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How do you do it? I'm starting to have a large number of books, because I visit the thrift shop and they've got 'em there and they're so cheap and you just can't beat the price. I got the Usborne Internet Linked History Encyclopedia for half price a while back. The most recent trip I got a Kingfisher book about the universe that's hardcover and practically brand new, plus a bunch of DK books, and some books about snakes & things. Just kids' paperbacks, most of them, but still informative. They're multiplying. Like rabbits. It's getting obnoxious to try to keep track of them, to figure out what I have, what I don't have...

 

So what do you guys do? Are those websites like Library Thing or Shelfari worth the time? How do you remember WHERE the books are, or WHICH books you already have?

 

DH keeps saying that I should give up on the library, because the amount I keep paying in fines would buy several books. I don't know that I'm ready to quit them entirely, but we do pay a good chunk to them from time to time in fees! But either way, I rather suspect that with homeschooling the whole my books are mulitplying and replenishing my shelves thing is not going to go away!

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Here's a post I did on another forum. It breaks down how I organize our books.

 

We have 3,000+ books. I organize by genre & reading level but in more general terms than the Dewey system. LOL.

 

1. Literature (3 bookshelves in the living room)

a. Picture books

b. Early readers

c. Beginning chapter books

d. Children's chapter books

e. Read-Alouds (higher level books my children haven't reached yet)

f. Adult classics

g. Adult collections (hubby's Louis L'Amour, etc.)

h. Adult fiction (these books are going to recycle in and out of our house fairly quickly)

 

2. History (3 bookshelves in my bedroom)

a. Biography

b. American History

c. World History (by time period)

e. Geography/cultures

f. Adult history (top shelves)

g. Holiday books (because they fit here & kinda go with culture)

 

3. Science (5 ft bookshelf living room)

a. General science

b. Biology

c. Chemistry

e. Physics

f. Nature Study/nature guides

g. Creation science (AIG books)

h. Adult science (top shelves)

 

4. Misc. Nonfiction (5 ft bookshelf in living room)

a. Children's living english books

b. Poetry

c. Children's living math books

e. Resources; dictionary, foreign language books, etc.

f. homeschool resources/inspiration

 

5. Theology/Bibles (5 ft bookshelf in living room)

a. Missionary stories

b. Church History

c. Theology books

d. Christian living

e. Parenting

f. Devotionals

g. Bibles in various translations

h. Bible dictionaries, maps, commentary, etc.

i. Worldview/Philosophy

 

Additionally each child has a short bookshelf in their room for books they are currently reading or wish to read soon. The kids know what bookshelf the books belong on. About twice a year, I go through and make sure stuff is organized but the kids really do well with putting books back where they belong.

 

Everyone puts there books back when they are done reading them!!

 

Library books have their own shelf & crate.

 

Oh, and I use Library Thing (online) to catalog all my books. I love it!

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We have over 3000 books also. I should know--I spent most of 2009 cataloging them! I have a Macintosh so I use Delicious Library (it has both Mac and iPhone components). I always try to look on my iPhone before I buy a book to ensure that I don't duplicate (although sometimes it still happens).

 

My categories look a lot like Daisy's. My schoolbooks are based on the WTM, such as History Year 1, Year 2, etc. Other categories are based on what I have a lot of. As I accumulated lots of biographies, I devoted a shelf to them. I have so many Christian books that I alphabetized those by author so I could find them properly, but for most categories I don't have to do that.

 

I believe that a WTM husband should learn how to make decent bookshelves to help out the family educational goals! :D After over 10 years of practice, my husband makes a MEAN bookshelf. We have 12 full-sized ones now. And a couple smaller ones dotted about.

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I used to have all our books labeled with the Library of Congress number. Seriously.:blushing:

 

Now, I have them ranked by use and aesthetics. Silly, right? Our kids books are in their room, our school books are in the homeschooling room, the old and rare books are in our living room bookcase, and the pretty, hardback but not-too-precious books are in the study, organized roughly by genre (Latin books here, fiction there, poetry over here...). A few paperbacks are in the bathroom cabinet for bathtub reading. A dangerously tall stack is perched on my nightstand. The rest are in boxes in the basement until I can afford bookcases (or GASP! give more away). ;)

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LibraryThing is the best resource I've found for actual cataloging. GoodReads is best for socializing, but you can just put books on as you read them. It's a pain for filing.

