DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Sep 25 2009

Blue. No, Yellow!

by Lesley B

bookcase-sorted-by-color Melvil Dewey, author of the Dewey Decimal Classification System, tried to popularize several other unusual organizational schemes (he was an advocate of simplified spelling and spelled his last name ‘Dui’ for a time),  but I don’t think he would have approved of shelving books by color. Of course, Mr. Dewey is not the boss of you (unless you are a librarian) and many people apparently prefer their shelves to look like rainbows. I’ve never tried this myself, but it’s better than the people who secretly hate books (usually decorators) and wrap them all in white. They look like the ghosts of books. Every time I see this, I think “Why do you even own a book? Why not skip the books and go straight to the wallpaper?”

Decatur’s own Blue Elephant Book Shop always has a soothing display of blue books in their front window, which to me shows an admirable and daring disregard for bestsellers.  My current shelving scheme at home is ‘books that are too precious to me to go in the attic’ and ‘books that I put in the attic but miss and fret about’.  How do you shelve your books?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nolan R. October 1, 2009 at 4:43 PM

I would prefer them shelved by author, if I wasn’t too lazy to move them around at this point. As it is, my husband has them divided by literary period and then by author, but not in alphabetical order. Which drives me crazy and means I’m constantly going, “Where is ‘On the Road’ again?” especially when his answer is, “With the Beat writers, of course!”

I used to work at Barnes & Noble and customers were constantly asking questions like, “I was here last month and you had a book on that table…it was blue. Do you know where it is now?” Too bad I couldn’t say, “With the blue books, of course!”

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