So… I needed to refer to a book that I knew is in my library, but I could not find it! I also needed to refer to another book that I thought was in my library, but I couldn’t find it either! I checked this stack of books and that stack of books, as well as the less-than-organized books on various shelves. I finally found the first book, but realized I don’t have the second one after all.
My library needed an organizing touch.
After donating periodicals that had occupied space on my shelves and with some other reorganizing, I knew I could do better.
I surveyed my books for probable categories. Then, I went through all the stacks and created new stacks by logical topic, i.e., Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War II, NARA, American Indians, various states, Transportation, Weather, Writing, etc.
After determining how much space to allow for each category (allowing room for expansion), I organized each section alphabetically by author.
Iowa needed its own bookcase, and several counties within Iowa got their own bookcase. And, naturally, genealogy reference books occupy nearly four shelves of still another bookcase.
As a side note, I use LibraryThing.com to catalog all of my books. I should have checked there to see if I had the second book. I love LibraryThing because I can access my library catalog from my iPhone when I am considering the purchase of a new book. Currently I have 525 genealogy/history-related books cataloged. Mine is not a huge library, but large enough that having it organized is very helpful.
Organizing my library was easy once I created space by giving away the periodicals, and once I had determined my organizing plan. But, before I was done, I had exhausted our supply of bookends! (I’ll look for more after the holidays when Walmart usually has specials on office supplies.)
Ta da! Final result: Today I can find any book in my library within seconds!
Pictures showing some of my organized bookshelves: