To Have And To Hold

Okay, so I freely admit to being a little compulsive when it comes to certain things: I won’t start reading a book unless I have a bookmark in hand. And it can’t be just any bookmark; the bookmark has to suit the book, using my own idiosyncratic categorization system (IOW, mystery bookmarks do not get put with mysteries; it’s far more complicated than that).

So I know it’s a little nutty to be so obsessive about the way the books are organized, but I am, and they are. I spent some time a few weeks ago getting *my* books in order. My father-in-law, a former contractor, built me a bookshelf specially for my paperbacks, and he accommodated my heinous habit of double-stacking. I had thrown the books in there when I first got the shelf, and only now have gotten to organize it the way I wanted to.

But now? Now is BLISS!

I’m posting pictures, which is really about as exciting as seeing stills of someone singing, but IT’S WHAT I’M BLOGGING ABOUT, PEOPLE! Which might say something about how exciting this topic is also, but I digress.

So I organized these pbs not alphabetically, but in a more Frampton-specific fashion: Friends (Myretta Robens, Carolyn Jewel, Tracy MacNish, Meljean Brook, Colleen Gleason) are at eye-level with Loretta Chase (an annual dinner friend) and Eloisa James (a ‘gave me a blurb, says hi at conferences’ friend). The Riskies‘ books are, of course, mixed in there also but that darn Jane Lockwood had to come out in trade pb, which screwed me up a little. I know there are more friends up there, but that is off the top of my head. As everything is.

Anne Stuart‘s books are both back and front because I think I must have about sixty of them, and I am KEEPING them ALL!

Books I want to read are in front, keepers are in the back. Collections are always together–Lee Child, Bernard Cornwell, Mary Balogh–regardless of whether I’ve read them all or just some.

And the reward? Every time I look at my bookcase, it feels like a little piece of zen is unleashed in my heart. I cannot overstate just how delightful and amazing it is to have space for the books, and that they are put away just the way I like them (the last pic is of non-romance, since I have a sizeable noir bleeding into gritty mystery collection, too).

Do you organize your books? How do you do it? Do you think about it a lot, or just have “R” and “TBR” piles?

Megan

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

19 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Janet Mullany
14 years ago

Lovely shelves, Megan, but I’m wondering if this is only the sort of system you can establish if you’re moving, so you can start from scratch.
I alphabetized my books a while ago, ran out of space, and have my keepers on bookshelves with recent acquisitions on the bedroom floor. There’s also a motherlode (plus a motherlode of dust bunnies) under the bed. One of these days I’m going to tidy up and discover forgotten treasures under there.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Do you organize your books? How do you do it? Do you think about it a lot, or just have “R” and “TBR” piles?

Organize books????????? hahahahahahah

I should show photos of MY bookshelves.
I do have a wistful longing to organize and cataloge my research books so I don’t keep buying duplicates (which I always donate to the Beau Monde Silent Auction)

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

I did a lovely job of organizing my books when I moved into this house! Keepers by author, TBR on the TBR shelf, research books by category (Regency, 18th century France, Elizabeth I, etc). But then I bought new books and there wasn’t room for everything, so now everything is stuffed in wherever there is a spare inch. (Except for TBR novels–they still have their own section).

Maybe I need to move again…

Santa
14 years ago

So I guess double stacked books topped by more books on their sides doesn’t count as organzed. I used to have a all the shelves of a six foot bookshelf but my DH re-discovered his love of photography and that, as they say, was the end of that.

I do keep books in a series out on the shelves until the series is finished. I keep several favorite books in case I need a quick re-read. To date, Loretta Chase’s ‘Lord of Scoundrels’ has never seen the inside of a rubbermaid storage box. LOL, even in those tubs has my favorites well within reach.

Jane
14 years ago

I wish I had a lovely and sturdy bookcase like you. I think I need to go to IKEA and pick up some shelves. I keep a lot of my books in cardboard boxes, which makes it difficult when I’m trying to locate a particular book. My most recent and new reads are strewn all over my desk.

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

Two segments of my collection are well-organized–the TBR section and my research collection. TBR is alphabetical by author, so that when I finally have time to read a book, I know where to find it! Library books go on the same shelf–a habit I finally picked up after one frantic due-date search through my cluttered home too many!

The research collection is alphabetical by author by subject, and I love to gloat over it as it steadily eats more and more bookshelf real estate.

Everything else? Well, it started out alphabetical by author within genres when we moved into this place, but the system is gradually devolving into chaos. Our bookshelves are scattered across three rooms, and when I find a book lying around, I don’t think, “Oh, here’s Gaudy Night, better take it downstairs to the mystery section,” I just find room for it on the nearest shelf.

doglady
14 years ago

My OCD is legendary among my friends and family. I am in the process of moving all of my historical romances into my writing studio – alphabetized by author’s name on matching bookshelves. I have a separate shelf for research books – separated by category and alphabetized by author’s name. My paranormal books and contemporary romances are on their own set of shelves in my bedroom – ditto to the alphabetizing. The music books, actual sheet music and scores, CDs, LPs, tapes you name it are in the back bedroom called the music room. Filed or on shelves – ditto to order. I have one set of shelves for my foreign language books, one set for my pet care and training books (and great animal stories too)one set for my Native American studies books, one set for my bird and ornithology books, one set for my zoology/biology books. My autographed copies of books have their own bookcase in front of my desk – the place of honor!

