I love looking at bookshelves. Beautifully calming book-nerdery.
I have a sort of organisation system. I split my books into short stories, graphic novels, non-fiction, children’s/YA, poetry/plays and fiction. Within that, I just keep the same author’s books together (but they will be split across categories, e.g. Philip Pullman lives separately in children’s/YA and fiction). I also have a shelf on my thin bookcase for books that are on their way out to friends or the charity shop.
It does mean the fiction section gets a bit unwieldy, but I like it that way. I really like browsing. Unless it’s something that needs to be read for a book club, I tend not to plan what I’m reading next. I like having a wander over my shelves and seeing what jumps out at me, and, often, when I’m looking for a particular book, a different one I’d forgotten about will be just what I need. Basically, the longer it takes to look for a book, the longer the browsing time and greater the chances of ‘book serendipity’.
The books I haven’t read are mixed in with already-read ones. I think I would find a TBR shelf kind of stressful and it would stop me re-reading when I wanted to because it would be looking at me in judgement. Yes.
I’ve been trying to keep on top of my book collection by having fairly frequent culls. I tend to keep the ones I think I’ll re-read, or that I have some kind of connection to (because it made me feel the feels or because of the context in which I was reading it). My books are like little capsule memories in that way. Some books hang around for longer than they should, but enter a kind of ‘relegation zone’ in my head and will likely go the next time I cull. I’ve had a recent cull, so at the moment all I can see are (what looks to me like) massive spaces waiting for new books. Sigh. I must be good and stick to my book-buying ban a bit longer! (I have a horrible feeling the ban is just going to backfire and lead to a massive binge – a bit like if you’re not allowed tea and cake).
How do you organise your shelves? Do you keep everything, or do only certain books make it into your permanent collection?