It seems like everyone on the Internet has been talking about the backwards book trend lately. Personally, I’d go more for travesty or debacle than trend, but like with most things, nobody asked me first. If you haven’t heard of it, apparently it is a thing for people to want their books to match their interior decor and, if they don’t match, one suggestion is to arrange your books with the spines facing the wall to create a neutral look.
This doesn’t work for me in so many ways, the most obvious being: how can you tell which book is which when you want to read one? And how can people visiting your home check out your collection (and potentially judge you on your reading choices)? Not to mention the impact of all of that direct exposure to sunlight over time, which is surely not good for the pages. And not to mention in the many examples you can see here, they just look like a massive jumble.
Other ways of book arranging that I also don’t understand:
– Arranging by colour. Sure it looks cute, but it says to me that you aren’t the kind of person who cares about the content and I’m not sure if we will be long term friends.
– Arranging by Dewey Decimal System. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
– Not arranging. No way. And how?
This article from Lit Hub looks at how 11 writers organise their personal libraries and I think, if I had to choose from this piece, my preference would be to go for something like the systems of Hanya Yanagihara(just because that room looks amazing!) or Fran Lebowitz (because her system makes a lot of sense to me).
I think I would describe my ultimate book organisation style as ‘grouping’. I like to have books grouped together by author, books grouped together by series, books grouped together by category (like writing, reference, non-fiction, etc.) Alphabetical is not necessarily important – it’s more about where I can visualise the books being kept to go and find what I’m looking for.
Alas, for the time being, I am largely free to sit back and judge the organisational systems of others as our rental apartment has zero bookshelves and instead all of our books are in boxes in cupboards. Yes, it kills me a bit to have them away like that, but when we build our dream house, there will be floor to ceiling bookshelves in many, many rooms and so many opportunities for book arranging.
How would you describe the organisation of your personal library?