A few years back, I sorted my seasonal decorations by season. Christmas, Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day in the winter cabinet, Easter and flower themed decorations in the spring one, shells and picnic themed things in the summer one, and Halloween and Thanksgiving items in the autumn one. I even labeled them. Not sure why, since I’m the main person who decorates the house for special occasions. It’s probably not that crazy to sort decorations by season.
Then I had this crazy idea that more of my things could be organized based on the seasons. As you know, if you’ve been reading this series, I have been on a quest to sort and organize my books. I was so proud of myself for getting most of my books back on the two dedicated shelves in the basement. I called my husband over to show him how I categorized some of the books. I told him “These four shelves are sorted by season.” And he replied, “Huh?!” and walked away before I could explain.
I used to sort my books by topic, like writing, art, fiction and non-fiction. Sorting by topic can be very useful when you’re looking for a particular book. But my mission in going through my books was more than creating a reference library based on categories, I wanted a system that encouraged me to read and use the books that I own. I would be more likely to read my books, if they were organized in a creative, inviting way.
I love the seasons, and thought it would be fun to peruse my stacks of books, asking myself which ones I would read or relate to during the various moods of the year, based on their seasonal ambiance. I really looked forward to this sorting adventure, because I had no idea how I was going to decide.
The easiest group was my collection of Christmas books; they were placed on the winter shelf, unless one was too tall, then I put it on the shelf for tall books. (I also have a shelf for short books, meaning height not length.) So, after the Christmas books were situated, it made sense to place Easter books on the spring shelf, then my book about shells landed on the summer shelf, and the books with autumn hued covers found their place on the fall shelf.
When it came to fiction selection, I determined their season by either the first season mentioned in the book or if there was a particular time of year I read the book, then I put it on the corresponding shelf. No wonder my husband walked away before I could explain myself.
The crazy thing is that this process made me so happy. And I know that my system makes not logical sense, but that’s okay with me. I hope you find a really, cool and crazy way or even, a cool and logical way to catalogue your books. But most of all, if you have books, I hope you read and enjoy them.
What is one of your favorite books? What do you like about it? Do you remember what season you read it in? How do you organize your books?
Here’s some photos of the seasonal shelves:
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. (Psalm 1:3 NLT)