Living With a Book Addict: Organization


One of three bookshelves!

For those of you who may be new to this series, my “Living With a Book Addict” posts are attempts at chronicling the eccentricities that come along with being married to (and living with) dear Kimberly, the book addict.  So far, I’ve discussed going to book signings, getting ARCs of books to read from publishers, and many other aspects of my life that have been impacted (mostly in a good way!) by the book lover in my life.  Next up on the list is a day-to-day item that often goes overlooked in our apartment: organizing all these books.

Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I too have a hobby which requires storing some equipment in our apartment, and that hobby is beer brewing.  I have one set of shelves in our second bedroom, and that is it.  Kim, on the other hand, has begun to store the fruits of her labor (i.e. books) in bookshelves around the apartment.  But it doesn’t stop there.  We have small book piles on the floor, as well as books on the shelves of the lamp in our living room.  We have books holding up the TV on the TV stand (okay, they are my textbooks), books on top of the china cabinet, and as I write this my feet are propped up on a book on the ottoman.  In short, there are a lot of books here.  Now, how would one go about organizing all these books?

By and large Kim’s system is based on a rotation where “books to read” find themselves on the floor or ottoman, and books that have been read end up on the bookshelves.  I could do a whole post on how many books we recently donated to the library, but that’s another day.  After they are chosen to spend the rest of their lives on our bookshelves, the books are sorted based on genre, series, and author (in descending order).  However, this is where things get interesting.  I was recently chastised for putting a series of books out of chronological order because I stacked them from largest to smallest.  Not only did Kim notice this within 24 hours, but she made sure I put them in their “correct” order.  I’m sure the books felt anxious as they were out-of-order, and restoring them to their rightful position made the planets align in just the right order, but I digress…  Regardless of how they are organized, I am happy that Kim has gotten to keep so many great works over the years.  The only trouble we have now is finding new spots!  Time to start building that library.

Anyway, thus is the tale of book organization that I find myself a part of.  What do you do with your books?  Do you organize them?  Turn them into impromptu furniture?  Use them as kindling for a fire?  Let us know in the comments below!

22 thoughts on “Living With a Book Addict: Organization

  1. A bit of a book addict myself, I found this post so amusing. I can only imagine my future significant other feeling as overwhelmed as you do. As it’s just me, I’ve found myself collecting not only books but bookshelves to store them. I currently have three, full to the brim, and about 4 stacks piled near them. I act as though my interpolating candles/photos among them makes it look less daunting. But my nightstand, too, has been burdened with the challenge of holding them. I believe another set of shelves is in my 2013 future.

  2. I have a book addiction as well and I can say my husband and my 5 little ones know it, but mine is so bad that one day my 6 year old’s friend took a book from one of book cases to use as a board to write on in my sons room and boy I have never seen my children dart that book back so fast. They then explained how mom doesn’t let people “mess” with her books. My husband has to keep his books on a case of his own. That is bad…..I know it…… My name is Krista and I am a bookaholic………

  3. Until I get the energy to make the trip to Wal-Mart and invest in a bookshelf, all of my books sit atop my dresser, while the ones I’m reading can be anywhere; the coffee table, next to the computer, my locker at work. There’s no telling where any of my books may be. I sympathize with you two.

  4. Have you considered getting her a Kindle? I got rid of a lot of books after I got one, It doesn’t take up much room. I only keep special books now, like the leather bound or signed books I have and they are easy to keep on a few shelves.

  5. I have a bookshelf with to-read, read, favourites, and yes they are in alphabetical order. I made my parents buy me two massive bookshelves to put in another room, because my bedroom was just running out of room…not that this stops me from buying more books!

  6. In my case things are a bit reversed. I’m the one collecting and storing all the books, but since we got married and moved into the new flat we’ve decided to plan ahead so there are designated areas for “books to come”…the library, sound like a plan 🙂

  7. For this exact book everywhere phenomenon is why I gave in to an e Reader, I now do my bulk reading on the reader and have a smaller bookshelf for all of my favourites. I go to extra care to make these actual books nicer by finding signed copies or hardbacks meaning they have more of a personal value than just books. I love holding paper books but my little room cant hold as many as I would like so well I will compromise until I become a millionaire and can build a humongous library.

  8. At the moment my system is: favorite books on (smaller than I’d like) bookshelf, pile of books to be read on a coffee table, 5 boxes of “where do I put these in this new place” books in the corner of my living room.

    Someday I’ll have an entire wall of bookshelves and won’t have to worry anymore. My boyfriend is a book lover as well, so if things continue to go as planned I might get my library one day!

  9. I was forced to reduced my books by 3/4 so I kept my favorites and those out of print along with my collection on cookbooks. The cookbooks are stored in the pantry but the rest of the books now live in bookshelves that have doors. Since my husband doesn’t see them, he forgets I have them. My books to reads live in all my drawers in my nightstand. I got the biggest one I could find for just that reason.

  10. I turned to the dark side with my Kindle, but before I made a massive donation of ‘real’ books to the public library, I kept my shelves organized. I always grouped books by subject (fiction, mystery, etc) and all books by the same author were side-by-side. I left the top shelf to store my most favorite books of all time. Also, hardcovers where together and paperbacks together – never mixing. I only allowed myself myself the shelf below my bedside table for books “in wait”. Fun post.

  11. The shortest answer to “where do I keep my books” is “every flat surface available.” I’ve recently started organizing them better so they aren’t on the floor, but so far I’ve filled the bookshelves in my room, stacked them on my desk, and converted a guest room to a library. where I go from here, I have no idea…

  12. Bricks and planks make good instant bookshelves. To keep the problem under control I have a cull twice a year, getting rid of all those one-read-and-they’re-done-for paperbacks- but then, bit by bit, the shelves fill up again

  13. I completely understand her saying the books weren’t in order. My own collection occupies a cupboard,3 shelves and the drawers near the bed. Sorted by favourites ,then to-read and then by genre. I despise anyone trying to clean up and organize them. I understand my system even if no one else does!

  14. Look on the bright side. At least Kim isn’t a compulsive cat collector. Books do take up space, but they are otherwise very well behaved. They don’t shed on your furniture and clothes. They don’t need to be fed twice a day. They don’t require a stinky litter box or cough up hair balls on the carpet. All in all, I think you’re getting off pretty easy. 🙂

  15. I am starting to have that problem of too many books (although I do not call that a problem exactly, the house wouldn’t seem complete without them) but I am hoping to organize them properly when I get a place of my own. There’s a limit to what I can do in my parent’s house.

  16. I love this post, my husband get frustrated with my books, i have Two full bookshelves in my lounge room, piles by my bed, bath as well as 2 kindles lying around the house. Not to mention that I get my bookshelves made for me from a friend of his so I often tell his friend I need a new bookcase and hubby usually has to do deals for him to get them. lol

  17. My books are alphabetized and categorized 🙂 Hubs makes fun of me for this. The “to be read” books are set aside.

  18. I have two full-sized bookshelves crammed into my relatively small bedroom and of course, they are packed with books, respectively. On top of that, I have a medium sized one, again, packed with books. Finally, I have a small bookshelf, again, packed with books. Besides that, I generally have library books and books loaned to me lying around either in my room, around the house or in my car. I love books and I love the aesthetic of seeing them on bookshelves, especially hardback books.

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