Is your love of books overwhelming your home, leaving no space for you and your family? Do you have books in every room of the house? Are your bookshelves overflowing and buckling under the weight of all those books that you cannot possibly part with? Do you accumulate books, collect them, love them and treasure them, but are simply running out of space to store them? Do you daydream about perfectly organizing you books?
Even if your book collecting habits aren’t completely out of control, you can still benefit from learning to organize your shelves.
Here are your options for organizing books:
Buy new bookshelves or weed through your collection and get rid of what you never use. You can give them to a charity like Goodwill , donate them to your local library or sell them on Amazon .
Then, you can focus on organizing your favorites in a manner that will help you find what you need in a hurry and look attractive.
Place a nice chair in view of your bookcase and you will be able to sit back and enjoy the view of your beautiful, clean, perfectly lovely collection of books.
Organizing Books: Tips
Getting Started with Organizing Books
Sort through all of your books and separate them into three piles; to donate, to sell, to keep. Be tough here, unless you plan to just purchase some additional bookshelves to store all the books that you simply cannot part with.
Books to sell, books to donate:
- Check prices on Amazon for old college textbooks. See link below for information on how to sell on Amazon. Certain books may be worth selling. For example, upper level course books in science and math. Psych 101 and other course books that everyone uses will not likely be of any value. Law books change regularly, so they will have to go into the donation pile!
- Hobby books that you are no longer interested in may also bring in a good price, as well as some cookbooks. Specialty cookbooks are the most valuable, microwave cookbooks should be donated!
- Check the prices on special interest books (parenting, sleep disorders, health related non fiction) and fiction by lesser-known authors. As a rule, nonfiction sells better than fiction in the used book market.
- Bestsellers (unless they are still on the current bestseller list) will probably not be worth listing on Amazon, as the market is likely flooded. These are good to donate, especially if you do not plan to read them again.
Now, organize your books into categories such as fiction, nonfiction, children’s, reference or chose your own more specific categories like history, romance and science fiction. Organize all nonfiction books by subject, for example, gardening, parenting, and home improvement.
- Creating categories will make it easy to find what your looking for and easy to return the book to its proper place when you are done with it.
- Separate children’s books by age, reading levels, picture books, and board books.
- If you are still lacking space, you can stack some of the books horizontally. I suggest only doing this with books you don’t use often, as they are more difficult to find and access this way.
Organizing Books: Cataloging
If you have an extensive collection, you may want to consider using a library cataloging software, or consider cataloging them online at LibraryThing.com, where you can enter up to 200 books for free. Any additional books will cost a small fee. Over 23 millions books are cataloged through Library Thing, which aims to make book cataloging a fun social hobby by allowing you to make friends and share your favorites with others who enjoy the same genres or authors.
Need help organizing children's books?
Once you have your shelves organized, make an effort to maintain it. Don't go back to your old habits of stacking a loose book sideways across the shelf until you have time to straighten. It only takes a minute to put it back where it belongs! If you have kids in your home, teach them how to put away their books carefully, so they won't be damaged.
If you are always bringing in new books to add to your collection, sort through the old books every six months to make space for the new. Reorganize when needed!