There are a few paths one can go by, but in the long run, you can only choose one road which to walk upon. (Led Zeppelin, yeah!) Primarily you have three main choices in the United States.
First, the Library of Congress system which organizes book not by strict subject categories but rather by Publication and Publisher data, since it is primarily a repository of works published in the United States, thus making it rather oddly laid out since you will wind up with books about automobiles next to books about birds. On the plus side, it's easy to find out the LOC# for your specific book.
Second, the Dewey Decimal system, which is extremely easy to navigate and easy to find out where your books go, with one caveat. It's proprietary, and expensive. You have to purchase a silence to the catalog in order to find the multi-digit code for your specific books.
Neither of these options was really that good, for one, I didn't want a book on the Migration Age to be sitting next to a book on Alestair Crowley, and for two, I didn't have the money to buy a lisence and a hand scanner to put my books into the DD system, and three, I simply don't have enough books to make all those extra categories necessary. Since in the grand scheme of things, I have so few areas of interest I opted to simply make my own.
It has 22 Categories, each with a number of Sub Categories and Sub-Sub Categories depending on the scope and depth of my collection.
II. Classical Age
III. Late Classical Age
IV. Migration Age
V. Early Middle Ages
VI. High Middle Ages
VII. Late Middle Ages
IX. Historical Outlines
XI. Comparative Religion
XV. Geology & Geography
XVI. The late Victorian & early Edwardian Age
XVII. World War I
XVIII. World War II
XIX. The post war world
I'm hoping to start actually putting the books into order, making citation/abstract pages for each one, over the winter break from school. Hopefully pictures of the final product will also be included.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?