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#1029937 - Tue Jan 14 2014 09:00 PM How's your bookshelf ordered?
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14106
Loc: Australia
We had a girl working for us who was helping my son with his school work. For a week myself and the boy were away so I left her a list of jobs to do to fill in the time and one of those jobs was to dust down the main bookshelf.

She did a great job .. there wasn't a speck of dust on it in what is a very dusty house.

But.

There's always a but.

She changed the order of the books. shocked
I had them in a semi kind of order based on hardbacks being together and grouped loosely by author and then the same with the paperbacks.

She changed it all to alphabetical order which meant there were large hardbacks next to little paperbacks which just seemed wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I had to put up with it for a few weeks until the school year finished and she left. The dust barely would have settled when I changed it all back laugh

How do you like your bookshelf?

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#1029943 - Tue Jan 14 2014 09:42 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11177
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
It's extremely random! But I agree that hardbacks look silly mixed in with paperbacks.
I do have classics(mainly paperback) in a clump, and biographies together. The rest is incredibly random!It makes the search for something into a real challenge and worth going for. I would hate it if they were all alphabetically arranged.That wouldn't suit my character at all.
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#1029970 - Wed Jan 15 2014 12:14 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11496
Loc: Western Canada
fiction alphabetical, but hard covers with hard covers and paperbacks with paperbacks. And sets with sets -the leather Mark Twain all by itself, the prewar Kiplings together, etc. Nonfiction by subject, roughly, with some allowance for size. A .lot of my bookcases only fit paperbacks, so nobody could mix in the hardcovers with them anyway...

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#1030081 - Wed Jan 15 2014 11:47 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
Santana2002 Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Mon Apr 14 2003
Posts: 8260
Loc: France
No alphabetical order for me, but I do try to group series together. That gets complicated when the series is made up of paperbacks, large paperbacks and hardbacks. Regular paperbacks are stacked two deep on the shelves. Like most of you, I *do not* mix the two formats. I guess as a rule of thumb I group same-sized books together, then very large ones on the bottom shelves, ranging from tallest at the edges to smallest in the middle-ish, and within those groupings I try to keep sets or authors more or less together.

Reference books on the wings, science fiction, fantasy in the middle, and latest purchases stacked all over the place wherever I can fit them in until I read them.

Basically it's a bit of a jungle, but I know where to put my hands on whatever I'm looking for, so the 'organisation' must suit me.


Edited by Santana2002 (Wed Jan 15 2014 11:49 AM)
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#1030174 - Wed Jan 15 2014 07:02 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
TabbyTom Online   content
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Registered: Wed Oct 17 2001
Posts: 8148
Loc: Hastings Sussex England UK    

Fiction is arranged alphabetically by author, with paperbacks and hardbacks separated. Non-fiction is arranged by categories (e.g. history, music, biography etc), with paperbacks and hardbacks sometimes separated and sometimes not. Like Santana, I like to think I have a "system" (if you can call it that) which works for me, even if it might be baffling to anybody else.

Lately, however, I'm having problems. There's no more room for new bookshelves in this little flat and so new books are pushed in wherever they fit. There's a miscellaneous pile of books taking up more and more space on the bedroom floor. Maybe I should stop acquiring new books and start reading some of those that I've bought and still not read.
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#1030218 - Wed Jan 15 2014 11:46 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14106
Loc: Australia
Would it be swearing to suggest a Kindle, Tom? shocked

It looks like we're agreed that hard and soft covers should never mix. It's like a form of segregation!

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#1030222 - Wed Jan 15 2014 11:58 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
ren33 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11177
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
Jill,I was going to suggest that Tom send all the books he hasn't had time to read over to me as I am running out and have lots of space for another bookcase or two.
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#1030225 - Thu Jan 16 2014 12:03 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14106
Loc: Australia
That could be another solution to his problem!

I am shocking lately .. I barely read at all any more and I don't think I finished one book last year frown (the Internet and craft take up that time now) but I do still love my bookshelf!

