If you love books you’ll probably find that they trickle in all year and flood in at Christmas, sparking the annual crisis of shelf space.

Re-organizing shelf space for each new acquisition is hard work so here is a simple system with a fun once-a-year sort out that will keep your books under control.  All you need is space for two piles of books – one for new and unread books and the other for books as you finish reading them.  Every now and again muster the stragglers which have inevitably found their way all over the house and add them to the stacks.

It’s a good idea to make sure the stacks are fairly orderly and won’t collapse at the slightest flick of a duster.  When the ‘read’ pile gets to about fifteen or twenty books, it’s time for the fun.   If you have book loving friends or a book group invite them to the party.

Go through all the books in the ‘read’ pile and keep only the ones that you’ve really loved.   Then measure the shelf space you need, gulp and start going through your shelves.  Weed out the the books you know you’ll never open again and the ones that have become dated until you’ve got the space you need.

It’s a great way to remind yourself of what you have, what you’re not interested in any more or if a book needs to be replaced by a much better version.  If you weed out every year you’ll find that your collection just gets better and better.  And it’s a great excuse to spend a few hours discussing all kinds of books with like-minded friends!