Streamlining Your Library

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated September 24, 2020)


Anyone who has ever collected books can easily tell you that without extreme care a personal library can easily take over and dominate a home. It is extremely easy to tell a true book lover's home from those who merely like them, after al it is a little hard to miss all the books all over the home. Whether you live with a bibliophile (book lover) or you are one, streamlining your library is a great way to help ensure that you have a handle on all your books. Streamlining your library is a fairly straight forward task, though it can easily take you a weekend or more if you have lots of books. All you need to do is follow this step by step list, and you will quickly have your library under control.

  1. Make a list. When streamlining your library, the first thing that you should do is make a list. This list needs to be of every single book, magazine, or paperback that you have in your personal collection. In this step, all you need to do is write down the title of the book, and possibly the name of the author. As you write each title down, set it off to the side so that you don't get it confused with those books that you still have to list.
  2. Organize list. Once you have all your books written down, it is time to organize that list. While you could organize it by hand, the easiest solution is to use the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program. Simply type in the name of the book, and if you wrote it down the name of the author, and then hit the sort button. Doing this will allow you to sort the list that you created any way that you want, such as alphabetically by author or by title. If you want, you can even break this down further as you organize the list by learning the Dewey Decimal system, and typing that coding system into your Excel worksheet as well.
  3. Organize books. After you have organized the list of titles, it is time to organize the books themselves. When doing this, use the list that you created as your "blue print" towards organizing the books. As you come to the book, or author name, on your list grab the actual book, and place it on your bookshelf. Keep doing this until you have placed all your books on to your shelves.
  4. Label books. If you have decided to organize your books according to the Dewey Decimal system, then you should also label the books. This should be pretty easy, if you have organized your books properly. Get a label maker, and simply place a label on the spine of the book.
  5. Maintain system. No system will work unless you maintain it. This means that once you have purchased or obtained another book, you need to update your list. Hopefully you have your list still saved on an Excel program, and you can simply add the new title, and have it sorted according to your personal preferences. This will tell you where you are supposed to place the new book in your collection.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 7 + 5?

2017-02-21 09:39:09


I use Goodreads, which is a huge help when reading series and when I'm at the bookstore deciding if I want to buy a certain book. My favorite feature is the scan feature. I hold the book in front of my phone and it find the book.

2014-01-13 20:05:37


My library is organized according to genre. It works best for me. If any of you reading this do likewise, I'd like to hear about it.

2014-01-07 13:44:29

.Skip Nicholson

Free programs can be a big help in that list-making; you just enter the ISBN number and all the rest is done automatically. Then you can export the list into a spreadsheet that works with Excel. It will supply more columns to sort by, including the Dewey number; you can even 'tag' each entry with your own categories. My favorite is is another good one, and there are others. Good timesavers.