ShelfariSince it’s summer, I have time to do some things I don’t always get around to during the school year and, while my husband often calls it wasting time, I call it a better way to enjoy a hobby.  One of those many things is organizing my books but not in such a way to invite real labor – that would be work after all.  Unlike Rike, who recently wrote a post titled Storing All those Books, my books aren’t so neatly organized in reality but online it’s a completely different story.

Right now my books are currently living in boxes as the result of a move within the last year.  I’m not happy about it, but it is what it is.  In our old house, my husband obtained some old kitchen cabinets, refinished them, and hung them in a storage room off our garage for my book storage.  Honestly, it was one of the most romantic things he’s ever done for me.  In our new house, I don’t have a space like that yet, but we’ll work something out eventually, though I’m sure I’ll have to provide some incentive.  Yet even when I had my cabinets, I placed books where ever I had room without really organizing them.

Even though they may not have been stored using my best organizational skills, I’ve had an electronic record on my computer of books for a long, long time.  I would list books by author, record a grade, and list the names of the hero and heroine in order to jog my memory.  I would also keep up with the number of books I’d read by month, year, and an overall total.  Then I was introduced to Shelfari through AAR and I’ve been using it ever since.

When I first began using Shelfari it wasn’t at all user friendly, but I’m happy to say that it’s improved greatly in the last two or three years.  Before, it was slow to load, you had to go to a specific place to add a book, and it wasn’t easy to categorize books.    Now, I can add easily, sort by date, rating, review, author, or title, create my own tags, and add in my own edition information.  Plus, I like seeing the covers of the books; that, more than anything, helps me to remember which books I’ve read and whether or not I liked them.  Put simply, I love entering the books and I enjoy looking at the virtual bookshelves.  There’s just something about it that makes me happy.  While maintaining the shelves is something I enjoy, it doesn’t compare to creating the shelf for the first time and I’ve contemplated going to other online sites like or LibraryThing just to recapture that excitement if possible.

Also, I have to add that I’m hoping it will make completing The AAR Top 100 Poll a little easier when the polling begins in October.  In the 2007 poll, I only included thirty-three books when I voted and I’ll be able to include more this time.

What online sites do you use to organize your books?  Do you get excited or am I the only one who gets that giddy feeling when organizing books?

– Heather AAR

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