Monday, February 19

Organizing Books by Spine Color. Or, How OCD Can Be Your Friend.


Right about the now, the words of the late, great Rick James may be drumming through your mind, "Superfreak, Superfreak! That girl's a super freak!" But, by organizing my books by spine color I accomplish a couple of goals. So, please, don't misjudge me just yet. One, I identify things a lot by color and by their aesthetic, so it makes perfect sense for my books to be organized in this way. I can find the one I seek a lot faster than searching by title. I line them up this way; I stack them this way. And two, and maybe more importantly, it looks so much neater. C'mon, look...you'll see. It's so much less cluttered looking. Allow me to demonstrate.




Note to self: It would appear that Room With A View is facing in the wrong direction. Take deep breathes, you can fix this.

23 comments:

katherine said...

oohhh--i am so glad that i am not the only one who does this! my mother thinks that i am crazy for insisting not only that my bookshevles be arranged by color, but also that the books are arranged by size. it just looks better this way...

midcenturyjo said...

So funny! I collect vintage Penguins and god forbid if orange isn't with orange, blue with blue, green with green.

erinn said...

Yea. I do that too. My husband will be sitting watching TV and I get a bug about the books and get up and start rearranging them. He used to get scared, but now he's used to it.

Nikko said...

Yep, me too: my books are organized by color/size. But get this: one time, I was cat-sitting a writer friend of mine---and she got a dose of my OCD. I re-organized HER books by size and color. Hm, she thought I was just a little over the top. -Which I am. Wink.

Abby Creek Art said...

HA! Loved the "Note to Self" ending!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! This was too cute. Maybe you can help Scrappy Girl over at Domino. He lack of style and decorating ability is so annoying that I actually told Domino that they should hire you instead of her!

gc said...

I will also cop to doing this. The first picture made me smile--two of my top five books are in there, and I *love* the colors.

I also agree with "anonymous" about Scrappy Girl. Yeesh.

paris parfait said...

I do this too, within reason - I have books organised into categories, but within that category, they're pretty much lined up according to colour. The real problem is that I have too many books and not enough space for them all. Lately I've started leaving books (that I can bear to part with) at random public locations around Paris for other people to find. This frees space for more books! :)

sfgirlbybay said...

you guys crack me up!

erinn = glad your husband is no longer 'scared' of you! these aesthetics are critical, no? :)

nikko - your friend may be right. i just THINK it when i'm at someone's house and want to rearrange the books. :)

thanks to all of you for making me smile!

sfgirlbybay said...

paris - i LOVE that idea. there used to be a website where you'd put one of their stickers inside a book with a tracking #, leave it somewhere random. and if you found the book you'd go to the website and enter the # on the sticker as a way of tracking the book around the world. i can't remember the name or if it's still around.

but leaving books for others is a lovely idea.

marbargarbo said...

I love the spines on those CSA books. I love CSA ...

sfgirlbybay said...

and the inside pages of CSA are so fun, too. here's a link to their site for anyone who'd like to take a look:

CSA

casapinka said...

Ok, but don't you have ONE pink book? I could send you one if you want.

Michelle said...

Being a writer and literature teacher, I have more books than my small house in San Francisco can manage. When I gave in and put a pretty bookcase in the dining room, I wanted to make it look like a design statement rather than overflow from the office-so the top shelf contains only hardcover books with red covers, and the next shelf has only hardcover books with white covers. So I fully support your file-by-cover method! And by the way, if you need a blue cover, I'd recommend (shameless self-promotion here!) Dream of the Blue Room.

jaime said...

what a great idea...i never thought of that! i'm an alphabetizing nut.

cinderelly said...

i could never find what i wanted if i did mine that way! i have them by catagories also, then by size. i love the french laundry cookbook!

cinderelly said...

bookcrossing...where you leave the (registered) books in random places for people to find. couldn't remember it earlier!

sfgirlbybay said...

these are such great and interesting responses - thank you! who knew we were all so insane? i love it.

casapinka - pink books are in the bedroom! :)

jamie - color is the new alphabetizing!

cinderelly - thats' it!

bookcrossings

leah said...

i do this to! i even go so far as to organize the icons on my mac dock by color. oh and p.s. the reader is one of my favorite books. thanks for the post!

Vajra said...

I have one bookcase in the living room where all the books are white. Or were. I just noticed that a few colorful books have insinuated themselves onto the shelves. Will. have. to. change. that.

Anonymous said...

Even better.. take off all of the dust jackets, put them in storage (better for the jackets anyway if you collect books) and you get GREAT spine colors and it makes it really cool to do by color. We did this with all of our art and design books and stacked them in color piles on our bookshelf. Anal..yes. Gorgeous..you betcha. And the spines often have great fonts and graphics.
Just my 2 cents.

Ter Matthies said...

Actually .... I can't tell much difference between the photo examples. The covers are so busy, nothing grabs my eye as "like".

I moved 1200 miles last year and decluttered (like, whoa) to achieve a more clean-lined apartment and a lighter life. Books were the first thing to be donated.

Since I'm a writer, I need to find books fast for research, grouped by topic or gathered together for each novel. I do arrange books by size and so they fit on the available shelves. My great luxury in having a home office is putting the research bookcases in the closet. Battered, old original sources are not always that pretty.

My other books are grouped by however I link their subjects, so poetry and plays can wind up with Marcus Aurelius because I pick those up often. I do the same thing with CDs; they're grouped in the batches I play the most, and the opera is chronological.

sfgirlbybay said...

anon - another lovely idea, and perhaps even cleaner and sleeker. i must admit, i'm a sucker for a well designed book jacket, even a nice paperback, so it might be hard for me to relinquish my jackets. but i can see it looking great.

ter - thanks for your input, as well. the photos were not meant to be a 'before and after', just an 'as is'. i totally admire a minimalist, decluttered life - i just am not ready for that commitment yet! baby steps! :)