Like Anne, I if I come to your house, I’m going to be distracted by your bookshelves. I’m going to scope them out, in search of commonalities to my own stacks and new treasures.
If I see something like The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook, anything by Annie Dillard, or a biography I’ve been wanting to read, I will pester you with questions. Or I’ll just grab the book and try not to ignore you. Sorry.
If I see any of my favorites, you’ll have to pardon my exuberance.
Speaking of which, here they are–my most enjoyed and/or most frequently-referenced books. And a bit about how I organize them.
Favorite Books on My Shelf
My favorites don’t usually get to hang out like this (see below for my usual organizational method), but today I got them together for a group pic.
Left to Right: Bonhoeffer/Emily Post’s Etiquette/John Adams/Exodus/A Severe Mercy/God’s Smuggler/Surprised by Joy/Pilgrim at Tinker Creek/Girl Meets God/Taking Charge of Your Fertility/Sherlock Holmes/The Weather of the Heart/The Writing Life/Amazing Grace/Jane Eyre/Amy Carmichael: Let the Little Children Come/Bird by Bird/Jane Austen: The Complete Novels/The Chronicles of Narnia/The Hobbit/The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter
How I Organize Them
(From a previous post, brought back in honor of today’s link-up)
When I was a child, my family owned hundreds of videos. Hundreds. I exaggerate not.
And in my nascent organizational neurosis, I cataloged them–first by genre, then alphabetically.
Looking for Abbott and Costello? How about The Hunt for Red October? (Our collection was heavy on 20s comedy and Tom Clancy).
Just ask me. I found great satisfaction in locating your film of choice within seconds.
My penchant for organizing has never left, but somewhere around ’09 it took a more aesthetic turn: I started arranging my heaps of books by color.
I probably saw the idea in a magazine and in an attempt to make the most of our limited apartment decorating budget, I began stacking our tomes in order of hue; first navy, then royal blue, then sky blue, etc.
(See? Neurosis, full-blown).
After the handmade moss ball/topiary that sits on our kitchen table, this is the feature of my home that gets the most attention. While the practice is not original, apparently it isn’t that common.
Lest you think it’s completely impractical, for the visually-oriented it works perfectly.
Because I generally remember the cover of a book, when Hubs is searching for another one of his bleak-looking economics books, I can quickly say, “America’s Great Depression? In the gray-ish section.” (Apropos, no?)
Is Jane Erye in the classics section? No, she’s hanging out next to Anne Lamott. But they’re both red, so it makes sense. Right?
Some might be confused by the juxtaposition of a duration of wonderful children’s books and a CIA agent’s memoir (see below). Me, I’m just bothered by the fact that I’m lacking a darker brown book to transition more gently to the black section.
Anyway. It works for us (me) and adds some visual interest to our numerous books shelves.
If you’re up for a little order-by-color on your own shelves, I highly recommend removing the book jackets. The spines are prettier naked.
What are your favorite books/bookshelf-arranging practices?
And check out other people’s bookshelves over at Modern Mrs. Darcy! 🙂