Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Styling" Your Bookshelf: Thoughts?

Dear Jenny,

I've been sick for a couple of days, so I'm catching up on blog reading (and a little bit of book-reading, but I find it difficult to read books when I am sick -- which is such a bummer!)

Last year, I bookmarked this blog post all about styling your bookcase. It's filled with book-y goodness, and I thought I'd bring it up here on the blog. Then I saw this post from last week about Beautifully organized home libraries and it seemed like the perfect time.

So... do you "style" your bookcases at all? I would say... yes and no. I guess I have a system, but it's not anything official (I mean, except in my own head).

I start by organizing by type/subject. These groupings are pretty broad. For "type," let's say... "fiction." Within fiction, I separate the paperbacks and the hardcovers. Then I arrange each of those groups in height order and color order, as best as possible. This gets wrecked if I have a lot of books by one author (more than 5?) -- then I group those together. (And then put them in color order.) (Of course.)

Oh, and I also have a shelf of "favorite" books that are grouped together, away from those others. (Of course.)

If there is a particular subject that we have a lot of books about (for instance, beer) (that wasn't hypothetical -- with a brewer in the house, we have a lot of books about beer), then I group those together and arrange them in height order (and color, whenever possible.) (Of course.)

Large "coffee table" books are stacked by size (and color, whenever possible). Here's a photo of our bookcases right after we bought them last year... I stack the big books on that narrow shelving unit in the middle:

Of course, these are not our only bookshelves... we've got books in the living room, on our coffee table, in the office, etc. These are our "main" bookshelves, I guess. When we moved from CA and the mover came to estimate the cost of our move, we went from room to room and he kept saying, "Oh! More books in here!" Never noticed before how many book stashes I had until that moment. Oh, yeah. More books in here!

I also have some sort of knick knacks on the shelves in front of the books, but when I worked at the library years ago, we pulled all of the spines to align with the front of the shelves and I gotta say... it might help with the shelf dusting situation (at least the dust would be behind the books, where I could not see it...) Opinions on this?

Having said all of that, I have been admiring bookshelves that are arranged entirely in color order for several years. Visually, I find this soooo appealing and I've been doing it on a shelf-by-shelf basis my entire life, so why not do the whole thing? Here's a post "in defense" of it (the comments are hilarious -- people take this topic so seriously!)

But... what if I am looking for that one book about beer? I have to remember the spine color of it first? Most of my books are fiction... perhaps I could just start with those.  Although... I need to keep my TBR shelf separate (at least, I feel like I do!) And, it's weird to me to think of interspersing my graphic novels with my other fiction. But maybe it's time to try it -- I can always put it back!

(Did you just read this post and think, "F*ck this noise. There are books and there are shelves. Put the books on the shelves. Why complicate this, weirdo?" Hahahaha.)


1 comment:

  1. I have so many thoughts, I'm going to need to make my own post! For now this--->

    OMG. The comments in that "organize your books by color" post! Hahaha. I literally couldn't even get past the first two! People take themselves so seriously. I think bookshelves arranged by color look really attractive, but I do think I'd be bothered if I didn't have as many of a single color---oh, I don't have much yellow, maybe I should buy more yellow books? They always look so artfully even in photos.

    Okay...that's just a placeholder while I compose my thoughts.