Having a solid book organization system is beneficial for multiple reasons. It makes it easier to find the books you’re looking for, and it also increases the odds of you selecting a book to read. If you’re like me, it also makes your shelves pleasing to the eye, and it can also lift your spirits.
Organizing your book collection does not need to be complicated or time-consuming – it can be enjoyable. The best part? You don’t have to stick to any one method. Instead, feel free to mix and match or change things up as you discover what works for you.
So let’s step up your organization game with ten easy ways to organize your book collection – no professional bookseller or librarian experience necessary!
Photo: Penguin Clothbound Classics Collection
SEPARATE FICTION AND NONFICTION
Booksellers across the world universally use this method. Fiction books are found in one corner, and nonfiction plus everything else is located elsewhere.
ORGANIZE YOUR BOOKS BY AUTHOR
This method works best if you have multiple collected works from authors you love and or authors you plan on reading one day. To take it up a notch, you could also arrange the books by each author in order of publication.
SEPARATE CLASSICS FROM CONTEMPORARY
How you define classics and contemporary is entirely personal and unique to each reader. Popular options include books written before a certain date, books published within a specific time, living and deceased authors, writing style, societal standards, and commercial usage.
ORGANIZE BOOKS ACCORDING TO MOOD/ EMOTION
Maybe while reading a book, it made you smile, laugh, or cry. Perhaps a book kept you up into the wee hours of the morning because you couldn’t stop turning the pages. Maybe a book ignited your passions, opened your eyes, or shattered your innocence. Perhaps you read a book that changed your life or one that didn’t leave an impression at all.
If you rate books or remember them based on your emotional experience, this method of organization is just the ticket.
SEPARATE READ FROM UNREAD
Gather all the books you haven’t read yet and sort them in their own unique to be read (TBR) piles. This way, they don’t get lost amongst all your other books.
The best part? When you need a book to read, you will always have that special section to find one or five books to choose from.
ORGANIZE BOOKS ALPHABETICALLY
The alphabetical organization works best if you remember titles and authors better than genres or book covers. The larger your book collection, the more ideal this method may be.
SEPARATE HARDBACK AND PAPERBACK
This method is ideal for a cleaner and streamlined look on your bookshelves.
Photo: Books organized by color
ORGANIZE BOOKS BY GENRE OR SUBJECT MATTER
Organizing books by genre or subject matter is a great way to find books based on your current reading interests. So whether you’re in the mood for historical fiction, romance, or even a memoir – you’ll know where to find them.
ORGANIZE BOOKS BY COLOR
The color organization strategy is ideal if you remember books and associate specific titles with the cover design or love vibrantly colored bookshelves that make a statement.
The best part? It’s the perfect opportunity to get creative.
SEPARATE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS
Your favorite books tend to be the ones you may want to re-read every so often or quote during a discussion. So instead of lumping all your books together, separate all your favorite from all the rest and put them center stage.
ADDITIONAL ORGANIZATIONAL OPTIONS + TIPS
– Organize books by height
– Don’t be afraid to stack books next to your rows
– Put heavier books on lower shelves
– Make a trip to your local hardware or home goods store and reinforce your bookshelves, paint or even decorate them.
– If you’re feeling generous, donate to your local used bookstore, library bookshop, or charity shop.
How do you organize your books?
What are your tips and methods for organizing your books? Please share them in the comments.