# Messy But Efficient Way to Organize Your Bookcase

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Edit: I have found tons of brilliant ideas in the comments from people who have other methods and tips to save your books or just what to do with them. This is a s/o to everyone who had these ideas. Thank you.

This is especially for you, EJ.

Do you absolutely love books and have tons but don't seem to have enough space for them, no matter how many shelves you nail to the wall? Well, this instructable is for you then, darling!

I have a baby bookcase with lots of books. And when I say baby, I mean baby. I mean, it's less than one foot tall, two feet long and not even one foot wide. That's baby. Yet I still manage to fit my books in it. How? Well, I'll tell you.

## Step 1: The Familiar But Inefficient Method

Vertically.

It may look great, but because books are so fat, you lose space too quickly.

This is my bookcase with 32 books in it. With the new method, I have over 50 books in my bookcase now.

Using the vertical method, it's kind of sad since it seems there's so much wasted space. But you can fix that...

Horizontally.

## Step 2: More Space

That's right, stack 'em up horizontally!

You may say, "Books were meant to be aligned standing--not stacked!"

Well, that may be the case (your case) but books are also flat and you'll find you'll have tons more space if you stack them up.

You may also say, "Well, how will I even know which book is which? I can't see the spine!"

That's where sticky notes come in.

## Step 3: To Offend or Not to Offend―That Is the Question.

If you write or scribble on your books, it's considered offending the book.

I don't write in my books, but as for labeling the books, I wrote down their names on the bottom so you could see what the book was.

If you don't want to offend your book, you can use sticky notes instead. Label the book using a sticky note and just leave it poking out of the book so you know what you're reading. Then just stack up the books.

## Step 4: Bookworms...

If you're a bookworm like me, you believe that books are necessary for...life.

If you have literal piles of books like me, this messy but efficient way can help you. It doesn't take too long and you can save up tons of space. I went from 32 books in my bookcase (using the vertical method) to over 50 (using the horizontal method). There's actually just 55 books in my bookcase. But that's a 23 book difference. Pretty sweet, huh?

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## 76 Discussions

nice idea but a suggestion(just my opinion):

step1: go to a library or anywhere with a book scanner.
step2: use the book scanner(it really wont take much time).
step3: file your scanned books in a flash or cloud.
step4: donate your books to a public library.

now you have solved so many problems.
2.you save space
3.a good deed of sharing your books with others.

just my opinion and what I've done.

have a good one

9 replies

I've never heard of a publicly available book scanner, is this really common? I've used an office document scanner to scan thousands of pages of notes, and even scanned a few books by de-binding them, which destroyed them.

So glad you mentioned Gutenberg! I was trying to work it in but hadn't so far found a suitable crack to wedge it into. It's a brilliant site.

Wow, I read books on the Gutenberg Project all the time! The latest one I read was the original Swiss Family Robinson. So many survival tips!

I'm visually impaired and have a lot or trouble reading: indeed, I recently gave 100+ books, brand new, to a charity shop because I knew I'd never be able to read them now with the size print they use.
I did think about using my all-in-one to scan books, but it seems such a lot of hard work - not just the scan, turn the page, scan, turn the page, but I convert e-books [where I can] to Word documents sot hat I can then enlarge the text to something I can see to read - a pdf is a copy of the original, in original format, including original font size, so if I can't read the book I won't be able to read the pdf without a high zoom and an awful lot of left-to-right scrolling back and forth.
I haven't visited my library since I moved here, thinking that there'd be no point.

I didn't know libraries had book scanners! Thanks for that, I'll have to see if mine does. Are these just standard scanners? since a "book scanner" sounds like something special.

hey, good work on the 100+ books, yep the book scanners are much faster and can turn the page automatically.

have a good one

that's very good to know, thanks so much!
ps: tried to Google "book scanners" - apparently flatbed scanners and "swipe-over" scanners come into this category!
Given the number of books I have, thought it might work out better to get one for myself rather than truck the books down to the library one at a time. sort of wish I hadn't given those books away now, if there's a chance that I might be able to read them - but hey, maybe I can buy them back from the charity shoo!

I’ve never heard of that, but I should try it out. I’ve bought books from libraries before, but never donated.

don't think this would work for me - Murphy's Law, whatever book i wanted would be guaranteed to be at or near the bottom! which would involve a lot of lifting and shifting. And some of the books are slim enough that writing on the end wouldn't work for a visually impaired person.
My fiction books are aligned by author and book size: I have two shelves for Terry Pratchett, hardback and paperback. My non-fiction books will be arranged with shelf indexing, as I have problems remembering where a specific subject is.
But even so ... defacing books?? even on the outside?

9 replies

I have a friend whose favorite author is Terry Pratchett. What does he/she write?
You can use sticky notes if you don't want to deface your books. It's on Step 3.

I see someone's already answered the question! I have all his books, not including the spinoffs - "Where's my cow?" etc. Discworld and stand-alone single novels [Apart from the complete "The Long Earth" series, which I read and gave away; more "other author" than Terry]
I have Ikea "Billy" bookcases at 80cm wide and two shelves is barely enough.
The last time I counted, I had about 1700 books: I gave away a hundred or so because I'm visually impaired and the typeface is too small (I can just about cope with "large small print", if I squint hard enough).
I have enough probs finding a book even when I can read the spine: using labels wouldn't help much, given how big I'd have to write - lol and writing 1700+ labels would make the later ones barely legible!

lol as with most things, size doesn't really matter - a few that are very well read and well loved is nothing to hang your head over

Thanks, that's so true. I have some books I couldn't ever possibly part with. I just re-read them over again and am satisfied every time.

Some of mine have been read so many times … and, often, I notice things that I hadn't noticed at a first or second reading, tiny things that add to the enjoyment of the book

That's so true. Author's know how to teach you something new every time you read a book. Whether hidden or simply unnoticed.

Comic fantasy mostly, also tried his hand at books for older children and science fiction, but best known and loved for the Discworld novels, a magical flat world carried on the backs of 4 elephants, who in turn stand on the back of Great A'Tuin, a space faring turtle, orbited by a tiny sun, permeated by magic. As his career went on they improved from a literature point of view but became less comic and the fantasy became more refined. He doesn't write now unless they have typewriters in heaven. RIP TP, a very great and sad loss to us all. 1st book, The Colour of Magic, last book, I Shall Wear Midnight, and many brilliant novels in between

His Nome trilogy [aka Bromeliad trilogy] is definitely worth taking a look at, too