Recently, as I bought an eBook version of The Years of Rice and Salt to replace my paperback, I realized how little bookshelf maintenance I have to do these days. When I was younger, I lived in apartments with limited space for shelves. I also bought a lot more paperbacks than I do these days. Every so often, I'd have to organize my bookshelves. Each genre had a separate section, which was further organized by author surname and (if necessary) series. I preferred to get paperbacks because they took up the least space, but occasionally I'd find a random niche for hardcovers. Books didn't get shelved until they were read, so I'd usually have several books to place in the right locations, which would then bump other books to a different spot. Unfortunately, I'd also have to purge older books to make room for new ones.
These days, I seldom have to add books to my shelves, since it takes me much longer to make progress on my to-read stack. Instead, I tend to get rid of paperbacks once I have the eBook. While I still enjoy looking at my shelves and remembering what I've read, I'm not as attached to the physical books as I used to be. I have more space for things, but I want to declutter.
Do you keep paper books after you've read them? If so, do you have a special way of organizing your bookshelves? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.