjackets in this one, paperbacks here...separated by publisher, usually, if I have several where the spine looks alike except for the title and author's name.

Not weird at all!

Don said...

I used to have everything shelved by Library of Congress, but then I moved. Five times. So now it's mostly by groups of roughly the same size book because of the packings and unpackings. I do have the unread books segregated from the already-read books so I can easily find another one to read. I'm down to less than one bookcase of unread books.