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Topic: OT: Book organization

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Subject: OT: Book organization
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 4,590
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As I'm rifling through my collection, I realized I'm in serious need of an organizational system for my books. Right now, I have them (kinda) sorted into "stand-alones," "complete series" and "series for which I still need books." Most are in plastic bins with lids underneath my bed. The ones with more...ahem...presentable covers I keep on various bookshelves. 

This has been discussed here and there before, but I'd love to hear more about how you guys have your books organized. I'm running out of room under the bed, and can't pack anything else onto my shelves at the moment. So I need some ideas! What's your system? 

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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Before I confiscated several book cases for my own use, I used a lot of priority mail boxes (the 12" x 12" size) for MMPB. They fit four stacks perfectly and by putting the spines toward the center of the box, I can see part of the title. Then I labelled each box with a letter (A, B, etc) and then on a sheet of paper listed what was in each box by letter. (PBS's spaces is a good way to list them too, if you pay for the journal).  

Now I have 2 6' tall book cases in my room and 2 small ones, holding all of my 1000+ TBR, except for a few hard covers which are on shelves in my computer room.



Last Edited on: 10/11/09 1:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Beyond physical organization, I use fictiondb.com to keep track of what I have (bookshelf), what I want (wishlist), and what I used to have but have sent on to new homes (archives). I love this website because all I have to do is click on an icon (which then becomes a checkmark) to indicate the status of the book. All the details are already there for me. There are additional icons, droplists, etc. to indicate TBR, BIR, my own ratings, and which edition I have.

That leads me to the physical organization... I have tons of category titles, which are stacked in numbered 13 x 13 x 17 cartons, separated by line (Romance, Desire, Special Edition, Intimate Moments) and stored numerically (I can find any book within 2 minutes using my database).

Next, come standalones. The ones I've posted for sending to new homes are arranged in 24 x 14 x 4 cartons (these are available from the Container Store and are perfect for MMPBs), first by genre, then alphabetically by author.

My keepers on my bookshelves are sorted first by genre ('cause when I'm in the mood for a contemporary, I don't want to rifle through my regencies), then by author. Most of my shelves are 12" deep by 12" high. So I stack them flat, separated by author, series together in sequential order (another benefit of fictiondb.com, that sequential order thing), and 3 stacks deep. Trade size books stand up, in alphabetical order by author, still sorted by genre.

Most folks couldn't live in a home with cartons stacked in the hallway and corners of the living room and dining room. I'd love to have a home that doesn't look like a warehouse and someday I might. But we don't have a very large house and I really am sending out more books than I receive. Fortunately, my DH and DD have their own bookcases and book hordes, so they're willing to tolerate mine.

My sister, a ro ho in her own right, moved about 5 years ago. The first thing she did in her new home was have her DH build floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookshelves in the room designated as the "library." But every time I go to visit, she wants to put new books away. Which means I come home with books she's culled from the shelves. *sigh* It's awful, I tell you. Just awful.

Colleen



Last Edited on: 10/11/09 1:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,460
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We're suppposed to organize them?

I do have 4 bookshelfs sized for MMPB books.  1 has adjustable shelves so I've been able to space the shelves for trade sized books.  Most of my books are category romance books as well.  So, they're organized by line and then in number order.  My Diana Palmer collection is not really in any kind of order.  The older category books I keep in order by series but the longer books I shelve by publication date.

I'm constantly shifting books around because I'm in still in "get rid of books" mode.  As I clean off space on one of the shelves, I pull out a box of books and put them on the shelf.  It's an ongoing process and someday all my keeper books will be just on the shelves, no more boxes.  I've been working at that since I joined PBS 2 1/2 years ago.  I'm slowly getting there.

I'm taking a few days off this week so maybe I'll start a major bookshelf project.  Take everything off my PBS shelf and donate it and then find more stuff to post.  Believe me, I've got the books to refill my shelf.

I guess I'm in a constat state of reorganization and deciding what can go and what needs to stay.  Someday it'll be done and it'll be so nice to just be able to look at my shelves for a keeper.

My TBR stuff is stacked on a small chest of drawers I have.  That overflows as well.

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Sarah - Funny you should mention your Diana Palmer books by name. I have an entire shelf devoted to her books (about to be temporarily vacated as my sis has just told me she wants to read them again). Her category titles are the only ones not filed numerically. DP's early works are stacked chronologically, then the historicals, followed by the Soldier of Fortune series, with the related Hutton & Co. series adjacent, and lastly, the Long, Tall Texans and all the other stories with ties to Jacobsville.

Her books are unique in my collection... I'm working on assembling a website with the name of every character and all the story locations and how they link to Jacobsville, Texas. I've never seen an author write 125+ books having at least 3/4 of them related in some way.

As we all sing, "It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small, small world." :)

Colleen

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I need to reorder mine as I changed it up a bit.  I got some under the bed shoe storage bags.  I can fit 48-50 MMPs in them. So I got 4 of them and filled them up getting about 200 books off my shelves.  (in the process I foudn some doubles and some books I didn't know I had).  I used the Note feature on PBS to mark them on my TBR as being "bagged".  I loaded the bags by theme.  2 bags are historical romances, 1 bag is cozies/mysteries, 1 bag is romantic suspense.  I kept all of an author's books in the same pocket(s). 

On the bookshelves: I keep my trades and hardcovers together.  I like to have them in Alphabetical order by Author last name.  It's just easier for me to find them that way.  Then I have my MMPs on a different shelf again sorted by author last name.  I will stack WL mmps in the space in front of the trades/hardcovers so they're easier for me to spot.  Unless they are later books of a series that I need to read before hand. Then they go in the author sorting. But any WL books I want to read and post soon get seperated. 

But I need to go through these again.  They got out of order as I was deciding what books to put in which bags.  Then I went on a bookmooch credit spending spree, a thrift store spree, an Amazon spree and had 20 or sl WL offers in the past month.  So I need to resort. 

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,460
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I had a whole small bookshelf devoted to my Diana Palmers but they outgrew that.  Now they've got 2 1/2 shelves on one of the larger bookcases but I think some are still on a smaller shelf.  They're all out on display though.  I have everything except some of her really early Second Chance At Love titles and a few of the historicals because I really don't care for historicals.

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Oh, Sarah! Palmer didn't write that many historicals and most of them are about the ancestors of her modern-day characters. Of course, that makes them essential reading. '-D

But help me here. Second Chance at Love? I've not seen that reference to her books. Would those be the McFadden Romance titles?

I have a few hardcovers that I'm trying to replace with paperbacks (publishers aren't always very cooperative, are they?) and though I like the way trade-size books lay open without exerting any muscle, trying to get all MMPB-size books.

Gina - profound apologies... didn't mean to hi-jack your thread.

Colleen



Last Edited on: 10/11/09 8:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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  Hardcovers & trades go on the shelves in my headboard, and everything is organized alphabetically by author.  IMO, that's just the easiest way to find things on-the-spot & when you want them.  I used to store my keeper mmps in rubbermaid drawers with the spines up, but now I have those drawers filled with craft stuff and all of my keepers are on media shelves.  I like those because they take up a small amount of floor space & I can basically put them against the wall on my side of the bed and still have plenty of walk space - plus I have easy access to my books.  I think good organization going on the shelves or in the drawer makes life much easier when you're looking for something in particular.  I have sorted by sub-genre, etc. in the past, but I found through experience that alphabetically by author is the simplest method, especially when it comes to my PBS shelf - which is all spine up in drawers in my bed pedestal, btw:P

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 4,590
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Mary, sorting out WL books is ingenious! I even keep a Google spreadsheet of the WL books on my TBR, so it would be so easy to pull them out. OK, I now at least have a place to start......

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,460
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I'm sorry, I was confusing her Candlelight Ecstasy titles for Second Chance at Love titles.  Those lines had very similar covers.

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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I haven't yet acquired any of the titles DP penned as Diana Blayne. I'll get around to it...

Colleen

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2006
Posts: 749
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I keep my books on bookshelves of various sizes. If I used storage containers I'd never remember what I had for books. I keep my listed books, most of my TBR pile(which is separated into WL/non WL)  and books I'm getting ready to post on shelves near my desk. My keepers are on bookshelves in my bedroom. I sort them by author but that's it, then it's just a matter of which author's books fit best in which bookshelf. I do have some erotic romance books that I keep tucked away in a box so they don't catch my daughters' attention. The oldest is eleven and has started joking about reading my books.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If a WL book is a later book in a series and I have non-WL parts to read first-then I store it in the main alphabetically by author sort or in one of the genre bags.  But just individual WL books or when I have many of a series that constantly WL-those get kept grouped together.  Like all my Dresden File books are kept out and prominant because they are always WL or never more than a couple posted. 

Right now my books are badly out of order.  I messed them up when I was doing teh bag groupings.  Then I went on a pt spending spree at another book site where I don't feel comfortable letting the pts build up, then I had a lot of WL offers (like 20+in a month), then a few bonanza days at the thrift store. 

Sigh there's a FOL sale over in the next county this weekend.  But their library is connected to our library system so I have FOL member privaleges.  I've already bribed DD with a trip to the Halloween store if she comes, lets me shop but keeps me from going insane.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 753
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I have one large bookcase that holds all of my TBR books. It has 5 shelves and each shelf has a different type of book: one shelf - all historicals; one shelf - all Harlequin/Silhouette books and since those don't take an entire shelf, I also have non-romance fiction books there; one shelf - all Suzanne Brockmann books (I have her Troubleshooter series that I haven't started and several other books by her) and also all my non-fiction TBR books; one shelf has all my contemporary romances (mmpb) and the top shelf has my erotica/trade-size books. I try to sort all each shelf by author.

It works for me, cause I usually am looking for a certain type of book - for example, I'm in the mood for a historical or I just want a Harlequin romance. Of course, some shelves have 2 rows of books, but that lets me know that I need to read more of them!