Sunday, 13 November 2011

How to Organize Your Book Shelf

This is my first ever blog, and the whole question of "How to Organize Your Bookshelf" basically to get the best capacity is the whole reason I started this blog.

I even Googled this question and got some pretty interesting ideas. But let's start from the beginning.

First thing you must know about me:

1. I have a lot of stuff
    a. That includes a lot of movies
    b. That also includes A LOT of books. This is just a sample

2. I have an average size room

This all basically started when this past spring I realized I needed a new books shelf. I had an average sized (for us book lovers, maybe a little larger for everyone else) bookshelf, and it was crammed full. There was also piles of books forming on top of the shelf reaching as tall as I am maybe even taller (which is 5'11"). My mother constantly commented on the fact that I needed to get rid of some books.

Now any avid book reader would know that this is either:
A. Impossible or,
B. Very VERY hard to do.

Usually I am open to donating books to my local library but these are basically books that didn't quite make it past either a rating of *-Not So much or **-Not Horrible but not good. And even then I have to basically talk myself into it.

Or I just get my friend Ash to come over. She puts a very firm hand down when it comes to cleaning out my stuff.

Anyhow, point being is that after I willingly gave up maybe 10 out of my hundreds of books I realized that I needed to come to another decision. I needed a new bookshelf.

And this was actually the easiest thing I've ever done. I had one day strolled into The Brick with my mother and there it was....singing to me a like a chorus of angels. Not only was it much larger but it had a very interesting design and the price hinted that it was good quality without blowing my student budget out of my pocket. And so my new love with my new bookshelf began.

Now this was just this past spring and when I put that baby together and put all my books on the shelves (top shelf reserved for favourites of course, and bottom shelves reserved for the to-read section) it was a match made in heaven. They all fit on it! AND there was still space.

So now over six months have passed and yesterday it smacked me in the face like a shovel when I tried to put a new book on the shelf. Again there was no room. So I stepped back and looked at it and realized there was room for improvement as I had organized them nicely when I first put them all on there.

Nicely meaning Authors grouped together, series all grouped together and all book were vertical on my shelf.

So I went over them and tried to find some that I could donate (found a total whopping number of 1), and then just in general find another way of organizing them. I pulled them all off their shelves and tried many many ways until I realized the answer.

When you are an avid book lover you can't organize your bookshelf. There is just no possible way. Instead you play a game of Tetris and try and fit books in every nook and cranny without ruining them.

So as much as you would love to have your shelf looks like these (which are some of my dream shelves by the way)

It never will. Unless you've had the privilege of building your own dream home some day (which I will), but until then you're looking at more along the lines of:

Now if you're a really good Tetris player you might be able to keep the series together and maybe even the author's together. But having to break them up its like ending a relationship and almost breaks your heart...but you know its for the best and maybe one day when you can afford to get another bookshelf they can reunite.

This is the lower half of my beautiful shelf...again I've found there is some room

Here is a really dumb thing about myself. I have a couple of CDs as you can see and NO CD player. Yet I still can't seem to be able to give them away. 
You might also be able to see that in between my CDs and my books (which were different heights) I managed to put a very small yellow Nancy Drew book my mother bought me a long time ago. *Fist Pump for  Tetris love.

Now if you' re really lucky like myself to come across a shelf with an interesting design and you're one of those book lovers that hate to have a row of books in front of another row you use space and design to your advantage and actually get to use the exposed sides of your shelves to show off more of your collection

I got to keep some of my Jane Austen Books together!

So the point to this entire first blog and the reason/idea for blog is this:

How Do I organize my bookshelf?
-Any real reader would know don't. Try as hard as you might your need for books (and keeping them) will out weigh your need to keep them organized. 

To finish this first blog off here are some pictures of shelves that I can only dream about owning on top of the beautiful ones above, and hopefully I will someday.

By far the coolest staircase in the world!


  1. Great post! I have one bookcase and it's already crammed full of books. I might need another one soon. But I hear you about getting it all in order until you have your own home. I hope to have my own library as well :P

  2. Great post and so true. Along with being a bibliophile(own 1000+ books), I am also a magazine junkie and film buff.

    I've seen some of the dream bookshelves you've posted photos of on other sites. One day I hope to have enough space to store/display my collections.

  3. OMG I love drawer under the bed. That's brilliant! My book shelfs are organized by height and width of the books. I recently pulled off my university text books and recycled those. It's created more space than I thought, and I grinned like an idiot at the sight of space on my shelves. But I've also had to go through clean outs and reorganizations over the years and it's never easy. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Looved this post! So great that this was your first post. It's true, you can't really organise your books. They just sort of sort themselves out according to space. I hope to get one of those amazing bookshelves when I grow up :D

  5. Wow, envy your collection of books and adore those bookshelves. Giggled through your post, amazing!



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