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How Do You Arrange Your Bookshelves?

Some friends and I were talking recently about how we arrange our bookshelves, especially when committee work comes involved. I had an elaborate arrangement when I was on the Printz Committee last year, with books arrange by books I needed to read, books read, and books that I needed to re-read. There were piles everywhere in my office and on my shelf.

Some of that organization has stayed with me even though my committee term is over. Plus, I'm a librarian and I like to organize things! 

Here's what the shelves in my office look like:

The first shelf is books I need to read/review/or are in my most current TBR pile. Towards the end of the shelf is when I start my collection of books, in alphabetical order by author's last name of course. 

I used to organize them by children's, YA, and adult, but I put them all together in the last couple of years and I think I like that better. There's a mix of books I have read and books I want to read, but I move them out of my big review pile after about a year and hope that someday I can read them!

I have a small collection of non-fiction-books I want to keep from grad school, various reader's advisory guides, and other topics I'm interested in, but it's mostly my library science collection.

The rest of my shelves are full of books in alphabetical order, but this last shelf is my Newbery and Caldecott Shelf. I have a goal to order all the Award winners. I need to add my Printz titles to this shelf as well. 

I just recently moved my library books to the living room because we added a new shelf to put the coming baby GreenBean's toys.

And of course, some of baby GreenBean's book collection made it out to this shelf but trust me, he has a bunch more in his room just waiting for him to read!

The rest of my books are in the bedroom. When I was on the Printz Committee last year, we realized we needed more bookshelves, a problem I always think is a good one! So Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I put all of our combined interest books-things we both like to read-on those shelves. We also put all our signed books and the books we used for guests to sign as our guest books at our wedding on those shelves. 

Between the two of us, we own a lot of books! And my organization may change every few years. Again, as a librarian, I do feel the need to refresh my collection now and than and I weed my books. I try to take out books that have been sitting on my shelf for years that I haven't read and I don't really think I will get to in the next year-I can always borrow them from the library if I want to read them! I also try to keep favorites, books I really want to keep in my TBR pile, and books I want to have on hand to book talk if I need to. Yes, I can always get book talk books from the library, but it's nice to have a collection of go to favorites to pull at the last minute if I need to. 

So how do you organize your shelves? Do you weed your shelves often and rearrange? 


  1. I wish I was more organized, but maybe there is a system to the piles. We have coffee table in the living room filled with library books, bedside table with books to be read and bookshelf of books I've read and loved and well hope to read again. Somehow, I still know where what I want to read is.

  2. Funny enough, the bookshelves that hold my review books (the books I NEED to read) are a whole lot more organized than those that hold my personal collection (books I've already read or will get around to reading someday). The review books are shelved according to audience (picture books; MG; YA; adult) and then in alphabetical order by last name. Alphabetizing took forever, but it makes ALL the difference. I can find books so much easier now :) My personal collection is just separated by audience, mostly so my kids now which books they are allowed to read and which will require mom's approval.

    Fun post!


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