For a bibliophile – just a fancy word for someone that loves and collects books – a bookshelf can be an unmitigated disaster. Perhaps the most difficult part is finding one large enough to accommodate all of ones books!
But how to properly organise is also a hotly-debated topic. So, I thought that I would put my two cents in and tell you all how I do it. Or, I suppose, how it is right now because I regularly change it!
I have three main ways that I organise my bookshelf depending on how I am feeling when I do it. I have the artistic way, the easy way and the traditional way. But one thing that is never affected is my top shelf which is home to my classics.
The top shelf remains the home of the classics regardless of anything else. Novels on one side, poetry and plays on the other. Novels are organised by time, beginning with Homer’s The Odyssey and ending with Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye. I decided to organise them like this because I like the way it looks and I like the simplicity of it. The poetry, on the other hand is organised in a blend of time and size because books of poetry vary drastically in size and that has to be taken into account.
But! The three ways I organise the bulk of my bookcase are as follows:
- the artistic way
- this means that the books are arranged in colour order, spreading from white through to yellow, through to orange, to red, to pink, to blue, through to grey and finishing with black
- I like the way this looks on the bookshelf so I regularly organise it like this however, there are a few downsides
- it makes it remarkably difficult to find anything unless I can remember what colour it is (and that doesn’t happen often!)
- so, my bookshelf is organised like this regularly but never for very long at a time
- the easy way
- the easy way is organising it by how often I read a book, ones that get read more go at the top and ones that I don’t read very often go at the bottom
- not particularly inspired or even very nice-looking
- often comes after the artistic way because it’s the least effort and the quickest to sort
- extremely dull though so I get bored of it very quickly and then it’s onto way three…
- the traditional way
- this is where I try to make my bookshelf look as much like a shelf in a library as possible
- it is organised by genre with each genre being divided into sub-sections and each sub-section is organised by the author’s last name
- if I decide to go all out, there are dividers to show each section and the genre of each, with the sub-sections written on each one
- unfortunately, whilst this is organised and perfect… it doesn’t make it very easy to add in new books and thus, back to the artistic way we go
My favourite is probably the artistic way because it looks gorgeous without being too much extra effort!
Let me know how you organise your books in the comments? By colour? By author’s name? Do you organise your books at all or do you just put them anywhere? I want to know!