So yes, I DO organize my books. I have to. My mind is too fried from working at Wal-Mart to remember where I put stuff if it isn’t organized!

Ladyhawk
14 years ago

I confess, I’m envious of your lovely bookshelves. You mean double stacking isn’t the norm? How ever does one fit all one’s books if they aren’t double stacked?

Absolute most favorite authors works, with their related stories grouped, are kept within easy reach so they can be re-read. This makes it a little tricky as I only keep stories I would like to read again, but there are some I actually manage to follow through and those must be within easy reach. All other books are grouped by series first and authors second. Unread books sit by my bed (several stacks of them). If I like a writer but not enough to re-read, I share the books with a friend who also loves romance novels.

After I purchased duplicates of several books I hadn’t particularly liked (clearly they were forgettable), I started keeping a list of my purchases. Now, if I see a book that interests me, I check my book doc first. I also have an author list. My 1 authors are those I pre-order if possible. My 2 authors are those I keep and hope I get to read again. My 3 authors are those I enjoy but happily pass their books along, unless they’re part of a series.

doglady
14 years ago

Anyone else use Library Thing? I love it because I can access it at my local bookstore to make sure I don’t double book (so to speak.) I have even accessed it at Books a Million. Check it out at librarything.com

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

I love LibraryThing, doglady! So far I haven’t taken it to the bookstore with me, but my next major purchase is going to be an iPhone, and then I’ll have that capability.

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Double-stacking!! Why didn’t I think of that?

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Pam, I LOVE LibraryThing, too. Best cataloguer.

Lois
14 years ago

I sure love those pics! 🙂 Well, for a while now most of the books have been in boxes. . . (see, the plan, one of these darn days is to put the house up for sale once it’s nice and pretty, and if it ever sells, we’ll be going, somewhere. Yeah, I know, narrows it down, huh? LOL)

So, (even though I’m always in the boxes anyway) the idea is what I don’t use are there, and what I look at a lot are still on the shelves. So, roughly speaking, the ones I simply loved beyond anything are still out, everything else are in the boxes. And signed books are out on the shelves. But like I said, I’m always looking in the boxes for books anyway, so in effect, they’re just more shelves. LOL 🙂

Lois

Tessa McDermid
14 years ago

I love your pics and organization. I also love bookshelves. We found two open-sided ones when we were first married and those have stayed with us through many a move. I have those extending out in my study with favorite books and some not-as-urgent reference books. I can organize books on both sides and I can include favorites on the ends that are closest to my desk chair. I have them organized by category (fiction, children’s, nonfiction, references) and know exactly where a book should be in that lineup. If I reach for it, it better be there or Mama’s not happy.

I also have a reference bookcase on the wall next to my desk. The books are organized by type of reference (romance, history, motivation) and I can find whatever I need with a little wrist action. When I taught my writing class this spring, I filled a big rolling suitcase with part of my reference collection. Students were impressed; I had to remind them I’d been collecting for a while.

My mom always kept a library basket by the front door and we would drop our books in there when we came home from the library. You could take the one book you were reading to your room. That way, we knew where the books were when we had to return them. I’ve kept up the habit and like seeing books in the basket when I walk in the door.

Elena Greene
14 years ago

I’m only semi-organized. My hardcover Georgette Heyers are all in one spot, for instance. But otherwise, I have one set of shelves for research books but everything else is all over the place. Actually, at present a lot of my research books are taking over the desk in my writing room, feeding the research monster that is my mess-in-progress.

Some day I will reorganize. I also want more shelves, though perhaps my husband is right and bookshelves in the bathroom is not the best idea…

jennybrat
14 years ago

Megan, are those individual shelves stacked on top of one another in the first photo? I was wondering how stable that would be. How nice to have a carpenter FIL

doglady
14 years ago

Hardback Georgette Heyers! Elena, I am GREEN GREEN with envy. All of mine are paperbacks and I have had them since I was about ten so you can imagine what shape they are in! I know, Keira! Isn’t Libarary Thing amazing!

Tracy MacNish
14 years ago

Hi, Megan! Thank you – I loved seeing my books on your shelf. How cool!!!

My books are arranged according to genre, general topic, and how they look on the shelves. But in truth, it all needs to be redone and made sense of, because too much has been added over the years, placed where they looked good. I guess I don’t have OCD!

Alyssa
14 years ago

I only wish my TBR were that organized. *Weep* The problem is the my book room is super messy at the moment, so it’s a trial even to get to the bookcases. I need to do something about that. I actually have a little room on the TBR shelves, and books that need to go on them. That will be a weekend project sometime, I suppose.

I know what you mean about bookmarks! I found a metal bookmark with skulls on it that I decided were perfect to use with the Harry Dresden series. I’m not always superpicky about bookmarks, but sometimes I am.