How to Alphabetize Your Books

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If you have a lot of books, it can sometimes be hard to find the one you’re looking for. One way to simplify this and easily find the book you want is to alphabetize your books. Alphabetizing is an excellent way to keep them in order and eliminate the need to rummage through them to find the one you want.

1 Decide you

Decide how you want to alphabetize your books. You can alphabetize them according to the author’s last name, book title or book genre. You can also combine more than one alphabetizing method. For example, you can categorize the books by genre and alphabetize them by the author’s name.

2 Find a place

Find a place where you want to store your books, such as a bookshelf, storage crates, table or desk. The place where you choose to store your books should be free from any moisture to prevent the books from getting moldy over time.

3 To ignore alphabetizing

Know which words to ignore when alphabetizing. The words “a,” “an” and “the” are not to be used to alphabetize. If you had the titles “The Big Red Apple,” “An Apple a Day” and “A Worm in an Apple,” they should be alphabetized according to the second word in each title, giving them the following order: “An Apple a Day,” “The Big Red Apple” and “A Worm in an Apple.” It may be helpful to have a copy of the alphabet written down so you can refer to it if necessary.

4 Sort

Sort out your books into separate piles before you alphabetize them. The piles should be a rough order of how you choose to alphabetize the books. For instance, you can separate the books by genre first, and then work on sorting them in order of title or author’s last name.

5 Go

Go to an online website such as that alphabetizes lists that you type. This will simplify the work you have to do in terms of alphabetizing. Just type in the titles of the books in any order and the alphabetizer website will put them in alphabetical order for you. This will also work if you want to sort by author’s last name. You can also use the Microsoft Word program on your computer and type in the list of books and have it alphabetize them for you. Just type in your list of books, click the "Sort" options from the drop down menu and click "OK" to have your list of books alphabetized.

Nico Riley has been a professional writer since 2006 with work appearing on various websites. Riley holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Harold Washington College and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She enjoys writing on topics about society, culture, health, self-help and entertainment.