This is a pretty popular discussion – but I wanted to give my take on it, as I have a pretty unique system of organizing my bookshelf.
Here are five common organization methods to try out on your shelves – along with my own method (feel free to try it).
This one is very popular on bookstagram and booktube – though I personally have little interest as it seems like it would get annoying after a while -(per the order of the books having no rhyme or reason and series being separated).
But essentially, separate your books by spine color and lay them on the shelf to form a rainbow. It’s pleasing to look at even for the non-book hoarder.
Library System / Genre and Author:
This is a mix of organization systems – but you could do either individually. (As in, separate solely by author or solely by genre).
By genre is essentially, separating genres of books onto different shelves or sections so you can easily find a book for whatever mood you are in.
By author is generally by last name in alphabetical order.
If you do these in conjunction – alphabetizing authors within each genre section – then it becomes very easy to find a particular book rather than remembering where the hell you stuck it.
Pretty simple. But your favorite reads at the center / eye level / front of the shelf and hide less favorites at the corners or back.
Your shelf will personally make you happier to look at. Since you’ll be staring mostly at you favorite books. This might also make it easier to write tag posts, as you’ll have your favorites in view.
You can do this two ways.
If you have multiple shelves, one can be read books and the other unread.
If you only have one shelf you can use half for read books and the other half unread books if you don’t want them mixing.
Or you can employ my chosen method – useful if you want to keep authors and genres together that are only particularly read: within a different organization method – put unread books vertically and read books horizontally as I prefer (but you could always do it the other way around).
Separate Hard- and Paper-Backs:
This ones simple – separate the hardcovers from the paperbacks.
Put the paperbacks in the back or the corners so they aren’t the focus, and the hardcovers more at eye level, center or main shelf – prettier and more eye catching and makes for a nicer overall bookshelf. Could also be done in conjunction with “By Favorites”.
Obviously, some of these methods are not mutely exclusive. You can organize by both genre and author. By color and still separate hardcovers from paperbacks. Color coordinate TBR separated bookshelves etc.
My chosen organization is this:
By genre, by favorites, and by TBR.
Here’s what I mean.
I have one free standing shelf and two wall mounted shelves.
Books I love and books I need to read soon go in the free standing shelf (easier to reach – separated by genre and from each other within this).
Books of genres I read least or have the least to-be-read books within the genre go on the top / harder to reach wall mounted shelf. And so one.
Read books are horizontal and unread books are vertical. So unread books are easier to get. And read books overall take up less space, so as I read I get minimally more shelf space.
Let me know what you think.
How do you organize your shelf?
Has this inspired you to try something new?
Which is your favorite?