Thursday, December 07, 2017

Book Girls Don’t Cry… They Angst About How to Arrange Their Bookshelves

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If you identify as a bookworm, it is likely that you at least own a couple books. If you own a couple books, you’ve probably spend at least a little time wondering how you should arrange them. Author’s last name? Rainbows? Sizes? So many options. What it comes down to is

aesthetic vs convenience

Some people are fine arranging their books in color because they are really familiar with the color on the spines of the books they own. I am not that person. It takes me 5 mins to find a book when my shelves are in color vs the handful of seconds it takes me when they are arranged by authors last name. But, both ways have their pros and cons and I think it just comes down to personal choice/taste.

The Rainbow


Look at those shelves I found on the internet, THEY ARE PRETTY. But aside from being pretty, they can also be pretty handy for #bookstagram? Not just because you can take pretty #shelfies but also because it’s much easier to plan for photos when you can see the color combos you are working with. Of course, this pro is really only a pro for a certain group of people and not everyone is going to think about bookstagram when they are thinking about arranging their shelves in color. And let us not undermine the value of pretty bookshelves because I think that a pleasing aesthetic can help create creative spaces where you feel inspired and want to do ~more~.

Authors Last Name

Now, I can wholly attest that authors last name shelves look nowhere as pretty as rainbow shelves and yet there is still value to them. When you arrange books in rainbow, you have at least some control over the sizes and the order they go in but if you’re looking to do your books by author’s last name, those books are going to be all sizes and in random color orders. But it can still be satisfying! Nothing bothers me more than when books that are part of a series aren’t together and I hate having to dig around to find them. Having my books arranged by author’s last name also lets me enhance my wishlist by seeing what books I need to fill gaps in my book collection. If I own the first book in a series, then I can see that I might need the next two so they can all be together and happy. It’s all a very nice way to make that to-buy list even bigger than it already is. I mean, I do need ALLL THE BOOKS. Right? Who knows.


Anyway… which way do you prefer to arrange your shelves? Is there a superior method? Give me all the answers.

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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

14 Responses to “Book Girls Don’t Cry… They Angst About How to Arrange Their Bookshelves”

  1. Chey

    I just moved and had to figure out how to rearrange my 800+ books. As much as I’ve always wanted to arrange them by spine color, I also know that I would never be able to find anything and it would bug me that books in a series most likely wouldn’t be together. It’s still not perfect, I separated each bookcase by ARCS, hardcovers/favorites, adult/classics, graphic novels, to-read-soon, and paperback/leftover HCs. I arranged each of those by favorites. My organization might not help anyone else, but I always know where each of my books are. 🙂

    • Rashika

      Honestly, as long as YOU know where your books are, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! 🙂 But I am not at all envious of you trying to figure out how to rearrange your 800+ books. My books are kind of split up between different places (not evenly which is why I say kind of) and once they are all together, I am going to have a really fun time trying to figure out what to do since my shelves are already double stacked, on their way to being triple stacked :’)

  2. Valerie

    Yes poop.

    I actually arrange mine first by paperbacks and then hardbacks (on different shelves), and then I also have certain shelf space for ARCs, and those I arrange by the ones I already read and then ones I want to read.

    I would arrange by color but I have wayyyy too many black and dark grey books haha.

    • Rashika

      LOL. Just like your soul, I guess. When I actually have proper shelf space, I am going to arrange by paperbacks, hardbacks, arcs and mass-market paperbacks so that everything can be more evenly sized… But who knows when that will be.

  3. Steph

    I love the idea of rainbow shelves but that does nothing for me when I need to find something so I go by reading ages then last names so I have a YA shelf an adult one and a MG one.

    • Rashika

      I like the idea of having a YA, adult and MG shelf! That probably helps with sizing a little bit too since adult books tend to be the ones that skew the sizes on my shelves!

  4. Jordan

    Right now, I have no official sorting system. I don’t have nearly enough shelves for all of my books, so right now I just have my favorites/most prized copies on shelves where there is room. I sort of have my own system where I organize them in a way that makes sense to me (various groupings of type), but probably not to others, haha. Maybe one day I’ll have a system? We can hope. I think rainbow shelves are so gorgeous, but I could never do it. It would drive me crazy having things all mixed up!

    • Rashika

      I mean, as long as it makes sense to you! That’s what matters more than anything else since you need to be able to find your books 🙂

      But I SO feel you in regards to the not having enough space on shelves. I don’t have nearly enough space on my shelves. They are double stacked right now, on their way to being triple stacked. I need to get a new shelf one of these days but who knows when that will happen.

      I also totally agree. I had rainbow shelves for a year and they were gorgeous but I couldn’t handle never being able to find my books 🙁

  5. Darius Jung

    Wow, that rainbow shelf looks amazing. I am so jealous, I can’t even begin to consider a sorting system until I get more shelf space. My books are a sad pile crammed two deep into my existing bookshelves 🙂

    • Rashika

      SAME, DARIUS, SAME. My books are just cramped into my existing bookshelves and my mom threatens to disown me every time I want to buy more books :’) Someday, we’re going to have amazingly stunning shelves too. It’ll happen. It’ll last for like two days before we fill it up with books but we can dream!

  6. Erica Nicholas

    I honestly have a weird method of organizing. I go by the size of the book, series, author and even what category the books are in. It doesn’t really make much sense but in my head it works out.

    • Rashika

      Do you go in that order or do you just consider all those things are you organize? 🙂 But also, as long as it makes sense to you, that is all that matters! 🙂