Thursday Thoughts - Discussion about books

Thursday Thoughts is a weekly feature on Ashley’s Blog Ok, Let’s Read. Each thursday, Ashley would open a discussion related to reading. This week, the topic is bookshelf organization.

Do you have a set way of organizing your bookshelves? Do you like your bookshelves to be organized or does it not matter too much to you? Do you store your TBR books and your read books separately or together? What do you think about the rainbow bookshelf organization trend?

Feel free to join and/or check other people’s opinion on Ashley’s post!

Bookshelf organization feels like a lost cause at home. There was a time where I would proudly sort my books by authors in alphabetical order. Then I moved about seven times. During the process, my book collection merged with the one of Beloved and cross the ocean from France to Canada. We tried to keep some order in there, but we were never hardly satisfied.

The trilingual book collection issue

On the bright side, we did solve the multilingual book collection issue. We have books in English, French and traditional Chinese. Why is this a problem? Well, you can’t sort Chinese book in alphabetical order. What’s more, I’m so miserable with Chinese characters that I put away a book upside down more than once: I couldn’t figure which way you were supposed to read it!

I plan to improve my Chinese but in the meanwhile, we decided to gather all Chinese books in one separate bookshelf. I don’t mess up with Beloved’s books, and it also looks pretty classy.

Non-Fiction Books are sorted by theme

We also have many non-fiction books on – luckily – common subject: mainly classical history, philosophy, computer science and art. I know, it is eclectic. We sort these books by subject regardless of their language (French or English).

Our fiction collection is MESSY

Then comes the fiction books. Oh my. We really tried, several time, to find a sensible way to sort all these but with no success. Basically, we have a corner with mostly Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Literature English books. Besides, a few shelves with our S.F. Masterworks collection (which are sorted by their number, that was easy!). Finally, a corner with my collection of French Literature (because I still find it hard to put Balzac and Asimov on the same shelf. I just can’t.). It’s all a bit strange but at least, we find our books in less than half an hour.

The unfortunate To Be Read Pile

I’m trying very hard to not buy too many books. Physical books anyway (that’s my forest-friendly lifelong resolution). But recently I moved to a new house, very close to a… thrift store. They sell second-hand books at 2$ maximum each. What. Am. I. Supposed. To. Do?

Obviously, I didn’t stop going to the library and as a result, I can’t read those books fast enough and they pile up. This pile became a new corner of our bookshelf, very packed and crowded. Though, I found it practical to have a separate shelf for the TBR pile: it prevents me from forgetting a book I bought.

All in all I’m not so unhappy with our bookshelf organization. At least, less than I thought when I started writing this post! One of the main issue seems to be those books that we carried from school/past jobs/old hobbies and that we should give away. The second problem is keeping all the books in the same place: we have four tall bookshelves in which we packed everything. It looks crammed and messy. I think it would look nicer if we scattered them around the house, by theme.
Now, this post gave me an idea…