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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Author Insight: How they shelve it...

How many books would you say you own, and what’s your shelving system?

"Thanks to the show 'Hoarders,' my new shelving system is to give away books as soon as I've read them, keeping only a handful of favorites! So, my collection has significantly decreased in volume over the years. - Sarah Ockler, author of Bittersweet

"Probably about 800 at this point, and that's small for me.  I had to get rid of a quarter of my library the last time I moved: my apartment's one floor of a hundred-year-old house, and the trade off for the ridiculously beautiful wood floors and curved plaster ceilings is that we have no storage.  None.  So the bookcases we can fit are double-shelved to the max, and I've gotten very careful about what I bring home, because, well, my roommate also appreciates getting to use the bookshelves!  Let's just say I'm a much better public library user than I was two years ago.

I worked in an independent bookstore for four years, so my library's shelved in total neurotic bookstore rat style: Alphabetical by author and within that, alphabetical by title, although trilogies and so forth are done in the order they came out.  It has 'sections' too: the fiction's all together, with anthologies and graphic novels at the end, and then the nonfiction, textbooks, and my brag shelf are all tucked away in my bedroom.

As organized as my shelves are, I'm running out of space pretty hardcore right now.  Next project: Finding some planks and bricks, and building those bookcases up." - Leah Bobet, author of Above.

"I have one big shelf in my living room dedicated to books. There’s room for about forty. Once I finish a new book, an old one gets kicked off the shelf and gets given away or thrown in my closet." - Aaron Karo, author of Lexapros & Cons.

"Many hundreds of books, some of them shelved by genre but most of them shelved randomly.  Also stacked on closet floors and boxed." - Ann Stampler, author of Where It Began.

"I came late to book buying (I grew up a library girl) so I probably have about 200? I have one shelf that I save for my all-time favorite books—this one’s been traveling with me from apartment to apartment for my entire adult life—and the rest are just crammed with books arranged loosely (very loosely) by category and subject matter. Which generally means all the fiction books are in one place, the nonfiction ones are in another, the YA/children’s books in a third, and the giant stack of to-be-read books piled on every surface I’ve got." - Robin Wasserman, author of The Book of Blood and Shadow.

"Too many to count. Right now, I have a lot of books in boxes in a storage unit, but even when they are on shelves there is usually nothing that resembles a system to their shelving. That's pretty bizarre considering that I used to work in a library, and I do have systems for other random things like how I eat a Pop Tart." - Alissa Grosso, author of Ferocity Summer.

"After a quick count I'd estimate somewhere near 300. I've currently got two bookshelves and numerous piles. The shelves are the A-list and the B-list. If it doesn't make either, it gets donated or given away. But I'm going to need an A-list extension shelf soon." - Kendare Blake, author of Girl of Nightmares.

"I’m going to say 500. My system of organization, if it can be called that, is by genre. YA fiction on one shelf. Adult fiction on another. Cookbooks. Nonfiction. Books on writing, etc…" - Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck

"Who knows? No room in my house is without books. As for a shelving system: My bedroom: collection of children’s books, many signed. Living room: Latino library and classics. Coffee table: books I absolutely adore from that year. Hallways: books I loved, won’t read again, but can’t part with. Nightstand: what I’m currently reading and books I have borrowed but haven’t given back and am too ashamed to call the owner about. Kids’ rooms: Books we loved together and that I’ve recommended to them. Husband’s office:  cheap paperbacks you’d read on the beach and those weird pharmacology and self help books. Kitchen: cookbooks and more cookbooks." - Meg Medina, author of The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind.

"My husband and I own around 2,000 books; right now the shelving system is chaos. We moved a year ago and keep intending to alphabetize them by author name, but sadly, we haven’t gotten to it." - Cat Patrick, author of Revived.


 "I use a library software called Calibre and it says I currently own 770 digital books. I would say about 50% of those are free books I've downloaded, most of which I haven't read yet, and many of the books are also my husband's as we share a Kindle account." - Gwen Hayes, author of Dreaming Awake.

"Hmmm…1,200ish. I try to sort by genre. I also try to bake soufflés. I’m no good at either. There’s a groaning floor-to-ceiling bookcase along one wall, and since that’s full basically any horizontal surface is fair game." - Nina Malkin, author of Swear.

Stop by Thursday to find out how many books the rest of the authors own and how they shelve them!
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