“A house without books is like a room without windows.” Henry Ward Beecher
I have had a lifelong love of books which has been picked up by both kids, there is nothing like snuggling up under a blanket with a good book on a cold winter night or in the summer shade. A book opens your mind to another world, to new information, to yourself…
I could not find a book I needed for my school so organizing books was definitely the next best task on my list. When we moved back in after the remodel, we were so exhausted, worn out both physically and emotionally, that I unpacked the house as quickly as I could, trying to set things up as best as I could but speed was the main concern to resume a normal life as quickly as possible. We love the new “library” wall but without an organizational system, putting your hands a book is like searching for the needle in the haystack. How do you organize your books? It all depends on how many you have, the space available to dedicate to books, and how you use them.
- You can sort books by subject, author, theme, genre.
- If short in space, add a small shelf, tall narrow bookcase in a corner, and dedicate each shelf or corner to a specific subject or theme
- Think of how and where you use or read them. One would naturally out cookbooks in the kitchen, or the closest to it as possible. What if you only read novels before bed? Putting those in or near the bedroom is best. Remember though that if you have allergies to dust and dust mites, books should not be kept in your bedroom. When we stripped DS’s bedroom, we moved his books to the hall, a bit cramped but he had his books nearby.
- How to keep track of the books you own? If you like to have a central database, try Readerware. It is user friendly software for $40, pulls data from major online stores along with cover photos. They also have similar software for music and movies. Take the database with you as well for quick reference.
Last week I scanned all the books as I sorted them. This was a good chance to purge, a very difficult task for this book lover but shelves are filling up and I knew there were some books I would not longer use or need. One good way to do it is to ask yourself why you purchased the book in the first place. Is it still valid today? How and when would you use it? Does this book reflect who you are, what you love? Some books we buy are fads of a time gone by; many teach us or help us change. Some represent who we aspired to be to please others not who we were. Let go of what no longer serves you or brings you joy, especially those you do not identify with. It turned out to be an easy task; a few will go to friends whom I know will love them and a few others to the library. As I put the books back, one subject at a time, I realized they tell my story, they are my vision board. I believe that is what our libraries no matter their size, our homes even, should be like: a source of inspiration, pleasure, and education… a reflection of us.
So sort your books, pick a good one and curl up with a nice cup of tea. Enjoy!