Cleaning & Organizing
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How do I manage a seemingly exponentially growing book collection?

cmangroocmangroo member
Third Anniversary First Comment
edited September 2014 in Cleaning & Organizing
My husband is both very intellectual and a bit of a spendthrift (still trying to manage that being the penny pincher I am :p) so as you can imagine we have an obscene amount of books in our apartment and we're constantly acquiring more.  The problem is the more I do to add space for more books the faster he fills it we currently have a large 5 shelf book self in our room as well as a very small one in the living that holds books, papers and various other items (I attached pictures of both).  Both of them are in a state of disarray and we STILL have at least a dozen books without a home and he just bought more.  I can't seem to think of a solution short of lining the walls of our office with empty bookshelves.  AND he frequently rereads all of them and many of them are collectors editions or hold sentimental value so getting rid of them isn't an option.  Any suggestions?

Re: How do I manage a seemingly exponentially growing book collection?

  • To prevent the collection from growing too large, you could buy him an e-reader to start switching to digital books.  Also encourage using the library for books that he can read, but then immediately return.  A lot of those handbooks on your shelves could probably be found online and can be downloaded to your computer.

    Seeing as how one or both of you is a nerd (yeah, I see that R2-D2, Tolkien, & Poe - I love nerds, take it as a high compliment!), I'm impressed that your collection has actually remained so small.  I'm a librarian (so I love books), but my nerdy husband's personal library far surpasses anything that I would have considered amassing.  He has vowed to cut it down considerably, but he actually references and rereads his books regularly as well, so it is still going to remain quite large. 

    We've resigned to the fact that there will be an entire wall of books in our home office.  We just bought a house, and we have the plans to build the bookwall, but for now most of his books await us in storage.  I'm giddy at the though of our soon-to-be wall of books.  It will be glorious!

    When you're a book lover, those are basically your options.  Either plan lots of room for books that you keep, use a library to access books only temporarily, or switch to digital books and invest in a large hard drive, or cloud space.  If you want to keep the books and allow the collection to grow, but don't want to display them on shelves - as another suggested, I have seen book shelves that you can roll under a bed (or a regular under-bed box would work, too).
  • We have a platform better so there isn't an a space under the bed and he actually already has a nook and he uses it a bit but that hasn't really slowed the book purchases at all...like i said, he's also a bit of a spendthrift.  Haha yes both nerds r2-d2 and Poe are mine :)  And yes the large library (beauty and the beast style :p) is something we one day hope for the issue we face right now is fitting them in our current small-ish 2br apartment.  We did recently make a trip to the local library to get our cards set up but I don't know how much that we help either given that owning the books seems important to him, something I can certainly relate for many of my books.  Maybe the full wall would work for us...the office isn't huge and he's also a musician so there's quite a lot of music equipment in there but maybe with some rearranging we can just go with the book wall option as well, I like the sound of that.
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