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How to Organise Your Bookcase

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on

Even in the days of the Kindle most of us have too many books...and they can cause clutter and ruin the mood. How can you arrange them in the tidiest and most stylish way?

Be brutal Are you sure you want to hang onto that paperback which came with a Sunday Supplement? How about that highly-acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning novel which you found un-readable? Drag everything off the shelves and review each book with a critical eye. Ask yourself – have I read this? Am I going to read this? Was it awful? If the answer is no, no, not sure (at best) it is time to say goodbye. Be honest and then take anything you're not sure about down to the charity shop, where it can do some good. Get organised Now that you've got rid of the "dead wood" you can look at the books you want to keep with a more dispassionate eye.  If you're like most people you will probably have a mix of novels, factual works and random books bought as Christmas presents. An easy way to kick off your organisation is to first of all split fiction from non-fiction / reference works. Fiction will be the easiest to sort next. Novels, both hardbacks and softbacks tend to be printed in standard sizes. Put any novels in a series together, then split books by genre – so romances are separate from sci-fi, for instance. You will be pleased you have put in all this extra effort next time you search for that elusive final part of a trilogy you've been ploughing through! Reference books can be more tricky. First off, try to sift out maps and atlases. Then organise by subject matter. Country cottage bookcaseSize matters You've probably got a pile of awkward oversize books to deal with. In this case, it might be best to keep them together rather than sorting them by subject matter. But where to put them? Have you checked if the shelves on your bookcase can be adjusted? Check again, in most cases the slats can be removed, or lowered to create a bigger space for larger books. What do you want your bookcase to say about you? Maybe your favourite book really is Fifty Shades of Grey, but do you really want your well-thumbed copy to be the first thing visitors spot? This is the time to relegate the books you are not particularly proud of owning, even if you were reluctant to send them to the charity shop. There's no shame in making some books less prominent or making others catch the eye. Dress the middle shelves in a tall bookcase (ones that are approximately six foot tall) first, or for small shelves, concentrate on the top shelves. Think about the eyeline, just as people do when they dress supermarket shelves. The bottom self is the place for your old Famous Five books, or whatever old favourites you've been hanging onto. Nobody bothers to look down at floor level...

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