- Sorting The Books on Your Books Shelf
- By Setting
- By Theme
- Size: Height or Width
- Ia Wavy Pattern or Any Shape
- Laying Down and Standing Up
- With a Cool Bookshelf
- With Gaps
- The Most Recent Read
- Favorites First
- Favorites Last
- Age: The Time The Book Was Written or Published
- New vs Old
- By Series
- Paperback vs. Hardcover vs. Leather vs. Plastic Cover
- Disorganized: With No Particular Order
- Tips For Keeping Your Book Shelf Tidy and Organized
Sorting The Books on Your Books Shelf
Having an organized bookshelf can be a way for you to show the books you like and how you like them. Some of the items on this list help you have an organized system to benefit from. That looks good and fits your unique aesthetic tastes. I will be going into how to decorate your bookshelf and keep it looking good. The topic of bookshelf decor and just looks is unavoidable after I publish this post. But this list shows organization methods that are both clean, convenient, organized, and pretty. Move books on and off your shelf easily with these 21 methods. You decide which methods fit your quirky or unique aesthetic tastes.
These methods can be used for your home library, school library, book store shelves, or office library. Depending on your aesthetic and level of quirkiness, one of these methods is just right for you. But let me know if there is an aesthetic and/or quirky organizational method you use to sort your books that is not already on this list. Or of any other methods, you can think of.
Mix and match some of these methods for a larger library or hone in on one method for a smaller-sized library.
You expected this, didn’t you? Organizing books by their cover colors has become an increasingly popular way for anyone with a bookshelf to fabulously organize their bookshelf. And because there is a good chance you’ve already heard of this method, I put it at the top to get it out of the way.
A bookshelf showing some or all the colors in the rainbow has a clean and attractive look and feel. This method is easy to set up and can be done in stores, in a business, or in your bedroom. Though I wouldn’t recommend it for a library that gets used a lot because you’d probably have to re-organize your books daily.
If you have a large library you could have one section organized this way. Or if your library of books is used by just you or a few people this method works great. It also works as a nice display of books to attract readers, or as the perfect library background for your zoom calls.
Your books can be organized starting with light colors that go into dark colors, or with warm colors that transition to cool colors and temperatures. Or just use primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors, or all of them.
Some books are two-toned: having the cover of a book split into two or more colors horizontally along the book. These kinds of books can have their own section or can be used as feature books.
A classic and manageable way to organize your books is by alphabetical order. The most common way to do this is to organize the books according to the first letter of the author’s/writer’s last name.
You can also get creative and funky with it. During one of my library revamps, I almost organized my library according to the second letter of the author’s first name. You can do something like this or totally different like the third letter of the author’s last name. Or first letter of the book title; Book titles are sometimes remembered more than authors, so this could be a really helpful way to organize your books
Many libraries organize their books by genre first. And then in those genre sections, organize the books a second time alphabetically (according to the first letter of the author’s last name). You could do a similar thing or sort them just by their genre only. If your library is accessed by many people it may also be easier for other people to navigate through a selection of books.
Where do your books take place? If 5 of your books take place in a futuristic city then they could be grouped together. 7 more could take place in a medieval town and be grouped together. as well.
Organizing your books by their setting could be a fun experience for you and for others. It may also help you remember more about the books you read.
Organizing them by themes can also help you retain information about a book. It could also be as easy and enticing as picking your next tv show or movie. Looking through your library with this kind of organizing can make you next read a coming-of-age story. Or a story about survival. Rather than picking books based on who wrote them or an author’s reputation. Who knows, you may discover something new.
But you make have to do a little research on some books you haven’t read before. This may be a bummer, especially for a personal library because you may come across some spoilers.
Size: Height or Width
Books come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the kind of design you want, you can just easily organize your books in size order. Smallest to largest, shortest to tallest, or from the widest book to the thinnest book.
This is definitely one of the quickest ways to organize your shelf.
Ia Wavy Pattern or Any Shape
Because books come in different sizes. You can also make cool patterns or shapes along your shelves. Such as making a wave-like pattern: by starting with the tallest books and then moving down towards the shorter books. Then after a really short book work your way back up toward taller books and repeat the pattern again and again. Till your bookshelf looks like a sea of books. Or pointy mountains of books
This kind of organizing may be a lot easier if you have a lot of books
Laying Down and Standing Up
All books don’t have to stand upright with their spine vertical. Give the books a break and let them lay on their covers or backmatter. Some book titles are way easier to read that way too. You could organize all your books like that or alternate groups of books for a clean look: Alternating between books standing and laying down.
With a Cool Bookshelf
Do you want your books to look tidy and organized without having to do all the organizing? Get a really cool neat-looking bookshelf and just neatly put the books on the shelf. Just like that. Your books can look clean and organized without you having to meticulously organize them.
Organize your books according to the font of the titles. This is definitely a weird way but a possible and unique way. When re-organizing my bookshelves I like to think of unique ways to organize my books. So that they look nice, are convenient, look, neat, or are just very exclusive and unique.
I have not heard of organizing books by their font sizes or types, being popular or common. So this could be a unique or odd thing for you. Keep in mind that book positions may be switched at times because of font similarities.
Books don’t always have to be right next to each other. Space them out. Give them some room to breathe. This method can be used with another method. Take genre, for example, you can organize your books by genre and leave space between the different genre sections.
These spaces can make it easier for you to spot books within sections and can also be another shortcut for a neat and organized-looking shelf.
