Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Organizing Art Books

I recently posted on Instagram that it was time to get my art books in order, and judging by the responses I received, it seems there are many of us who have a large collection of books and not enough space.



These are my bookshelves in their original messy state.  They weren't too bad, and then this winter during one of our snow storms, I was looking around Amazon and suddenly there were a bunch of Dutch still life books available.  Of course I was all over that and bought them all.  A week or so later, I was wandering around the Strand and happened upon another bunch of Dutch still life books.  Again, I bought them all.  I'd been looking for these books for months and suddenly a bunch cropped up.  What could I do, right?

Once they all arrived, they did not fit on the shelves so I just started shoving them in everywhere.  It was messy to begin with and now things were really out of control.  Aside from that, I could not find anything.  When I saw a book on Amazon I was interested in and could not remember if I already owned it, it was time to take action.

I started by taking everything out of the shelves and throughly cleaning them (what I really mean is my hubs did that part).  There were books everywhere, but I wanted them all out for two reasons.  One, I wanted to go through them and get rid of what I was not using and two, I wanted to group them into categories.

I have a bit of a bookshelf obsession fueled by decor blogs and Pinterest, but arranging the books by color or mixing in decorative items is not practical for me.  I don't have a bit of extra room, and I need to be able to find specific books when I need them.

We piled the books all over, then I began the task of separating them into categories.



I kept all of the art books, but ended up getting rid of three shopping bags of cook books that I was not using.  That made some extra room which really helped.



I ended up with a few categories.  One shelf of technical/instruction books, one shelf of Old and New Masters, two and a half shelves of Impressionist art and one shelf of American artists and a mix of biographies and historical fiction.







One of the first art books I ever bought.  I still look at it today.


And here are the finished shelves...




This reorganization not only looks so much better, but now I can find everything I need right away.  For instance, two weeks ago I was going bonkers over my sunflowers and really needing inspiration, so of course I wanted to look through my Van Gogh books.  I knew right where they were and could pull them out immediately instead of rummaging all over the place.

Of course, I've recently acquired another pile of books, but as many Instagram commenters told me, there is no such thing as too many art books, and I completely agree!