Friday, May 5, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 93: Bookshelves -- To Re-arrange or Not To Re-arrange Them?

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This Week's Question

Do you re-arrange and move books around on the shelves or move books off of your bookshelves to another area after a certain amount of time, or do you just leave them the way they are?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth  @ 

My Answer

So at last we have a question about the bane of every bookworm's existence -- those bookshelves! Lol. Thanks, Elizabeth!!  :)

I think all of us who have an obsession with books do move them around from time to time. In my case, I never do that, even when I need to dust them.  I'm quite content to let them remain where they are. The thing is, I need my precious time for reading. So I don't obsess about where my books are located on the shelves. Some people are such neat freaks where books are concerned that they actually arrange them by topic, or in alphabetical order, by the author's last name, or even by size. Now, that DOES matter to me -- putting books together according to size. It just looks so much better, more aesthetically pleasing. But, once arranged, I will leave them thus, and not move them around anymore unless absolutely necessary -- which isn't the case, most of the time.

There are also those people who catalogue their books, the way libraries do. While the advantage is that they know exactly WHERE a book is, and can locate it in a second, I just feel that this type of thing is also a big waste of time that could be much better used actually reading!

There's another reason why I don't re-arrange, or even organize, my bookshelves. Whenever I start dusting off my books, I inevitably get sidetracked, because I'm distracted by the books themselves. Since I have collected SO many interesting books that I have not yet read, when I'm dusting them, I can't resist opening a really interesting one and skimming through it, telling myself that "this will only take a second". Yeah, RIGHT. I start getting into the book. Then I hastily stop myself and continue the dusting, only to have the very same thing happen with the next book I come across. So you can imagine that the whole project of organizing and/or re-arranging my books would be a HUGE disaster from the start, as well as a HIGHLY frustrating experience! 

My bookshelves are currently pretty full by now, anyway. I have tried to stop or even slow down my book buying, but that doesn't look like a likely event. So I've been putting new acquisitions on top of books arranged vertically, as there's some space available there. Lately, I've even resorted to putting books inside purses I'm not currently using. These purses are hanging in two

I need to go through my collection -- this is long overdue -- to see if there are any books I need to get rid of. I know that, from time to time, I have come across books and have asked myself, "Don't I already own a copy of this one? Yes, I'm pretty sure I do. I wonder where the HECK it is!" (I'm a great conversationalist when I'm talking to myself.) 

Sometimes, I get a hankering for a certain book, and I start going crazy looking for it, wondering if I even own it. ("Highly illogical human behavior!" Mr. Spock would probably mutter to himself, on his way to give Captain Kirk the latest statistics on the Romulan-Klingon war...) It's just that I'm not in the running for the title of "World's Most Organized Person", lol. 

My mom gave up on me years ago, when I used to live at home. She would organize my room (I had FAR fewer books then!), but it would go right back to its original state of chaos a couple of days later. I DID know where everything was, though.

Having said all of the above, I must admit that I do admire bookworms who are able (they have the patience I don't) to organize their bookshelves. Having organized shelves does make it much easier to locate books. But, again, I just don't have "the organizing gene"....Lol.

It's such a relief when, after feverishly searching every single volume on my shelves, I can finally locate a book! However, if I CAN'T locate it, and really NEED to read it, my only conclusion is that it's probably in storage. (When we moved into our condo 2 years ago, I had no choice but to put a LOT of my books in storage, boo-hoo......) Well, in such cases, if I MUST have the book, I simply buy myself another copy! You see,  I cannot possibly NOT HAVE a certain book when I want to have it at hand. I want my book when I want it!! Lol.

So there you have it, very LOGICAL and totally UNDERSTANDABLE explanation for why I do what I do, or don't do, with my babies. And oh, yes, I ALWAYS HUG my favorites!! Then I put them right back on the shelf, in the exact same spot.

Below are two pics of part of my book collection. One of them shows a closeup of my beloved reading nook. (This is where I do my blogging, as well. I have a lap desk that I put my laptop on, as the small table next to me is there for the sole purpose of holding MORE books...) These are the books currently in our condo. The pics were taken about a month after we moved in.

