Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tour My Bookshelves!

Hello, reader friends!  You've heard me talk often of my need to periodically purge my bookshelves, because they run out of room.  So today, I thought it would be fun to give you a little peek at said shelves.

I have 4 bookshelves in my house.  Some of you may be appalled at that (ONLY FOUR??), others may be left yearning (if you only have one, or maybe none, at your disposal).  And I look forward to hearing about your shelf situations after reading mine!  (I should note that this doesn't include the bookshelf of kid's books in the boys' toy room, or the shelves that they each have in their bedrooms...luckily they don't have any purging to do yet...)

I shelve my books alphabetically by author.  I wish that I had a higher threshold for chaos so that I could shelve by color, because how boss is this:
However, I am way too type A for that venture.  Can you IMAGINE separating all the Harry Potters because they're different colors?  I get itchy just thinking about it. #perfectionistproblems

Of course, the downside to shelving alphabetically is that anytime you get a new book (especially by an author at the beginning of the alphabet), it requires the shifting of every.single.shelf.  Not my favorite activity!

Anyway, my 4 shelves.  The first two are in the living room:
Books among the chaos. And Elmo.
The one on the left is roughly A through G.  The one on the right is G through R.  These are my two biggest bookcases.  They are also under ceaseless attack from Tater Tot, who just loves to rip apart the bottom two shelves on the left bookcase.  I adore my children, but I endure the let's-rip-covers-off-Mom's-books phase very grudgingly.  (LOVE YOU, BOYS!!!)  :)

The third bookcase is in my basement:

This is R through W.  The top shelf is reserved for the shot glass collection that my husband and I have been amassing since we started dating.  I know, I know, potential additional book space!  But the shot glass collection is dear enough to earn its own spot.

The fourth case is in our bedroom:

The middle shelf is W through Z (vertical), as well as books that I am looking to give away (horizontal).  (Lots of pregnancy and baby books there, if anyone is in need!!)  The bottom shelf consists primarily of random reference books (an English-to-French dictionary, my husband's old psychology textbooks, the texts from the class I used to teach online, etc).  Oh, and the top shelf is admittedly underused, consisting of my mishmash of jewelry boxes and a jar of change.  Hmmm...more books may need to move in there...

That's what I'm working with here in bookshelf land!  I dream of one day having a true library (with all the shelves in one room), but for now, this will do.

Tell me about your bookshelves, friends!


  1. I think you're lucky you have 4 shelves! I have 2 in the basement and the rest of my books are in packing boxes awaiting our move to our "real" house (we're renting right now, but have no timeframe or plan to move to our "real house"). Sad....

    1. Oh yes, books in boxes is so frustrating! I've moved with mine 3 times now, so I feel that pain!

  2. For my birthday last year, my husband bought me two new bookshelves (up until then I'd only had one) but that was in JUNE and I STILL haven't organized them. The stray piles that were sitting around are at least on shelves now, but really not in any kind of order. Since they're split up by room (two in the living room, one currently in the spare-room-turned-baby's-room but will end up in our bedroom once the baby transitions from our room to their own) I'm still not sure if I just want to do A-Z, or if I should make an effort to keep certain books in certain rooms. Almost a year later, you'd think I would have made a decision by now, but no... and of course the idea of a baby who will eventually be mobile and very curious is playing a role in my uncertainty.

    The plus side is that this is really way more shelf space than we need for books, so that leaves plenty of room for growth, or just a place to put pictures or knick-knacky things.

    1. Room for growth is always good! And as for babies + bookshelves, my biggest pieces of advice are 1. keep the signed copies and valuables at the top, 2. resign yourself to anything on the first two shelves getting destroyed, and 3. anchor them to the wall! :)

  3. I love getting to "tour" other people's shelves! I have two bookshelves in my living room and a cubby-style shelf in my bedroom, which stores some random things and the books I have culled from the living room shelves before I get around to selling/donating them.

    My books are divided into sections for fiction, classics, poetry, reference, essays, memoir/biography, feminism, music, general non-fiction, and TBR, with each section sorted by author.

    1. Several people have said they organize by genre...very cool! I feel like it would take me so long to do that, but I do dislike mixing my nonfiction with fiction sometimes.

  4. I shelved my books alpha by author for the longest time, and I finally gave up because of the shifting required. Now, chaos. I need to tackle it again.

    1. The shifting is a giant pain. Every time I put a pile of them away (FINALLY), I get a new pile and have to start over!

  5. Your shelves look great, girl! Mine are absolute chaos right now. CHAOS I tell you. One of these days I'll get it together and organize them again.

    I do love the look of books arranged by color. It's gorgeous, but no, not practical at all ;)

    1. For full disclosure, I will say I had JUST cleaned up the living room ones when I took these pictures. My children generally do not allow those shelves to look that pretty. Haha.

  6. Beautiful shelves and collection!!

  7. My books are shelved in categories (but not BY category) and then, if I have a bunch by one author (hello Murakami) all of those go together. Not a traditional system but, it works for me. :)

    1. Hey, whatever works! The most important thing is that YOU know how to find something. :)

  8. The poor books among the chaos. My little girl likes to pull them all out too - then it's a slow process at the end of the day putting my books back on the shelf and hers back in the bin. Sigh...

    I have alphabetical paperbacks and then I pulled all of my hardcovers and let them live together in size order (because it looks nice). :)

    1. Yes, some days I just don't bother putting the shelves back together at the end of the day. The thought of doing it all over again tomorrow is too frustrating. Haha. I wait until it's so out of control that I can't ignore it anymore!

      Good idea paperback vs hardcover! Never thought of that.

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