Saturday, March 6, 2010

Organizing My Library

After a tedious day of moving several days of unpacking awaits. This leads me to a question: How should I organize my books?  In the past I have attempted to organize my commentaries, Pauline and Historical Jesus monographs, theologies, etc. by keeping them separate and arranging them alphabetically by author last name and/or by publication date (more geared towards the commentaries).

Does anyone have any suggestions? My happy frustration occurs when I acquire more books (happy) and then struggle to fit them in their respective section (frustration). I know the common sense thing to do would be to not pack my shelves too tight, but space is at a premium. My wife's suggestion to not get any more books is neither helpful nor realistic...She married a bibliogeek for God's sake!



Marcus Maher said...

I love looking at and organizing my books! I've tried a few different methods, here's my current one.

I organize mine by ST/HT, then OT, then NT. Within those I break it down into subsections. For example, for NT I have Greek grammars and a lexicon, NT intros, monographs dealing w/ the whole NT, then Jesus/gospel monographs (organized by topic), then commentaries on the gospels in order of book of the Bible, and within the book from least technical to most technical. After the commentaries on a specific book go monographs dealing with just that book. And so on...

It's a highly organized method but sometimes it makes it a little difficult to figure out where to put a given book.

Chuck said...

I tend to keep a few shelves of "reference" books within arm's length of my desk. This includes, e.g., EDNT, TLNT, BDAG, encyclopedias/dictionaries, Greek/Hebrew grammars, etc. Because of that, I group my language books in the same place.

Beyond that, I generally organize by ST, HT, BT, theology by subcategory (biblio, theo, pneuma, etc.), "practical/pastoral" (marriage, ministry, discipleship, etc.), general OT and general NT (background, monographs, surveys, introductions), commentaries, music (separate bookshelf, I have a lot of those), and a sort of catch-all bookshelf stocked largely with works on culture and other religions/cults/religious movements.

I've started using LibraryThing and am hoping that I will stop buying duplicates of books in the back row of the double-shelved bookshelves!

Levi said...

When my wife and I first moved after I finished school, I organized my books by color just for kicks. It looked pretty fun actually, though it has since given my wife lots of ammo for jokes about academics and their burgundy books.