Friday

How to Organise Books


Books, books and more books!!!!

My husband and I like to go on holiday to relax and READ.

So each time before we go we do something rather important.

We made sure we have decided on what books we are going to read.









Years ago we always had to come to an agreement over books before we could pack because we needed to pick 4-6 books that we both wanted to read and then we could share the books while we were away, simply because books took up weight in our luggage.









Now we take our kindles with us and we don't have to share any books at all so we can have completely different reading lists.
But we still sit down to make sure we have thought about the books we want to read and make sure we have them downloaded from the cloud onto our devices so that we can read what we want at any time regardless of WiFi.


Oh the joys of the kindle.

Even if we are still using our original old Kindles with our lighted cases which we absolutely love.








We have loads of ebooks and I'm usually keeping an eye out for good ebook offers so the amount of those on our Kindles are ever increasing.


By this stage you may be wondering why I am talking about books & ebooks when this is part of  my posts about Organising


Books in My Study


So what about the books on my bookshelves in my Study?


They used to look like this






but then after a good tidy up they look like much better than this and the bookcases and more details about the tidy up can be found at  Organized Bookcases

As you can see I have 4 bookcases here and they are still full plus a few small crates of books which I have decided I will give away when I finally get round to reading them.

The cupboards at the bottom of two of the bookcases do not contain books - they have folders, files puzzle books for Kids Work and Language study files and notes from our time learning Dutch while living in Belgium.


My husband did suggest one time that we could throw out all the books on the bookshelves and only have ebooks.



Sacrilege!  cried our oldest son who was with us at the time.



As for me I just said

"what if we want to read them again?"  


and 


"we haven't even read them all yet"




Bookshelves - categories

The farthest bookcase is all Christian Novels in alphabetical order by author except for the bottom shelf which contains Bible Study Books from all the years of leading youth groups & homegroups

The next one contains the rest of the Christian Novels in alphabetical order by author except again for the bottom shelf which this time contains our non-fiction Christian books.

On the third Bookcase the top 2 shelves are devoted to Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries and Bible info books.
The last shelf contains my complete Herron Collection of Agatha Christie novels - Red hardbacks.

On the last Bookcase I have family photo albums, cookbooks, other miscellaneous books that are special to me, my journals from when we lived in America and Belgium and some Dutch novels.


We did do a bit of a clear out when we were moving house last time but there are still many to keep so they needed to be sorted better on the shelves and an inventory made of them.







How do we remember all the books we have and not end up buying repeats?

The basic answer to this was mentioned above - I made an inventory of all my books.

This was not a quick easy job, it took quite some time but I was determined not to fall into the trap that my husband had done on various occasions previously - Yes Fred has been known to buy the same book twice!


How do we keep a note of what we have?


I make an inventory of all the real books we have.  (I'll cover ebooks later)



One solution for this is Spreadsheets.


A)  I have my spreadsheet of my list of the full set of Heron Books of Agatha Christie novels that I had collected over the years.
Each book contains 2 novels.




as you can see because I now know I have got the whole collection I really have this list to keep more info like the date each novel was written, the order no. of the novels and dates of movies made.

This of course is just a section of it here.



B)  I also have a spreadsheet of my list of Nelson DeMille Books. 
Fred & I have become quite the fans of this action thriller author and have most of his books in paperback.





Looking at his now I see I didn't fill in all the rest of the Y's  because we have now read all the books of his that we own.



C)  I have a spreadsheet for all the other books on the bookcases  (an excerpt from it is below)



but it needs updated now yet again although not too many new ones to add - mostly the ones our son buys us for Christmas & birthdays because he always buys a book "you can hold and turn real pages".




D)  Then when I had done all that I decided to make a spreadsheet of ALL the books of Agatha Christie in Chronological order.

That wasn't enough for me so I started adding in the DVD, Television, and cinema adaptations noting all the dates and whether I had watched them and which ones I had on DVD etc. - all colour coded of course.

I already had got 3 different Christie reading lists from various places online so I got most of my info on dates from these and which books had gone by different names in the UK and USA.




I think I got a bit carried away with my colour coding too.




Another solution for this is to use an App.


A couple of years after tackling those spreadsheets I thought maybe an app for my iPad would be a good idea to keep all the data there because I love my iPad.

Also perhaps easier to carry the info around with me on the iPad, to make sure WE remembered which books we already owned, rather than have it on spreadsheets.

So several different times I have had a look for apps and of course being the person I am I really only want a free app or at least one that is very very cheap.


Well I found a few apps and tried them out







but they seemed to be even more time consuming to put in all the data than my Spreadsheets were!

In fact some of the apps were not at all straightforward for inputting the data.




My Final Solution for this is the Spreadsheets


So I decided to go back to the original Spreadsheets and just keep updating as I buy more or  just when I'm sorting through the books.

I use Readdle Documents App on my iPad and I can keep copies of those spreadsheets there and of course it is easy enough to make a change to a spreadsheet on the computer and then save a new copy of that to the App.



Now I have to say it did take a lot of time to do these spreadsheets as I kept getting caught up in the


"Can I bear to part with this book?" 

and  

"Maybe I can find this book as an ebook"

as I went along.





Ebooks

I am still trying to finalize a list of all the ebooks we have - thank goodness Fred & I share our ebooks under the one account but as I go along I can save it as a PDF anytime I want for ease of quick reference and put it on the Kindle app on my iPad as well as into Readdle Documents.

See Agatha Christie and ebooks files:






However I have to admit that the list of ebooks will never be finalised.
We will never stop buying books!
But we do try now to get the majority of our books as ebooks so we are still buying books but they are so much easier to store! 

Of course the great thing about ebooks for the kindle is the fact that when you go to purchase an ebook in Amazon you get a warning if you have already bought it - I have been thankful for that feature too.








How do you organise your books?

Do you still like to have real books and enjoy turning the pages?

Or are you a Kindle devotee?

  




5 comments:

  1. Wow, so impressive Sandra! Hubs solution for too many books is to purge them, but I'm still hanging on! I love my books. I don't think I'll ever get a kindle, but then again I never say never :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some great ideas. I loved my kindle but I have now progressed to audio books. I really love them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sadly, I still miss some of my hardbacks and homeschool books we gave away before left Asia. Too much weight! Some families were really happy get them. We do not ever throw books away unless they are extremely damaged especially by water. We also read kindle books. Book shelves are throughout our home from cheap $10 to solid oak ones and built ins too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow that is quite a collection you have! Love the spreadsheet idea to keep them all straight.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoy a hard copy book but I've worked really hard to minimize around my house - and books just don't make the cut. I've read on my kindle for YEARS and years and continue to do so for 1) the cost and 2) the simplicity of stuff that accumulates in my home

    ReplyDelete