When someone is type A and has a lot of books, they obviously catalog their home library. Right? Well, that’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple of months.
If you’ve been reading my blog posts you might have noticed me talking about “my home library catalog project” with “more on that soon” right after. That’s because a) I didn’t realize how many books I actually owned b) I kept buying more books and c) I’m a perfectionist and it had to be perfect before I showed it to the world. Also, I used to work in archives and libraries and I miss doing this type of work.
As I’ve mentioned before, I keep track of my books on Libib.com, which is a free, cloud-based online cataloging system. But the more I used Libib, the more I got frustrated with it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it and will probably still use it for a while, but I noticed that unless you manually enter in every book entry, your editing options are limited — unless you want to pay for the premium option, which I don’t.
So, I decided to do it myself book by book in Google sheets. Now, I know what you’re thinking…*you’re crazy* and maybe I am, because it took me FOREVER, but I’m really proud of how it turned out.
Also I’m refusing to listen to my co-worker who told me about LibraryThing.com once she heard what I was doing. *cries*
At my last job I was in charge of our reference library, and as a very small non-profit organization with little to no funds, we used google sheets as a back of house inventory. So, I was already familiar with it in these terms.
I organized my books as following
Format (Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover)
Location on bookshelf
For the Genre section, I kept it pretty simple. For example, if something was considered “Women’s Fiction” or “Contemporary Fiction” I put it under Adult Fiction instead. I didn’t want to have it where I would have one or two books in a category. I wanted umbrella genres where I could lump things in for easy finding.
I created my Format option for easy finding, but also I’m curious to see if I have more Kindle or physical books. Living in a small space I want to become more mindful of this, so I’m hoping this will help me break it down.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I recently arranged my books by color. I know some people are against this because series are out of order or genres are out of order, but so what. My bookshelf is the biggest piece of furniture we have in the apartment besides our couch, and I wanted it to make a statement. I wanted it to pop. So, I rearranged the books and I love it!
But I will admit, it is hard to find my books 😉 which is why I created my Location option. I knew I wanted to keep my rainbow shelves, but also wanted to be able to find my books. My bookshelf acts as our room divider in our apartment (we live in a studio), so it’s double sided, win win! I labeled the shelves facing our bed, B (for back), and the shelves facing our living area F (for front). They have 25 shelves on each side (5×5), making a total 50 shelves, woo! Although I don’t use all of them (not yet at least 😉 )
Sorting my books within my catalog was the most important thing for me, which was one of the factors that made me decide to make this google doc in the first place. I first sorted by genre, then alphabetically by the author’s last name. Finally, I sorted books that were part of a series in chronological order. (HP books, The Mortal Instruments, etc.)
Another thing that isn’t major, but I also wanted to make sure was correct, is that I had the correct book cover image to reflect the edition I owned. And yes, I added all of my cover images one. by. one. And yes, it took me a while, about three days in fact.
You can check out the final product by clicking on this link.
I was going to add screenshots, but I decided giving you access to it would be easier. That way if you are interested in doing something like this you can see an example of how it can be done.
Until next time!