Book Lovers, Books and Organization, Guest Blog Posts, North of 40 and 50 plus Authors, Television Books

What You Can Do When You’re Drowning in Books

What You Can Do When You’re Drowning in Books by Emma Grace Brown

If you’re a book lover following your heart to create a home you love, you may be surrounded by a sea of books. It’s a booklover’s dream and a nightmare at the same time to be able to say you have more books than you know what to do with. Fortunately, Still A Chick Lit Fab And Forty Plus shares some great ways to organize your home library and some fantastic shelving options you could incorporate into your house.




Sort your books

If your book collection is really overwhelming it may be time to lighten it. It can be difficult for a booklover to part with books, so here are some criteria professionals recommend for making your collection a bit smaller:



Books you are keeping could include ones by favorite authors, books that are hard to replace, selections that work well with your overall collection, collector’s editions, unread books, and books you have enough space to keep.



In your discard bin, you can include old, moldy, or damaged books, books that aren’t favorites or classics, those you already read and will not reread, books that have outdated information, and books that you simply don’t have room to keep. In short, you’re in the process of decluttering, so be sure you get geared up for the work. Gather some boxes, tape, and a marker, and don’t forget to dress comfortably by wearing clothes that are stretchable and breathable. There’s some work ahead!


When it comes time to eliminate your discards, Living Well Spending Less notes that there’s a variety of options. Books can be sold online and given to senior centers, churches, or hospitals, or you may offer them through local or online book swaps. Also, consider giving your items to your favorite charity organization.


Choosing an organizational system

Even if you have a pretty large book collection, you probably don’t want to use the Dewey Decimal System to get your library under control. HowStuffWorks has some great suggestions:


  • Subject matter. Organizing by subject matter is a relatively simple and straightforward system. You can decide on what subjects seem most appropriate and their order. For instance, if you are a history buff, you might include a general history section, or if you have a larger collection, a whole section on the Civil War may be more appropriate.


  • If you have a substantial amount of fiction, alphabetizing by authors’ names may be your best bet.


  • The old cliche about judging books by their covers is not always true. For some readers, this is just the ticket. You can organize by color or another aesthetic quality.


  • If you have books from throughout your life, you may want to consider shelving them in the order they became part of your story. You could line them up from children’s books to teen novels, textbooks to parenting and self-help, or whatever categories apply. Similarly, you might shelve books in the order that you read them.


  • Perhaps it makes sense to you to put your books in the order that seems most important. Spiritual and personal guides may come first, or perhaps home maintenance manuals take top priority. Maybe your favorite fiction books are most prominently displayed. This highly personal system may just work best for you.


Storage and shelving

Once you know how you want to organize your books, you will need a place to put them all. Think about what you would like to incorporate into your own unique home library.


  • High ceilings? Try high shelving and a ladder.
  • Shelving can be installed under stairwells.
  • A home office is a classic choice for bookshelves.
  • Perhaps you have a nook, loft, or other room to reinvent into a reading room.
  • Tight on space? Incorporate a vertical bookshelf onto a column or turn a room divider into book storage.
  • If you read in bed, you may want to find some space in your bedroom for books.


Enjoying your new library

Swimming in a sea of books is the booklover’s paradox. It’s wonderful to have a lot of books, but it can feel overwhelming when you can’t find them. Thankfully we live in an age of ebooks, which take up zero shelf space. For those books, you can hold, follow these handy tips to do your sorting, decide on your personalized organizational system, and install your own unique bookshelves. Then you can sit back, relax, and read.


The Still A Chick Lit Fab And Forty Plus blog features fiction, food, fashion, modern fairy-tale beginnings, and Fun For Life North of Forty, Fifty & Up! Read more interesting articles today!

Written by guest contributor Emma Grace Brown 


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