Bookshelf Organization: 10 Ways To Organize Your Bookshelves

Organizing your book collection does not need to be complicated or time-consuming.

Last Updated on February 28, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

bookshelf organization: 10 ways to organize your books

Are your bookshelves overflowing with books?  Do you have a hard time finding the book (or even worse, multiple books) that you need at a particular moment?  If that’s the case, it may be time to do some bookshelf organization.  Organizing your bookshelf can help make your room look neater and enable easier access to all of the knowledge stored away on their pages.  In this article, we will take a look at ten different methods of bookshelf organization.  So when you organize or reorganize your bookshelves, you will create an aesthetically pleasing space in which to browse through your books.  Not only are organized bookshelves satisfying, but they also allow you to find what you need quickly!  So let’s get started – read on for our top ten tips on organizing your bookshelves!



Why is bookshelf organization important?

Having a solid book organization system is beneficial for multiple reasons.  It makes finding the books you’re looking for easier and increases the odds of selecting a book to read.  If you’re like me, it also makes your shelves pleasing to the eye and can lift your spirits.

What is the best way to organize a bookshelf?

Organizing your bookshelf can be daunting, especially if you have a vast collection.  However, with a little organizing know-how and some strategic sorting skills, you can create an organized bookshelf that is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate.

The quickest way to get started organizing your bookshelf is by deciding on categories to organize them into.  Whether it be in chronological order for non-fiction or alphabetically for fiction, having thoughtfully pre-determined slots will make organizing your books easier and more efficient.  Additionally, organizing your shelves from the largest volumes at the bottom to the smallest at the top will help create visual appeal and balance on the shelves.  Remember to leave some space between the spines of each book, so they don’t drag down one another when pulled off the shelf.  With these organizing techniques in hand, organizing your home library has never been easier!

How do you arrange books on a bookshelf?

There are several methods that one can use when organizing books on a shelf; organizing alphabetically by author’s last name or subject matter are two common examples.  It is also important to pay attention to the size of the books and arrange from tallest to shortest, so the larger volumes don’t block the smaller ones.  Finally, if organizing alphabetically, make sure that each book faces forward for easy identification.  Taking a few moments beforehand to plan out your organizing strategy will save you time in the long run, allowing you to enjoy your shelves and find what you’re looking for quickly.

How to organize your book collection?

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, please 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 is necessary!

organizing bookshelf

Photo: Penguin Clothbound Classics Collection

10 Ways To Organize Your Bookshelf



Booksellers across the world universally use this method.  Fiction books are found in one corner, and nonfiction, plus everything else, is located elsewhere.



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.



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.

reading room bookshelf organization


Maybe reading a book 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.



Gather all the books you haven’t read yet and sort them into 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.



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.



This method is ideal for a cleaner and streamlined look on your bookshelves.

bookshelf organization by color

Photo: Books organized by color


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.



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.



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 Bookshelf Organization Options and 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, thrift, or charity shop.


How do you organize a bookshelf with too many books?

When organizing a bookshelf with too many books, the key is to focus on maximizing both convenience and neatness.  Take the time to prioritize and arrange books according to how often you use them by placing frequently accessed volumes in easy-to-reach areas.  Also, organizing books by genre or color can help make your shelves look visually appealing.  Utilizing bookshelf organization tools such as bookends, shelf dividers, or trays can also help separate categories of books and keep your collection tidy.  Just remember that organizing a bookshelf doesn’t have to be overwhelming; it’s all about finding solutions that best suit your particular space needs.

How do you arrange bookshelves in a room?

Arranging bookshelves in a room can be an enjoyable organizing project that adds character and function to your home.  Whether organizing books by genre or color, there are easy ways to create a neat and orderly look.  Start by organizing the books on each shelf so that all spines face outwards for easy visibility.  Leave some breathing room on each shelf so the books don’t appear cluttered.  For organizing genres of books together, it’s helpful to purchase tags or labels to label each section.  Brightly colored bookends also offer a nice decorative touch while adding support when organizing your shelves.  With creativity and organization, arranging and organizing your bedroom or living room bookshelves can add an inviting atmosphere with ever-changing displays of exciting titles.

Do you have any bookshelf organization tips?

How do you organize your bookshelf?  What are your tips and methods for organizing your bookshelf?  Please share them in the comments.


10 Ways To Organize Your Bookshelf

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