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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Organization in Your Home Library: PART THREE


PART THREE: The big sort!

Last week we discussed the sorting process involving the books.  This week we are discussing the process of creating a master list of your books.

When it comes to purchasing books, no one wants to be in the predicament of either wondering if you own a title already or if you bring it home and realize you now have two copies of the same book.  Believe me, I have done this many times in the past and kicking myself for it.  The solution I have come up with – and the one I will be sharing with you today – is one that has fixed this problem for me and has made organization a big help.

At this point in the process all of your books should already be sorted into some sort of system that works for you and on the shelves already.  I know it is hard to stop looking at your hard work, but there will be time to admire it when we are all finished. Take one last look and then have a seat.

There are two ways you can do this – by hand with paper and pencil, or with a computer that is hopefully nearby.  I am going to say that some people choose to use Goodreads as their main database, but I have found the way I use to be better for me.  If you would like to use Goodreads instead, then try it out and see if it works or use this way as a backup system.

We are going to do this shelf by shelf to start with.  Go to your first shelf and lets get started.  At the top of your page, write down the books on that shelf.  If it is several series, write a heading of the authors name for each one. 

For example:





After you have done this to each shelf in your library, and your fingers are sore from typing or writing, we are going make another decision.  You can either keep your master sheet in accordance with your shelves or you can alphabetize it.  Personally, I move my books around so much I have found it easier just to alphabetize my list by author.  When you have all of them alphabetized, you are going to print these if you are on a computer.  When you go to print these out, make sure you leave some space between each series and each author in case you need to add later on.

Now make sure you have paper in your printer and print those pages out.  While you are waiting to for them to print out, get a binder, dividers, and a hole punch.  On the side of the binder I wrote “Master List” because I have a little bit of OCD inherited from my parents.  LOL

Once all of the pages are done you need to punch holes in them and add them to the binder.  Don’t forget to put the page dividers between each different letter of the alphabet!

Now you have a master list that includes every book you own. But wait, we are not done!

Behind the last set of pages, you are going to put two more sections! One you are going to label “WISHLIST” and the other you are going to label “READ/BORROWED”.

In the Wishlist section you will keep a running tab of books you would like to buy.  Once you buy them, cross them out and add them to the appropriate section in your binder. (Remember we left space between each author)

On your Read/Borrowed pages you are going to list the books you borrowed from the library or friends and have read already. Try to keep it in alphabetical order as well with a page for each letter of the alphabet.

Once this is done, it should be pretty easy to maintain.  I go into my computer file that I saved and update it every 4 months or so.  I also only reprint the pages that have changed so I am not wasting too much paper.

Now I have a main binder full of my collection.  Whenever I go out on a shopping trip, I take this with me.  Yes, it can be bulky, but so can those huge coupon binders that everyone is carrying now.  Plus it has saved me a ton of money in buying duplicates.

Next week we are going to take a break due to the holidays, but be prepared! When we return with the feature we are going to take a peek into each of our libraries!  I am going to show you mine and I hope you will link up with photos of yours!


Blogger Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

You are so organized! I finally got most of my books into goodreads. I think that you can dump from goodreads into excel...I'm going to try that for my master list!!

November 22, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Kathy Martin said...

I use LibraryThing for keeping track of what I own. I bought their CueCat scanner and entered over 3000 books into the system over about three weekends. Of course, I had lots of covers to scan to match the editions I had and some books to add that were pre-barcodes. But it did get the bulk of my collection done. I use the tags feature to indicate genre and series.

I still have some problems finding books I own because I am majorly out of shelf space and books stored in various boxes and crates along with the full shelves.

I'm pretty sure there are phone apps that would let me carry my LibraryThing database with me to bookstores but I don't have a smartphone and buy most of my books online from home. It is easy for me to check LibraryThing before I hit the BuyNow button.

November 22, 2011 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Amy J said...

@Melissa -- you definitely need to write a tutorial for excel for me. Excel and I have a love/hate relationship. LOL

@Kathy -- I almost bought a CueCat but I heard that it sometimes doesn't work right and is hard to use. Have you had any trouble with it?

November 22, 2011 at 9:49 AM  

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