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Plays all go together, and so do poetry, in a general chronological/geographical order.
Comics, graphic novels, and the like are together, even though they run through fiction and non-fiction.
Biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies are all together, alphabetical by subject.
Non-fiction is by subject. I try to get related subjects next to each other, so things seem to run together. Like, I'll have religion in one spot, and at the end will be things about Islam, and then after religion will be things about countries or regions of the world, and I'll start it with Middle Eastern stuff, so Islam kind of runs into Middles Eastern history, thus keeping like things together even though I've categorized then as having different topics.
Then there's a special shelf for particularly valuable or fragile books, so that they are out of harm's way among the general clutter.
section 1: n america
section 2: latin america
section 3: europe
section 4: mid east (including n africa and parts of central and south asia)
section 5: africa
section 6: oceania
section 7: asia
and each section breaks down into:
fiction- which is broken down into classics (pre-1900), modern classics, general fiction, kid lit
so now, for example, when i've just seen a really great movie from Egypt and want to continue thinking about things along those lines, all my books influenced by Arab culture are in the mid east section and i can pick on fairly easily.
this does present some problems i haven't figure out how to deal with yet, such as minority groups. how to file Brick Lane by Monica Ali, which is about Bangladeshi Muslims in England, is still going to take some figuring.
Within the shelves themselves, I keep series together, but other than that it's just based on what will fit where.
Perhaps that's pathetic for a librarian, but it works for me.
no, i agree with you. i think it's decidedly about issues in England. the problem i'm having is that since i'm setting this up this way, it's going to be easier to forget about a book like that when i think "i'd like to read a book about Muslim women" and that leads me to the Mid East section, just because that's what comes to mind.
plus, if for some reason i decided Brick Lane didn't belong in the European section, i'd stick in in the Asian section before the Mid East.
if you're ever in London, you'd love Daunt Books – where the books are organised by area of the world, not genre. It's a fantastic place to do some armchair traveling.
wow! that places sounds wonderful. i'll have to add it to the list. thanks!
since most of my traveling has been of the armchair variety up until now, i keep a travel bible- a couple of big binders- with all the articles and other interesting bits about places i want to visit. i always try to have something on bookstores.
Then I have all sorted by genre, I have travel (then sorted by series/author), then museology (sorted by sub-genre, and catalogues by country/museum), language, medieval history (general, specific issue), medieval texts, other history (chronologically by area), fiction (by author, all languages mingled), biography/non-fiction, classics (pre-1900 mostly), music, nature, children's books, crafts, photography, porcelain... I think that's it. Oh, and heavy and large books are on the ground, and cookbooks in the kitchen.
Although maybe it's a LITTLE strange that I know all my CDs - there are hundreds - by color...
I have thought about organising my books by colour, publisher (lots of similarly formatted books together might look nice too) and size. If I was to organise them by size, it might be easier to keep other things on top of the books, and it might create the false impression of having more space.
I always find it strange when people separate fiction and plays.
I forgot about cookbooks, haha. Mine are in the kitchen, too.
Plays are really only separate from fiction in my library because I have so few of them, and it's basically all Shakespeare. Made sense to keep it with the poetry.
"...he told me how hard it was to avoid putting two authors who had quarreled on the same shelf. For example, it was unthinkable to put a book by Borges next to one by Garcia Lorca, whom the Argentine author once described as a 'professional Andalusian.' And given the dreadful accusations of plagiarism between the two of them, he could not put something by Shakespeare next to a work by Marlowe, even though this meant not respecting the volume numbers of the sets in his collections...Brauer continued to insist books should be grouped together according to criteria other than a vulgar thematic one." (pg. 50-51)
I think I said I would post pictures of the built-in bookshelves of our new house. Let's see if I can make this work:
(Well, you have to click on them, but that's nicer than if they stretched the screen while loading)
Biographies, some theology:
Sadly, my general fiction and mysteries didn't fit anywhere, so they are double-stacked behind the Children's/YA Fiction. I cannot believe I am already out of room...
Fiction together, alphabetical by author's last name.
As I have so few plays / poetry I have them grouped with fiction.
Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs together, alphabetical by author's last name.
I just recently separated YA, alphabetical by author's last name.
Non-Fiction is sorted by subject, kind of. Some subjects alphabetical, some more so by what I liked more than others.
>15 divinenanny: I love that idea! By color would be really nice.
First of all they are in different rooms: bedroom, 'children's room' (without child) and living room.
In the bedroom there is one big bookshelf and two little ones. In the big are mine and my boyfriend's favorites in fiction and non-fiction, stuff needed for university and religious books. In the two little ones there are encyclopedias and dictionaries (in one) and the other is filled with fairytales.
In the cildren's room there are mostly fiction, this are the not so favorites.
In the living room are again encyclopedias and common knowledge stuff.
Furthermore the books are sorted in the big shelves. To cut the description short they are divided by fields, use and favorites, but it would take to long and bore you to describe it all in detail.
The clue is, I think, that I ordered the books first of all through height, when there are several wit same hight they are sorted by colour. Moreover they are sorted by series, so all Harry Potters will stand together in the right order.
Yeah, I feel odd again, my organization of books is very strict.
1st level: Old books (I've read some, but most are delicate copies for display only)
2nd level: American History
3rd level: French History
4th level: Other History
5th level: Everything else (Harry Potter, reference, Doctor Who books)
1st level: More Old Books
2nd level: Manga
3rd level: British History
4th level: More British History
5th level: Classics
Honestly, this system is made for me, because if someone were to come into my room to find a book, there is no alphabetical order to help them, so it'd be kind of annoying. But it's how I roll lol
Books I'm currently reading or will start soon are on a small bookcase
Children's picture books are alphabetical by author and on a small bookcase
Children's fiction (one box for mass market/trade, another for hardcover) - alphabetical by author
YA Fiction (one box for mass market/trade, another for hardcover) - alphabetical by author
Adult fiction (one box for fantasy, one for chick lit, one for veterinary memoirs, one for the rest)- alphabetical by author
And the harder area for me is non-fiction. I grouped my smaller collections by topic, eg weddings, cooking, home maintenance, general science. The larger collections are so large they were no longer cohesive when I used Dewey; I am currently putting them into the LOC system. It's SO much easier for me to find a specific book this way. The dilemma is now finding the LOC numbers on about 40 (out of ~600) that are not held by one of the top dozen universities in that subject area.
First, take everything by one author and place it together. Within every author I put each series (if applicable) together in chronological order by the timeline within the series, as opposed to the order in which they were written or published.
My next step is to put the tallest books, usually hardcovers, at the ends of each shelf so it slopes downward toward the middle, sub-organizing by color and font on the spine. I don't organize them so that the same colors are close to one another, however; I put books next to each other that I believe are aesthetically pleasing together.
The only genres I separate from the main mass are cookbooks (organized by height) and graphic novels (organized alphabetically by title and then in published order).
Despite having over 600 books on 6 sets of shelves in my personal library, I almost never have any trouble finding a specific volume once I have organized them in this way.
Oh, and I put cookbooks in the kitchen.
I'd be ashamed to admit that I'm a librarian if the system didn't work so well for me! ;)
I like the idea of arranging by setting. I might consider that next time around. I'm a bit of a travel junky...and setting can play such a momentous part in good books. Hmmm.
Normally I do a standard alphabetical by author, and then publication date with works by the same author - earlest to latest. I also have different shelves for reference materials...but smush fiction, poetry and drama together.
PS. I never learned the Dewey Decimal system. You might consider that shameful for somebody with two degrees. I prefer to think of it as quirk >_>
All of my books are in my bedroom, though the romance books have their own side of the room because I went kind of crazy with buying them in middle and high school and now have hundreds of romance books. My romance books are also further organized by my sister who partially pulled out all of the books she may want to read in the future.
I do not get the people that organize their books by color, I would never be able to find anything.
1. Fiction, Poetry and Memoirs (Alphabetized for the most part)
2. Non-Fiction (Mostly Art History books and other subjects grouped together haphazardly)
3. Science Fiction, Fantasy (My boyfriend's favorite genre and mostly his books)
I also have a mini library on my night stand. It's getting to be so big I could actually alphabetize it too!
