Since graduate school is at an end, I finally had a (rare) free afternoon to sit and stare at the piles and piles of books that I couldn’t fit on my bookshelves in the last few months. Not only did I need to do another rearrangement, but I hadn’t checked my inventory in several months and I didn’t know how many books I hadn’t read yet.
I went to the Container Store (side note: that place is HEAVEN) and bought a jar for all of my TBRs. Many readers have done this before, but I’d always relied on my Goodreads to-read list. Now that my bookshelves are out of control, having a jar to help choose a book at random would make things more efficient and convenient. I pulled all of my colorful notepads, cut them into strips, and prepared to pen all the titles and authors.
My personal library inventory is all on an Excel spreadsheet, alphabetical by author and categorized by genre and readership (children’s, YA, adult). It helps me keep track of everything I own (books on display and books still in boxes under my bed or in the closet), and I put numbers next to them for the number of copies or editions (very important for my collections). Highlighted books are TBRs, and books in red I’d planned on selling. I penned all the highlighted books, folded the strips, and put them into the jar. I then went back through my spreadsheet, deleted rows of books I no longer own, added in books I’ve purchased and read, and books I’ve purchased and haven’t read (and then penned those for the jar, too).
I’m absolutely astounded to say that, according to the spreadsheet (that does not include nonfiction titles like Chicago Manual of Style, home organization books, publishing/editing books, etc) I own 418 books. I’m scared to see the number if I add in the nonfiction titles…
After the initial shock, I tackled the bookshelves and rearranged them, forcing books to fit wherever they could. Stacks and stacks on several shelves, very few actually standing the way a book should. I’d buy another bookshelf, but I live in a 190-square-foot studio, so you can imagine the available space.
For the time being, my bookshelves are arranged alphabetical by author, unless they’re part of a collection. My collections (Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Harry Potter, Daughter of Smoke and Bone) belong on my desk shelves.
How do you arrange your shelves? Do you hoard books? Have you created a TBR jar?