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#1030227 - Thu Jan 16 2014 12:16 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
HairyBear Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Fri Sep 01 2006
Posts: 162
Loc: Florida USA
I'm living in an RV now, so 99% of my books are in boxes in storage, but when I had bookshelves, I had the books arranged by size, generally the largest on the left, smallest on the right, but I alternated a shelf or two for aesthetics. Generally speaking, the hardbacks were on the bottom and the paperbacks at the top because the hardbacks were the heaviest and the paperbacks the lightest, BUT I did not discriminate. I have a few large paperbacks and they went into the middle of the hardbacks based on size, and I have a few small hardbacks and they went into the middle of the paperbacks the same way. One other separation I made was the reference books went on the 2nd highest shelf so they'd be handy, and the books I was in the middle of reading went on the middle shelf. Books I never anticipated reading again but were too valuable as part of the collection to give away or sell went on the small bookshelf behind the chair. Running out of bookshelf space is always a danger, but I took to boxing up the books from the small bookshelf and moving books from the large one to the small one to make room for new books. Works if you have room for the boxes. I had more knickknacks than shelf space, too, so most of those went into boxes.

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#1030253 - Thu Jan 16 2014 07:53 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11496
Loc: Western Canada
I have always done a serious bookshelf purge every couple of years, sending a few hundred books to the thrift store, otherwise shelf space would be a nightmare.

I thought things would get a bit easier when my kids grew up - we packed up their childhood books that they wanted to keep and moved the boxes into the garage, and I sent the rest of their books with them. However, in the case of my daughter, she also took two bookcases with her, so that didn't really help with shelf space. And in the case of my son - well, he's living in a tiny furnished space (but not furnished with any bookshelves) so he sent all his books back to me. Great - and somehow he seems to have accumulated another couple shelves worth....

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#1030307 - Thu Jan 16 2014 02:51 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
TabbyTom Online   content
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Registered: Wed Oct 17 2001
Posts: 8148
Loc: Hastings Sussex England UK    
Quote:
Would it be swearing to suggest a Kindle, Tom?

I've got a Kindle, and I've actually read most of the stuff on it. But I use it for downloading the kind of "free content" (mostly dated Victorian humour and light verse) that I like to have but wouldn't want to pay for. Anything that really matters has to be in real book form.
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#1030627 - Sat Jan 18 2014 12:31 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
Gheelnory Offline
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Registered: Wed Aug 07 2013
Posts: 78
Loc: Florida USA
I have a Kindle, too (given that I have ebooks up for sale on Amazon, it seemed sensible, and I had points enough from a credit-card program to get one with no outlay of cash). But I will never give up my paper books willingly. I have thousands; fiction on one wall and various rough categories of non-fiction in their own sections and parts of the house. (Entertainment/literary analysis; science and math; history/sociology; psychology.)

My dream: enough shelf space to be able to consider niceties of arrangement such as size, alphabetizing, and cover type. (!)
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#1031083 - Wed Jan 22 2014 08:29 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Gheelnory]
skunkee Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Oct 16 2003
Posts: 8852
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada  
We are in the midst of a serious book purge. The local thrift shop is thrilled with our donations. We have so many bookcases full of books that we will likely never read again, it seemed only fair to give them to someone else who would read them and make them feel loved again!
Kindles are really great for travel. My husband and I are both big readers and we used to have to take 8 or more books with us. As airlines start limiting weight allowances, this was becoming a problem.
I still read paper versions around the house mostly.


Edited by skunkee (Wed Jan 22 2014 08:29 AM)
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#1031099 - Wed Jan 22 2014 10:15 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: skunkee]
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11496
Loc: Western Canada
Quote:
My husband and I are both big readers and we used to have to take 8 or more books with us.


We usually travel by car, so we'd start out with just one book each, and stop at thrift stores and garage sales along the way to replenish as we went. The theory was that we'd then discard these holiday books along the way, too - never worked out that way, though; there was always a big bag of books that made it home.

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#1031156 - Wed Jan 22 2014 01:10 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
Gheelnory Offline
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Registered: Wed Aug 07 2013
Posts: 78
Loc: Florida USA
I can identify with all that. I do give books away, but somehow always seem to acquire more. ^_^

True enough about the benefits of an e-reader for air travel. The charges for the weight of luggage are going to go in only one direction, so anything that brings the total down is a plus!

Another benefit of the Kindle: I do like having so many free reference books available when working on my computer.(I have not only the device, but also "Kindle for PC" loaded on my computer.)..<---not a sales pitch; I'm sure other brands of devices also offer free reference books.
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I'm still excited about my first book being up on Amazon (about online forums)!

