Sunday, April 13, 2014

8 Question of the Week: How Do You Organize Your Books?

Hey everyone! Clara Kensie here. Pretty much the only thing writers love as much as books and writing is talking about books and writing. So each week at Adventures in YA Publishing, we’ll post a question for you to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers: craft, career, writers’ life, reading and books. Together we’ll become better writers by sharing tips and discussing our habits and practices.

Question of the Week
April 13, 2014
How do you organize your books?

How do you organize your books?
photo credit: martinak15 via photopin cc

Jan Lewis: I read on my iPad Mini. My books are organized by title on there. The backups on my computer are organized by author.

Martina Boone: My physical books are organized alphabetically on some shelves, and randomly on other shelves, and according to signed books vs. unsigned on yet more shelves. I also have a shelf of commonly reread books. Plus I have shelves of ARCs and books marked for our giveaways here at AYAP, and then two shelves of signed series that are earmarked for giveaways on my own Tumblr and a few guest giveaways I’m doing on other blogs in the next few months. (Have you seen the April giveaway I’m doing on of the Delirium series signed by Lauren Oliver?)

To be honest, though, I do most of my reading on my iPad, because I have that with me all the time, and I snatch moments of reading time wherever I can. Of course, I’m a publisher’s dream consumer; if I love a book I have read electronically, I also have to buy a physical copy. I’m also a pusher; I tend to want to give books I love to to people so I buy extras. Have you read this? You HAVE to read this. Here, read this. Have you read it yet? No, REALLY, you HAVE to read it NOW! You loved it? Me TOO? No, keep it. I want you to have it.) Do you have those conversations, too?

Lisa Gail Green: My books (much like my life) are completely disorganized! I have piles and shelves and random books lying around galore. But that's okay because it means they're used and loved. :D And of course while I'm reading a book it stays close by at all times. Ideally? I'd organize by type then maybe color because that looks so cool! Maybe when the kids are in college and I get my study back!

Alyssa Hamilton: On my shelf, it's pretty much a few shelves for my favourites and I try and display them the best I can. Then everything else by series or genre! I also really like to display covers of my favourite covers but I'm running out of double stacking room so I need to stop that soon. On my Goodreads shelves I go by publishers, release dates and most anticipated!

Clara Kensie: My print books are completely disorganized because I allow my teenage neighbors to come in and borrow my YA books whenever they want. When they return them, they just put them anywhere on the bookshelves and dig through the stash for a new one to borrow. I don’t mind at all, because 1: I am too busy writing to take the time to straighten my bookshelves, and 2: since I got my e-reader a few years ago, 99% of the books I’ve purchased are digital. Even most of the library books I borrow are digital.

I keep my digital books meticulously organized on my e-reader. My cyber-bookshelves include: Read These Next, Borrowed from Library, YA, Non-YA, Friends’ Books, Books In Which I am Mentioned in the Acknowledgments, Finished, Did Not Finish, Read Again, Classics, Favorites, Childhood Favorites, Non-fiction, Writing Craft, Reference, Research, Awesome Covers, and more. Each of my favorite authors get their own shelf, and of course I have a shelf for my RUN TO YOU serialized series. Most of my books are on multiple shelves.

YOUR TURN: How do you organize your books? Alphabetically by author? By title? By purchase date? By color? A unique method only you understand?


  1. My shelves are double stacked. I hide the books I won't read as often in the back and my favourite in the front. I have a shelf that is my favourites of all time in the front and then the books I'll never get to reading in the back. Only the favourites shelf is organized alphabetically by author while the other shelves are generally organized by genre.

  2. I have them separated onto bookcases by fiction or non-fiction, then within that I just recently ordered them by spine color, which I absolutely love!

  3. My books are organized on the shelves of my writing space by spine color. I'm about to convert one of my grown-up kid bedrooms to a library. Waiting for a good bookshelf sale.

  4. Oooh, fun question for book geeks! Mine are organized first by genre, then by height. I keep nonfiction separate from fiction, and paperback separate from hard covers. Sounds kind of freaky when I actually say it!

  5. I'm in the process of redoing my library, and I think I plan to do by genre, then by author. We'll see what it ends up looking like.

  6. I organize mine by height so that I can stack them neatly on the shelf. I double-shelve and shove stacked books on top of the straight-across books, so fitting in as many as possible is very important.

  7. It depends on what shelves the books are on to how they are organized. I have YA dragon books on one shelf and vampires, fairies, and angels, on another shelf. Lord of the Rings gets its own shelf and classic fiction does as well. I have another bookcase that is all nonfiction (books on writing, interior design, etc). My pretty YA books go on shelves out in the open in my room, and have yet another bookshelf in my closet that's a mish-mash. One day I'd like to have an actual library in my house because I'm not much of a digital book person. I'll always be buying hard copies.

  8. I am busy organizing my office books and am grouping them by subject matter. I have all my poetry books in one section, all my writing craft books together, all my history reference books together, etc. And I'm getting rid of some things. I'm getting there.


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)