I included these photos in a previous post, but decided to do so again, for two reasons: 1.) I'm HUGELY proud of these beauties, and 2.) Some of you fellow BBH participants may not have seen them on the previous occasion (occasions?) , so I'm bragging about them again!

What are your thoughts on
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Thanks for visiting!!! 


  1. Great post Maria. This is a topic that is so interesting to many bookworms!

    These days my wife is in charge of organizing book. Like with most things her system is logical and most books are easy to find. I also been to have easy access to books.

    When I was young and single I used to give a lot thought to book organization.

    Your bookshelves are really neat!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thanks for the good word!! :)

      This is indeed a topic of great interest to many, if not most, of us bookworms!

      It's great that your wife is the book organizer in the house! I'm not an organized person unless the organizing has to do with my job. I'm pretty good at planning activities for my students. However, my classroom cabinet is a mess, because I just don't have the time to keep all of the handouts in order. We part-time teachers get NO planning time AT ALL. Luckily, I have computers in my classroom, so I have the students do listening exercises for the first 45 minutes of class -- from 7:00 to 7:45 PM. During that time, I input my attendance on the school district website, and do some planning. I can't get much organizing done, though.

      Re-organizing my bookshelves by either topic, or by the authors' last names, would be such a HUGE job! And a VERY frustrating one, too! Why? I've decided to add the reason to my post: I would get distracted by looking through any interesting books I would come across! Lol.

      Even when I was single I NEVER gave any thought to book organization. I used to live with my parents, and Mom had me pegged as a lost cause. She would organize my room (I had FAR fewer books then!), and, a day or two later, the chaos was back, lol. (I've added this to the post, too.)

      Thanks for complimenting my bookshelves!! MUSIC TO MY EARS!! Thanks as well for the overall GREAT comment!!

      Hope you have a great weekend, too!! <3 :)

  2. Your bookshelves are amazing! Unfortunately, I'm short of bookshelves right now and have to keep most of my books in storage bins (numbered with contents cataloged in a searchable database - I'm one of those) but I have dreams of having floor to ceiling bookcases in one of the current former kids' rooms now guest room/storage room soon to be library! The great thing about having kids move out is you get to do fun things with their rooms!

    1. Hi, Katherine!

      Thank you for complimenting my bookshelves!! MUSIC TO MY EARS!! They contain only SOME of the books I was able to bring to the condo, lol. The rest are in storage at a public storage facility.

      You're SO lucky to have extra rooms now! We have one bedroom, so what you see in the pictures above is it -- although I didn't take pictures of the shelves on the other wall. Those frame the flat-screen TV.

      I wish I could be as organized as you, but I'm just not wired that And you have a searchable database, too! That's VERY impressive! I admire you!!

      Thanks for visiting and leaving such a GREAT comment!! <3 :)

  3. What a fun post, Maria! We loved seeing your beautiful book nook; it's amazing! Thanks so much for sharing! It wasn't until we moved into our current home that I was able to really unpack all of my books into a designated home library. I admit, I've probably taken it a bit far lol. I scanned every book into a database, I have all the books arranged alphabetically by the author's last name and into sections. Because new books are always coming in, it's a never-ending task but one that I thoroughly enjoy. I have a system when I get a new book that includes scanning it and filing it -- unless I'm reading it immediately, and then I do those things once I've finished it. It has really come in handy to keep me from buying repeats, and I love that I can just go immediately to any book easily. With the amount of books I have, it has just become a necessity to keep them organized. I think there is no rule and that readers should do what works for them and what they love :) Have a wonderful day!! *big HUGS* <3

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thanks for the compliment!! Yes, it's really FUN to discuss book placement on home bookshelves! You're very welcome for the sharing!

