Shelby Says: The book collecting dilemma

I’ve recently developed a problem. I ran out of room on my main bookshelf.
Let me start this story by saying I’m incredibly happy and blessed to be able to have as many books as I do and to have the space for them. I’ve surpassed 500 in my basement library, which came as a surprise even to me. It never looks like 500.
And it’s not just regular novels I collect. In addition to my main bookshelf, which houses my fiction novels, I have two little nightstand shelves (this room serves as one of our guest rooms) full of nonfiction and memoir, a console table shelf that has mostly children’s chapter books, and a shorter shelf with classic books.
I knew this would be a problem some day, since I keep shopping. Last week we went to a used book store and they had a buy five get five free on all used fiction books, which is a sale I can’t pass up, and when I was going to put them away, I realized the shelves were maxed out.
But I have other spots to put books in the room. I have plenty of book ends so I can use the tops of the stand-alone shelves which are currently bare, but the problem I’m having is how to split up my books.
This is the largest shelf for a reason, since fiction is such a broad category. What do I sort out? How do you all sort your books? I’d love to know.
The last time I had this problem, I gave up and sorted by color. It looked very nice, but it separated all the books that belong in a series, which bothered me immensely. Also, that was when I had like maybe 100 books, so if I didn’t like it, rearranging didn’t take very long.
Ever try to rearrange 500 books? It takes a long time. Even just putting one new book on the shelf takes a long time, because I have to scoot everything else over. I just bought a book that unluckily ended up taking the stop of the first book on the top shelf, which meant every other book had to move over to make room.
I started pulling all the middle-grade books, then put them right back. I did the same with the young adult books because there are too many to separate out. That process followed with mystery novels. It seems like no matter what I do, I end up taking half of the books off of the shelves.
Another option I’ve been told is to get rid of some, but I like having them. If you like spending your time with books, you probably understand. I keep them for friends and family to peruse and borrow, for my nephews to read when they come over, and for myself of course because I like reading and re-reading books. Also, I’ve been collecting these for over a decade, I wouldn’t know what to part with.
Even my books that are completely destroyed I have trouble parting with. In a free bin, I found a copy of the play “Waiting for Godot” in Spanish, and it was old and falling apart, but I love that play so I saved it from the free bin and took it home, despite the cover being completely detached.
Also, I minored in Spanish language and culture in college, so I was excited to add that to my collection of Spanish language books. I plan to fix it at some point.
What do you do with books that can’t be sold? I have a few that the covers have just completely detached after years of reading, and I can’t bring myself to throw them out. Anyone out there repurpose old books? Let me know.
Anyway, I plan to fix this space problem at some point. I have to or I’ll just end up with stacks of new or new-to-me books all around the house.
Happy reading and book collecting to all of you with the same problem.

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