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Do you own a lot of books? If you’re an avid reader like me, you’re probably trying to figure out the best way to organize these bad boys. After all, it can get frustrating when you’re trying to find your favorite hardback and it’s nowhere in sight, or, even worse, it’s under a big messy pile of books. I’ve seen it before: people try to find a place for all of their beloved books but they end up placing them anywhere they can fit on the bookshelf. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t cut it. I’m writing this blog to show you various methods you can use to organize these prized possessions. It may seem straightforward, but after reading this you may be inspired to sort your books in a better fashion that works best for you and your family. Before we get started I must confess that I have a LOT of books. When I say a lot, I mean 13 large bookcases completely full. Plus the kids all have their own bookcases in their rooms. We were a military family until my husband retired so I like to think I learned a thing or two moving a plethora of books tither and yon and reorganizing the shelves after unpacking.

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By genre

If you’re someone who has a wide variety books, this organization tactic might just be the right one for you! The genres can be as general or as specific as you like. Some examples of genres include mystery, fiction, young adult, graphic novels, hobby, design, art, and reference. The good thing about sorting by genre is that it can be a lot easier to find a book if you’re in a specific mood. The downside to organizing your books by genre is many books don’t seem to fall into one particular genre or fall into multiple genres. It could also be harder for someone else to understand this system especially if they aren’t familiar with your book stash. However, if it’s just you doing the reading, you might find this the easiest and best way to organize your books.

(My collection of Henty books

Alphabetically

Alphabetizing may be the most obvious kind of organization available. After all, this method of organizing is how libraries go about handling their books. And who knows more about books than a library, right? You may find this to be an effortless way to find what you’re looking to read. If you’re a person who knows which book you want to enjoy, you’ll probably gravitate towards alphabetizing your books rather than sorting them by genre. It will be a lot easier for your family and friends to grasp this system. If you loan out a lot of books to family and friends, this would probably make more sense for you. The downside to alphabetizing is shifting books around when you add more books to your inventory. When sorting by genre, you can just put the book in the general section, but alphabetizing may require the moving and shifting of books and, therefore, cause more trouble than it’s worth in the end.

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Autobiographically

Autobiographical organization (of anything) will be the most personal way to sort your books. If you’re looking to feel nostalgic while searching for your titles, this tactic is perfect for you! Do you have a book that reminds you of your childhood? Or maybe you own a book that reminds you of your time in college. Break categories up by the different times in your life if what you seek is a blast from your past. I’ve heard many people enjoy this way of organizing and also like to show it off to people while explaining what that time meant to them personally. This is a creative way to organize. If you’re a creative person, organizing your books in this manner may spark a lot of ideas and whimsical feelings in you.

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Chronologically

Sorting your books chronologically would probably work best for those of us who have mostly non-fiction books. That’s not to say you can’t use this for fiction titles as well. You could even sort the books by the date in which they have been published, but that may be a bit overkill. You might find that interesting, however, if you have a collection of books starting from ones you’ve kept from your childhood. If you’re a history buff, it could be interesting to arrange the titles according to when the events in them happened in time. While this way of organizing is exceptionally satisfying, it does take a lot more time than the previous two methods of arranging your books. Also, many books contain more than just one subject and deciding how to shelve your titles may be difficult task in itself. For instance, where would you shelf a book that covers all of the presidents in relation to a book that’s only about one specific president?

I’m curious to hear which tactic you choose to take while organizing your books. Are you a traditionalist or would you rather search for nostalgia? Regardless, you’re doing a great thing by taking such care of your books. Books have the incredible power of transporting us to places we’ve never been or times we can never go back to again. Because of this amazing ability, we want to make sure we take care of them as best we can, and you know we homeschoolers LOVE our books.

Laura Awe Filled Homemaker

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