Methods to Organize Your Book Collection

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Methods to Organize Your Book Collection

Methods to Organize Your Book Collection

If you are an avid book lover, you may have more books than you know what to do with. The frustrating thing about having a large collection of books is not being able to find the one you need, when you need it. With that in mind, check out these ideas to get your book collection organized so you can find that one special volume when you need it.

By Title or Subject: What’s Your Preference?

You can choose to organize your books by title or by subject. Which one is your personal preference? Each one has advantages and disadvantages.

By Title

If you organize by title only, keep in mind that this will mix all subjects together, even children’s books. Title organization, though, will mean that every book has a specific spot that can be easily found according to the alphabet.

Alphabetical title organization can be a pain, though, if you are looking for a specific book and can’t remember the title. If you have several hundred books, you will have to scan each title to find that one you are looking for. If you are looking for a book about cats, organizing by title may be of no help to you since book titles don’t always reflect the subject.

To organizing your books by title, you will need to start with empty shelves. Use a permanent marker and index cards to make an alphabet card for each shelf. Start with A-B, C-D, E-F, and so on. Sort each book onto a shelf according to title — get all the titles that start with A and B onto the A-B shelf. Once you have all of the titles on the shelf and out of the general collection, then you can alphabetize them. Then go on to the next shelf.

By Subject

Organizing your books by subject will allow you to find books on certain subjects more easily if you don’t know the titles. Subject sorting will also break up your book collection into bite-sized bits that can be easier to handle.

To get started with subject sorting, you will need to make a list of the subject headings you will need. You can use broad subjects to make it a little easier, such as: Children’s books, cooking, crafts, DIY/home improvement, diet and exercise, spiritual/religious, animals/pets, etc. Take a look at your book collection to get an idea of some general subjects to get you started on your list.

Set up shelves (label each shelf using an index card and permanent marker) by genre then sort each book onto the appropriate shelf. After all the books are on the correct shelf, go back and alphabetize them by title.

Organizing your book collection by title or by subject are efficient methods to keep them in order. Straighten your collection regularly and make sure every book is in the correct place and you will be able to find the book you need, when you need it.

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