Thursday, January 24, 2013

How Do You...Organize Your Book Shelves?

How do you organize your book shelves?

Let me start by saying we have a lot of books!  We haven't had shelf space for all of our books for at least ¾ of our married lives. That should change as soon as we prime and paint the second half of our built-in book shelf unit (which could be as early as next week!).  Until then, many of our books live in boxes. 

Because we own fewer fiction books than non-fiction ones, the majority of the fiction has been given a home on the finished side of the built-in shelf.  We separated the classics from the modern fiction and alphabetized by author. Non-fiction, I'm afraid, is going to be tougher to organize!  {Any ideas?}

We also have book shelves in both the boys' and the girls' rooms that house their personal book collections.  Once upon a time, I kept our kid books strictly organized by size, but that system flew out the window when Gavin was a toddler and loved to pull every book off of the shelf every day!  Now I'm content to simply keep the shelves moderately tidy.

In the girls' room, Maddie keeps her chapter books on a high shelf, we keep the general picture books on a middle shelf, and Alaine's board books go on the bottom shelf.  Though it creates a top-heavy effect, it's all in the name of practicality.

The boys have a small shelf in their room (though a tall book shelf for their space is on my wishlist someday).  We divide are divided into two categories: chapter books on top and picture books on the bottom. 

How do you organize your books?   Let us know in the comments.


  1. Don't you just love the pull all the books off the shelf phase? Amelia loves doing that!

    Right now we have most of the kids books upstairs on a bookcase in our room. We try to keep only 10-15 picture books and 10-15 board books on the small bookshelf downstairs. This helps us keep the clean-up process easier and also adds some freshness when we switch out books.

    We also have a bin/structured bag for the library books which is housed downstairs, too.

    We also have lots of non-fiction picture books that are organized by topic for homeschool use. This is how we store those.

    With all of our moves, Tim and I haven't saved a lot of our books, though we've started to accumulate more now.

  2. having a librarian for a son, I have at times almost had my books in dewey decimal order but never for long.

    I do separate fiction from nonfiction but some books labeled fiction [it is a fine line] are just as valuable learning tools and almost deserve a place among their teaching peers.

    Currently, with the children grown the books are not as rapidly dismantled and I have them group by topic sort of. Science, Christmas, Hebraic Roots, and History but the history became mush more manageable when we filed in chronological order. I harbor a secret wish to live in a library and sometimes things are ordered enough to be close........

  3. At my house, I don't have much success keeping BB's books sorted. My books are sorted according to author or genre. In my classroom, I sorted books according to subject matter. I would have students take turns being the classroom librarian.

  4. I'm the daughter of a librarian and am a substitute at several local libraries so our books are all categorized and alphabetized! All except the picture books-we have WAY too many for me to alphabetize them all the time. I used to keep them on a shelf, but toddlers have a hard time putting them back on, so now all the picture books are stored in an extra dresser we have. The kids can easily put them away in the drawers when they're done.

  5. ba ha, I text Kathi the other day to beg her to do a post on how to organize books... still waiting on that one, lol. I get too obsessed; alphabetical, in order of subject, in order of grades; gah! still not happy with the lay out... yet.
    Thanks for sharing about your stuff.


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