Organizing My Bookshelf

Hello and welcome back to my channel! Today is going to be a slightly different type of post, sharing with you how I recently reorganized my bookshelf. I did a video for it on Youtube, so if you want to see the visuals, watch that first. But this post will give you a lot more details.

First, a little bit of history of how I have organized my books. I have loved organizing my bookshelf since I was a small child. Oddly enough, growing up I thought it could only be organized one way: by the last name of the author. This was because my library was organized that way and I was certain this must be the only correct way. I organized my bookshelf this way from age 8 to probably into my late teens. Honestly, when I was in college the first time, I did not care how I organized. Usually I just threw books on a shelf in a jumble because I didn’t have time for more sophisticated organization. I think at one point when I was 20 or so I organized according to book height one summer, but that didn’t last long.

However, when I was in my early twenties and discovered booktube, I found it fascinating just how many ways there were to organize books. In the last two years, I’ve been trying a few of them to see what I liked the best. I’ve tried by height again and I also organized according to books I’ve read and books I haven’t (which usually made me feel sad when I realized just how many books I own that I haven’t read).

Finally, about a year ago, I organized according to color. This is the picture I took at the time when I had just finished it. I loved the idea of rainbow, but I quickly realized it was not practical for several reasons.

One, it’s hard to keep series or similar books together if their spines are different colors. Secondary, it’s really hard to add new books because I would literally have to move every book over to make room for one. Finally, on my dark bookshelves, there was so much wasted height between the books and the top of the shelf, especially on the top shelves (on the bottom shelves are taller books).

Since a couple weeks ago was spring break, I decided to just go ahead and reorganize it. But this time, according to genre trying to fit as many books on one shelf as possible.

The main genres I chose were old books (any copies published more than 50 years ago), classics, Chinese books, language books (like those in Latin, Korean, and Chinese), children’s books (from very young up through my favorites in middle school), nonfiction, historical fiction, fantasy, and mystery. I ended up having to combine historical fiction, mystery, and regular fiction, but here is how my organization turned out.

Ignore the quote which is missing “longer” between ‘no’ and ‘makes’ (I fixed it later).

From top to bottom, left to right, we have: fiction (including mystery and historical fiction), nonfiction, childhood books, and notebooks (mostly for my books I’m writing) (left shelf), Chinese books, two shelves of classics, tall miscellaneous books (middle shelf), fantasy, two shelves of old books, language books, and dvds (right shelf). The books on the top of the right shelf I am either unhauling or I recently purchased and am waiting to move them to my bookshelves until I do a haul video/blog post on them.

Anyway, I’m not completely done with organization. I want to move those small white containers and my bags into my closet and find a tall plant to put in between the bookcases. I want to bring a bit of greenery into my room. But we’ll see what I decide.

If you are curious to see my organization in a visual format, watch my video.

How do you organize your bookshelf? Are there any other organizations you want to try? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,


15 thoughts on “Organizing My Bookshelf

  1. Totally agree with you – there’s something so personally satisfying (and aesthetically calming) about having a neatly organised bookshelf. 😀 Because I’ve gathered some large books over the years, I tend to have them on the very bottom shelves & have the higher shelves all devoted to fiction, trying to keep similar authors together. Bit roughshod & scattergun approach, but now I can easily find a book I’m searching for!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy reading about/watching people organize their bookshelves. Since getting into booktube years ago, I’ve wanted to try organizing them by color, but I think I’ll encounter the same difficulties you did and will be very frustrated by them. Maybe I’ll organize the books on my book cart that way since it’s smaller.
    I currently have my shelves organized by genre, which works best for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I enjoy watching organization videos too! I love the idea of color coding, but it’s not very practical. That idea of just doing something small in colors is a good idea! And I’m beginning to realize genre does seem the best for most people.


  3. I have all my TBR books in a large tote in my closet. Firstly, know that every book I own is in a spreadsheet. This happened one long weekend after I realized that I couldn’t find a book I SWORE I owned. So, they’re all listed by title, author, format, read status, and date purchased. Anyway, so those books are in a clear storage bin in my closet. Then, the rest of my books are organized in collections of novels, short stories, and nonfiction/plays/poetry. I just ordered a new, longer bookshelf from Overstock, and I’m looking forward to alphabetizing my books.

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  4. I have two large book shelves, plus a few stacks of TBR books. I organize by subject and I alphabetize those. For example, all of British history is grouped by dates or subjects and then alphabetical order by authors last name. It’s like a library I guess. It makes it easy for me to find a book. My bookshelves are two books deep. There is a book row behind the first row that’s seen.

    Liked by 1 person

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