21 August 2011 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 22 comments

For a couple of years now, I’ve been trying to get a handle on my library. It needed to be completely rearranged, and I needed a good place to put oversized books. Susan came up with a brilliant idea for how to accommodate that need. We got rid of the huge particle board computer desk, and replaced it with the Elfa shelving system from The Container Store. There are now three shelves of oversized books above the new desk, and I have a new desk and place for our old iMac computer.

So, here’s some library porn for you. Every book that you see in these photos is a book on the American Civil War.

This first image
is the corner, where two walls of built-in floor to ceiling bookcases come together. I guess you could call that ground zero of the library.

In this photo, you can see new desk with the three shelves of oversized books above it.

And, finally, this is the right wall. It’s longer than the other wall and has more available space.

Fortunately, after the reorganization, I have about a bookcase and a half left of empty space, so that there is still room left to grow.

I didn’t photograph them, but there are also three bookcases of other history books in the room, ranging from basic military history to presidential biographies, and pretty much everything in between. I also have a bookcase of nothing but books about the Revolutionary War in our bedroom next to my nightstand. And then there are Susan’s books…..

We like books.

Scridb filter


  1. Paul LaCroix
    Sun 21st Aug 2011 at 8:33 pm

    My wife and daughter thought I was addicted to CW books. I’ve got nothing compared to the amount of books that you have. Looks very nice!

  2. Sun 21st Aug 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Thanks, Paul. For what ought to be obvious reasons, that’s my favorite room in the house. Needless to say, there’s lots of money tied up in the contents of that room…..

  3. Todd Berkoff
    Sun 21st Aug 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Eric, I’m jealous. I ran out of book shelf room three years ago…


  4. Mike Peters
    Sun 21st Aug 2011 at 10:50 pm


    I am envious Hoss. My library isn’t nearly as organized. I really dig the 8 ceiling-to-floor shelves. When I was there last time, I could barely contain my drool. This time I’ll need a Montgomery Inn-type bib.

    Maybe when the kids leave home, I’ll have more space. … A man can dream can’t he?


  5. Dennis
    Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 6:45 am


    Floor to ceiling is what I will be building too. The plans are in hand, I just need to do the work. I, of course, will be bitter that you have yours until mine are done!

    Best regards,

  6. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 7:35 am

    The problem with going floor-to-ceiling is you have no place to hang Civil War art …

  7. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 7:45 am


    Sure I do. They cover the walls of my office at work. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 9:41 am

    I like your term, “Library Porn.” Made me laugh.

    Nice collection!

  9. Mike Peters
    Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 10:47 am


    What is your organization pattern? Basically mine is campaign studies broken down by theater, bios separated Union & Confederate, regimentals by state and reference material. Special consideration given for Zouaves, CW medicine, Navy and fiction. Very little Navy and fiction, probably 2 percent or less combined.

    Hi I am Mike, a CW bibliophile in need of a sponsor. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 11:57 am

    Mine is very similar. First are the OR’s. Then Confederate bios. Then Union bios. Then general reference. Then Eastern Theater campaigns, then Western Theater campaigns, then Confederate cavalry, then Union cavalry, then Confederate memoirs, then Union memoirs, and then Confederate unit histories and then Union unit histories, and finally miscellaneous.

  11. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Looks nice; an enviable setup. Reminds me I need to organize my collection someday.

  12. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 1:30 pm

    It was a BIG job, Drew. The best thing that I can say about it is that it’s finished. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 2:16 pm

    With all your heavy, oversized books shelved directly above the workstation I bet you’re glad you don’t live in earthquake country.

  14. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 2:25 pm

    That’s a VERY safe bet, Drew. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Andy Walters
    Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 2:29 pm

    APtly titled. I could look at pictures of your library all day long. Like you I have an extesive library on the Civil Way (over 4400 volumes) I too am running out of room. Thanks for sharing your pictures and ideas.

  16. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 2:32 pm

    You’re welcome, Andy. It’s been a long haul, but I finally have them in some semblance of usable order and organization.

  17. Mon 22nd Aug 2011 at 9:19 pm

    A man who has book shelf space isn’t worth knowing ! LOL

  18. Ed Flanagan
    Tue 23rd Aug 2011 at 12:09 am

    To quote Marcus Tullius Cicero: โ€œA room without books is like a body without a soul.โ€

    As a librarian by profession, I have my Civil War Library arranged staring with the Eastern campaigns, the Western campaigns, Union bio, Rebel Bio, Lincoln, regimental-unit and general history-reference.

    Library porn indeed!

  19. Thu 25th Aug 2011 at 10:04 pm

    How many books are in your collection? How about a list of the top 50 cavalry books for those of us trying to build a good starter library? Many people really do not know what is really good versus popular works. Thanks again, ERIC..

  20. Thu 25th Aug 2011 at 10:06 pm


    Somewhere in the range of 1500 or so.

    That’s a fabulous idea. Let me give it a bit of thought, and I will do a post on that very subject. Thanks for the suggestion.


  21. Ed Porter
    Fri 23rd Nov 2012 at 12:54 am

    I have my library with Southern books on the southwall and Northern books on the North Wall arranged in alphabetical order by biography. The West wall has all of the books on battles arranged in the time sequence in which they occured. The East wall has the navy and books on misc. Civil War weapons and equipment. This is the only way that I could find quickly the book that I was looking for. I have Civil War fiction and books on Lincoln in seperate book cases in another room. I hope this system helps others.

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