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Organize Your Personal Library with Google Drive: Shopping at Book Fairs


Book fair season is fast approaching, and it’s time to start clearing out some space for all the finds we’ll be bringing home. Several years ago, before I got organized, I would stand at the tables full of novels, biographies, paperbacks and travel books and try to remember if I already had a book in my collection. Sometimes I’d get home and shake my head that I’d bought a third copy of Eat, Pray, Love or a C.S. Lewis book. It was time to stop the madness.

If you’re a book lover, you probably struggle with book purchases because you’ve got limited shelf space. Maybe, like me, you’re looking for specific books to add to your collection. You’ve probably got a few books that you’d be thrilled to find for $1 at a book fair.

Print Meets Digital

Let’s get your personal library organized and accessible! Open a new Google Sheet in your Drive and create columns for title, author, publication year, genre and any other pertinent information. You might want to mention the format (paperback/hardback) if you’ve got one copy but are looking for another. It might take you some time to input every volume in your collection, but the payoff will be huge. Plus, what else are you going to do while marathon watching episodes of House for hours? Make your Netflix time really useful!

Now What?

Once you’ve added your collection, it’s easy to search and alphabetize the titles or sort by author. You can sort by publication year and see some areas where your collection might be lacking. When you sort by genre, you might get a harsh reminder of all those self-help books you bought last year. Regardless, you’ll have your whole collection at your fingertips!

Get Digital on the Go

The final step that really makes this project worth all the time is to download the free Google Drive app from the iTunes store. Now the next time you’re at a bookshop or fair and can’t remember if you’ve already got that copy, just do a quick search on your smartphone and you’ll know for sure! This is super helpful for folks looking for a specific book in a series. You can ditch all the little paper notes in your pockets and stay organized! You can even create a second Google Sheet to serve as a “wish list” reminder. It’ll make the hunt for good books that much more fulfilling!

What do you do to keep your home library organized? How do you attack a good book fair: by genre, or just a sweep of all the tables?

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