My Personal Library: Organizing My Eclectic Book Collection

I recently moved into a much larger room, one filled with natural light. It not only has room for my bed and desk and dresser. It also has room for my relatively significant book collection. So I spent the weekend building bookshelves and organizing the corner of my room into my little personal library, which I’m so excited about.

Moving is always an amazing opportunity to assess everything you own. Usually, this leads to, “Wow. I still have this? Why?” When it comes to books, however, I get a little nostalgic. I just love books so damn much. Even the smell fills me with an overwhelming sense of joy. I’m reminded of cold Winter days sitting in a chair wrapped in a blanket, reading a good book.

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of books over the years, particularly when I moved from New York City back to San Francisco. They’re so expensive to ship! I’ve thus lost some books that I miss so very dearly – like, for example, War and Peace and also The Brothers Karamazov. I currently have about 300-400 books. Just enough to put into my L-shaped bookshelves in my reading corner.

Personal Library Organization

Bookshelf organization says a lot about a person. I can’t just separate them by fiction and non-fiction. I mean. Does it make sense to have a collection of letters between Kahlil Gibran and Mary Haskell next to The Second Sex next to The Americans. Right? So these are the categories I decided on:

• Poetry
• Letters
• Writing
• Creativity/Inspiration
• Feminism
• Miscellaneous non-fiction
• Philosophy
• Self Improvement
• Love
• Art books
• Fiction (novels and short stories)
• Children’s illustrated books
• Graphic novels

To mix things up a bit, I’ve also included some antique cameras and my LP collection and DVDs and my old typewriter in my bookshelves. If you wanted to learn who I am, then my bookshelf is a pretty good place to start.

Weekly Book Reviews Are Coming

Over the coming months, I’ll be reviewing some of my favorite books in my personal library. These won’t be your traditional book reviews. I won’t be giving you a synopsis of the plot. I won’t be trying to cover every topic in the book. I won’t be talking about its good and bad part parts. I will instead use one or two details in the book to make a larger point about the value and beauty of reading – in what state of mind you might want to read this book. Because ultimately isn’t that what’s lasting about a book? The one or two things that move you, that uplift you, that strike you at your heart’s center.

One week might be the incredibly gorgeous The Night Life of Trees, while the next week might be Slaughterhouse-five. Up next, however, is the allegorical novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. I’m excited to share this remarkable book with you!

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