Book Bag: Organizing Tips for Book Lovers

Published Tuesday, May 14, 2013 8:06 PM

Curling up with a great read: wonderful. Being engulfed in stacks of books: not so much. If your book-loving ways have your home awash in piles of paperbacks and heaps of hard covers, we can help. No need for the formality of the Dewy Decimal system, there are plenty of simple ways to organize your books. Options include alphabetically, by genre, and design lovers can even choose to organize them by color for a visual pop. Just pick a system that works for you and stick with it.

Getting Started

Before you begin, it's time for a house-cleaning and purge. Organize and keep only what you read or love.

Dust Jacket: There's a reason book covers are also called dust jackets; books collect dust like nobody's business. Do your books a favor and keep them dust-free with periodic vacuuming. You may wish to start your book re-org with a deep cleaning; remove all books from your shelves, dust and scrub the shelves thoroughly and return only those volumes you wish to keep.

Good-bye Old Friend: Parting with beloved books is never easy. But why are you hanging onto that novel you hated or the book you have no interest in? Ancient college textbooks anyone? Every collection can use a purge now and again. Donate your unwanted books to your local library or arrange a book swap with friends or neighbors. Or donate them to organizations such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill; for more ideas on charities accepting used books, check out Where to Donate Old Books: 10 Places to Start.   Or consider selling your books, website makes it easy.

Utterly Orderly: Think beyond the bookcase for your books. While the bulk of your collection may live on shelves, consider storing books where you'll use them. Cookbooks in the kitchen, kids books in a low, easily accessible case in the family room or a bedroom. Don't limit yourselves to shelves, store picture books in colorful canvas totes or boxes. Reclaim your bedside table by keeping books you are currently reading in an attractive tote bag near your bed or favorite reading chair.

Extra Space: Running out of room for your beloved books? Gain space by using a small riser along the back of a shelf that lets you create a second, raised tier for stacking two rows of paperbacks. Note: you can make the riser yourself out of boxes of aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Click here to see an example.

Book Look:

Serious bibliophiles will always love a room lined with shelving; what is more appealing than a wall of custom shelves, brimming with your favorites? For inspiration, we've rounded up some spectacular shelving ideas  including this fabulous bookshelf man.




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