How to organize/ display your book collection

When I was young, we did not have a proper book case to store our books. Later a relative gave us a multipurpose rack which we used to arrange the books we had.

The lesson that I’ve learned is that it gets into a real hassle as the books arranged in open book rack would easily gather dust. And once the books started gathering dust, they would ‘age’ and their condition deteriorate.

Above: Books in a bookstore are all arranged in open shelves- however it may not be practical to maintain the same for one’s own home

How I organize my books collection

I grew up during the time where we do not have Smartphone and we learned through reading books.

After I came out to work, I invested in a book cupboard with glass cover- hence my books and photo albums are protected from dust.

In my home, I do not arrange my books by author. I place them by their type and then height.

Advantages of using a glass cover book cupboard:

  • you need not take out the books to clean and dust often. In fact for me, I would take up the books to ‘air’ once every few years.
  • you get to enjoy a nice visual display of the books. Yes, this can be achieved by open book cases – however the books would require constant cleaning and dusting
  • it stores all your books in one place which makes it easy to find.

Even if you have a completely air conditioned home or office, there are still dusk. I know because the cleaner sometimes do not wipe the far areas of my workdesk. After a few weeks, when I lift up some stuff, I would be surprised to find the desk very tidy.

And my office is not an old building, yet there is a lot of dust if no one were to consistently clean it. Also, there is a book store I know that does not have much business. It is fully air conditioned and not exposed to open air but I could see some racks and the items get a little dusty.

Therefore, why give yourself more work that you have do (to have to dust the books often?).

What to do once your book collection expands?

When your collection expands, it would be a good time to do an audit check. Have you outgrown certain subjects that you used to love?

From feng shui (and also common sense) point of view, we should not be keeping something of the past prominently in display. It may hinder us into moving forward.

Hence, when I find my bookcase swelling up, I would audit and see if I need to remove some of the books that I no longer read from the shelves to make way for new books.

As for the older books, if I still wish to keep them- I stack them up very neatly into a plastic container and place them in my storeroom. For the books that I do not wish to keep, I donate the books.

Having lesser books

Within the last these few years, I have reduced the books that I buy. The last book I bought was the Konmari method of organizing by Marie Condo.

I still maintain my reading habit by borrowing books from the library. From young, as we are not from a rich family, my mom would take us to library to read and borrow books to instill the reading habits in us.

I find that this reduce the clutter in my home and save cost. When I noticed that I have the tendency to read most books only once (as I literally read only non fiction books), I started to see no point of buying too many books.

I also dedicate an area in my room with a simple pink basket to place the books that I borrow from the library neatly.

A friend of mine tend to spend a lot of money during Big Bad Wolf sale to load out kids books. I did ask her as I felt her kids would outgrow the books very quickly and suggested why not she borrow the books from the library instead? Usually the library may not have the latest books….however you would be surprised, a lot of books written in the past are actually of better reading quality.


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