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Organizing a bookshelf can be fun, either for your librarian side or your inner interior decorator. There are several go-to methods for sorting books, but quite a few alternatives let you experiment with appearance and function.
-Give away unwanted books. It's easiest to part with books before you organize the whole collection. Box away books you'll never read again, or that you'll never get around to. You can sell these or give them away at used bookstores, charity stores, libraries, or websites such as Book Mooch or Book Scouter.
-Check for size restrictions. Before you construct a master plan, make sure you know the limitations. Some bookcases have shelves of different spacing, which may require keeping paperbacks on one shelf and hardbacks on another. Textbooks or coffee table art books may need to be stacked flat in order to fit. Divide your books to fit these restrictions, and treat each pile as a separate organization task.
Large, heavy books should be shelved on sturdy shelves, usually the lowest one. Do not shelve them above head height.
-Divide into fiction and nonfiction. Take all the books off their shelves and place them into fiction and nonfiction piles. You're usually in the mood for one or the other, so this makes it easy to browse for an impromptu read.
- Sort fiction by genre or author. Divide a large, varied fiction collection by genre, keeping each one on a separate shelf or group of shelves. Within each genre, sort alphabetically by author's last name. If you only have two or three shelves of fiction, or most of your fiction is in the same genre, sort by last name without dividing them.
- Common fiction genres include mystery, literary, young adult, fantasy, and science fiction.
-Sort nonfiction by topic. Sort your nonfiction books into separate stacks by topic. Get a feel for how much you have in each category. Ideally, you'll want about 1–3 shelves in each category. You may need to think of broader or narrower topics to achieve this.
• There are many broad nonfiction topics, including gardening, cooking, history, biography, biology, and reference books.
• A specialized collection can be sorted with many subtopics. For instance, a history collection can be divided by continent, then country, then time period.
• If your home has more nonfiction than your local library, use the Dewey Decimal system.
Alternate Organization Systems
1Sort by size. Consider this if you have books ranging from trade paperbacks to oversize art albums. Place the tallest books on the lowest shelf, placing smaller and smaller books as you move upward. This creates a tidy, organized appearance. On some bookcases, this is a necessity to adapt to the height of each shelf.
-Sort by size. Consider this if you have books ranging from trade paperbacks to oversize art albums. Place the tallest books on the lowest shelf, placing smaller and smaller books as you move upward. This creates a tidy, organized appearance. On some bookcases, this is a necessity to adapt to the height of each shelf.
-Place books based on color. This system looks great, but are best used if you have only one bookcase. In larger collections, they can make a book difficult to find. In addition, you need to consider that you may have to split books from a series, when they do not have the same colour. Here are a few sorting systems based on spine color:
• One color per shelf (a blue shelf, a green shelf, and so on). If you're having trouble filling a shelf, wrap some of the books in kraft paper.
• A gradual "rainbow" flowing from one color to the next, or from the most saturated colors to pastels.
• A pattern that creates a flag or other simple image when the whole bookcase is filled. This is time-consuming, but impressive.