Friday, 8 January 2010

how do you organise your bookshelves?

I've just spring cleaned the bookcase. This true, but unappealing message, prompted a late night dusting phase that swiftly grew into a de-clutter, cull and reorganisation of all of my books 24 hour marathon.

Why would someone who loves books throw them away? It's a question I've asked myself in the past. I can't even bring myself to use a library anymore, I have to BUY the book, so it's mine to keep forever. I grew up in a very pro-reading house and I was never denied any book I ever wanted, even though mum did protest at a proliferation of Babysitters Club books when I was 11 or 12. I got up to #41 before the spell broke. Slow learner?

Ever since I moved out of home most of my spare dollars or even most of my not so spare dollars would be spent on books at Ariels or Berkelouw. It was a cool 20 minute walk down from my apartment to these Paddington institutions and many a late night would be spent ambling through the aisles before the doors shut at 12, browsing must read classics, contemporary darlings and staff recommendations. I've never left empty handed.

But how many of these books will I ever read again? How many are just posers, sitting there for street cred but will doubtfully ever be read? In the spirit of the new years resolutions and starting afresh in 2010 I decided it would be a healthy experience to de-clutter my bookshelves, returning long lost books to their rightful owners, offering no longer needed uni texts and gifted books that I would never ever read and 'read-but-will-never-read-again' novels to friends and family. I'll post a list soon of the books up for grabs, then the rest will head to Vinnies.

The real dilemna was not what to keep and what to give away. It was how to put all the pieces of the puzzle back together. How do you organise your bookshelves? Alphabetical? Genre? Colour? Dewey Decimal System?

I read this post in the Guardian, which was amusing but not particularly helpful. I asked twitter and facebook and everyone said to organise by colour. I usually love colour coordinated anything, so I gave it a try but I just wasn't moved by the results.


I did find this gem amongst the dust. Despite the fact I will never want to read this Perry Mason Mystery, The Case of the Restless Redhead is staying on my shelves. Exeption to the rule.

So I settled on a mixture of colour blocks and genres chosen by me. I wanted to make little signs for each section but that idea was strongly contested by Tom. What a pain it is, cohabitation and compromise.

From the top, left to right, we have: 'The Board' - my top 3 authors whom all other books are compared to (J.K Rowlings, J.D Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut), Post Colonialism, Post Modern American Classics, Art/Photography, Fluff and Amusement (I hid the Twilight Saga at the back of that section but have elected to pass Bridget Jones Diary on. Sign of the times. Shake your heads...)
Second Row: Well Red, Brit Pop, Childhood Memories, Australian Authors, Latin Americanos,
Third Row: Notable Women, Murder She Wrote, 20th Century Classics and European Masters, Medieval/Myth/Pagan Housekeeping, Travel and Adventure
Fourth Row: Cookbooks, Languages, Texts and Theory

How do you organise yours?


Noelia said...

I feel the same about books, and it kills me when crafts sites suggest to make a purse "killing" a book only to use the cover :(

Ciavarella said...

I am battling with the exact same dilemma. Am thinking of doing a wood working course to build my own shelves. Crafty!

Kate said...

Mine are currently organised by colour. But when I move I'll be getting all the forgotten books out of my parent's shed, and I'll need to do another purge. It's so hard to let them go! I need to give myself a budget of 'smart' books that won't be read - the poser books, if you will ;)

I am thinking of organising into sections and then colour - my craft and cooking books are already seperate, so then I guess we can have non fiction and fiction, and maybe subsections of smart fiction and fluffy fiction? That might be more useful than how they currently are.

Alfalky said...

Love the red and white shelf. v.nice.

I try to only keep books i will definitely read again...and give away the others on - that way people who really want to read them, get a fun surprise in the mail - and you get to feel a bit warm a fuzzy (and proud of your decluttering attempts).

p.s love your categories! tee hee!

Sara Louise said...

I think it looks great. And it was just the pep I needed to get off my ass and organize something. Thanks :-)

the textured leaf said...

Without wanting to sound like your latest stalker, we must have been twins in a former life ( said as a joke) no, seriously. This is the second post we have mimicked without realising.

check this out

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