The Perils of Bookshelf Re-Organization

Written By: Kellie - Jun• 10•13

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This pas weekend, I picked up the rest of my BEA book haul, and after I spent a good twenty minute just petting them, it was time to get down to business. My bookshelf situation has always been a little sloppy. Sure, there has always been a little method to my madness, but I’ve never had a system more complex than remembering where I last saw a book. So it was time to start over.

I literally emptied out 5 bookcases (I left my non-fiction shelves and my pretty, pretty display bookcase untouched) and put all my books in the middle of a room. Then I built a fort. Poorly. Only halfway through dismantling the fort did I think to take a picture of it, but I can tell you it fell down a lot and that if I’m ever going to get serious about book fort building, than I’m going to need to invest in more hardcovers.

Anyways, reorganizing my bookshelves was a pretty long process, and my system would still have Dewey shaking his head in embarrasment.

1. Missing books!
So, I have books 1-4, 6 and 7 in a series? How did that happen. I know I’ve read the book, I know I’ve held it in my hands, but I’m sitting here, with every book I own in front of me, and it’s just not here. Also, I’m sure I got a copy of Seraphina last year, but it is also not here. Have I misplaced an entire bookshelf? Or maybe I’m imagining books now.

2. Different book sizesIMG_1634
I know this one is mentioned all the time, but geez is it annoying. Not only is there the usual problem having ARCS of one book in a series and a hardcover of another, but the publishing industry seems intent on my having uneven bookshelves too. In that same series where I’m missing book #5, the first book is a mass market paperback, where as all the rest are trade paperbacks. Unfortunately, the only solution is to spend money to repurchase books I already own, and that’s just not going to happen anytime soon, so I try not to dwell. I kind of like the mismatched, scatterbrained librarian look for my shelves always. Having a shelf just for the uber-stackable mass market fantasy books I’ve collected over the years was also a big help.

3. Books, the most beautiful distraction
The more time I spent with my books, the more I realized just how many books I own that I have never cracked open. Books from two years at BEA, books I picked up at used bookstores, books I was dying to read, before I was dying to read something else more. So many!

In the bookshelf dedicated just to TBR books, I would guess there are at least 80 titles I haven’t read yet, but am still somehow convinced that I actually will. And that doesn’t take into consideration the ones that go shelves elsewhere due to either category or size. So many, and they all sound so awesome!

At least three times while I was supposed to be organizing, I somehow ended up reading the books. I started three books in four hours! If you’re going to tackle bookshelf reorganization, do it while you’re already in the middle of a book your loving. I figure it’s a lot like the “don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry rule.”

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4. Parting ways
Sometimes, you have to know when to say goodbye. And this weekend, I said a lot of goodbyes. It’s hard to know which books you’re really never going to read again. I probably spent as much time debating which books to keep as I did actually putting books away, but it paid off in the end. I cleared off an entire bookshelf worth of space, which I’m sure will be filled with more books in the months to come.

The pile here will be split between the used bookstore at my cottage, and my aunts condominium library.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions on what to do with old ARCs, I’d love to hear them!

Annnd then there were six. Six bookshelves that is. One small one for non-fiction, one medium one for big books and favorites, one medium one for mass markets (mainly adult fantasy), one big one for YA TBR (mainly fantasy) and two big ones of favorites and ongoing series (a little bit of everything). I’m hoping to put together a bookshelf tour video sometime later this month to show you all the finished product! Gotta say, I’m pretty happy with it.

Now, what do I read next?

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3 Comments

  1. Becky Paulk says:

    Cleaning your shelves can definitely be a pain lol, but it always feels good when you get done. I do have a suggestion, though, for your ARC’s you don’t want anymore. There is a program called “The ARC Cycling Program” where you can donate and borrow ARC’s. Here is the link to it… http://arcycling.blogspot.com/

  2. I soooo need to organize my books and get serious about my tbr shelves. Yes, I have more than one bookcase for unread books. A lot are from even before my blogging days and are probably lingering because I don’t want to really read them. It’s time to let some go so that I can focus on all the books I really want to read.

    I’m sure your shelves look great! I love looking at newly organized shelves… but it’s been a long time since mine made any kind of sense.

  3. Yay for reorganization! I desperately need to reorganize my two bookshelves. One was supposed to be for TBR books and the other for favorites/signed books/etc. but now they’re all mixed up and I can’t actually find anything. Le sigh.

    And yeah, I want to know what to do with old ARCs, too! Like REALLY old ARCs, years and years old. I feel bad just throwing them out, but the actual finished books have been published for so long now that I don’t see the value in passing around the non-finished copies.

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