Oh CBS... I appreciate how you value the old days and all, but a Hawaii Five-O redux? Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan -- handsome though they may be -- can't possibly fill the shoes of Jack Lord and James MacArthur as Steve McGarrett and Danny "Danno" Williams on the original Hawaii Five-O. Thank God you kept the show's theme song -- arguably one of the greatest of all time.
When Steve McGarrett says "Book 'em Danno" he isn't talking about books, but today we are. Danno may have been into throwing the book at a bad guy, but sometimes books ARE the bad guys. In your house, that is. Books are one of the most confounding causes of clutter because they evoke emotions, and for the bibliophile, they represent untold amounts of valuable information.
Let's say you've already pared down all the books you possibly can by donating them to libraries (for their annual fund-raising book sales), local hospitals, homeless / womens' shelters, schools, prisons and soldiers, and you're left with the most important ones you just couldn't part with. How do you store them? Here are a few ideas...
Group your books by topic or genre.
PROS: It's intuitive and you don't need an index sheet to locate a book unless your collection is massive.
CONS: If your collection is very large, one genre might be shelves and shelves worth of books, making it tough to find the one you want.
Organize alphabetically by author.
PROS: It (sort of) mirrors the way they do it at the book stores, and the alphabet is a simple guide.
CONS: You REALLY have to know your authors, or you have to create a spread sheet that will tell you an author's name before you look for a book.
Store books alphabetically by title.
PROS: Same as above.
CONS: If you aren't sure of the exact title, you could spend all day looking for a book. Especially if your collection is really big. If you want to store by author, or title, consider using the Paper Tiger Software to help you. And yes, if you order Paper Tiger through that link I make a nickel.
Store books where you read them.
PROS: Trashy romance novels are right next to the bed for send-me-off-to-sleep reading, business books are in your home office and magazines are in the den (or in the powder room!) As we always say in the organizing business, it's handy to keep things near where you use them.
CONS: Your book collection is by default, fragmented, and lives in various parts of the house. This may or may not be a "con" -- if you're committed to keeping the books in the appropriate spot, you're good to go. If not, the families may end up mixed.
Here are some neato products for storing limited quantities of books as art:
Call me crazy (I know, you already do) but I love this hanging bookshelf! It would be a cool way to divide a loft apartment or a huge open space without using actual walls or curtains. I love its quirky industrial look and I bet it'd blend well with almost any decor.
The stylish but pricey Opus quasi-hexagonal shelf is certainly an interesting conversation piece for those non-linear book lovers among us. When you're in the mood to spend $450 on a bookshelf, this one's your man.
Check out Sticklebook. It's perhaps the most unusual and innovative of the ideas here. It showcases your paperbacks so they appear to be floating magically on the wall. And at only $43 INCLUDING shipping from New Zealand, it's the most reasonably priced item on the list.
What are your best ideas for decluttering, organizing and storing books?
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