You authoritarian monsters. Books are meant to exist in a disheveled and hierarchical state based on how much interest you had in them when they came into the house. The further they are away from your reading chair, the less likely they’ll ever see the light of day again. And you put your friends’ books on the two most visible shelves in the dining room so that when they come by for dinner and inevitably creep your shelves, they see themselves reflected there and are inclined to bring better wine next time. It’s not rocket science, people.
On my old shelves, my books were organized into four broad genres: fiction, nonfiction, plays, and poetry. Fiction was arranged by date published, nonfiction by subject area, and plays and poetry were not in any particular order. On my new shelf, I stuck with my broad genres, and within each one, I kept things simple and organized everything alphabetically. Boring, but effective. But part of the fun of reorganizing your books is considering all your options, so here are 10 organizational strategies for the next time you find yourself in the throes of moving, decluttering, or, if you’re anything like me, procrastinating.