Musing Mondays (December 3)

musingmondays51Musing Mondays is a weekly book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing, courtesy of Booking Through Thursday, asks…

How do you organize/store your books? Do you go through them often? Or do you pretty much just shelve them and then leave them alone until you need them?

This is a great question, but I already answered it when it was asked on Booking Through Thursday. So, rather than writing out the answer again, I’ll copy and paste what I wrote. Here’s my answer:

I am pretty obsessive about the way I store and organize my books. I’m told I have too many, but I can find anything within minutes and will always know if someone has moved a book or not.

I store my favourite books in two large bookcases in the living room. The top two shelves of one of them are devoted to books related to two of my favourite authors – C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. One of these shelves contains books actually written by these authors, while the other shelf has books written about them. These two shelves are almost full, so I’m not sure what I’ll do if I keep finding books related to these two authors.

The next three shelves contain most of my favourite books, both fiction and non-fiction, including authors such as Bradbury, Orwell, Douglas Adams, George Mackay Brown, Annie Dillard, Dostoevsky, and many others. Over time some books on these shelves have to get relegated to other shelves in the house as I buy others that out-favourite some of these. All the books on these three shelves are organized alphabetically by author.

The bottom shelf of this bookcase is for oversize books, mainly theology and reference.

The top shelf of the second bookcase is mainly devoted to books about U2 and Harry Potter. This may seem like a strange combination, but it works for me.

The next two and a half shelves are devoted to my favourite theology/Christian books, including authors such as Bonhoeffer, Philip Yancey, Frank Viola, Brian McLaren, Richard Foster, and many others. These books are in alphabetical order by author. The half shelf at the end of this section is set aside for books by my favourite Canadian author, Farley Mowat.

Underneath this shelf is where I keep most of my cooking and vegetarian books, as well as back issues of Vegetarian Times.

Again, the bottom shelf of this bookcase contains oversize books. These include large books about U2, some sports books, atlases, Far Side books, and a few others.

Next to these two bookcases I have a small table where I have my TBR pile along with my latest purchases and books for review. I try to move books from here to other bookcases every month or two, or the piles become unmanageable.

We have nine bookcases in the family room in the basement. Three of these are devoted to DVDs and videos (organized alphabetically by title, of course). There is one smaller bookcase that contains mainly classics. One large bookcase contains the rest of my theology, Christian and textbooks. The other four bookcases are our overflow bookcases, mainly organized alphabetically by author as well.

We also have a large bookcase in our bedroom, which my wife mainly uses for books by her favourite authors, such as Diana Gabaldon and Kristin Hannah.

The children both have large bookcases in their bedrooms for their favourite books. Our son seems to have his organized by size more than anything and he has a few piles of books that seem to be by his favourite authors. He has tons of Geronimo Stilton related books and he seems to keep these fairly well organized.

My organizational obsession seems to have rubbed off on our daughter as she has her books ordered alphabetically by author and knows exactly where to find a particular book.

Both myself and our daughter have full membership at LibraryThing and have most of our books catalogued there. I’m working on getting an account there for my wife as well. The three of us also have GoodReads accounts to keep track of our reading habits. Once our son is old enough we will probably set him up with these as well.

From this rather long answer, you may have gathered that we are a family who love books.

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