By Tracie Utter
Even in this age of digital books, regular old paper and hardback books are still around, in mass. As much as the media makes us believe digital reading devices are taking over, standard books are still used and will be for a long time. Organizing books is a breeze with proper shelving:
Floor to Ceiling – Using shelving built floor to ceiling is an extremely efficient way to store books. This method takes advantage of the vertical space. Shallow shelves are fine (depth around 12 inches). Custom-built are ideal although tall, premade is more affordable (height around 72 inches).
Premade Shelving – The advantage to ready-to-use shelving is that it is easy to find and buy, can be moved around, and affordable. Sometimes assembly is required. IKEA has a good selection, especially their unit that has 16 cubbies, which solves many storage problems.
Unusal Spots: – a favorite, hidden spot for many decorators is under the stairs. Look for unused areas in your home: a corner, a hallway, or as a wall separating a room. Remember the classic, storing books under a lamp or table. A professional decorator can help identify good spaces for shelving.
For Children – When placing shelving in a child’s area, safety is the main concern. Attach a bookshelf to the wall and/or buy something smaller. Do not create an opportunity for the child to pull the bookshelf over.
Once shelves are in place, arranging the books is the next step. There are more ways than you think to organize books. It is a personal choice. The key is to be able to find a book quickly:
By type: arrange books in categories, for example, group books on health together, or novels, travel, business, or religion. When using this method, arrange the books to match your thinking style so that an individual book can be found easily. Depending on the quantity, a further subsort might be necessary.
By author: of course, this is the method used by libraries and typically used for more extensive collections. Obviously, a preferred method, however, when taking in the overall look of the shelves, this method might not be as visually pleasing as others because of the need to alphabetize.
By height: this method allows for a more appealing arrangement. Arrange from tall to short, vice versa, or lay flat. Keep similar sized books together or in some type of symmetrical style. This arrangement allows the home owner to show off their creativity.
With other items: for visual appeal or functional purposes, include knickknacks, magazines, kids’ creations, art work, binders, decorative storage containers, clocks, plants, or anything you would like to see along with your books.
An important tip to consider, before any book arrangement is started, is to decide how many books to keep. Books take up a lot of room. Consider whether the books are part of the decor, or are they simply for reading, or both. Books can be given away with ease. Be tough, only keep your favorites.