Thursday, October 13, 2011

Organizing the Bookshelves

Today will be the last time I talk about my new Billy bookshelves - at least for a little while:).  You can see the before & after post here or check out the installation details here.  This post is going to show you how I choose to organize our books and such.  When I begin to put the books on the shelves I have a few basic goals:

1.  Keep all book collections together.  We have a number of special collection books, mostly children's sets, that I like to keep together on a shelf.  I think it is obvious that anything that is in a numbered set or such should all stay together.

Quick Aside:  These 2 book sets were some of my favorites as a kid.  The top set is called The Junior Classics and was given to me by a special family friend and the set below is The Childcraft Library.  When I was a kid my parents bought an encyclopedia set and the Childcraft series was included.  I used to spend hours reading these books.  My parents still have our original set so I bought this one off of ebay.  My kids now love both of these too.

2.  Keep all of an author's work together.  This is also common sense to me.  I don't go so far as to put my author's alphabetically, but I do like to keep all of their books together on the same shelf.  This leads to my next goal...

3.  Make it somewhat easy to find what I am looking for.  My books are organized by author and by topic.  So I keep my author together within my topic area.  For instance we have a lot of mystery/thriller books.  I keep all those authors together within a couple of book cases but not in any particular order.  This probably drives some people nuts but John Grisham comes before Nelson Demille at our house.  I also have a number of books about history and a pretty good collection of literature.  

While each of these genres are kept together on their own shelves, I purposely keep it somewhat unorganized within each genre because I love the idea that you have to browse around to find what you were looking for.  That is how I always find other great reads when I am at the book store or at the library.  You never know what you will stumble on or what will tickle your fancy while you are searching the stacks.

The picture above shows my historical collection.  As you can see it is only loosely organized which I hope will encourage people to grab something unexpected.

4.  Hide the ugly messy clutter.  Since this room also serves as our home office there are some things that if left out on open shelves would just look icky.  So we did purchase one set of doors to hide those things.  One of the nice things about the Ikea Billy system is that it has been around for 30 years so I know if I decide I need more doors next year I am pretty certain I will be able to get them.

You can see how nice it is to have the doors to hide this mess. 

5.  Make it pleasing to the eye.  I love to add little knickknacks, framed photos, and such to the shelves to help break up the monotony.  I will put books on their sides both as bookends or to show off a particular set of books.  One nice thing about having the skinnier bookcases in the corner is that it is perfect for showcasing little collections of items.

This shot shows a few different ways to decorate the shelves.  You can see where I added some family photos, a wooden bowl, and I used a basket to hold all the kids board books.  I purposely keep all the kids books together on lower shelves to make it easier for the kids to reach them.

I hope this post gives you some ideas for your bookcases.  I'd love to hear if anyone has any other good tips or tricks so leave me a comment.  

This last shot is my favorite thing about this room.  

~Gold Shoe Girl~

Somewhat Simple

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