I organize my books firstly by genre, which isn't all that difficult, since about 95% of my library is fiction. My genre sections are "Fiction," "History," "Biographies," "Science," and "Travel," and "Other." In fiction, I organize my books by author. I have plays and poetry mixed in.
Though the idea of separating them into different sections for Fantasy, HF, YA, etc is a good one... I don't think that I could do it. I don't like the idea of splitting authors into different sections. For example, Oscar Wilde wrote fiction and plays, and I don't want to separate them. It would probably make a large library more manageable, though.
Why isn't my message showing up???
Bookcase 1) Non-fiction organized by genre then height
F) Educational (Science, History, Mythology, Psychology, etc)
I) Video Game Guides
Bookcase 2) Fiction
A) Wheel of Time
C) Science Fiction
Bookcase 3) Fiction
A) Stephen King
D) John Grisham
E) General Fiction
F) Fictitious Biographies
Bookcase 4) Misc that either didn't fit with any category or had no room on shelves
Still a work in progress though. Should be temporarily finished once I get my new bookcase in, at least until I run out of room again.
TBR shelf, in order of when I buy/receive the book (its supposed to make me read the ones I've had longest first, but never works that way)
Bookmooch shelf, for books I've listed on there, in no particular order.
Favourites shelf, grouped by author and series and size. (this is actually 2 shelves.)
Childrens, cookery and big books are all on the bottom shelf.
I also have my favourite cookery books on a big shelf in the kitchen.
And my partner is allowed one shelf for all his books on the bookcase lol.
I have all of them clattered around my bookshelves, fitted into the order of the respective shelf. So I have to remember which books I have to read (or use LT ;) ), but I couldn't stand having them stacked or piled up elsewhere and then to refit them...
My to-read fiction books are on another shelf, not in any particular order.
On another shelf, I have my textbooks and my nonfiction books, both read and unread, as well as any books I have listed on paperbackswap or that I'm planning to get rid of.
I'm not really the most well organized.
However, the rest is organized by size and series because of space. When I move (which might be soonish), I will arrange the books by
- comics / manga
- series (books of the same series but different language go together, as well as nonfiction books belonging to the same series as fiction books)
- non-series fiction books
- non-fiction books, organized broadly by topic (history, computer science, linguistics, ...)
On the non fiction shelf I usually organize it by whatever project I'm working on at the time. I'll do classic theory stuff on the top shelf, things from college I never touch on another shelf, history, music and cookbooks, and then one shelf for whatever project I'm working on. Right now it's sports/war and masculinity so all those books are on a shelf together. Then of course, inevitably, I have the shelf for "stuff I bought and need to read...." which never gets any less full. lol
Two years ago I moved from apartment-living and became a first time home owner. I am definitely taking advantage of the space and the fact that I know I will be living here for awhile. My house has two large built in bookcases, 9 or 10 feet tall and around 4 feet wide. I've got classics, textbooks, and nonfiction on one shelf. These include all the meaningful novels (I was an English major) and texts I kept from when I was in college, as well as cookbooks, travel books, and books on film theory from recent years. On the other bookcase is where all my fiction lives. I have one shelf dedicated to all the galleys and ARCs that I've reviewed for Library Journal or Library Thing. Then I have all my horror in one section (parsed out by the type of horror, i.e. supernatural horror, gruesome horror, zombies, etc.) and YA has its own shelf. I usually keep authors together within their respective genre (i.e. all of the Stephen King stuff is together, however it is arranged more chronologically as I've noticed a great change in the type of writing style and content King has produced in more recent years).
Basically my decision on where to shelve a book is based on the feeling I get after I've read the book. If I could sum up the book in one word, whatever that word is usually has a section (I read some Lovecraft and Poe in college however, when I think of Lovecraft and Poe, I don't associate them with my schooling but rather as gothic fiction, so they get shelved with Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill).
Organizing by alphabet sounds un-useful, because if you get a new book that doesn't fit inbetween you have to move all the books so it will fit...
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