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Fun article in latest Penguin email newsletter (one of the few commercial ones I don't filter out!) on shelving tribes here.

 

Trouble (or not!) is that I don't fit into any of them: my fiction books are certainly shelved alphabetically, but my biographies are shelved chronologically (by date of death of subject!), and others are done differently again (basically Dewey, but with variation). Which means I'm probably even more geeky than the Penguin editors have allowed for!

 

Anybody else got a tribal affiliation?

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Interesting article! I don't think I have a particular tribe either but I'm closest to organising 'by value'. I have two shelves that don't get any direct sunlight and that's where I keep my favourite, special edition books (it's also where I take a lot of the giveaway pictures because the light is quite good there, just in front of the four copies of Household Words I got for £10 on ebay!). I also keep my few signed books all together on a different shelf. Then I put the books I haven't read yet together and the books I've read and loved enough to keep together. Within that system though they're just on whatever shelf they fit on (although I do try to keep books by the same author together).

 

Quite a lot of my unread books aren't even on a shelf at the moment though, I have them stacked on the floor because they don't fit anywhere. If there was a 'chaotic value' tribe, I might be part of that!

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Great article, thanks for that! :)

 

I organise mostly by genre but not entirely. Within a genre, I have a 'what fits best where' approach, where authors of whom I have more books take priority over authors of whom I only have one or a couple of books (this is because I want one author's books to preferably all go on the same shelf next to each other). I put my favourites more in the shelves in the middle and on eye-height, top and bottom shelves are on occasion reserved for books I don't often plan to (re)-read or that I've not got as much interest in or that I don't like as much, or that I don't mind as much getting dusty in the case of it being the bottom shelf. Within biographyes & memoirs and for information books, I have them organised based on subject or series, so all autism memoirs are on the same shelf (and are actually together with information books about autism!), same with all AD(H)D related ones. Memoirs by people who are famous for something (ie. from TV or music), are on one shelf. All memoirs about mental health, physical health, and stuff like that, without the people being famous / celebrities etc, are near each other. All my Horrible Histories books are on one shelf, etc.

 

Anyway, I have to leave now because I have an appointment! Can't type more sorry..

 

 

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I'd be in Hayley's 'chaotic' tribe!  I try to organise by author, although not alphabetically, and roughly by order of publication date, but not always.  My Agatha Christies are all together, but they're hopelessly out of order; ditto my William S. Burroughs shelf.  (They're the two authors I own the most books by.)  Most of my books are upright, but there are sections where they're on their sides due to height restrictions.  My non-fiction books are shelved more or less by genre, but they're scattered in different areas.  Colour organisation is for lunatics.

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Tribe Hayley as well, I have some on the shelves and back then I used to try to keep books by the same author together, but now it's just piles on the floor!:roll:

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I wish I could be so relaxed, but it would drive me mad to have books unsorted.  As it is, I drive my wife mad instead with the degree to which they are (we are defnitely splitters not lumpers - as so accurately discussed by Anne Fadiman, Ex Libris -  and her books are much more on Tribe Hayley lines, including the value bit!).

 

 

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21 hours ago, Onion Budgie said:

I'd be in Hayley's 'chaotic' tribe!  I try to organise by author, although not alphabetically, and roughly by order of publication date, but not always.  My Agatha Christies are all together, but they're hopelessly out of order; ditto my William S. Burroughs shelf.  (They're the two authors I own the most books by.)  Most of my books are upright, but there are sections where they're on their sides due to height restrictions.  My non-fiction books are shelved more or less by genre, but they're scattered in different areas.  Colour organisation is for lunatics.

 

Within an author's work, it really differs for me per author how I organise. Some are organised chronologically, others in the order I read them in, some by/per series (ie. in the case of some fantasy authors), some based on the height of the books, etc.

 

20 hours ago, Madeleine said:

Tribe Hayley as well, I have some on the shelves and back then I used to try to keep books by the same author together, but now it's just piles on the floor!:roll:

 

I have to admit I have a few piles on the floor as well. In some cases, it's because it doesn't fit where I want it to. In a couple of other cases, it's a pile of books by authors of whom I know I have another book (so they should be together on the shelf) but I haven't been able to find said book.

 

 

Just wanted to give these two things as an addendum to my earlier post in this thread.

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I think I'm the only person who can make sense of my shelves. I have a section of fine press books and those I want to keep but the rest are kind of all over the place but it makes odd sense to me. Nothing is in genre order or alphabetical but they are arranged roughly by book height as I like the maching aesthetic.

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Great article ! I don't fit into any of those tribes though! And yet I thought my way would be one of the most natural and obvious - I arrange them according to size!

Because sometimes you have a small shelf which can only take the old size paperback (I am talking the ones from 50s, 60s, 70s) , then all the newer larger standard paperbacks of the same size on another shelf, and then hardbacks, then at the bottom you usually have a deep shelf for those big coffee table hardbacks , right?

Edited by vodkafan

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Since I moved back all my own books are in 32 litre plastic tubs anyway in my shed. There are no shelves for them in the house.

Edited by vodkafan

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11 hours ago, Madeleine said:

Hope the tubs are water and mouse proof!

 

Yes they are safe as houses in there. There was simply no room back in the house, every bookshelf is already full.

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