Sunday, September 21, 2008

Question: How Do You Organize Your Library?

Ever since returning from the mission field, I have been collecting books. It is a passion of mine to read all I can of theology, the church, preaching, Christian biographies, etc. I can't even keep up with the books I have purchased. One problem I have is that there is a discount Christian bookstore within just a couple of miles of Chevis Oaks. It is a great source of temptation (good, I hope).

Back to the subject at hand. Since I am collecting books to form a theological library, I want to organize them in the most useful way possible. Currently, my books are semi-organized according to subject and author. This is not the best system, and is sometimes completely confusing.

So, if you have a personal library (theological or not), how do you organize your books? Do you go strictly by the author's name, the subject, or something else? Please let me know becuase my situation is not good now and will continue to deteriorate as I collect more.



Pastor Erik DiVietro said...

To quote Conan the Librarian from Weird Al Yankovic's landmark film (ok, cult favorite, which means only 3 people saw it in the theater) UHF:

"Don't you know the Dewey Decimal System?"

J. R. Miller said...

Most of my books are in electronic format with Logos. I have close to 4,000 volumes so this is really the best format for collecting.

But nothing can beat the feel of a book in your hand and reading.

I looked over a bunch of approaches for my paper library and they all assume a very massive collection that works IMHO best for libraries with thousands of books, but is too much work for libraries under 1,000. Since my paper library is under 1,000 I divide my shelves into sections; Theology, Non-fiction, Fiction... and then in each section by alphabetical order (mostly because i always forget author names but remember book names).

Real simple, but it works for me.

Anonymous said...


I work at the Library at SEBS. You might want to contact our Church Media Resource Center. They can help with small libraries. The email is

Dougald McLaurin (or you can find me on the website and email me)

Anonymous said...

wow Eric, and I thought I had alot of When you find out how to organize them all please let me know. I am continually buying more and more.

Cheryl Hartlaub :)

Eric said...


If I ever figure it out, I'll let you know. So far, no luck!

I hope all is going well for you and your family.