Thursday, February 19, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Book Storage

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?”

I have a bookshelf in the bedroom that holds about 100 books. I tend to keep my “special” books there (signed hardbacks, antiques, etc.). A lovely built-in bookcase with doors (and glass knobs!) is 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 and allows me to use vertical space.

I live in such a tiny space (about 500 square feet), and so have had to develop a storage system that doesn't restrict access to my books. The books that don't fit in the house (many and mostly fiction) are stored in my garage in see through plastic bins that are numbered. Those books are each entered into my LibraryThing account with a notation referring to the numbered bin where the book is currently located. If I remove a book from a bin for some reason, it does not have to go back to the same one 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 their system 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.


  1. Love your system! You are so organized.

  2. I prefer not separating by size, too, but then I guess I've more leeway to do this in my place. You're doing a wonderful job organizing your space though. :)

  3. nymeth and claire: Thanks for the appreciation! It takes a bit of extra work to keep the books organized, but the payoff is that I know where the books are and can retrieve them when needed.

  4. Double park! I haven't heard that term in reference too bookshelves before but I do that with mine as well (mostly just the bookshelf I have for the "read" books--the others are more spread out).

  5. Wow! Your computerized system is impressive! If only you had to robots to retrieve them from the bins.

    I separate mine into TBR and finished. Other than some special finished and matching sets go in the living room. All others are sorted primarily by . . . yes . . . color.

  6. Trish: "Double parked" just seemed like the right descriptor!

    Rose City Reader: My "robot" is my husband who often finds little notes asking him to pull such-and-such book from box # whichever. He's such a good sport about it!

  7. You're so organized! I know what you mean about having to separate by size to fill up the space most effectively. Pretty much all my shelves are 'double-parked', and I have two stacks of books that I really need to figure out where put them. No garage unfortunately.