New World Order

We had a…situation, of sorts, in the house, that necessitated the removal of every single book from the shelves, packing them away, then replacing them. This was, as you might imagine, horrible. HORRIBLE.


Then the books came back! And it was like falling in love all over again. With the bonus of: both Diana and Chestnut devised entirely new cataloging systems for their books, which meant that they did most of the putting the books back, and I got to see the ways the books fit into their crazy mental states.

Chestnut's shelves put historical fiction first, which was then suborganized into: books she liked best, in order down to books she liked least. Followed by realistic fiction (same best to least), then fantasy, then nonfiction, then picture books. Then it got messed up, she acknowledges. But she doesn't seem perturbed, just, I don't know, calm and comfortable surrounded by the books that make sense to her.

Diana had a grand plan. Check it out.





And here's another…



And here's the full effect on one side of the room.



So. Spine color.

How does it work for actually finding the particular book you want? I have no idea.

But it looks amazing. And as usual, I am grateful to both of them for giving me another way to view books in the world.

7 thoughts on “New World Order

  1. I am so happy that your books came back! I love the way your girls organized their books. Spine Color? I can say that I have never thought of that!


  2. I tried spine color for a while, and it looked fabulous — but I couldn’t find anything unless I happened to remember its color!


  3. Spine color might work for me, because my memory’s pretty visual, but it would drive me crazy. I keep most alphabetical, except for the stacks of strays everywhere. And the little paperbacks in the basement with old Norton Anthologies and the like. And the film books in my office, and the shelf of special needs and parenting memoirs. Moochie’s books are in no order whatsoever, but maybe I should send her in there to put them in spectral order. (Is that a thing?)


  4. If my older kid hit upon spine color as an ordering scheme, she would feel compelled to arrange the colors themselves according to ROYGBIV. Or ROYGBIV minus whatever color is no longer in the rainbow. First, Pluto, now the rainbow. What’s next?
    My spouse destroys whatever order I come up with for bookshelves (or anything else). He will put SOMETHING THAT ISN’T A BOOK between other books, magazines, catalogs, etc. Sigh.


  5. My husband (a university professor) has ALL of the books in his office organized like this and it works for him, too! He sort of tries to do it here at home with the kids’ books, but they’re on & off the shelf so many times each day it’s hard to keep up. 🙂


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