Bookshelf Management: Which Is Your Style?



I was going through my bookshelf when I finished reading Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie, and I noticed that my books were neither here nor there. This was before I settled on The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain, by the way. They were arranged according to height but in terms of colour-coding, it was way off course.

I may not be much of a perfectionist but I can be obsessed with organization, especially when it comes to my bookshelves. Every so often, I’m inspired to move things around my condo and change up my living space. During this season, my bookshelves are always the first to change.Before this, my books were arranged just according to height. Now, they’re arranged according to height AND colour! And you know what? It looks even more amazing than before! Thing is, if you have a sizable book collection, then I believe it is worth taking the time to organize them so that you can find what you’re looking for.

Apparently, height and colour-coded arrangements are only two out of the many ways of arranging your bookshelves. Come, let’s take a look at some of the other various methods of which you can use to liven up your bookshelves and take advantage of proudly putting your books on display:


This is the most common and obvious method (as well as being the most reliable too) of book organization since it perfectly mirrors our favourite bookstore’s system. Still, there are many options for your home library. For one, you can organize your books according to the authors’ first or last names, or by book title (for when you can’t remember for the life of you who wrote what!).

Colour Coding

This is also another method that can open up to many other options, just like the above. You can turn your bookshelves into a giant rainbow or mix and match the colours to complement your home decor. Imagine how an entire bookshelf of black and white spines can make a bold statement or a section that is devoted to bright, neon colours will duly get noticed by visitors to your home.


This would work if you have a favourite publisher or many books from the same publisher. While it is not a common option for many readers but it still is an option all the same. Just think of all your Penguins sitting in a row or a mansion of Random Houses. Now is the time to be proud of your loyalty to your favourite publisher(s)!

Content / Genre

This is by far the easiest way to find what you’re looking for. There is no need to rifle through your bookshelf before settling on your next book because everything is separated by subject! Let the Young Adult fiction hang out together. Give the Love and Romance a corner of your bookshelf for their sake of privacy. You can also place all your poetry books in one section of the shelf so you know where to go when you need a quick read. As long as the categories make sense to you, the system will work.

Emotional Response

You can choose to be different and arrange your bookshelves based on emotions. So the next time your friend asks you for a sad book recommendation, you can point them in the right direction. Some labels that may work for you include Books That Make Me CryBooks That Make Me LaughBooks That Make Me Want To Throw ThingsBooks That Make Me Nostalgic and Books That Make Me Want To Love Someone Now. Hey, anything is possible!


This book organization method is perfect for the nerds. Try arranging them according to a specific timeline, for example, a period that starts with Ancient Greece before moving on to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 18th Century which eventually goes along the artistic movement such as Art Nouveau, Wiener Werkstatte, Art Deco, Streamlining, etc, and finally ending somewhere in modern times. See, I told you it was for nerds!

Keep Them Secret

Maybe you’d like to stay mysterious and you love surprises, so this would be good for you. Turn the book spines facing inwards and keep the mystery alive by simply choosing your next title at random. This way, you’ll discover something new every time. You can even lend books out to your friends that way too!

Now that we’ve laid out every possible book organization method, how would you organize your books? Which method is your favourite?

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