This is my library–except for the over sized/favorite books on my headboard. And my 300-something Kindle books, which would certainly make this problem a lot worse.

Clearly, I have too many books. I should get rid of some. Except, like most bibliophiles, books have to be pried from my fingers after someone has knocked me unconscious. And then you’d better run….

Last year, I culled out  several dozen books and sold them. (Before that, there were stacks of books on the floor. Afterwards, I was proud of myself because my books fit on the shelves.) Despite my library book addiction, I do make time to revisit old friends. Some of these books are an excellent source of comfort, or laughter, or inspiration.

My old friends are sadly hidden from view, however. I could use another bookshelf. Eventually, as I acquire new books, this will become I need another bookshelf.

These shelves, believe it or not, are in alphabetical order. Any books in front fall within the range of author last names on the shelf behind them. These extra books are in order as much as possible, too. I don’t stack hardbacks on top of paperbacks, because this tends to result in book avalanches.

If you look closely, you can see that I have seven non-book objects on my shelves. Before my library shelves were full, and then overfull, I had decorated gaps on some of the shelves. (Like you see in pictures of people’s houses that are so much more minimalist and artistic than yours.) The gaps closed and I moved some of the items, but these have hung on, perched on stacks of books or wedged in a corner.

Where do you display your library? How do you organize it? Do you keep all your books, or sell them back after you’ve read them?

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

16 responses »

  1. Gosh, more shelves. I enjoyed reading your post, and some of the book spines looked familiar, though my eyes aren’t the best (tired more than anything else). This is the first time I have come across your blog, so I hope you don’t mind me having a look around it. Looks good so far.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Yeah, sorry, I didn’t take the picture in a way that allows the spines to be read. I would’ve had to take out everything in front, and all the books stuck in at odd angles. I was trying to give an impression of the chaos, mostly.

  2. Cassie says:

    I have the exact same problem – I like to call it book hoarding. I just got another bookshelf – a super long one from Ikea that I found on craigslist. I do love your cat in that picture cuddled at the foot of the shelf. Book hoarding is NOT a problem – you keep on hoarding!

  3. emmawolf says:

    That’s beautiful. My books are not exactly organized. My favorites are on the shelves next to my bed. My professional books are next to my desk. The ones I want to show off are in my living room. I hate getting rid of books.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Sounds organized to me, and in a perfectly reasonable fashion–by their use. 🙂

      • emmawolf says:

        I don’t know…whenever I need to find something, I need to think “is this a book I want to show off or one that is my favorite but that I am embarrassed by.” It ends up biting me frequently.

        • caitlinstern says:

          Hmm, I could see how unclear divisions would be a problem. I’d put classics, books of poetry, non-fiction, and coffee table books in a display bookshelf. But I try not to be embarrassed by my books, everyone deserves a little junk food for the brain sometimes.

  4. What a beautiful collection! Funny that if I ever have the same problem, my immediate thought is not ‘I need less books’ but ‘I need a better shelf’. Not always practical though…

    And I agree–as hoarding goes, book collections are as classy as they come.

  5. You look like you’ve been taking pictures in MY house! This totally looks like my bookshelves…except I have probably 30 boxes of books in storage that I don’t currently have room for. (They’re ALL my precious-es!)

  6. I have a spare bedroom that my books are supposed to be stored in but during a move my bookshelves broke. (I have 3) and now my sad bound friends are all in boxes. 😦 I like to call book hoarding a “collection” otherwise there would be no such thing as libraries. I was actually in the book store today in fact I blogged about my endevour, check it out (http://midnightblossoms.wordpress.com/) I don’t think this is an issue at all and I would think you should just devote your living room or dining room to books, make it a library of sorts. You don’t need to sit on a couch together or eat dinner at the table. Great post and nice collection!

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