This month, those of us participating in the #ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge are discussing how we organize our books.
I have too many books to keep in the apartment I share with the Boyfriend. Because both of us have large personal libraries, but only so many walls to place bookshelves against, most of my books are in boxes in storage. Only two of my book boxes are in the apartment instead of my storage unit. They hold my Harry Potter books as well as all my books from Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” and the “Lives of the Mayfair Witches.” Since I’m re-reading all those, I decided to keep them at home rather than having to go to my storage unit every time I finish one of the books. There are several other books in the boxes as well, but I simply don’t have space on my shelves.
With a few exceptions, all the books on my shelves are books I’ve never read. Also, I have them organized by height and from hardcover to mass market paperback. The disadvantage to organizing them that way is that, whenever I get a new book, I have to rearrange the shelves. You might think I would also have the problem of finding specific titles, but there is a large part of my brain dedicated to the books I have and where they are at any given time.
Even though we have four floor-to-ceiling bookcases, I only have the use of one of them. That might seem unfair, but they’re his bookcases, and he made room for me when I moved in with him. However, my books were creeping into other parts of the apartment, such as the table and floor next to my desk, which was in the living room until a couple of weeks ago. Now that Summer is over, and Texas finally got the memo, I’ve moved my “office” into the dining room (the air conditioning never quite makes it there). We aren’t planning on renewing our lease, so I decided to take over the room until we move into a place with three bedrooms. I also have a shelf that contains all my French books, and I’ve loaned him several of my books so I can keep them on one of his shelves instead of mine. Clever, huh? 😉
After our trial period of living under the same roof assured us that we could share living space without committing double homicide, I convinced him to let me organize his books. The closest he got to being organized was having all of his Jim Butcher books on one shelf. He culled books to go to the used bookstore while I began grouping the ones he decided to keep into genres, more or less. I also kept any series together and in order, and then I organized by height whenever possible. Since we’re both writers with decent sized collections of reference books, we decided to combine them on one shelf with a bookend in between. We’re just not at the point in our relationship where we feel comfortable completely integrating our libraries. Right now, it’s enough to know that we have similar tastes and many of the same books in our separate collections.