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#1031195 - Wed Jan 22 2014 06:14 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
Christinap Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1562
Loc: Essex UK
My (overcrowded) bookshelves are arranged alphabetically for fiction, hardback separated from paperback, and then reference by subject (roughly) some do sort of cross over though, history and books on stately homes and castles are sort of the same in some ways, antiques and collectibles go next to history as again there is some cross over. I have a complete shelf of gardening books, and at some time or another every single one of them gets looked at during a growing season. Cook books have their own shelf in the kitchen. Although having said that I did notice this morning that a couple of crime fiction have somehow crept into the kitchen as well.

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#1031983 - Tue Jan 28 2014 01:11 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
HairyBear Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Fri Sep 01 2006
Posts: 162
Loc: Florida USA
"We usually travel by car, so we'd start out with just one book each, and stop at thrift stores and garage sales along the way to replenish as we went."

I do that, but it doesn't ever surprise me that the books come home with me.

I just have ONE cookbook, of generous size and scope. I figure if it isn't in there, I can look it up on-line.

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#1032050 - Tue Jan 28 2014 02:27 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
TriviaFan22 Offline
Explorer

Registered: Sat Apr 27 2013
Posts: 87
Loc: Texas USA
I have two book shelves.

The small one has three rows... the top is some various religious type books. The second has some political and the third is a small selection fo fiction books I mostly read as a kid, Narnia, Redwall, and a few books the schools made us read.

My large book shelf, which is about 6+ feet high, the top row is academic and a couple theological volumes and a couple religious books... the second shelf is extensive religion and philosophy, the third is foreign languages and historical volumes, and the fourth contains various encyclopedic books and test prep guides.

Oh, and I have one more that my tv sits on top of, with the unabridged 2-volume dictionary from the early 1900s, additional encyclopedic books and books of essays, quotes, anecdotes, and reference.

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#1032354 - Thu Jan 30 2014 04:07 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
stuthehistoryguy Offline
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Registered: Fri Aug 20 2004
Posts: 1302
Loc: Omaha Nebraska USA      
By topic, broadly speaking, with an emphasis on region for my history books. I have twelve bookcases of varying sizes. Starting from the hall and ending at my office desk, they are sorted as follows:

Eastern Europe
Russia
Asia (including Former Soviet Central Asia and Asian-American)
General World History
The Middle East (including Ancient Egypt)
Africa
Latin America
General European History
Western Europe by Country
US (including Native American and US travel)
Religious Scripture
Religious Studies / Religious History
Philosophy
Science/Technology/Engineering/Math
Paranormal/Skepticism
Misc.
Literary Journals
Music
Film (including a little Television)
Sports
Social Sciences
Folklore (excluding vampires)
Fiction
Poetry
Kids Books
Art
Foreign Language Textbooks and Dictionaries
Massage
Comics/Graphic Novels
Vampires (yes, this has its own six-foot bookcase near my desk)
Cultural Theory
Folkloristics
Historiography
General Reference
Stuff I've Published
Library Books

My history/area studies books (as well as folklore) are ordered by geography first, then chronologically (or by subtopic). My fiction books are ordered by author. To fill out space, I've shelved Russian/Eastern European folklore and literature with the history books of that region, though I'll probably change that when I add my next bookcase. I've used the "Sherlock" method in sorting vampire books: the "best" books - folklore books from university presses (or of comparable quality) are at eye level, with novels and "lesser" nonfiction on lower shelves.

I make no pretentions of sanity for this system. It has evolved organically, and is based as much on aesthetics as anything else.


Edited by stuthehistoryguy (Thu Jan 30 2014 04:21 PM)
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#1032940 - Tue Feb 04 2014 05:41 PM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
Snowman Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 31 2007
Posts: 1575
Loc: London England UK            
Mine are grouped by topic, one shelf for biography, one for politics, two for history, one for crime fiction, two for classic fiction, one for short stories etc.

A couple of shelves are grouped by size through necessity.

There's definitely an aesthetic to the way the shelves are ordered. The size of the book defines its position on the shelf. I can't be doing with a skyline effect on my bookshelves. Given I'm naturally very messy, this is completely out of keeping with the rest of my life.

My DVD shelves are arranged chronologically (the films at least). I think I have mild OCD smile
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#1032961 - Wed Feb 05 2014 02:19 AM Re: How's your bookshelf ordered? [Re: Copago]
JaneMarple Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Fri Jan 30 2004
Posts: 14408
Loc: North West of England
My bookshelves mostly consist of audio cds, so they're in order if they're in series (eg Harry Potter 1 to 7 wink ) and then with my Agatha Christie cds it's in order in which year they were published etc. Got to admit that I am beginning to use my Kindle more, and downloading a few more books on it smile
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