The other night I was picking a selection of books off of my shelves in order to decide what to read next. While doing so, I was cognizant of my decision to take part in A Century of Books and thought I should start keeping track of the years in which each of them was published. I made a checklist to make sure I didn’t duplicate years.
After I had pulled together an interesting looking pile of almost 30 books to take up to my nightstand…I had a
mental breakdown brilliant idea. Wouldn’t it be great to have a full list of all the books I own but haven’t read organized by year published so that I could make my ACOB choices from all that was available to me?
Here is what I did:
- Took every book I haven’t read yet off of my shelves.
- Moved all of the books I have read to one side of my bookcase and kept them alphabetical by author. It turned out that out of 30 shelves of fiction, the ones I have read only took up 10 shelves.
- Opened up every single unread book to check the publishing date and put it on a shelf corresponding to a decade. (See picture below for what that looked like.)
- Went by decade and created a spreadsheet with year published, title, and author for every book, then stacked the books according to the corresponding year of that decade.
- Once I finished a decade I would sort the spreadsheet so I could put the books on the shelf in order without having to alphabetize in my head.
Let me say I was astounded by how many unread books I own. I was even more astounded by how inter-shelving read and unread books kept me from understanding how much variety I had to choose from. Once they were all sorted and put in order–all 726 of them–it became clear that I would be able to satisfy 99 out of the 100 years of books for ACOB. 2018 is the only year for which I don’t already own a book. Most years I have at least four or five books to choose from. I think there is only one year for which I only have one book.
In the coming weeks I am not only going to make my full TBR list available, but I am going to be breaking it down by year. In the meantime you can look at the organized shelves. Also check out the video at the end of the post.