Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dewey Decimal it ain't...

btt button

This week’s question is suggested by Kat:

I recently got new bookshelves for my room, and I’m just loving them. Spent the afternoon putting up my books and sharing it on my blog . One of my friends asked a question and I thought it would be a great BTT question. So from Tina & myself, we’d like to know “How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?



There is a rough logic to my shelving system but Dewey Decimal it ain't. In the bedroom is mostly fiction, the shelf nearest my bed has most of my favorite books. The books I have never been without no matter where I had moved or how much was in storage. J. D. Sallinger is there, Tim Winton, Richard Powers, Nicholas Moseley, Don DeLillo, Dostoevsky, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Dickens, Sarah Salway's Tell Me Everything is there, The Sterile Cuckoo is there, On Beauty is there. They are in no order whatever, except that I know where they are and if there is more than one of an author's books, they are shelved together. Just a few feet away is a matching shelf (these shelves once belonged to my grandparents). This one has some genres - many short story collections are here, but not Chekhov or Alice Munro, Russian History is also here, history and cultural history of the period from around 1900 - 1920, this includes novels set around this time The Regeneration Trilogy of Pat Barker, and The Great Gatsby both live here. E. M. Forster is also here. Across the room is a tall, walnut bookshelf that I found on the street. It houses more fiction I am partial to including Ethan Canin, Chekhov, A. B. Yehoshua, A. S. Byatt, Wallace Stegner, Ian McEwan, Gregory Maguire, Rose Tremain, Chaim Potok, Russell Banks, spill-over Moseley, spill-over Tim Winton, Saul Bellow, John McGahern, Charles Baxter, and a lot of scifi and fantasy resides here - His Dark Materials Trilogy, Philip K. Dick, Ursula LeGuin, Tales of the Otori, Connie Willis, C. S. Lewis, Isaac Asimov, all of the Harry Potter books. In the dining room are two shelves, also both from my grandparents. One houses books by and about Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury set. It also has Alice Munro, Iris Murdoch, May Sarton, Dawn Powell, Willa Cather, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are here too. Opposite them reside the works of G. B. Shaw, Hesse, some Thomas Mann, lots of Shakespeare, more short story collections, most of my miniature books, Eugene O'Neill, and some spill-over poetry. It seems like a shelf of women and a shelf of men face off in my dining room! In a built-in hutch on another wall are all poetry, books about poets, and our good dishes. In the living room there is a low shelf that I also found on the street. It has a lot of music - mostly opera scores - an also books about musicians, composers, and conductors, books related to opera texts, and books on yoga and meditation. Next to that, an enormous built-in wall unit housing all our recordings, more fiction, books written in languages other than English, psychology, biography, plays, books about theatre artists, books about acting, and the teapot collection. In the kitchen, which also contains my office, is a free-standing shelf of neuroscience books, all my class notes, and a second built-in shelf of neuroscience books, along with more poetry, all my reference books, more books on acting, and all my cookbooks interspersed with many tins of tea. And lastly, the shelf no one ever sees. It sits in our coat closet and houses the books that we will give away or sell. Tour complete. Thank you for coming.

10 comments:

jlshall said...

I love the teapot collection interspersed with the books! I also like that "I know where they are" comment - organized chaos is something I can really appreciate! Nice photos.

Janet said...

I firmly believe in organized chaos, too. You have lots of authors I can appreciate lining your shelves! Thanks for the tour.

Smilingsal said...

Cookbooks next to containers of tea sounds like a lovely combination.

C. B. James said...

You found a walnut book case on the street!!!! Not in my neighborhood.

Bluestocking said...

Wow!!!

Storage

Nicole said...

It looks like I would want to read from the bookshelf of your favorites. Some good stuff there

claire said...

Thanks for the book tour.. loved it! I love how you organize your bookshelves with things that, for you, seemingly go together. I used to organize that way, too.

Mary said...

Few things prettier than a wall of books! Love the shelves. I organize by author and/or genre.

Inter Glossa said...

Mann, Hesse, opera scores, yoga, teapot collection... this could have been my house. Thank you for the tour!

mattviews said...

I love the way your bookselves look. Very neat and organized.

I shelf my books by author's last name in alphabetical order. For fiction and literature, I single out the ones to be re-read and put them on a different case.