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Organizing Your Home Library

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  • Tip Bones

There's almost nothing I love more than perusing the stacks in an indie bookstore, thrift shop, or antique seller, looking for the classic, the weird, and the beautiful sides of books. As a result, I have amassed a large collection of books, and many of them seemed to live in boxes and on nightstands. It was hard to find the ones I wanted, and my packed shelves looked frankly ugly compared to the manicured shelves in magazines. I have a pretty small space to work with, so how can I display the books so that accessing them is easy, and they don't look like a literal trash heap? Let's DIY.


First, sort your collection. Get rid of any book that's too faded or dirty to read first thing. Next, divide the books into two groups: fiction and nonfiction. For a lot of small home libraries, this is enough to organize them, especially on only a few shelves. But if you want to get a little more specific, don't just alphabetize: group them! Put books of the same genre together, and then alphabetize! For nonfiction, you might prefer similar subjects grouped together, such as architecture, science, or art. Remember: if your collection is large, you can always divide into more specific categories! If that's the case, you might benefit from a home cataloging app, so get your smartphone ready to scan as you sort!


So, where can you put your sorted books? A tall bookshelf is probably the most space-efficient way to go, especially for very small libraries. But if you, like me, value function over form, try putting the books where you'll be able to access them immediately as you need them. Have a craft room? Put your art books there! Your cookbooks would look great on your kitchen shelf. Reference materials are probably best placed in your home office. The closer you place your books to the place you'll use them, the more likely you are to read them!


Photo: Pixabay

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