Thursday, 16 January 2014

Bookshelf Reorganization

I live in a 600 sq ft apartment. It's just me, so that's plenty of space. But the one thing I lack is storage space. And, well, wall space. I have one bookshelf. One. There is literally no room in my apartment for another one.

The one bookshelf is, predictably, a disaster. Made worse by the fact that late in December I discovered Book Outlet and have placed three orders since then. The shelves are overflowing and it looks terrible. I resolved to reorganize it ASAP.

The problem is, I really like things to be organized. If I had it my way, I'd have unlimited shelf space and I'd be able to put all my books alphabetically by author's last name (and then by publication date if I own more than one book by the same author).

Alas, you can barely tell what's going on here, even though at one time there used to be some semblance of order. I decided to try and pile my to-be-reads together and my already-read-and-keeping-forever books together. And because of my serious lack of space, I gave up on the idea of order and just decided to sort by relative size--keeping series together, though!

Here all all those books on the floor. You'll notice I left my bottom shelf alone. That's full of my single issues, trade paperbacks (hiding behind the blue binder) and manga. The other books off to the side are books I'm borrowing from friends and don't want to accidentally mix in with my collection.

I tried to sort everything somewhat as I pulled it all off the shelves, but this was quite the process. It took me about an hour altogether.

That looks way better as far as I'm concerned. Part of me still cringes a bit because things are alphabetized, but I'll get over it. And I'll console myself with thoughts of the day I buy my own place and get to have lots of bookshelves!

For the most part, the top shelf is unread books. Two exceptions off to the far right include first books in series I want to re-read this year. (And hopefully complete their series!)

The first half-ish of the second shelf is also unread, with The Name of the Wind hanging out front because it was so chunky and I actually want to read it this year so I wanted easy access. The rest is already read and keeping forever, with my two most recent reads hanging off the far right side.

One day, when I inhabit the mythical utopia of all the bookshelves, I think I'll probably have a harder time letting books go. Hell, since I started watching booktube and blogging in December I've had some fantasies about having a real collection of my own. (This is probably Katytastic's fault since, have you seen her shelves?)

Regardless, before all that and before Book Outlet, I sort of jumped at any chance I got when it came to bargain books. As a result, I have quite a few books that I think I bought solely because I recognized the name and/or author. But upon realistic reflection, I'm not sure when I'll ever get around to these books. And if I have a sudden change of heart, they wouldn't be hard to scoop up from the library.

 So I begrudgingly made a to-donate pile. Two of these books are books I have actually read (the single issue comics aside). Ex-Heroes and Earth Girl were both good books, but I'm just not sure they're good enough for me to want to keep forever.

My keep forever books typically fall into two categories: books I love to death and want to have on hand to re-read or even just flip through for favourite passages (see: The Song of Achilles) or books that I want to have to lend to friends because you just have to read this book.

Again, one day when I'm not so desperate for shelf space I can seem myself hanging on to a lot more. But for now, I'm okay with letting these go.

Now I just have to figure out where to take them... My public library does a paperback exchange every summer, but do I really want to hold onto these until June? I wish we had a second hand bookstore in town... It seems ridiculous that we don't given that we're actually a city of 60k, but alas. The nearest 'metropolis' is 3 hours away by car, but they have their fair share of second hand shops.

Hmm. Decisions, decisions!

Anyway, that was my evening. And since it was book related, I thought I'd post about it. How is your bookshelf organized? How do you deal with lack of shelving space? Do you ever have to purge your collection? How do you decide what stays and what goes?

Let me know!