Inspiring Ways To Organize Your Book Collection

by Emma Oulton

True book collectors will know that books have more than just one use. Yes, you can read them — but you can also look at them, display them, and organize them. There are so many ways to organize your book collection: bookstagrammers favor pretty rainbow shelves, but librarians would probably prefer a more structured, logical approach.

The problem with storing all your books in a heap on your bedroom floor (we've all been there) is that you might not get around to actually reading them. For a truly inspiring book collection — one that will make you constantly want to reach for the next tome — you need some kind of system. You want your bookshelves to look Instagrammable (obviously) — but you also want to know exactly where to look when you're in the mood for something really specific.

If you have a favorite genre, maybe give it a dedicated area on your shelf? Or if you like to sneak in a quick read on your lunch breaks, you might like to have a shelf devoted to shorter books. The possibilities are endless. Here are just 12 of the most inspiring and *aesthetically pleasing* ways to organize your beloved book collection.


By Color

Rainbow shelves have long been the most popular with Bookstagrammers, and it's not hard to see why. Organizing your books by color certainly gives the most striking effect.


By Height

There's something immensely satisfying about having all your books lined up at the same height. It just looks so neat!


By Length

Sometimes you just know you're in the mood for something quick and easy; other times, you want to settle in for the long haul. Organizing your book collection by length means you can grab exactly the right book — whether it's for your ten-minute lunch break or for your week-long holiday.


By Genre

Fancy a thriller? A romance? Some science fiction or fantasy? If you organize your books by genre, you'll always know exactly what to reach for.



If you like to know exactly where everything is on the shelf, I recommend organizing by author's surname — just like in the bigger bookshops. Now you just have to remember who wrote what...!


By Star Rating

Set aside a five-star shelf of all your faves. That way, if anyone needs a book recommendation you can easily point them in the right direction. It's also great for when you want to snuggle down with an old favorite.


By Mood

Make a shelf for sad books, one for happy books, another for scary books... any mood that you might find yourself in deserves its own corner of your bookshelf.


By Season

When the rain is hammering on your window, you want a very different type of book from when you're stretched out on the beach. Organize your books by the season they're set in — or perhaps the season they suit best.


By Setting

Make your bookshelf go global by organizing the books based on their setting. When you're looking for your next read, you can choose if you want to travel to Europe, to Asia, to Australia — or to a mystical fantasy land.



If you've got a good collection of classics, you could organize your books by the date they were written — or if you're a big fan of historical fiction, perhaps arrange them by the year they're set. Either way, your books can become a literary time machine.


By The Order In Which You Read Them

Keep track of your own reading journey by organizing your collection in the order in which you read them. That way, if anyone asks what you've been reading lately, you've got it all laid out.


Or Turn Them All Backwards And Read At Random!

Now here's something totally unique. This Instagram user was getting overwhelmed by her looming TBR, so she flipped all of her books backwards, to make reading into a game. When she wants a new book, she picks at random from her artsy white shelf. Less than ideal when you're trying to find your old copy of The Hunger Games that your friend wants to borrow — but a great way to get through an intimidating TBR.