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Topic: How to quickly locate your book from your large library in your home

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Subject: How to quickly locate your book from your large library in your home
Date Posted: 5/23/2010 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2010
Posts: 8
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Here's my tip on how to locate your books quickly.

If you have about 10-20 books on a shelf or in a box, you can find those at a glance, but what if you happen to have a much larger library or collection of books numbering in the hundreds or even thousands?  Well, first you have to figure out where to store the books.  This can be as varied as you like.  Take me, for example.  I have a collection of 1,000 books.  i have them stored on various shelfs of a bookcase located next to my computer room, and also have them stored in a very large shrunk (german word for china cabinet but with wooden doors instead of glass).  The bookcase next to my computer room holds 200 books.  It has 10 shelfs on it.  Now when a book is requested from me, i don't want to have to look thru my entire collection of 1,000+ books, i want to be able to go right to it.  and here is how to find it instantly.

Paperbackswap.com provides a service called the Journal.  The cost is $8 per year but is well worth it, and allows you to find your books instantly.  The journal allows you to create "spaces" in any way you choose to call them.  For example, take my shrunk, i have an open door compartment on the top left of the shrunk.  In it, I have a dividing shelf where I can store books on top and below it, double rowed.  That is to say on the top shelf i can have a back row of 25 books and in front of it another row of 25 books and under the shelf another back and front row.  So I have used the journal to create spaces called "shrunk left top" with sub-spaces that say top back row and top front row...and subspaces that say bottom back row and bottom front row.  Now, when i log a book into "Post A Book" for the first time, i enter the ISBN number, the cover pops up and below it is the "spaces" I have created in the Journal that pulls down into the subspaces.  I simply pull down the subspace I want, which is where the book is going to be stored at and post the book.  Now, when i look on "My Bookshelf" I see the book and below its cover is says "shrunk, left top, top back row" and i now know where my book is.  True, it's there with 20-25 others but like i said at the beginning, its easy to find a book among 20 books at a glance rather than look thru 1,000.

The spaces you enter into the Journal do not have to be shelfs on a bookcase, they can be worded like "Box A" or "Box B" or "Case 1 under bed in the spare bedroom" or "Box below clothes in the closet in hallway" or whatever.  It's an instant reference to where you have your books stored.

So when that book comes in as a request, don't spend an hour looking thru 2,000 books to find one (especially if you missed it the first time you gotta look all over again).  Get the Journal.  Log your books.  You'll never regret it.

Last Edited on: 5/23/10 6:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/23/2010 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2008
Posts: 1,658
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I just keep all my books listed on an excel spreadsheet (title, author, genre, isbn, and location), it's very easy.  It takes a while when you first start because you have to go through all of your current books, but it's so much easier to find them.  And it's free

Date Posted: 5/23/2010 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I wouldn't pay $8 for something I already know. Besides, you could do that for free in Excel, which I will do if I ever get to the point that I can't find a book within a few minutes.

Right now I have around 1,000 books and can locate any book I want within seconds.

Date Posted: 5/23/2010 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I just pull all the books I'm going to post, remove them from Librarything, then put them in a large box in the other room. That box I know is only for trades, and on occation I'll put my shefl on hold or empty it, take the box and trade them all in for new ones at the UBS.

I'm not going to list them before I've 1) found them and 2) inspected them. So once pulled I might as well then segregate them from my keepers.

I have a couple thousand books and ebooks, and haven't had a huge problem knowing where they should be. Usually DD has run off with anything missing. Easy enough to track down.

Date Posted: 5/23/2010 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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I use Journal, and use spaces for tracing the books I have that are unpostable.  That helps me a lot!

Date Posted: 5/24/2010 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,130
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I just organize my books in my home in a certain way. (I have several thousand books in my home).

First, I sort all my books by genre (all romances are together, all sci-fi / fantasy is together, all non-fiction travel books are together, art books together, gardening books together, etc).

If a section is large enough (like my fiction sections) then I group the books in rough alphabetical order (by groups of letters rather than strictly). So, all my romance by authors A thru D are on the left half of the shelf, E-F in the middle, G-J on the right, etc. By doing loose alphabetical order, I don't have to rearrange all the books in order to add a new book to the shelves, I just stick it in the proper grouping and no need to find an exact spot for it. 

I can find any book in my house within a minute.

I am pretty sure it would take me way longer to start my computer every time I wanted to find a book. That would drive me crazy.

Date Posted: 5/24/2010 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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I'm one of those weird people who know where nearly every book of mine is located -- shelf, row, room. I have well over 1,500 books I have yet to read. Then I have the books on my PBS bookshelf and then my keeper shelf, which is small since it has to be pretty special to keep. 

As for keeping track of  my books on paper (mostly so I don't duplicate books when ordering or buying)  ... .I use Word and have it set up alphabetically by author. It's nearly  60 pages but I just use the "find" feature. 

Honestly, if I had to start cataloguing my books now, it would scare me to death. I would have no idea where to start. 

But, I had no idea what the journal feature was before (never bothered to look) so I did learn that!! 

Last Edited on: 5/24/10 1:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: costs excel vs journal
Date Posted: 5/24/2010 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2010
Posts: 8
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hmmm, it's stated that one would not pay $8 for journal.  wonder how much that excel costs?

Date Posted: 5/24/2010 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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No idea how much Excel costs, but if you already have it and are using it, it would make no sense to pay another $8 and have to spend the time as well, to list all those hundreds or thousands of books in that program.


Date Posted: 5/24/2010 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Well I don't have Excel, but my version of Word has a chart feature much like Excel and it can be alphabetized. I used that to make a list of my movies (not for organizational purposes but because everyone always wants to know what movies I have that they might borrow) and it worked just as well as Excel would have and it came with my computer when I got it. So cheaper still than spending $8/year for Journal.

Although if I had no Excel or Word programs (and needed to organize my books), I would simply reopen my Goodreads account and use that, which is free.

There's plenty of ways to do it for free.

Date Posted: 5/24/2010 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I'm pretty sure open office has an excel equivalent as well. 

I've always wondered what people use the journal for though, thanks for the info!

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2009
Posts: 47
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I use the collectorz book collector database software--that allows me to type in a location.

Last Edited on: 5/26/10 11:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1