For the last while I’ve been thinking of how I would like to do a bookshelf tour of my main bookshelves downstairs. And as I was thinking in what way I would like to show you guys, I of course looked at my bookshelves and wondered if before I do that, I’ll reorganize my bookshelves. It is always such a struggle
There are a lot of different ways to organize your books. A lot has to do with how much space you have and your personal preference. I don’t think there are any perfect ways to organize your shelves. Each way has its advantages and disadvantages. Below I’ll discuss a few with you before sharing my way of organizing my bookshelves at the moment.
Now this is the well known library way where you put your books in alphabetical order of the author’s name. It makes it very easy for yourself or others to find books on your book shelves. Quickly they can discover your organizing ways and find the book by knowing the last name of the author. Of course you can also do this by book title. It leaves everything mixed through one another unless you first divide it by genre.
Read vs Unread
Another way to organize your shelves is by splitting your read and unread books. It is a great way to see which books you still need to read. However it can require you to split up your series if you haven’t read everything in one series.
If you own a lot of different kind of genre’s it can be great to order them by genre. It is an easy way to see and showcase your reading habits. If you want to take it a step further or if you mostly own one genre, you can also organize by sub genre.
Another way can be to organize them by target group. You can group all the middle grade, young adult, new adult and adult books together. This way the kids, future kids or visiting kids can easily see where to pick a book from depending on age range. If they are allowed of course. And next to that, having all of your adult and young adult seperated can be a nice feeling as well.
Organizing your books by height can create a great view. There is nothing as nice as to see books with the same height next to each other. It would be great if publishers understood this and didn’t print books in every possible height available. Sometimes those in a series aren’t even completely the same height which can make this a bit of a challenge.
Series and Standalones
A great way to organize your book shelves can be by splitting up the series and standalones. Standalones can easily dissapear when they are inbetween series books. Seperating them gives them a great spot of their own. Within series you can also split finished and incomplete series. That way you can see which series you still need to finish or which series are still incomplete.
Of course another way to organize your shelves is by favorite books. it is great to showcase your absolute favorites on the more prominent shelves. Not only can you look at them and feel happy, but your visitors instantly can see your favorites and possibly give them a go as well.
A rainbow shelf can be a great sight to have. Rainbow is when you organize your books per colour of the rainbow. It is such an eye catcher. I feel that not every spine is fitted to be able to fit into a rainbow bookshelf though. Spines that have multiple colours for instance. Those might have to be seperated from it. I’ve been told it is also very hard to get all the colours lined up right. So many different shades. But once you are finished it is well worth the effort.
If you read in two or more different languages you can also organize your shelves by language. For your housemates that might not read in those languages it can be a great asset. That way they know which section of the bookshelves they need to look at to see what they can read. Next to that you can see how many books you have in what language easily.
A downside to this can be when you have one half of a series in one language and the other half in another language. This is one of my problems.
And lastly, you can always mix a lot of the mentioned organization ways together. Take from everything and make them fit the way you want them.
Quirck Books also has some interesting ways to organizing your book shelves.
Other People’s Bookshelves
Some people have amazing bookshelves which causes bookshelf envy with me. Here are some of the people who have bookshelves that I like to drool a- I mean admire.
Tilly from Tilly-and-her-Books on Tumblr has her own little library as she calls it. Walls with bookshelves filled completely with books. She also has a ladder. View her bookshelves here.
Mara from Bookmarauder on Instagram not only takes amazing book photos, but also has amazing looking bookshelves. You can go drool at them on her instagram here.
My Bookshelf Organization
Way back, at the end of 2013, I organized my shelves alphabetically. It was just before I started up reading properly again, and I didn’t own nearly as many books as I do now. Alphabetical felt like the easiest way. Since then my orginization has changed a lot.
Right now I am very much a mixed organization kind of girl. I have two book cases. The first one has most of my fantasy/sci-fi series. These are organized in completed and read series, completed but not finished reading series, and series of which I have more than one book book but I haven’t started yet, mostly. Next to that they are ordered in height if possible.
The lower half are TBR books of which I only own the first in the series, mostly, or are standalones. There is also a shelf that can only hold mass market paperbacks. These are series of which half are finished and read.
The second book case has one shelf for all my classics. Then I have 3 shelves that are focused on specific authors and series. There is also a shelf that has all my vampires books and standalones. One shelf of my favorite manga (the others are upstairs) and the last shelf has contemporaries.
So how do you organize your bookshelves?