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Organizing books

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Just curious about how you all organize your books. I have a book case in the living room and lots of book shelves in the school area. In the living room, I don't keep educational books. Mostly nice looking hardcover on the top shelves and on the lower shelves good quality picture books. Junk books (barbie, disney princess, etc) goes in the kids rooms. Then, in the basement I have a tall bookshelf for curriculum and encyclopedias only, then a few smaller bookshelves for educational picture books and readers.

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We're moving this weekend and I'm really looking forward to reorganizing our books!


We'll probably have a few bookcases for adult fiction (one with mainly classics), about 2 for kids/teen fiction, one for Christian non-fiction and reference, and a few with educational books by subject.

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Here's what we have:


Living room, 1 bookshelf*: mostly religion, some children's classics that don't fit in their bedroom and I'm hoping they'll notice, and the library books.


Family room/office, 12 feet of bookshelves: fiction, history, poetry/plays, great books collections, and some other stuff.


Kids' room, 1.5 bookshelves, all their stuff. It won't all fit, so I rotate some piles in and out of the linen closet.


Schoolroom, 4 bookshelves + school shelves: Children's lit and folk/fairy tales that belong to ME, SF/fantasy, some random stuff and Christmas books. And all my sewing books and magazines. And the homeschooling books. It's kind of crowded in there.



*1 bookshelf is defined by being at least 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide, but may be larger.

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My bookshelf with all my fiction books on it is in my bedroom.


"Junk books" as you call them go in the girl's bedrooms.


Some nighttime picture books go in the pockets of the glider in my son's bedroom for goodnight story reading.


In the den/computer room, I have two bookcases, one of which has a lot of the kids' series on it (Harry Potter, Little House, Series of Unfortunate Events, American Girl, American Diaries, Encyclopedia Brown Chronicles of Narnia and so on) as well as groups of books by particular authors, like a bunch of Judy Blume books.


The other bookcase is loosely categorized by subject, like there's poetry, historical stuff, sciency stuff, plus two of the shelves on it are kids' classics, and one of the shelves is partially my homeschooling "how to/info" type books.


Then I have a china cabinet that I converted into a school supply cabinet, and the textbooks and stuff that we use for this year are in there, as well as a dictionary and stuff like that.


Oh, and in the living room, there's a small ottoman that has a removable lid with storage inside, and there are a bunch of my 5 y/o son's picture books in that.


I wish I had room/space/layout for more bookshelves, even some built in ones! But, alas, I don't.

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Bookcases 1 and 2: Reference and text

Bookcase 3: Religion, politics, philosophy

Bookcase 4: World history

Bookcase 5: American history

Bookcase 6: Math, science, animals

Bookcase 7: Biography

Bookcase 8: Music, dance, art

Bookcase 9: Essays, humor, otherwise uncategorized nonfiction

Bookcase 10: Cooking and food science

Bookcases 11-14: Fiction

Bookcase 15: Foreign language

Bookshelf: Housekeeping and decorating, gardening

Bookshelf: Sports

Plus bookcases in the kid's room for his books


[Plus the Basket of Shame I keep under my bed; nothing scandalous, really! Just not exactly fine literature. Read and donate types of books.]

Edited by Belacqua
As I expected, I forgot one
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I have a large bookshelf in the school room. In it I have science, art, history, and LA areas. I have one area for the curriculum I will be moving to next, and an area of stuff I use every now and then (e.g. Mad Libs). In each area, e.g. science, I have current curric, extra texts and experiemnts, and then the biographies section. In art I have the current curric, art books, and bios all in a row. Oversized books are flat on the bottom shelf, and the top shelf has my skeleton, globe, and any project half done. I do keep a little something from the other years, e.g. I have two nice bio reference books and an earth and stars workbook that was too mature for him last year, but which I'll have him do bits of this year, as a brush-up. Ditto with history. Any book too much for him on, say, ancients when he was 6, is still there awaiting a moment we need something to read aloud.


Everything that doesn't fit that is in a different room. I buy anything non-twaddle at Goodwill I can find, so I have shelves and shelves of books, many of which have much potential. (E.g the Eyewitness books).

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I'm trying to have our educational and "keeper" books in the basement where we have a lot of bookshelves, and have the junkier and more transitory books up in everyone's room.


The best thing I have done is label the basement shelves by topic(s). That way I can send the boys to get a book or more importantly have us all put things away in the right place. I also now have a hope of finding what we need for a project, or preventing buying a book twice. I wish I'd started that earlier.

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