There are always questions about how we organize all those books that I have lovingly and happily collected over the years. I have such a hard time NOT buying all the copies of great books everywhere I go… 🙂 However the new bookcases that I built when we moved in are starting to overflow (what an amazing blessing!), so I decided that a little bit of re-organizing was urgently needed.
I recently took all the books I want to have read for school off my bookcase at the end of the hall (you can see that here). I took them downstairs and sorted the literature by author and selected the best copy for myself, putting the rest in a discard pile that was close to 100 books. I let the girls and a friend pick through my discards and will donate the rest. (This was easier than I thought it would be since realizing how much I am using my Kindle. 😉 Never thought I would actually say that, either!)
The other books are sorted by subject – art and art history, handicrafts and life skills, math, science, nature study, geography, music, poetry, Shakespeare, Scripture and Church History, world history by era, etc. There are many sizes, shapes, and heights of books within each category, making it extremely easy to lose the smaller ones. My solution: magazine file boxes. I found dozens of them very cheaply at the Library book sale so this is a great way to use them.
I have sorted my historical books within the framework of the SCM History Modules – Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Middle Ages, Early Modern History and Modern History. Then I added in other Ancient Cultures (China, Ancient America, etc) as another category. All the books are divided into the era it belongs. In each section, I put a couple of magazine holders to store any small, paperback, spiral-bound or special need book. I labeled the holders Ancient Greece (or whatever subject it is) for quick reference and can easily see what I have in there. Here is a photo of a portion of the bookcases:
Generally, I use the Holder to indicate the beginning of an era with additional books following the recommended reading books.
For my Five in a Row collection, SCM Early Years Read Aloud collection, SCM’s 106 Days of Creation, Outdoor Secrets, and all the history modules, I created a label for the holder. Each label contains the list of required/recommended books that I check off as I get. I can always tell at a glance what is there and what I need. Here is a photo of those labels:
Using this method, I can easily and quickly rotate the reading material upstairs in our reading baskets. This makes reading a fun adventure, and allows the girls to re-visit old friends without tiring of them.
And don’t forget the many many audio books we have – they are in labeled jewel case boxes on the top shelf. I keep the ones we’ve listened to or are not using yet downstairs. Here is what they look like:
The rest of the books are upstairs – the free reads, the school books, the little kid books, church books, and the collection in my room… 🙂