Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How do you arrange your books?


Just saw this post at The Guardian about James Purnell, the British work and pensions minister who has just resigned. Apparently, Purnell is now whiling away his time by arranging his books (gasp!) alphabetically (yawn...).

Alphabetization does have its merits. You can easily find a particular book if your collection is arranged from A to Z. But this system is so boring. It's just unimaginative. It makes me think about those spinster-ish librarians. Even children have been known to arrange books according to color, which can be aesthetic.

I employ a much simpler approach. I just separate the books I've read from the ones I'm going to read. It just gets complicated when I encounter books of differing sizes. (I hate seeing books with different sizes clumped together in a shelf.)

A few months ago, I was cleaning some of the cabinets at my house when I discovered some of the paperbacks I devoured when I was in high school. Apparently, there's tons of them. And since I ran out of bookshelves, they're still stacked up on on side of the hallway.



How about you, dear reader? How do you organize your bookshelves? With the pictures of other people's bookshelves that I have with me, I can't seem to note a system.

13 comments:

the geek said...

hay naku...inaanay na ang mga libro ko...pati yung ibang first editions na mga books, nadamay.

Peter S. said...

Hello, the geek! Ayayayay! What did you do about it?

stacybuckeye said...

As an ex-bookstore manager and librarian my books are now separated into the read/not read book cases...alphabetically! Didn't used to be, but more and more people were coming over to borrow books and it was just easier. Maybe when I get bored one day I can start a new system. Maybe by how much I liked them :)

Jam said...

My dad took a couple of my books away and hid them. I'm scared that maybe, "inaanay rin sila". Anyway, I just divide them from my favorites, to my not favorites. Then my faves I divide by genre. I then put the books I haven't read yet on another shelf.

Patrick said...

I don't think I arrange mine in any particular way. I have a very small shelf for my "current" books so I have to maximize the space since they are all of different sizes.

Now for my old books which are in a separate large bookshelf well that's a different story. I don't even touch the books there anymore. But I do plan on arranging them someday by genre most likely with favorites placed in the most accessible spot. Arranging books by color is just plain stupid in my opinion. <_<

Peter S. said...

@Stacybuckeye: Wow! I think being a libriarian is one of the coolest jobs ever!

@Jam: I think that system works best, especially for those with huge reading backlogs.

@Patrick: Send me naman pictures of your bookshelf.

line of flight said...

i have thematic sections (philosophy, social science, womens & LGBT studies, philippine studies, religion/spitiruality, language dictionaries, fiction) and each section organized alpha by author (and alpha by title when multiple volumes by one author) except language dictionaries which are organized alpha by language name. However, I never thought to organize them by color. That would be totally beautiful and totally chaotic.

Peter S. said...

Hello line of flight! Chaotic and beautiful! Something to aspire for.

Patrick said...

oh gawd.. I'd fear you were gonna ask that. I'd love to but they're tearing our house down now so everything is in chaos. No, seriously our home is undergoing a construction. Hehe!

I took some pictures a few months ago so I'll probably send those instead.

@stacybuckeye: I've always dreamed of working in a bookstore or library. The problem is I'll probably not be doing my job anymore with all those books craving for my attention. :P

Cristina Cuaresma said...

Arranging books by color. Fabulous! I wonder how doing that will influence my book buying behavior though. Hmmm, gotta get me a blue book today to balance all the orange Penguin spines. Hehe.

Onotheo said...

I'm a minimalist. I don't have bookshelves, beds and chairs in my room. They are tucked under my improvised table which also functions as a closet, medicine cabinet, art cabinet, etc.

Helen said...

As much as I would like to arrange my books in alphabetical order, it's hard to arrange books in alphabetical order for I run out of spaces in my bookshelves. I'm anal when it comes to arranging my things. Maybe this is why being a medical technologist suits me. Haha. Oh well. I do categorize my nonfiction, fiction and reference books though...or at least I try to.

Gem said...

I just arrange them in 2 sections: the non-fiction side and the fiction side. :)