Thursday, January 24, 2008

Books..LOTS of books




I do


Have too many books

Is it possible to have too many books?



Rule of thumb: If you have books sitting on the floor lining your hallway, you MAY have too many books.

Yesterday, a friend of mine invited my children and me over so the kids could play while she and I worked on her books. One of my favorite things to do...

"I need a little bit of help organizing them."


I can do this. I love to organize books.

" you have a plan in mind? There are alot of books on the floor."

When I organize books, I start by sorting them into categories.
History in one, Religion in another, Health and Nutrition in a third and on and on. You get the idea. Just like a library has their books organized by subject.

My friend had other ideas.

Does anyone vacuum their books but my friend?

Come on - let's organize these babies! Then we'll clean each pile as we look at what we have here!

" said there are more in the garage?"

"What? Another book on History? Did you know this was out here?"

After you have your piles of books organized by category, you can see what you have.

"Did you know you have two of these? Um, can I have the extra?"

Hint: You also don't need 5 Middle Ages Encyclopedias. One or two will do. You also don't need 25 books on character training. Pick the best, one or two that you know are good, that you would like to use. Put them on your bookshelf.

Sell the rest, give them away, or if you really can't part with them, box them up, label the outside of the box with names of the books in the box, and place them on a shelf in the garage, attic, wherever, with the label facing outward so you can see it at a glance. Too much is not always a good thing (unless you are talking Zenia seeds!). Too much leads to paralysis. Too many choices results in an inability to make any choice at all.

Well, after about 6 hours my friend and I had made a good dent in her stacks and stacks of books. The good news is that she discovered she has all the resources a homeschool mom could possibly need for history, geography, character training, biblical devotions. It was just like Christmas. She found books she "had always wanted" but had forgotten she had.

And, she has 3 or 4 HUGE boxes of books for the next book sale or to sell on eBay.

My last piece of advice? When you buy a book, immediately upon bringing it home, put it on the bookcase under the proper subject heading. If you no longer have room on your bookcase, then you'll need to pull another book off the shelf and pass it along to a good friend........

OR, you can do what I do....

Buy more bookcases.


Kathy said...

I agree, you can never have too many books. But, when you first bring a new book home, I think you should set it out where it will grab your attention and you will take some time to read it, look at it, remember it. If you just put it away, you will forget it is there and you won't get any enjoyment from it. After you have done all that, then put it in its proper place.
Kathy, the older sister

Kathy said...

Did Carol tell you about LibraryThing? That is a fun way to keep track of your books. Also from LibraryThing there are links to book swapping sites, which is another way to get rid of books you don't need, besides selling them.

Kathy, Carol's blogging friend

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Sherry, I have just gone through our books when we rearranged the livingroom. I purged like never before. It felt so good to get rid of books I will never read again and as you mentioned I found several reads I will enjoy again sometime soon.

I never put a new book away until I have read it or it would never be read. I stack new books on my bedside table. Eventually they are read and put away or given to the library for their sale or loaning.

I hope you don't mind but I have tagged Muncie for a 5 meme. I hope you have time to read the questions and transcribe for him. He is such a character and you are such a good writer it will be a good read if you do. Luna would love Muncie I am sure. She likes her men short and with lots of character.

athomemama said...

1st things you EVER stay home?? :)
2nd thing...when is someone going to come and help me organize my junk? I don't have too many books...I already get rid of stuff as it comes in but still need some method to my madness...I'm next, k?
Glad you girls got her stuff in order...I know that was a big help to her!!
I love in one of the pix of your bookshelves you can see a cat on don't have too many books, you have too many cats. just kiddin. I like to get you riled!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

P.S. I do vacuum my books whenever I ever get around to really cleaning the shelves. Usually near christmas because everything that doesn't move and some things that do move like Luna get decorated for christmas.

eleanor said...

Sherry, I have to admit I nearly cracked up when I read your solution to having too many books - get more book cases. You could take your own advice & get rid of some books. I know how painful that is because I have the same problem. But in my defence, I re-read books. If I start the book & can't remember 'who done it' I'll keep reading. Of course I'm talking about light reading, mysteries & such. Although, I should go thru my books, some I can give to my book-reading friend & her husband, & some I might donate to the coffee shop where we play bridge. I'll do that someday, yes, I will.

athomemama said...

you know I'm the last person who should be telling you to stay home right?? that's like the pot calling the kettle black. just wanted to clear that previous post of mine right up!
Love ya, chicky

Charmaine said...

Oh ABSOLUTELY more bookcases. I did recently get rid of a big box of "fluff" books -- lots of self help for things I don't think I need help on! (Wink) But classic literature, real history books, stories that have touched me -- NEVER EVER. There's always room for books. Aren't you the one who suggested putting bookshelves around the room a foot down from the ceiling? :)

Nicky said...

I believe you can Never have enough books on character training. You need one for each of your multiple personalities. Hey, you, the one who's typing, stop telling the world about the rest of us! Anyway, personality 13 would like to know if this "friend" of yours would like anyone to come over and go through the books she's getting rid of? Just wondering... Smooch

Sherry said...

Kathy, the Older Sister: Yes that is a good point. If you buy it you really should read it before you put it on your shelf. And I personally think you should have at least 2-3 books ready and waiting for the second you finish whatever book you are on.

Kathy, Carol's Friend: No, big sister Carol did not share that little secret with me. You'll have to give me the scoop. It sounds very interesting....

Lisa at Greenbow: I will accept the tag, but first I have to ask my big sister Carol what a meme is :-). I'm new to this whole bloggin' thing

Eleanor: I think it's safe to say that the book gene came from your side of the family

At Home Mama: Good eyes. Yes, Opal does like to lounge on top fo the bookcases. And yes, I do stay home upon occasion. I believe today is one of those days, but you never know who will stop by now, do you?

Charmaine: Yes, I am guilty of having a room with a shelf that goes around the entire room about a foot from the ceiling. It holds LOTS of books!

Nicky: Do you even have to ask? Of coure she would love to part with some of her trash -uh, I mean treasures. But, do you REALLY need them? I know you are the ultimate minimalist! LOL!

Thanks everyone for visiting here at the zoo.

Christine said...

I feel much better, I thought I had way too many books, but you have more than me. My hubby has promised to make me some bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. Maybe I should get a couple more books, just to make sure I fill them up??

Kathy said...

Just go to and sign up. You-know-who is IndyGardener. I am ColdClimateGardening. You use LT to catalog all your books, and peek at everyone else's libraries. The best thing is that you can tag them, imposing your own very special organization on them. You can tag all your homeschooling books as "homeschooling," even though some are history and some are math, etc.

You only have to enter in the ISBN and then it brings up all the bibliographic data on a book, and you just add the tags. If it's too much bother to type in ISBNs, you can get one of their bar code readers (called a CueCat). I often find it easier to check LT to see if I have a book than to actually go to the shelf.

Carol said...

Sherry, I sent you a link to my library of gardening books at LibraryThing, where as Kathy noted, I am "Indygardener". I've only cataloged my gardening books and it didn't take long... a couple of hours and I have 250 or so cataloged. Which reminds me, I have another 5 or 10 new gardening books on my coffee table that I need to enter.

Thank heavens I didn't inherit this book gene, too!

Carol, Your Sister at May Dreams Gardens

Sherry said...

Thanks Carol and Kathy! I think I'm going to check this out this weekend.