When Miss Dice requested a post about book organization I laughed out loud. Darling and I find ways to make our book setup work but, mind you, it is far from ideal.
I asked Darling what he thought about our book "organization," told him about Dice's request and his advice was simply, "tell her to get a Darling." It's true. Darling has a photographic memory when it comes to books. He knows where almost every book in the house is and can point out just about any page you're looking for inside any one of those books.
It is Darlings job to put the books in order--otherwise, we'd never find anything. This has been the most helpful aspect of our "organization," although, I don't think its the only answer.
Our biggest organizational problem is an issue with space. We have trouble wrangling all of our books into our 3 bookshelves (really, we just need more shelving). We've got rows and rows of books behind books (finding them, well, this is where Darling's memory shines)...
Space issues aside, it has worked out nicely when our books are organized by genre.
American fiction dominates our collection and we have an entire bookshelf dedicated to it. Darling, (remember, he does all of the actual organizing) has them organized in a roughly chronological order (??). For realsies. If I were the organizer I would probably group them by author, and roughly alphabetically (the M's all together but I wouldn't necessarily be a stickler for McCarthy coming before Morrison, etc. I find it turns into a micro-organizational nightmare when new books get brought in).
British Fiction. Translated Fiction (we don't have enough French or Russian translations to constitute entire sections so Genet and Tolstoy are on the same shelf). Poetry. Theory. Various over-sized books also occupy this shelf.
Our smaller bookshelf is dedicated to Non-Fiction: Biographies. Science. Nature. Entertainment writing. Essays. Along with anything that resides in its own category.
Children's books can generally be found in strategically placed stacks on top of the bookshelves. Now that Darling is teaching school, many of our children's books have found a home in the classroom.
Helpful? You've got me thinking about this now, which probably means more posts to come. Watch, Darling will read this and I will have to retract everything I just told you...