The Most Recent Read
Books that you have most recently read can go in the front and the ones you haven’t read in a while can go in the back. This is definitely a method of organization that I would like to try.
My library is currently organized alphabetically. I have had my books organized by color but reshelving things took a little longer. I also couldn’t find most of the books I was looking for. It was cute but not that practical especially if you or more people are constantly accessing the shelves.
Organizing your books according to which ones you most recently read can be very useful and practical. You could re-read the ones you haven’t read in a while and have the books you are currently reading accessible.
You could also just play favorites and display your most loved book at the front or top of your shelves. And have the rest of the books organized alphabetically or by height inside the rest of the bookshelf. Your favorites can go on the top shelf and the rest of the books organized by color. Depending on the shape of your bookcase, how large your library is, or just by the height of your bookshelves you can get very creative with how you display your favorite books.
There are books in my library that I have discovered not knowing that they were there. Reading all of the books on my bookshelf is definitely a goal of mine that this method of organization would aid. Having books that aren’t my favorite displayed first would help me read and discover really good books on my shelves that I may have not picked up anytime soon.
Age: The Time The Book Was Written or Published
This way is a little fun And if you love history and dating things this method is for you: Organize your books by putting the books written or published the earliest in the front and the one published or written much later last. If you try this method comment below how old is your oldest book?
This method of organizing your books can be eye-opening. As many forms of media and art including books can show and represent movements and changes that happen over time within society, governments, etc. You’d also be able to see the development of writing and writing styles over time. While every writer is different, there are such things as writing trends.
New vs Old
Organize your books according to when you bought them.
I just recently and accidentally bought some books from Second Sale. Nonetheless, because my bookshelf is currently organized alphabetically, these books got scattered and I almost forgot about them. This actually happens often. Especially if I get books while I am currently reading another.
Having those recently bought books in the front or first would really help me or you leave no book behind.
You can organize your books based on where you read them. I travel to and from school every single day and often times save some books for me to read on the train. And save others to read at home, for when I go out to do laundry at a laundromat, or just want to share a good read.
Your books could be organized by occasion and what you plan to do with them. And then each section of those books reserved for occasions could be separated by gaps, or put between shelf decorations. If you don’t have many books this sort of organization method could make for a really aesthetic books shelf.
If you are a lover of book series’ or just have many of them. Group your series together and spread them out. This simple way is convenient and cares to you for all your series’.
You could combine this method with another method in this list depending on your style, library or bookshelf size, and how many book series you own. You could group your books by which series they belong to and then organize the rest of your books according to whether they are paperback or hardcover, leather, or covered with plastic.
Not every book on my shelf is read for the same reason. Some are for studying, and others for enjoyment or for reference. You can organize your books based on a book’s purpose or why you personally keep the books. Similar to some of the other organizing methods you can separate the organized section with decorations or gaps.
Organizing your books this way makes for a quick grab and read. If you’re wanting a book for entertainment, a laugh or for learning you can easily go to these sections and pick a book.
Paperback vs. Hardcover vs. Leather vs. Plastic Cover
Separating your books by whether their covers are paperback, hardcover, leather, or plastic can also have a clean and aesthetic look. This method makes putting a book back easy.
Disorganized: With No Particular Order
Some charming things aren’t the most meticulously organized. Like when your room is messy but you know where everything is. A somewhat disorganized or rough-looking bookshelf in a cleanroom or minimalistic room is a perfect match.
Having the right mix of clean-looking things with rough or distressed things could look amazing for a library. It can be comforting and inviting. Especially if your bookshelf is not only used by you. People are more likely to pull books from bookshelves that they’re not worried about messing up. Think aesthetically convenient rather than an aesthetic display.
Tips For Keeping Your Book Shelf Tidy and Organized
- My top tip for keeping a clean bookshelf is to know yourself and the things that make it easier for you to clean and stay tidy and organized.
Not everyone can keep an alphabetically organized bookshelf clean. Or keep all the books in the right spot for a bookshelf organized by color. Pick a system that is aesthetically organized but also makes it easy for you to keep it organized. If a meticulous system is too much for you try the paperback vs hardcover vs plastic cover system. Those top sections are easy to identify so pulling books out and putting them back can be easier. If you don’t mind a more challenging system organizing your books by their age is the method for you.
2. Tidy up often and do big clean-ups not so often.
Keeping a bookshelf clean and organized doesn’t have to be so time-consuming and hard. Tidying up for a few minutes and with a few books, every couple of days or every week can go a long way. Take 3-5 minutes to put a few books in the right place every and save the grand organizing or re-organizing for later.
3. Don’t forget to dust and wipe
Dust and wipe your books and bookshelves. Books collect a lot of dust and this is the one thing that can have your bookshelf looking uncomely even if they are organized. Though if you like this sort of charm, let the dust stay. Blowing loads of dust from books does seem to make good movie scenes.
4. Don’t push your books all the way back.
Don’t position your books at the edge of the shelves and not too deep into the shelves, but right in the middle or towards the front. Lined up evenly. This tip is the icing on the cake for any organizing system or method.
Your bookshelf is yours and sometimes a representation of you of what you read and like. If you like to keep your bookshelves organized in some way shape or form, keep them clean how you want to. Make em clean and good-looking.
Remember those books I said I got accidentally online? Well, I bought 3, and 2 of them were under $4 dollars. If you’re restocking your bookshelf, buy from Second Sale for the best prices.
Until my next words (on here that is)
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