For us book lovers, there are probably as many ways to organize a book shelf as there are people who do it. There’s no right or wrong way – I believe that as long as you can find the books you want when you want them and are generally happy with the overall appearance, then that’s all that matters.
I’m currently facing a new and exciting problem – having more space than I’ve ever had before in which to organize and display my books. Ultimately, I’d love to have a giant Beauty and the Beast-style library – but until I marry a rich bookish prince with castle, I have to make do with the four bookshelves I’ve got. My bookshelves are all different sizes (1 large, 2 small, 1 teeny), and are in three different rooms in my house. Of course I can add more bookshelves if needed, but right now I have enough shelf space with a little to spare. The main issue I’m having now is deciding how I want to arrange all my books.
Here are some common ways to organize books. I’ve used some of these methods in the past, but I’m not sure what the best way is for my new house and new distribution of space. So let’s discuss:
Alphabetical by Author
Alphabetical by Title
Genre/Subject Matter. In other words, the non-fiction books about medieval weaponry would not be placed anywhere near the Beatrix Potter books about Peter Rabbit and Tom Kitten.
Spine Color. I personally have never been a fan of this arrangement, although it does look cool in pictures.
Size. To one degree or another, my bookshelf arrangement has to be determined by size, since I have the bottom shelf for big tall books, and the little bitty top shelf that will fit only a select few books.
Vertically or Horizontally stacked. This can include books stacked two or even three levels deep. I’m not a fan of this, either, as you can’t see the books in the back row, but it can be the most economical for space.
Wall of Books Divided Up with Display Objects. An artsy way of displaying books, if one has enough space. I like the idea of using the knick-knacks to enhance the books, like putting a dragon figurine on the shelf with the epic fantasy.
What Bookshelf? Also known as stacks on tables, in corners, and yes you have to move books to get at the laundry hamper. I’m keeping this option as an absolute last resort.
What’s your favorite way to display/arrange your books? What’s your recommendation for my bookshelves?