Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bookself-- Sorting and Shuffling

Each week with my Mailbox Monday posts, I tell everyone not only how many books I found in my mailbox, but how many books I put in there for the mail carrier to deliver to new homes. Since I joined Paperback Swap just over a year ago, I've parted with over 700 books. (Don't worry. I still have over 2900.)

This has created some gaps on all the shelves out in the library, but as far as my TBR shelves were concerned, space was at a premium, and I was starting to stack piles of books on top of the shelves. I can't stand that, so something had to be done and pronto.

Last week I spent most of the afternoon sorting and sifting books. It's something I like to do, and I always seem to find books that I forgot I had.

The first thing I did was move the remaining books from one bookcase in the library and combine them with what was left in another bookcase. This left me with one empty five-shelf bookcase.

Then I moved into the living room and sorted through all the books in a 7-foot tall double bookcase. You can see it over there on the left. This bookcase contained the college textbooks I kept, art books, reference books on collectibles, and other types of non-fiction.

It didn't take me long to have three mountains: Mt. Donate, Mt. List on Paperback Swap, and Mt. Move to the Library. I must be getting a knack for this after all these years because Mt. Move to the Library fit neatly in the bookcase I'd just emptied...with room to spare.

I moved the Paperback Swap pile into the office so I could get online and list them, and I bagged the books to be donated and put them by the door. I was ready for the next step, which was dealing with all my TBR books.

These two photos to the left and right are now my TBR shelves. I wish the huge bookcase unit had more shelves because there's some wasted space there, but it's something I can live with for now.

As you can see, there's room on each shelf, and all the books are shelved alphabetically by author. The bottom two shelves on the left are all the books I have posted on Paperback Swap, and one up from the bottom on the right of the same bookcase are books that I still have to list. I learned the hard way that it's not a good idea to list everything at once, or I'll be packaging and labeling like crazy and then hauling everything out to the car to make a run to the post office!

There was also another benefit to my sorting and shuffling, but if you have a tender constitution and become upset easily, I'd better warn you not to take a look at this last photo....

See what I mean? My husband and my friends have asked me if hell has frozen over. It's been a very long time since this house has seen an empty bookcase! Want to know something else a bit unfathomable?

It's still empty!

No, I'm not going to mail it to any of y'all. It's going to go back to doing what it's done in the past: showing off some of my collection of antique glass and stoneware. I thought I'd be nice to it and give it a breather. It's been good to me for a lot of years!


  1. I love empty book shelves as much as I love the filled one, because empty ones mean that I can go out an buy more books ;o)

  2. You must have been reading my mind! I was going to offer to take that bookcase out of your way for you! Organizing books sounds like a lot of fun!

  3. I love to organize books too. I let myself have a little book-shifting-extravaganza twice a year. But I still haven't managed to have any empty bookcases. Usually after a shifting, I have an empty shelf, but never a full bookcase. I need to be more willing to part with books. I'm such a hoarder of books.

  4. That looks like such fun! I love to rearrange my bookshelves, although I only have a couple in my apartment so I don't really have many options. Some day I'll have this many :)

  5. Louise-- I *love* the way you think!

    Kathy-- I *knew* someone would be after my bookcase! LOL

    Trisha-- I used to hoard, too. Then there came the time when I realized I either needed to build a second floor onto this house for all the books, or I needed to share the ones I wouldn't re-read so I had room to continue to bring new ones in!

    Kim-- If all my books were suddenly to disappear, this place wouldn't feel like home anymore!

  6. Louise has just taken the words out of my mouth!

    I bought an empty shelf for my husband last year because he wanted more books around him in our living room. He has been far too slow to fill it, however, so what is there now: fifty crime novels!

  7. Resorting my bookshelves is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes I will think of ways to alter my filing system so I have an excuse to pull those books out and touch them all.

  8. I like to periodically rearrange my bookshelves, too- but I've never had the end result of an entire empty bookcase! That would be a real feat.

  9. Dorte-- Good! He discovered the truth in an old American saying: "You snooze, you lose!"

    Petunia-- Something tells me you're not a fan of e-readers. Neither am I!

    Jeane-- I'm a bit proud of that, but I still have a long way to go.

  10. I love rearranging and shifting my books. Amazing how much time I can spend doing that. Congrats on your new space :)

  11. Stacy--You're welcome! It's amazing how something simple like that can change the appearance of a room.


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