In these unprecedented times, after weeks (who’s keeping count anymore?) of quarantine, many of us are sitting around staring at four corners and wondering what else to do to possibly pass the time. I have spent a lot of hours organizing and loading my Pinterest boards with new ideas on how to stay tidy. And after reading so many books, my biggest clutter area is now my bookshelf. So I decided it was time for a change and started rearranging. My bookshelf is now my new selfie spot and inspired the creation of my own bookstagram page: @sabiblossombooks. If you decide to reorganize your own shelf, feel free to tag me and @get.lit.erary on Instagram to share the results. I’d love to see what you’ve done to your personal library space.
Here are some ways you can organize a #bookstagram-worthy bookshelf.
The Library System Method
This means alphabetizing by the author’s last name, followed by alphabetizing each title of that author’s. Okay, full disclosure: I totally used to organize my books this way. It’s extremely time-consuming and a little obsessive, but really gratifying when your friend asks to borrow a title and you know exactly where it is. It also helps keep your 1,000 Stephen King titles together, or any series by any author for that matter. Downside? If you need a book in a pinch, you need to have the author’s last name memorized, which can be rough if you have a gazillion books and remembering names are not your strong suit. If that’s the case, then just organizing them alphabetical by title may be the way to go!
The Instagram-Aesthetic Method
As a test, go on Instagram and type #bookstagram in the search engine. More than likely what will pop up is a ton of extremely aesthetically-pleasing photos of books—rows of them, organized by color. Your eyes will be drawn from all the reds to the blues to the yellows, the whole rainbow! Truthfully, whenever I see photos like those, it makes me want to read more, so I think the tactic is extremely effective. It also makes your shelf look so much…cleaner. Aside from Instagram though, this strategy works well for people who remember things visually. The old saying goes “never judge a book by its cover,” but a memorable cover—or spine—goes a really long way.
The “Let Me See How Many Literary Fiction Books I Have” Method
While my personal organizing preference has always been the library system, it can become a challenge to maintain, especially these days when all the extra time to read has my books flying on and off the shelf. I decided recently to revert back to organizing by genre. I made labels for each section using Canva, and I’m really happy with the result. If categorizing is your thing, this is the perfect way to compartmentalize your go-to’s, one type from the next.
The Mom, Dad, Baby Method
It’s possible you live with a bunch of bookworms, and maybe there’s just no way to have your own shelf, so you need to split it with everyone else. With this system, everyone in the house gets their own respective section of the bookshelf. This will help categorize and separate your books from your partner’s, sister’s, kid’s, grandma’s, etc.
The Biggest to Smallest Method
This works for the people who are keen on symmetry and wouldn’t dare put a pocket-size book next to a 6 x 9 hardcover. If done right, you might just be able to calculate the slope of your books by the time you’re finished.
The Shove-It-in-the-Shelf Method
Now this is a tactic I do not recommend, but I think it’s one we’ve all done when maintaining the shelf becomes too difficult. At some point, you just shove it where it fits, until the next time you go through a spring-cleaning cycle. While not necessarily “organized,” it’s a reality every booklover must face. As a result, it’s worthy enough to make the list.
Regardless of how you choose to organize your shelf, these are some must-own titles you should place somewhere special: