Bookcase Organization and Display

Does this owl make me look smart?

I am going to go out on a limb and say that I think bookcases are for books. I am not a fan of this new notion of  books put in backwards so you can't see the spines or limiting the number of books ( or hiding them away) so that there is  more room to show off a burgeoning collection of one sort or another.

I bought this old wreck of a house for a couple things- fantastic cut glass doorknobs and  lots of built in bookcases. Life was much more civil when homes came built with the knowledge that you wanted to acquire knowledge and thus needed a place to put it.  Yes I know I can Google and there is the library.. I use both all the time. I just happen to find something special about owning books.
12 feet high. I need a library ladder to get to the top!

Mind you there is too much of a good thing and just recently I repainted our bookcases and took the time to clear out the stacks, rearrange and display some very carefully selected treasures. I was a long hard day of work painting and re shelving all the books. As a note I did not paint the actual shelves- only the back and side walls, I don't think painted shelves and books get along very well so decided to leave them natural in order not to damage any of our books that made the cut and got to stay.

This book shelf process can seem like a very daunting task so I offer this help-

Cull -  It is not "Thee who dies with the most books wins". It is.. does this book enhance my life?, is it useful ? and will I ever need it again? This time I removed well over 200 books from our collection.. most all went to friends and family who were thrilled to get them. Others have gone to Book Crossing.. do you know about them?

Sort-  Like with Like. Don't mix up your books making it hard to find the book on roses when you need it because it is mixed up with the books on herbal medicine or do it yourself roofing. My broad categories include, DIY/Home, Craft/sewing, Reference, Nature, Medical, Classics,  and Sex ( you knew that right?)

Arrange -  Place books in a way that makes sense. Our classics and more fragile books are up high, the reference and daily use books down lower and easier to get to.. it just makes sense. While some people like books in tidy rows I do like to break things up a bit with some in side stacks and adding items of interest when appropriate.

Keeping it real- yes that is a jar of dog treats on the green dresser.

Accessorize - Lesser used shelves are a great way to show off a LIMITED number of cherished family items or collectibles.   We have a couple of pieces that are special to us since they have been in the family for a long time. The tiny ceramic birds belonged to Doc's mother, and the teddy belonged to the man himself. The vintage camera was my father's and the vase belonged to a little old lady I knew.. it makes me smile.

As a small  note I would like to say that the bottom two shelves now both hold baskets , 1 for magazines that need to be read and other is a basket for our library books so they don't get mixed into our main collection.

So what do you think, are you ready to tackle your bookcases before the new year?

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