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How to arrange your bookshelf

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Book storage tips

Stylish ways to arrange your bookshelf. 

A bookcase doesn’t just have to be a place where your books reside, it can also provide a design element to a room.

But anyone who has ever tried to arrange their books knows it can cause serious confusion. If you’re drawing a blank page (yes, pun intended!) on the best placement of your paperbacks, we’ve got you covered with these 7 ways to order your books.

1. Colour

There are actually two sub-categories within this one. You can either arrange your books chromatically, so you end up with a phase across an entire shelf, or colour block your books, so each shelf has a designated colour. 

While the colour option looks great, there are some drawbacks. If you constantly need to access your books, unless you know them by their spines it can be difficult locating what you need. Also, if you decide to colour block, you need to make sure you have enough books to fill out each shelf. Otherwise, this can look incomplete. 

2. Alphabetical

If you’re a traditionalist, this option might appeal to you. It’s the common alphabetical order, a standard way to organise books (just ask libraries or book stores). Again, there are two sub-categories here, you and either alphabetise based on book title or on author name. If you happen to have many books that are part of a series, alphabetising by author is probably the better option of the two. 

3. Genre

If you are eclectic in your reading, then this option is probably right for you, allowing you to group your books according to their categories. Of course, this is one of the more controversial options, somewhat creating more questions than answers. For instance, once you have your books divided by genre, do you then arrange in colour, alphabetically, height, and the list goes on.

4. Height

If most of your books are around the same height, you might need to give this possibility a miss, but if you have books of varying sizes this can look great. You can arrange your books in ascending or descending order, or be a rebel and arrange them in the shape of a wave. 

5. Chronological

Ok, this one is probably for those hardcore nerds out there, but hear us out. You could arrange your books based on when they were published/came out or according to subject era. For instance, if you have a history book on Ancient Rome, this would could ahead of a book that covers WW1. It’s not for everyone, but nonetheless it’s an interesting way to arrange your books.

Alternatively, you could place them in the chronological order that you bought them. Then they form a visual timeline of your reading journey.

6. Graded

We all have a favourite book, author or genre. If you like rating all the books you’ve read, why not arrange them on your bookshelf in the same way. That way you’ll remember which ones you really liked, and which weren’t so hot. If you have 5 shelves, you could use a star-rating system with each shelf holding a rating e.g. 5-star books at the top and 1-star books down the bottom.

7. Randomly

Then again, if you’re really not fussed, why not just have your books arranged randomly! 


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