      You are indeed VERY lucky to live in a house large ENOUGH to accommodate your books, as well as Mckenzie's! I have the books you see above, plus some more on the other living room wall. They frame the flat-screen TV. I also have some more in the bedroom, on a smaller bookshelf, plus on my night table, PLUS, as you know from tis post, inside purses hanging in two

      You are SO organized!! I admire you guys that are able to do that! You do have a great advantage in that you will NEVER buy repeats. I will come across a repeat every so often, lol.

      I have a LOT of books -- my public storage unit is full to the brim, and it's a 5 x 10 -- so I should try to organize them, but I just can't. Just thinking about doing something like what you've done gives me a Guess I'm just not wired that way! So KUDOS to you!!

      I'm glad you think that "readers should do what works for them and what they love"!! You are so sweet!! That's why I LOVE being friends with you!! If only we lived closer to each other, so you, me, and Mckenzie could sit down and discuss books in person.....

      Hope you have a WONDERFUL day, too!! Thanks SO much for such an AWESOME comment!! *BIG HUGS BACK* <3 <3 :) :)

  4. LOVE your photos and your answer.

    Love you put books in purses...great idea.

    I only organize by the order of when I read them. It does bother me a bit about the sizes not going from tall to short, but the date I have read them is more important. :) I actually can remember what books were read at certain times. :)

    LOL on what happens when you dust. :)

    Thanks for your wonderful answer, and I agree about the bane of our existence. :)

    Happy Hopping!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Thanks for complimenting my post, as always!! You're so sweet!!

      I'm glad you like the idea of putting books inside purses that one is not using at the moment. That also gives you some idea of just how strapped for book space I am! Lol.

      So far, it looks like most of the bloggers who replied to this question are very well-organized with their books. I wish I could be, too, but it's jut not in me....

      I've noticed several types of organization styles. Yours makes sense; I can see how that would help you keep track of books read. And it's really AMAZING that you can even remember which books you read when! KUDOS to you!!

      Yeah, it's funny how, every time I dust my books, it takes me FOREVER, because I get distracted and start skimming them! LOL.

      You're very welcome for my answer, and I'm glad you agree that, although this is a fun topic, it's also the bane of every bookworm's existence!

      Happy Hopping to you, as well!! Thanks for the SUPER NICE comment!! <3 <3 :) :)

  5. Good luck with your eventual sort-out!

    1. Hi, Nicki! Thanks, I need it!! Thanks for dropping by!! :)

  6. I have to have my books in some sort of order because I can't find anything otherwise. I like to know where I can find just about any book when I go looking for it. I am probably in need of another good culling session. I hate giving up my books and so have to wait for the mood to strike. I am due for another re-organizing in that I need to add recent new books in with my other books. I am bad about that. You commented about wanting to spend more time reading than arranging--and that's a big excuse for me too. Haha. And I know what you mean about getting lost in your own shelves . . . So many interesting books there that draw your attention away from your task. :-)

    I hope you have a great week, Maria! Another great response!

    1. Hi, Wendy!

      It is indeed important to have some order in one's home library, so one can find certain books. Alas, I am not an organized person by nature. Lol. In the past, whenever I have tried to organize my books, I have always given up in frustration. So I do admire you folks who are able to do this! I just feel that my time is too precious to spend it in this type of activity. I would much rather be reading. Of course, I pay for this by NOT being able to readily locate a particular book....

      I do have my books organized, in a way. I have placed them on the shelves according to size. Of course, this really doesn't help when trying to locate books. My shelves do look pretty, though. Lol.

      I DEFINITELY "get lost in (my) own shelves" when I'm dusting my books! That's why it takes me FOREVER to do this! It's just SO tempting to sample a book when dusting

      Hope you have a great week as well, Wendy!! Thanks for the compliment on my post, as well as for the great comment!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 :) :)

  7. I never thought about how much reading time people who re-arrange their book shelves, all the time waste! I am boring, alphabetical author is my organization method. :)

    1. Hi, there!

      Yeah....but I admire you organized types! You can always find a book on your shelves, while people like me have to go crazy looking for books because we don't know where we put them! Lol.

      Your method might be a common one, but it's eminently practical. :)

      Thanks for the great comment!! <3 :)


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