Thursday, February 19, 2009

Organization? We don't need no stinkin' organization!

This week's Booking Through Thursday:

I recently got new bookshelves for my room, and I’m just loving them. Spent the afternoon putting up my books and sharing it on my blog . One of my friends asked a question and I thought it would be a great BTT question. So from Tina & myself, we’d like to know “How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?”

I also got a beautiful new bookshelf for Chirstmas, so this vexing question has been on my mind as well. The problem with both of the obvious organizational systems mentioned above is that aesthetics matter. In the case of my bookshelves, size matters too. I have a hodgepdoge: in addition to the really nice, new one, I have two from Target (one of which also has DVDs) and one that my father built when he was in college. I've had it for so long that it used to double as a boarding school for my dollhouse dolls: the larger top shelf was the classroom and common room, and the smaller bottom two shelves were the girls' bedrooms, with half-pulled out books serving as the walls.

I can put only smaller (trade paperback-sized) books on the ex-dorm shelves. One of my Target bookcases has steel (well, steel-like) pillars as supports, rather than solid walls, so I need to have a large, coffee-table sized book on all four ends. Smaller books will fall through.

I was thrilled to have the new bookshelf, but the problem with it is that it makes everything else look crappy. Women who've ever broken their usual Target-and-JC Penneys mold and splurged on an expensive designer handbag or pair of shoes will recognize this syndrome: that new Kate Spade purse looks just awesome with last year's Sag Harbor sweater and those five-dollar-on-clearance St. John's Bay pants! And with books, I go for quantity over quality of edition. So, I have my ancient Lloyd Alexander books that I bought at the Scholastic book fair sitting on my nice new shelf. They look sort of dumb, but I ran out of nice books to put there. I also hate putting huge books next to little books. I think it looks bad.

I'm still shuffling stuff around, but I have no real system. I probably won't ever get one. When I want something, I just have to look for it. It's kind of a pain in the butt, but it's better than looking at a complete and total mess.