Book Collection Organization – How to Organize Your Books


Our must-read lists keep growing. And whether you’re going through lockdown 2.0 curled up with a romance novel or taking inspiration from a feminist manifesto (thanks Florence Given), it can be easy for your book organization to turn into total chaos. Sound familiar?

But, with our newfound free time, now seems like the perfect opportunity to restore order and muster the motivation to organize our must-reads. by gender. But the good thing is there are no rules – just endless inspiration on how you can do it.

So let us guide you to a more organized bookcase, and beyond that, to a more organized mind, with 16 different ways to store your books.


Play with horizontal stacks of books

Particularly if you want the look of a full shelf, throwing away the ideal of a well-organized collection could work to your advantage. Not only does having a few horizontal stacks look more interesting, but it means you can store other things on them, like plants or ornaments.


Add storage baskets to your library

Choosing matching baskets for your shelves works for a number of reasons. First, they look super Instagram-friendly. Sold. But not only that, they also mean you can separate the books, or hide the ones that aren’t in as good condition or that you just don’t want on display.


Medium Plaid Seagrass Storage Basket

Olivier Bonas


Put a larger storage basket at the bottom to keep things tidy and hide anything you don’t want on display. It also means that you don’t necessarily have to fill it with books and you can put blankets or games within easy reach.


Store new “must-reads” together

For easy access, put any books you haven’t read yet in a separate group. That way, you can build a nice collection of must-reads, and they won’t be among the classics.


Sort by color

There’s a reason book lovers keep coming back to the classic color-organizing system. Although it doesn’t do anything in terms of practicality, it does look good.


Leave your books facing outward

If you plan to read the books in your collection regularly, this one probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re someone who purely wants the aesthetic factor, or if you’ve kept all the books you’ve read before, flipping your books so the pages are showing rather than the spine can create a more uniform look.


Organize by condition

Because who wants their faded old books to infiltrate their impeccable new reading? While we love them, if your book covers are looking a little worn, keep them all together away from the undamaged ones for some serious visual delight.


Cover your books

If you want the aesthetic without the compromise of not being able to easily retrieve your favorite book, why not cover your collection? Choose a paper pattern or fabric you like and keep all your books the same. Yes, it takes time, but the impact lasts forever.


V&A Book Jackets

Book jackets not only protect your books, but also create a uniform pattern on your shelf for a neater appearance.


Add ornaments and illustrations

Once you’re happy with the layout of your books, incorporate decorations such as plants or illustrations to make them more visually appealing. A rule of thumb you should follow though is not to place anything smaller than an orange as decoration – it will only add clutter.


Reed grass plume dried flower


Adding a favorite plant makes your shelf that much more welcoming and gives you a reason to keep coming back to it, even when you’re not feeling inspired.


Glass candle lantern

Add bright colors that bring you joy, especially if you keep the rest of your decor fairly neutral. It will make your library feel relaxed, we promise. Colors should not be scary.


Keep your books in order of height

The goal here is to avoid any mountain-looking collection of books and create a clean, uniform feel. Group books of the same height together and aim for straight lines if possible for serious satisfaction.


Organize your books by genre

This will make the decision much easier when deciding what to read. Fancy a romance novel? Just head to your new romance section and take your pick from the selection.


Sort in alphabetical order

Make no mistake about it, choosing to alphabetize every book you own will take a lot of time. However, the payoff is worth it, especially if you own a lot of books and often need to find specific ones.


Separate your hardback books from your paperbacks

Although we love them both equally, hardbacks and paperbacks look different when stored. Have your hardbacks in one place and your paperbacks clustered in another to keep things tidy.


Chanel board book

Choose a coffee table-style hardcover book to become the centerpiece of your bookshelves.


Separate your fiction and non-fiction books

If you want to feel like a pro, this is how bookstores around the world bundle their books together and help you easily find what you’re looking for.


Small stackable storage basket



These wire baskets are compact and stackable, allowing you to take your category organization even further.


Don’t push your books all the way in

It makes life much easier in terms of practicality and looks. You can grab things easier without having to spend valuable time picking your favorite read out of 50 others, and when all your books are lined up, it sure looks more even.


Sort your books by how they made you feel

Especially if you enjoy reading books for the second time, think about how it made you feel the first time you finished it. Happy? Sad? Reflective? Organize your books according to the emotions you associate with them, and pull them out when you’re ready to experience that feeling again.

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