Following on from an interesting article on the importance of of organising one’s bookshelves in today’s Guardian, apparently Alexander McCall Smith kicked up a storm on Twitter yesterday about it, it made me consider how I used to, and how I now, organise the books in my home.

Firstly, books make a home. I cannot imagine a home without books and feel somewhat disconcerted when I visit or hear about one which does not have any books. The books in question don’t have to be great works, or literary masterpieces, but they do need to be present, in much the same way as walls should have pictures to be truly complete.

When I was young I would arrange my books by size, shape and colour with a supplementary sorting system of favourite books to prominent shelves according to artistic sensibilities. In all other cases they were pretty much random.

It has only been in the last decade that I have organised my books alphabetically by author in the following genre groupings:

  • children’s fiction (my biggest category
  • fiction
  • poetry
  • plays and drama
  • cooking/gardening
  • large format
  • TBR – this is the shelf for newly purchased books however there are other ‘TBR’ books elsewhere on the shelves
  • reference (this is not so finely sorted alphabetically)
  • out-size childrens illustrated

That is the basics of how my books are organised. How do you organise yours?