Sort and Shelf: Tips for Organising Your Home Library

By : Liao Youqing
08 May 2020

Technology has afforded us the convenience of accessing thousands of books on a single electronic device, but there are still those who still prefer reading from physical copies.

If you have built a sizeable book collection over the years, with some of the tomes possibly still untouched*, here are some tips on how to organise your personal library at home. It’s the perfect activity for a Stay Home weekend!

(*Fun fact: The Japanese actually have a word for this—積ん読 [tsundoku], which refers to the act of buying books and not reading them, leaving them to pile up with other unread books.)

1. Time To Say Goodbye

The first step is deciding what to keep, and what to let go. Take the time to sort through your books, and set aside those you do not wish to keep, such as old books or titles you will not read again. Consider giving them away to friends who might want them, or donating them to local charities. It will be tough to decide which books to part with, but freeing up space makes room for new books in the future! 

2. Catalogue Your Collection

Have you ever accidentally bought the same book twice? You’re not alone! Cataloguing your books lets you keep track of what you own so you can avoid this pitfall.

There are several websites and apps available on the Internet to assist you with cataloguing your books electronically, including Goodreads and Book Crawler. Some apps such as Libib and Book Buddy even come with a barcode scanning feature that helps you easily input information about your books. Cataloguing may sound like a daunting, boring task, but who knows, you might just uncover an old gem to re-read!

3.Choose Your Shelving System

Next, choose a system of organising and re-shelving your books. You can do it in several ways, such as:

Organising your books by colour can be an aesthetically pleasing option and your gorgeous rainbow library will surely become the talking point among guests. If you’re more practical, organising your collection by genre might be a better option. Up for a challenge? Level up and use the Dewey Decimal System adopted by libraries worldwide. Pick what works best for you, and stick with it.

Now that you have created your personal library in the comfort of your own home, it’s easier to find and indulge in your favourite page-turners!

If you have any good ideas about home organisation, do share them with us by emailing mynicehome@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg or via our Facebook page.


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