Posted by: Mish | February 19, 2009

Storage and New Books

btt2This week’s BTT question is “How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?”

My personal library is arranged by genre (and subject, if applicable) and then alphabetized by author. It’s easiest to say that general fiction, non-fiction, and reference take up the least space, while Mercedes Lackey’s books have need of their own shelf. Since another book by Orson Scott Card followed me home just now, I wouldn’t be too surprised if his books end up with their own shelf as well in the not too distant future.

Bookshelf 1:

  • General fiction
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • Sci-fi and fantasy
  • Esoteric books by subject and then alphabetized

Bookshelf 2:

  • Classic literature
  • Plays and art
  • Non-fiction and reference
  • College texts worth keeping by subject
  • Theatre texts- because they’re the heaviest, by subject

Cookbooks reside in the pantry and are more or less sorted by cuisine.

I wouldn’t say I’m completely anal about keeping my books organized, but I like being able to easily find a book or point a friend to a particular section of my bookshelves. I currently have a few stacks of books that were reviewed or acquired recently enough that they haven’t been put away. I’m also trying to figure out which books I’m willing to part with so I can make space for the new additions. After dropping off a package of books at the post office, I got sucked into a most dangerous place- the used bookstore, which is two blocks away from me. Maybe next time that happens I’ll have some old books with me to exchange for credit towards new books. I came away with some irresistible reads from the sci-fi/fantasy section:

Orson Scott Card- Treasure Box: It’s been sitting among the stacks for a long time and up until today I was able to resist letting it come home with me. I think I’m going to end up ordering the rest of the Ender’s Game series online since my bookstore hasn’t been getting it in, and I’m tired of waiting. I’d like to finish that before reading any more of the Alvin Maker series, which I caught a glimpse of from Legends, a collection of 4 novellas.

C.S. Lewis- Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra: His Chronicles of Narnia are childhood favorites and as an adult I really enjoyed Til We Have Faces so Perelandra, which I’ve heard about, has been kind of sitting in the back of my mind. Since it’s the second in a trilogy, I figured I might as well get the first one too.

Charles de Lint- Moonlight and Vines: Since reading Memory and Dream I’ve been wanting to read more of de Lint so this collection of 22 faery tales was a good find. And they’ll go towards the 100 Shots of Shorts Reading Challenge, so double bonus.

H.P. Lovecraft- Fungi from Yuggoth & Other Poems: Lovecraft is one of those names I commonly hear, but I haven’t yet read anything by him so this seems like a good start.

Robert Silverberg- Majipoor Chronicles: This is another series I was introduced to through the anthology Legends, which I recently finished. I liked his writing and the Seventh Shrine enough to explore more from Majipoor.

Also in the queues and stacks are a bunch of Heinlein a friend gave me from the boxes of books her parents had and P.R. Frost’s Hounding the Moon, which I just received. This looks to be another year of exploring the sci-fi and fantasy realms. But I’d also like to read the Fortune Cookie Chronicles by journalist Jennifer 8. Lee, who demystifies Chinese-American cuisine. Before I delve into any of these or those already on “the List”, I should really finish Rachel Green’s Ungodly Child, of which I’m on chapter 7.

I think I’ll go settle some books into their new home. How do you organize your books, if at all? Are there any books that either followed you home or were bequeathed to you recently?



  1. I love organization. Here’s my answer:

  2. You are very organized. I do it by author, can never do it by genre, it gets me muddled up. 🙂

  3. 🙂 I’ve been organizing my books for so long I don’t even remember when I first started. Maybe it comes from working in the library when I was a kid.

  4. Your bookshelves sound an awful look more exciting than mine!

    I blogged about my book organisation a couple of months ago…

  5. Oh, good, you’re blog is pulling up again.

    Sometimes I think I have too many books (not really). Cool room, very vibrant.

  6. I have a system that is roughly by genre also. Yes, some authors have their own shelves. I have I have fantasy/horror together, then a shelf with sci-fi/sci-fi-ish kinda stuff. There is also a section for general fun stuff and kid’s stuff.

    Like you, another section for classic literature. I also have a queer and feminist section. Then, of course, my academic section is subdivided: there is general anthropology, Native, feminist/gender and sexulaity anthro, ethnic relations lit, anthro of the supernatural and religion, bio anthro/archaeo. Then there is a section for other social science disciplines and philosophy. Oh, and a small section of plays and another small section of German textbooks from uni.

  7. Brain food!!!!!

    Nice to hear from you again on here, it’s been awhile. Yea yea, busy, I know. Just sayin.

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