 

If you're going to catalog your books in LibraryThing, do two things. Spring for the lifetime membership, and buy a fifteen dollar cuecat so you can scan barcodes. It plugs right in to any USB port.

 

I've got my non-fiction loosely grouped on the shelves. My fiction is a mess, mostly b/c I've got a bunch of 4' bookshelves, most of which won't fit a tall children's picture book. A big item on our agenda is money for enough nice looking wood that dh can build floor to ceiling shelves in the room we use as a library. He's supposed to build in a window seat tall enough to house the tallest hardcovers beneath it.

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Thanks for the ideas!

 

This makes me curious about how many books we have. We've been trying to move for quite some time now, but DH hasn't been able to get a job in the area we feel we should be living in next just yet, so we're still waiting on that. In the mean time, we have (somewhat optimistically) packed up a bunch of "non-essential" stuff. Including half or more of our books. I'm sure that when we finally get it all out again we'll have to spring for more shelves: we emptied several shelves and they're starting to fill up some again. So far, duplication hasn't been too much of a problem, but I am getting to the point where organization is becoming an issue, and I'm sure that duplication comes after that.

 

The whole iPhone thing would be a tidy solution, but we use PC. Does it come in PC? I've never heard of that software before. That category-based system looks pretty do-able. (Though I had considered some sort of numbers system, LOL! :blushing:) I had some similar categories going, but it got all messed up when we packed up the books. And growing out of shelves always makes a mess. Plus, I have to decide what exactly I'm going to do with my children's books. I've been collecting a lot of thrifted kids' non-fiction recently. And I have GOT to find my Bob Books: Monkey's going to be ready for them very soon. :001_huh:

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I tried Library Thing, but found that Shelfari is very similar, and it's free. So far, it's working for me. I added a few books to my shelf tonight, and put the shelf back on my blog to remind me to do the upkeep.

 

Getting all those books in there... that's one HUGE project. :tongue_smilie:

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Our books are in categories around the house, although many categories have more than one location. I have no idea how many we have. We are currently in the process of categorizing on Library Thing and are around 1200. We also use a cue cat. Here are our locations/categories:

Dining Room: current school year student & teacher books and reference materials

Living Room: all author signed books; books my dh has written; theology/Bible reference; Winston Churchill.

Office: Science Fiction; Teacher reference; Bible Study reference (including commentaries); computer science/programming reference and professional journals

Bonus room: keepsake picture books; all over sized books (only bookshelf high enough to handle them); aircraft & military reference; biographies; juvenile science reference; juvenile chapter books; juvenile non-fiction; robotics & technology reference (most books in this room are my son's, but some are shared interests).

Loft: Just about everything (this is where it all started). Biographies; fiction, non-fiction; reference; theology; keepsake picture books; history; science; technology. We really do need to sort this room out!

 

I purchased library shelf tags from a library supply company and the categories are on the shelves. We haven't been able to get more refined than that, although that would be fantastic! We are out of shelf space right now & almost out of wall space for bookshelves. My dream is to be able to convert the empty space between the risers on our staircases to bookshelves - maybe one day!

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I am so glad I'm not alone :) I am always trying to find more space for books that I find. The fact that the library near me holds a $5 a bag sale EVERY month doesn't help much either! (Do you realize how many books fit into one grocery store sized bag? ;)) Sometimes I think we need to just build floor to ceiling shelves in one room of the house and be done with it. Secretly I know we would probably fill it up too fast. :tongue_smilie:

 

We use gurulib to calatog our books. You can also put your movies, videogames, music, and computer software on it. It gives you a value of your collection based upon prices on Amazon's prices too -- very handy for insurance purposes. Plus it is all online, so we can check our collection even if we are on vacation to see if we have a certain title. It also has a nice print option if you want a hard copy for some reason. Oh yeah, it's free too. It's the reason we chose to use it instead of LibraryThing.

 

The college dh attends had the opening day of a warehouse booksale in the basement today -- so once again I am scrambling to find shelving space. I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to than books!:lol:

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If I mostly/only want to use a program as a catalog, so that I can look up what we already have, and I'd like to make it as easy as possible to enter (since we have way more than we should :tongue_smilie: ) -- any recommendations? We have both Mac and PC.

