Monday, January 24, 2011

What do I read first?

I recently moved into a new place with a new person, which means one important thing: an opportunity to reorganize my books!

Organizing books is a pretty exciting task for me [pushes nerd glasses up nose], especially after taking organization and cataloging classes while getting my master's in library and information science. So nearly two months into my new place, I think I'm finally happy with a bookshelf of fiction and a bookshelf of nonfiction. Fiction is sorted alphabetically by author (then alphabetically by title for each author). It is bothering me a bit that John Irving and Jodi Picoult aren't all on the same shelf, but I suppose that's just the way it has to be with the space constraints. Nonfiction is sorted by size (some are too tall to stand), topic (music, movies, memoir, humor, history, psychology, biology, business, money, library science, writing and journalism) and author.

This is not all of the books in my collection; I have children's books (picture books and novels) on a shelf in my room because I ran out of space in the living room. And the BF has some still packed away (that will probably stay that way for now). I'm already antsy about where we'll put any future additions to the collection.

So now the big question: Where do I start reading? I haven't read most of the books in the collection, and I'd eventually like to re-read all that I haven't (I own them for a reason). Do I go alphabetically by title? Alphabetically by author? Chronologically by publish date? Reverse chronologically?

I like taking on fiction and nonfiction at the same time, so I can switch between reading something for learning and something for pleasure. Right now I'm in the middle of "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger (which I've been working on for the past year or so, thanks to grad school) and "Sticks and Stones: How Digital Reputations are Created Over Time and Lost in a Click" by Larry Weber. But after these are finished, what should I pick up next?

How is your bookshelf organized? How do you decide which books deserve your attention?

-- Cheryl Sadler


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