One of the (few) things I did during February was organise my bookshelves. Despite me buying most of my books in e nowadays, I somehow still have piles of books stacked haphazardly here, there, everywhere. Which meant I was running out of space, and so during a rainy afternoon, I made an attempt at organisation.
I say attempt, because, well, it’s not easy.
I’m not one of those people who need to have all the books in a series in the same format. I’m a bit too much of an impatient reader – basically I just go for the format that’s available the soonest. So I happily have US and UK releases, hardbacks and paperbacks (and ebooks) in the same series (yes, I’m talking about you, Mercy Thompson). But when shelving my books, this means I can’t do everything by series/author because of the different-sized books (okay, I could, but what a waste of bookshelf real estate!).
However, I still want to make it easy for me to find whatever books I want quickly, so I try to shelve broadly by genre – romance, mystery, fantasy, SF – if possible. But then there’s also a bit of an instinctive grouping happening.
So my Lois McMaster Bujold SF hardcovers are next to those Elizabeth Peters‘ Amelia Peabody mysteries I have in hardcover as well – different genres, but with protagonists that somehow strike me as very similar. Next to Amelia Peabody are my Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum mysteries (the few ones I bought in hardcover, before I started borrowing them from my library) and then my Lisa Lutz books – both offbeat contemporary mystery series, though quite different in style.
My paperback Elizabeth Peters mysteries are shelved separately – I have them with her romantic suspense books written under her Barbara Michaels pseudonym, which are in turn next to my collection of Mary Stewart paperbacks, because again, they have a similar feel. I’m toying with adding my Susanna Kearsleys to that shelf as well.
I have my Juliet Marillier hardcovers with Sharon Shinn‘s Twelve Houses and Elemental Blessings books as neighbours (and hey look, Goodreads has the the cover for the third book in the series, JEWELED FIRE!). My smaller Shinn hardcovers (which tend to be more YA in feel) are with my Kristin Cashore books, a couple of Tamora Pierce hardbacks, and the two Cecelia and Kate books I have in hardcover.
And I could go on and on… but it’s probably only interesting to me. I love how I can now lay my hands on the books I’m after so much more easily – my shelves now match how I think of the books in my head. (Though we’ll see how long this state of affairs last…)
I’d love to hear how you shelve your books (or how you’d like to – if I had a whole wall of shelves, I’d totally follow Angie’s example and do this)!
Non-book related link: This post (and comments) totally cracked me up.