How To Organise Your Bookshelf

Discover easy and clever ways to arrange, style and find the perfect new home for your book collection - by Morgan Faulkner

27 May 2022

There’s something about the experience of flipping through a well-read book that just can’t compare to an e-reader. But from time to time, those books have a tendency to pile up and get shoved in every nook and cranny. One of the easiest ways to store your prized publications is a handy, dandy bookshelf. Organising said bookshelf can be a little tricky, though. Until now!

Organise Your Books Into Categories

The first step in getting organised is to figure out a system that works best for you. Simply put, there’s no right or wrong way to categorise your book collection. There are, of course, pros and cons to each method, but the outcome will be an organisation lover’s dream any way you choose:

  • Alphabetically – There are a couple of different options on this one. You can either alphabetise your reads by author or title. If you have a fairly large collection, arranging by the author’s last name will make finding what you’re looking for a little easier. It’ll be like having a mini library for you (and your pals!) to choose from right in your home.
  • Genre – If you’re a reader of many different genres across the board then this category is for you. Arrange the novels into their retrospective genres and easily find the ideal read for your mood whether it’s a page-turning mystery or a how-to on your favourite hobby.
  • Fiction vs. Nonfiction – This method is extremely easy for a smaller collection. Start by grouping your fiction books together, and then all the others can simply live in a different section for easy finding.
  • By Colour – For a Pinterest-worthy bookshelf, arranging the reads by colour is the way to go. This trend is a popular way to make a statement with your books as well as doubling as decor. Try organising in a rainbow pattern for a colourful display or group warm and cool tones together for an eye-catching effect. The only downside to this category is, unless you happen to know each book’s spine colour, picking your next selection or finding a particular title may be a little tricky.
  • Read vs. Unread – Instead of tossing new titles to the side until you get the chance to read them, make a shelf or two just for this purpose. When you get the urge to start a fresh new read, you’ll know exactly where to go.

Ways to Style a Bookshelf

After you’ve categorised your novels into the sorting of your choice, it’s now time to style and add a little personality to the bookshelf:

  • Orientation of books – Don’t be afraid to stack your books and even use them as makeshift risers. To add a little flair and break up the vertical lines, stack books horizontally in between. Alternate orientations throughout the bookshelf for a stylish display.
  • Pair with accessories – Put those makeshift risers you just created to good use. Atop the stacks of books is an ideal place to display thrift store finds, travel souvenirs and other favourite items. Style gaps in between with lush plants, memorable photos or fun figurines.
  • Make visually appealing – To give Your collection an uncluttered and polished feel, group books with similar heights and widths together. This will create a streamlined look while still remaining functional throughout. Freshen up worn or tattered books by wrapping them in co-ordinating paper for an updated facelift.
  • Add artwork – Add a creative twist to your shelf by hanging a focal-worthy piece front and centre for display. Fasten the artwork to the shelf’s facade using picture-hanging strips for an easy decor addiction.

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