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Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
No Fooling--Fabulous, if Not Functional, Ways to Organize Your Books

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

~Groucho Marx

Your eyes are not deceiving you, and this isn't (exactly) an April Fool's Day joke, though the joke's on Paper Doll, because I never thought of anything so delicious. It's a staircase. It's a bookcase. It's a STAIRBOOKCASE.

It's fabulous, stylistically, isn't it?
Paper Doll
is drooling with envy. Books, DVDs and CDs, all neatly arranged in one snug space. For more information, or just an enlarged and truly dizzying view from the top (which the photo on the right fails to convey due to the bite-sized photo space we've got), check out DIY Maven's blog the Amazing Staircase from Levitate Architecture in the UK, which learned about it from the amazing Apartment Therapy blog. Isn't the web wonderful?

Indeed, in trying to research the more novel ways we might organize our books, beyond what even the most fabulous professional organizers might consider, I found some curiosities. Submitted for your review, if not exactly my approval, the growing artistic trend of organizing one's book collection by COLOR as illustrated best in this photo but also here, and here and even this for children's books.

OK, perhaps this is best thought of as an April Fool's Day post, because coolness of style aside, there are serious impracticalities of both the gorgeous stairbookcase and especially the notion of organizing books by color.

Indeed, the stairbookcase has an advantage in that books are out of the path of direct sunlight, so they will be less likely to fade. It also has the advantage of built-in category delineation, such that each shelf is almost like one section of the Dewey Decimal catalog. Once books fill a full shelf, no more books for that category can go in unless some are let go. It's a self-limiting system!

One might imagine, however, that unless one has socks-only house, the bookshelves, and therefore the books themselves, might be prone to getting more outside dirt, grime and dust on them. Also, books can be a source of pride and joy and how can you display your books with pride if you have to balance precariously and turn in a semi-circle in a phone-booth size area, to see what books you have?

As for the color-categorizing of books, it's spectacular from an aesthetic perspective, but all of Paper Doll's faithful fans know that in the battle of form vs. function, Paper Doll will always side with Mr. Function (whom I like to imagine looks quite a bit like George Clooney). Without some kind of cataloging system, whether a low-tech card catalog, or an online digital indexing system like Library Thing, or indexing software like Book Collector, ReaderWare or Delicious Monster (for Mac users) or how would you ever find the book you want when you want it?

Pretty shelving, pretty arrangements? Pretty nifty. But Paper Doll is a book lover, and nothing would ever break my heart more than if I couldn't find my copy of Pride & Prejudice, The Eyre Affair or The Monster At the End of This Book the moment I wanted it.

And I'm sure Elizabeth Bennett, Thursday Next and Grover would feel the same way. No foolin'!

posted on: 4/1/2008 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

by Julie Bestry

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About Julie:

Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.

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