Saturday, March 22, 2014

Guest Post: Your Library!

This month's guest post is all about libraries! Or book collections; dragon hordes - whatever you like to call your mass of books kept in your home. More to the point, this month's post is about how we organize them. Everyone has their different ways of keeping their books. Hazel, Kel, and Katherine have once again joined The Reading Hedgehog in sharing their private libraries with us!

Katherine's Library

This can be a little complicated. I have three bookshelves. My main bookshelf houses my hardback books, my 2nd bookshelf/dresser houses my mass market paperbacks, and my 3rd bookshelf/desk houses all my paperback books. And my series stick together, because I'm OCD about separating them! Also, I try to organize the books on each shelf alphabetically and by their height. OCD, I know, but it looks pretty!

Bookshelf #1: This is my hardback shelf. The first shelf contains my hardback series, the second shelf my hardback standalones, and the third has all my tall books.

Bookshelf #2: Part dresser, part bookshelf, the lower part houses my mass market paperbacks, since they are too small to display anywhere else.
Bookshelf #3: It follows the same scheme as shelf #1, except with paperbacks. The top shelf houses all the paperback series (with a couple of hardback tall books), and the lower shelf has all the paperback standalones. I nothing against paperbacks

Hazel's Library

For the most part, I arrange my bookshelves now in the best way to consolidate space, as in, where there is a place, there goes the book. However, I do still have preferences that I am rather OCD about. For starters, all series book must be together, or near each other. I have had to forgo putting them next to each other sometimes now that I have so little room, but for the most part they are on the same shelf, unless there are too many to fit on one shelf. I will usually separate the hardbacks from the paperbacks if I have both in a series to better use space, but apart from that, they all stay together, mostly in the order they are supposed to be. I stack my books every which way. In my closed, bookcase, I keep all my antique books from my grandmother's collection; most of it is history and poetry and other literary things. I also keep some of my paperbacks (my Louis L'Amour collection) and other picture books and reference material there that is too bit to fit on any of my other shelves. It's lovely because when you open it, it all just smells like old books! Then by my desk, I keep all my writing reference books like my Book of Poisons and historical references, and dictionaries go on my desk. (This is too messy to take a picture of.) On the top of the wall above my bed and desk I keep all my historical fiction. This is the only section that really has any significant ordering, because they are all organized by time period from ancient Rome to WWII.

For my TBRs I usually keep the ones I buy in front of my other books on the shelf, but I also have a basket where I keep all my books I get from the library and ones that I am going to read soon. All my currently-reading books go on my bedside table.

The enclosed bookshelf & "other" bookshelf

The above shelf

Kel's Library

At present, my shelves are not really organized in any way. Half of a series may sit together on one shelf and another may have a lot of Diana Wynne Jones books; but the last time I moved my books, with the exception of heavy books on the bottom to steady the weight, I just threw things. I keep meaning to reorganize them, but . . . yeah. Hasn't happened yet.

Bookshelf #1

Bookshelf #2

The Reading Hedgehog's Library

So, as a bit of a treat (and as a test to see how well this works), I decided to do something fun with my library "tour." I did a video! It's super short, unfortunately, because apparently Blogger didn't like a video that was bigger than 100 MB (grrrr). So I have to skim over some of the details.

My history and writing books are alphabetized by author's last name as well, but my kids' books are alphabetized by title, because some of them - like the collections of short stories - don't have official authors. The "everyone else's" shelf is organized by subject, and then author's last name. Though I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who understands my system. My paperbacks are firmly separated from my hardcovers - does that include any series that are part paperback, part hardcover? YES! Because as far as I'm concerned, my paperbacks don't exist. If a book isn't in hardcover, it technically isn't even part of my collection, because I will eventually buy a hardcover edition - if one is available. I am firmly set against paperbacks, therefore there will be no mingling.

Despite Blogger hating 100+ MB videos, I still hope to somehow do a bookshelf tour for you guys. I'll just have to figure out how. If any of you know how to upload videos that are bigger than 100 MB to Blogger without it wigging out, please let me know! And I hope you enjoyed this very short video! :-)


  1. I love seeing how everyone else keeps their books =) Katherine's shelves look like mine, as most of my books are doubles stacked. Mara, your library is beautiful! I don't know how to get blogger to upload a bigger video, I tried one a while ago, but it just wouldn't work. The best I can say is to just put a link to youtube. I thought you could embed larger videos from youtube actually? Maybe they don't let you do that though.

    1. I know! It's what inspired this guest post. :) Thanks; my library will be even more beautiful once it's actually finished. Yeah, you can upload a lot bigger videos through Youtube - I just hoped there was a way to do it without Youtube. Oh well; guess The Reading Hedgehog is going live! Once I get a real video recorder, that is.

  2. Well I was going to get a youtube account someday. I thought it might be fun to post writerly videos sometimes. And I really wanted to post one about breaking in a book. But it's kind of lame you can't put them into the blog though. Kind of defeats the purpose.

    1. If you have a Youtube channel, you can upload them from your Youtube channel onto your blog - and they can be as many MB as you want. I wish there was a way I could do Book-tubing without people seeing what I look like. Could wear one of my masks, I suppose . . . . ;P Oh well; people will have to see me someday, and if there's creepies - well, there's a reason I carry mace. And an assortment of hard objects (such as heavy books) in my carry bag. :) I should train Bilbo to be a guard hedgehog. Put his rage moods into good use.

  3. Very cool home libraries all around! And I actually used to have a summer job dealing with video and still have a little know-how in the area if you ever need any help. :)

    1. Thanks, Kel; I may be calling on that "know-how" once I start "officially" doing videos. :)


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