 

Thanks -- this is a whole new world!

 

And thanks for the categories people have described -- I have been trying to work on organizing on a similar basis and this gives me lots of good ideas.

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Could someone PLEASE explain to me how to use the cue cat?

 

I bought it but it just wasn't working very well for me. I'd love to use it; it seems so fast but the input I got was garbled or something. I found it the other day and felt wistful.

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That's better than the bookshelves I saw in some home magazine where the spines were all pointed inward.

 

By the way, Library Thing allows subcategories. I'm not sure it's that much more useful than a list or something, but I do have a LibraryThing account.

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Could someone PLEASE explain to me how to use the cue cat?

 

I bought it but it just wasn't working very well for me. I'd love to use it; it seems so fast but the input I got was garbled or something. I found it the other day and felt wistful.

 

 

Stripe- check this out (if you haven't already) http://www.librarything.com/cuecat

 

It looks like you are supposed to have a garbled mess and then it is supposed to be converted by the site.

 

Sorry, I'm not more help than that. I haven't ever even heard of one of these things until this thread! :)

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I have always wanted to do this:

 

colorshelves.jpg

 

I know what books I have, but they aren't categorized. But I ALWAYS know what the spines look like. This would be perfect for me.

 

That's beautiful! Though I think that I'd do better in a categorical system, myself... it'd drive me crazy to have my bird books or garden books or church books separated because they were different colors. But it sure is pretty.

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Oh, and I use Library Thing (online) to catalog all my books. I love it!

 

 

Thanks for mentioning Library Thing. I got to the site and realized I'm already a member; have been since 2005, it seems. I have one book listed :D. Must've forgotten about it :001_huh: :lol:...

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We have over 3000 books also. I should know--I spent most of 2009 cataloging them! I have a Macintosh so I use Delicious Library (it has both Mac and iPhone components). I always try to look on my iPhone before I buy a book to ensure that I don't duplicate (although sometimes it still happens).

 

My categories look a lot like Daisy's. My schoolbooks are based on the WTM, such as History Year 1, Year 2, etc.

 

I believe that a WTM husband should learn how to make decent bookshelves to help out the family educational goals! :D After over 10 years of practice, my husband makes a MEAN bookshelf. We have 12 full-sized ones now. And a couple smaller ones dotted about.

 

We move a lot with the military and own over 3,000 books. Talk about a nightmare for the packers who show up at our house.

 

Our books are also categorized as listed above. I used heavy tag board and put dividers between the sections. My sections are:

U.S. History

World History

Leveled Readers

Free Reading

Science

Poetry

Art

Music

Story Collections

Textbooks

Reference

Geography

Literature.

 

My husband is a pastor (chaplain in the military) and has a ton of religious books. We keep them on two separate bookshelves. He has some sort of cataloging system going on, but it must be super secret. I have NO IDEA why a book on Christianity in Africa would be next to a deck of Hebrew flash cards. But, he knows exactly where each book is located. I wish I could say the same for our school books.

 

As for the library fines, I just paid $26.30 the other day for fines. I cheerfully handed it over. Between myself and the children, we had over 30 books out. Most were for "free reading", but the ones for school would have been very expensive to purchase. The library often purchases books when I ask for them. So, I feel it is win/win with my library. Now if I could remember to turn my books in on time, or even re-new them before they become overdue!

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I am so glad I'm not alone :) I am always trying to find more space for books that I find. The fact that the library near me holds a $5 a bag sale EVERY month doesn't help much either! (Do you realize how many books fit into one grocery store sized bag? ;)) Sometimes I think we need to just build floor to ceiling shelves in one room of the house and be done with it. Secretly I know we would probably fill it up too fast. :tongue_smilie:

 

We use gurulib to calatog our books. You can also put your movies, videogames, music, and computer software on it. It gives you a value of your collection based upon prices on Amazon's prices too -- very handy for insurance purposes. Plus it is all online, so we can check our collection even if we are on vacation to see if we have a certain title. It also has a nice print option if you want a hard copy for some reason. Oh yeah, it's free too. It's the reason we chose to use it instead of LibraryThing.

