The Book Collection

we love books.  bookstores.  libraries.  used books.  new books.  books.

I happened upon a weekly link-up today over at the Canadian Homeschooler.  This week's link up (that I'm almost too late for) is ... The Book Collection.

Guys?  I laughed.  And I couldn't wipe the knowing smirk off my face as I read the other lovely entries.  Just wait for mine.  Just you wait.

Oh gosh.  I feel so at home in this link up.  And embarrassed for what I'm about to share.  ha!

Firstly:  I was just thinking earlier today that maybe I should share my obsession love and my tips for organizing said obsession love.  Then I found the link up. 

My passion?  Children's books.  I even started collecting them before I had kids of my own.

Now?  I have over .... do I dare admit, I wonder?  Alright.  I'll embarrass myself.  I have over 500 kids books.

There.  I said it.  Now I'll wait for the intervention that's bound to come.

I've always had a larger collection.  But only in the last 3 years has it gotten really bad.  (and I mean it in a good way - books are good).  I thrift them.  I'm gifted them.  I buy them on clearance.  I love them.  The kids love them.  But it got so bad I had to research ways to get it under control.  First I found a site to catalog them.  LibraryThing.  Here's mine:  my library - it's not complete yet. I have a stack that currently needs to be entered, tagged and shelved.

Here's how I shelf most:

the far left (cut off in the photo) are books from Heart of Dakota.  The middle is our main collection.  The brown bin on the floor is for board books.  And the madness on the very top is unsorted/unfiled books.

When the books started to get out of control (meaning.... I spent way too much time trying to locate certain books) I came up with this system of color coding.  I'm sure someone else has done the same, but to me it was all brilliant and new.  =P

Anyways, I got a pen and paper and started jotting down categories.  I came up with 17 categories for myself, then got out some colored sharpies and decided on colors.  I bought some small labels (I got these), and got to work.  You might come up with fewer categories if you have fewer books, in which case you can save time by buying the colored labels.  I think they have 4 colors.

I colored my label, stuck it to a book, and shelved it above a like-colored label which has a written explanation for the kids and hubby.

I came up with this:  phonics, easy readers, transportation, ABC/123, animals (fiction), cartoon characters, science, season, culture, holiday, community, feelings/mood, character trait,  religion, FIAR/BFIAR, and board books (doesn't get a label), and bedtime (doesn't get a label).

So now lets say I want a book on bears, non-fiction.  I can now go directly to the science section and quickly grab it.

I stopped labeling cartoon character that don't have a school use (like talks about feelings or something) -- there's just way too many.  Those go directly into the kids bins upstairs as a bedtime book choice.

Next to the main bookshelf is this sloppy (yet secured safely to the wall) bookshelf.

1. art books and BOB books  2. phonics books and games  3. Kids bibles  4. Non-fiction boy books (like "how it works") 5. toddler books  6. Explore and Learn book set  7.  two bags of unsorted books from Grandma and Great Grandma (vintage!).  -- in front of the bags is a pile of Christmas books I set there intentionally, in an attempt to entice the kids to sit and read.

Upstairs are the various bins of bedtime books and/or non-school use books.

Most days the book area looks like a tornado went through.  And that's when I pat myself on the back for having stuck color labels on the spines.  Each book has a home.  It makes for a fast clean up, and books are not lost/misplaced in the large number.

In all this .... we still go to the library each week.  Those books (library) have a special sturdy tote bag, with a pocket on the inside that holds the receipt for double checking when we return.

Homeschool Weekly Photo Challenge | The Canadian Homeschooler


  1. I sort of envy your collection. I love how you organized it though!!!

  2. Oh my gosh, I LOVE this post! I, too, had a really big collection of kids' books before I had kids too. :D So glad you joined in! Thanks for stopping by!


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