search-icon

Bookshelf Envy: 6 Creative Ways to Organize Your Books for a New Look

by  | April 21
Beautiful shelves of books

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.

Staring and a pile of books

Regardless of how you choose to organize your shelf, these are some must-own titles you should place somewhere special:

It (Media Tie In)

It (Media Tie In)

by Stephen King

Stephen King’s terrifying, classic #1 New York Times bestseller, “a landmark in American literature” (Chicago Sun-Times)—about seven adults who return to their hometown to confront a nightmare they had first stumbled on as teenagers…an evil without a name: It.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Media Tie-In Edition)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Media Tie-In Edition)

by Jenny Han

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
When Life Gives You Lululemons

When Life Gives You Lululemons

by Lauren Weisberger

The Devil Wears Prada’s Emily Charlton gets the spin-off she deserves” (Cosmopolitan) in the months-long New York Times bestseller from Lauren Weisberger in which three women team up to bring a bad man down in the tiny suburb of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Twice in a Blue Moon

Twice in a Blue Moon

by Christina Lauren

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of second chances, a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
In the Midst of Winter

In the Midst of Winter

by Isabel Allende

An instant New York Times bestseller, In the Midst of Winter is about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that offers “a timely message about immigration and the meaning of home” (People).

During the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car of Evelyn Ortega, a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and what at first seems an inconvenience takes a more serious turn when Evelyn comes to his house, seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant, Lucia Maraz, a fellow academic from Chile, for her advice. As these three lives intertwine, each will discover truths about how they have been shaped by the tragedies they witnessed, and Richard and Lucia will find unexpected, long overdue love.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!
Sabrina Sánchez is the Adult Production intern for Simon & Schuster, where she helps the staff keep books on schedule for print and release. She is a full-time student, freelance journalist, movie buff, and is currently obsessed with all things You, jazz and hip-hop. She is a Bronx native and avidly listens to Cardi B for a mood boost.