Off Tangent Thoughts: On Organizing my Bookshelf

Hey y’all! I initially planned on posting a Book Talk regarding Three Dark Crowns this week but a couple of things got in the way. Mainly, my health. It’s nothing too serious, just a bit of a nuisance at this point, really.

I had like 30% of the first draft of my Book Talk all typed up but I knew that if I really pushed for publishing it this week, it’d be too sloppy and meandering (more than my Brand permits). So… Next week it is then. However, I didn’t want another week to pass without me posting anything on my blog so I was over the moon when Camillea @CamilleaReads posted this and introduced me to this lovely prompt/meme by Charvi @ItsNotJustFiction.

In Charvi’s own words, Off Tangent Thoughts is “a bi-monthly meme that has a basic list-based format wherein bloggers express their points in the form of a short or long list with the points under the list being merely a couple lines or even complete paragraphs.” As someone who is constantly struggling not to go off tangent whenever I write a post, this prompt is a great opportunity for me to just write whatever. Plus, this Saturday’s prompt is all about organizing books on your bookshelf and… well, let’s just say I have more than enough thoughts on that particular topic.

  • The last time I seriously attempted to organize my books was way back in 2016 where I had the ingenious idea of DIY-ing an additional shelf on one of the cabinets of my book cabinet. I wrote a post about it too, overfiltered photos and all.
circa 2016… things haven’t really gotten any better
  • The whole thing took me so much longer than I expected. I honestly had no idea what I was doing and towards the end I sort of just shoved books wherever they still fit.
  • Recently I took out all of my books-that-don’t-spark-joy and stored them in bags and boxes in no particular order. Even after getting rid of all those books – I filled like two giant tote bags and three boxes – my bookshelves are still overflowing.
  • Not gonna lie though, days after I bagged and boxed about a quarter of my “read” books, I started missing them. I haven’t thought about a lot of them for years but just knowing that they’re hidden away gave me a weird sort of anxiety. I guess it’s because most of the books I stored were Booksale finds. I have a soft spot for those secondhand books because, honestly, they were the ones that saved me back when I was a struggling med student. I have such fond memories of digging through the haphazard shelves of Booksale and finding the most random and obscure books that not having them on hand made me feel guilty for some reason.
  • I actually considered taking those books out again but, thankfully, my practical mind reminded me that I literally had no room anymore and, besides, my TBR shelves are in even worse condition.
  • Despite having my own book cabinet for close to a decade now, I still haven’t really figured out how to organize my books. I tried organizing them by genre but I didn’t really have as varied a taste as I’d like.
  • For a time, I considered organizing my books by color scheme, like how those bookstagrammers do it. Then I realized that I’d have to separate books part of a series and just didn’t have the heart to do it.
  • One of my lifelong dreams is to one day have a room just dedicated to my books. Like I’m talking floor to ceiling bookshelves in every wall, a reading nook with comfy pillows, possibly a secret room that’s only accessible by a hidden lever disguised as an unassuming book. And in that secret room… more books.
  • I’ve already packed away majority of my books and reorganized my desk/writing station – the next step will have to be tackling my “read” and “to be read” bookshelves. I’ll have to dedicate a full day for it because I know for a fact that an endeavor as physically and emotionally draining as that is gonna need a lot of time. Time that I’m not sure when I’ll even have.
  • Until that day will come all I can really do is pretend that my bookshelves aren’t a flaming hot mess and that everything’s fine. At least I’ve curbed my book buying addiction… well, almost. There are a few slip ups every now and then. I don’t know where to put those three new books I got this week but it’s fine…

And that’s it! I don’t know if I did it right but I had fun writing this and I have a feeling I’ll probably do this again in the near future. Huge props once again to Charvi for coming up with this meme/prompt.

Anyway, how do you guys organize your books? I’ve been trying to figure out how to organize my bookshelves for years and I still don’t get it. Is there a trick to it that I’m missing? A secret that I’m not privy to? Because I swear to god, I feel like everyone else’s bookshelves are perfect while mine are… eh. I’d love to hear how you guys do it.

4 thoughts on “Off Tangent Thoughts: On Organizing my Bookshelf

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