 

The college dh attends had the opening day of a warehouse booksale in the basement today -- so once again I am scrambling to find shelving space. I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to than books!:lol:

 

I just noticed your avatar. I'm taking a wild guess here, but I think our husband's may have attended the same seminary. That warehouse basement sell that you mentioned accounts for many books on our shelves!

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I use the Dewey Decimal System and put fiction in ABC order according to the Author's last name.

 

I do have my books listed in WorldCat.org , but if I forget if I have a book, I can simply look it up via call number on the shelf. Works great :)

 

I'm not sure how many books we have, but we do have 5 bookshelves full. I have cleaned them out so what remains is either award winning or a great compliment to our curriculum.

 

I sometimes tuck away History books with the unit they belong with, as we use TOG.

 

HTH :)

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I used to have a great blog post on file for this subject, but it has since been deleted.

 

I also use Shelfari. LibraryThing costs $10 or $25. When I input our collection in late '07 they were very similar but Shelfari was totally free.

 

I use a series of subject categories.

 

picture book/early fiction

mid-grade fiction

classic elementary fiction (some go a bit older or more girly in our boy household so they stand on their own shelf)

juvenile biography/history

juvenile science/other non-fiction

homeschool/reference

 

History

~memoir

~biography

~travel

~general

~American (chronologically)

~World (by culture/chronologically)

~Religion & philosophy

 

Nonfiction

~garden

~biological science/ecology

~other sciences (geology, paleontology, archeology, astronomy, etc)

~cooking

~building/making

~politics/culture

~linguistics/patterns

~~language dictionaries

~~cryptology

~~history of language

~~literary criticism

~reference

~general

~yearbooks

 

Literature-fiction

~Classic American (chronologically)

~Classic British (chrono)

~Classic World (by culture/chrono)

~Classic poetry/drama (by culture/chrono)

~Literary fiction

~~favorite rereads for quick access

~~by time period/author

~Mystery/Horror

~Science Fiction/Fantasy~I arrange this one the weirdest. Bottom shelves hold general anthologies. Mid-lower shelves hold boy-appropriate classics. High shelves hold my favorites that are appropriate for older readers. Boys are most likely to want to pull Lord of the Rings or something off of this shelf so I group authors together but ignore anything more structured.

 

We also have a few shelves of business, computer science, coding, and old text books in the basement.

 

I find that the most intuitive arrangement relies upon the interests of the family and the available areas for physical display. Once you have some ideas about that, then you can fill in with spheres of use (for school...in bed), subject headings, chronological, and alphabetical order.

Edited by LostSurprise
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I just noticed your avatar. I'm taking a wild guess here, but I think our husband's may have attended the same seminary. That warehouse basement sell that you mentioned accounts for many books on our shelves!

 

 

He is actually working on his undergrad right now, in May we head to the seminary. But yeah it is a Concordia sale, they come to all the colleges after they hit the seminaries. I think next year I am going to have to set a strict budget for both dh and I -- we both feel like we are in heaven when we go to the warehouse sale! :D

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Thanks for mentioning Library Thing. I got to the site and realized I'm already a member; have been since 2005, it seems. I have one book listed :D. Must've forgotten about it :001_huh: :lol:...

 

LOL, I did that, too!

 

Delicious Monster is looking sooo good. Doggone you, whoever posted that.

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I use the Dewey Decimal System and put fiction in ABC order according to the Author's last name.

 

 

So, how do you decide what the number is? Do you put it on the book with a sticker or something? Do you have to go look up the right location before you can put away a book you don't use very often?

 

Do you feel the urge to scream when your toddler empties the book shelf.... AGAIN???

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So, how do you decide what the number is? Do you put it on the book with a sticker or something? Do you have to go look up the right location before you can put away a book you don't use very often?

 

Do you feel the urge to scream when your toddler empties the book shelf.... AGAIN???

 

I looked up the books using the Worldcat.org and they link to any number of libraries. Then, to teach the dc, I wrote the numbers on a post it note and placed it in the back cover. DC then wrote out a label and we taped it on the spine.

 

Yes, I feel the urge to scream when the 14 YEAR OLD (who needs a toddler?) doesn't put it back...:)

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