Monday, May 9, 2016

Shelving Books...chaos or systematic

I was one of the last holdouts against tablets for my reading pleasure. I was a purist. Electronic will never replace the sensation of turning a page or breathing in the musty perfume of old paper! Then, as a student, I found that I could get my textbooks quite a bit cheaper electronically so I became a convert. At first, I told myself I would only use it for classwork readings because true book lovers only read print. However, ever so slowly I began downloading free novels and somehow I now have over 300 titles waiting to be read. Although I have come to enjoy reading my tablet, I still enjoy print books. The two can coexist and I don’t feel like a traitor reading my tablet.
Enough about electronic books, I’m curious about how you shelve your print collection. As everyone knows, except for special libraries, books are usually shelved either by Dewey or LOC. Our academic library obviously uses LOC and I don’t even remember how to shelve Dewey. When I do go to my local public library, I just instinctively know where the fiction I’m interested in is shelved. The books must sense whenI have entered the building and send out gentle subliminal messages, “this way”, “you’ll like me”, and “pick me, pick me.”
But what about your personal library, is it organized in one place or shelved here and there? I’m one of the ones who shelves in what may look like a disorganized method but I know where each and every one of my books is. I keep all my antique collector books on one shelf filed by topic. My religion and theology books are all together on another shelf and have somehow organized themselves by subject matter. The fiction is sprinkled here and there throughout my house but I usually know which room. My husband can lay his hand on any of his Chesterton books and keeps them on another shelf in a different room from the rest of the books. My bedside table holds my precious Austen works and any books I’m currently reading or intend on reading.
What about you? Where do you stash your books and are they organized in an arcane system only discernible to you or are they neatly filed by LOC, subject, or author? Do you have them separated by fiction and non-fiction and never shall the two be intershelved? Do you hoard extra copies in case you can never find that exact edition again or do you have just one well-loved tattered copy?

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