I'm like a cat lady, but with books. Also, not a lady.
January 25, 2006 8:46 AM Subscribe
How should I organize my personal library?
posted by Eideteker to home & garden (50 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I have four large bookshelves and several hundred books, currently in boxes. I've put off unpacking them because a) I'm a bit anal about organization, and b) I love my books and want them to look nice and be happy next to each other. I have a decent-sized fiction collection but a rather substantial non-fiction collection as well. I don't feel like simple alphabetical order will cut it anymore, at least not for the non-fiction.
I'd like to start a subject-based hierarchical ordering system, like the Dewey Decimal System or the Library of Congress system (which is what my university's library uses). But if I do this, how do I know where each book goes? And they're only for non-fiction, right? I also know there are "problems" with either system; are there better systems that are as widely used (outside the US, maybe)? Should I just go with LoC for ease of navigation across libraries (again, primarily university libraries)? And lastly, what's the best way to keep things in order across moves? Should I write/stick numbers on the spines as in libraries? Make a note inside the front cover very lightly in pencil? Keep a database on my computer? All three?
I use my library for academic purposes as well as my own writing, both fiction and non. I want it to be both scalable and browseable, such that all the books on serial killers are adjacent, the books on organizational psychology are together and are next to but not mixed in with those on behavioral, social, etc. Thanks for all your help, fellow bibliophiles!