9 Bookshelf Organization Ideas to Transform Your Space

Man in a turtleneck holding a stack of books as he organizes a bookshelf.

Do you love reading and owning a lot of books? Real bookworms know the struggle of having hundreds of books and trying to find aesthetically pleasing ways to store and organize them.

Thankfully, we have you covered. Read on and explore nine creative bookshelf organization ideas to learn how to store your collection by banishing the chaotic look and showcasing your library the way it deserves.

1. By Genre

A classic way to organize the books piling up around your house is by genre. A staple to libraries and bookstores everywhere, you can mimic this technique and turn your space into a personalized library that would be the envy of your fellow readers.

Choosing how to categorize by genre, however, is up to you. You can choose to organize within genres by alphabetical order like most bookstores do, or by shape, size, age, or anything else you like. You can even sort the order of genres to take yourself on a trip through your collection.

Connect thrillers and horror books to dark romance books and the rest of the romance genre, jumping into fiction books, non-fiction, history, and whatever else you have. The space is yours to play with and to grow as you acquire even more books. 

2. By Color

One of the most unique, and perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing, options to fight the messy book pile-ups, is organizing by color. It’s a simple yet visually pleasing bookshelf organization idea to maintain the chaos of your library.

The best way to do this is by first sorting the books into similar color groups. Then, you’re going to want to arrange each color group into the pattern you desire. 

Whether that be in a rainbow order, Ombre style, grouped to match and pair with colors in the room, or even organized by your favorite to least favorite color. Color coding and playing around with color is a great way to add some diversity to the normal book organization techniques.

Modern home library.

3. Alphabetically

Arranging your books in alphabetical order is one of the quickest and easiest ways to keep books organized within your library’s bookshelves. Not only does it cut down your own time in finding books, but others can also easily understand and browse the selection of titles. 

4. By Favorite 

When figuring out how to arrange bookshelves,  you might want to organize by your favorites. After all, nothing is worse than going in search of your favorite book and struggling to find it.

All your favorites should be up front, or maybe hidden away in the back if you want a little privacy, but still easily accessible. Otherwise, you waste precious reading time searching and getting sidetracked.

5. By Value

Another way to arrange your books is by dedicating a shelf and showcasing all your valuable or collectible books. Make people envious when they walk into your library space and behold your limited edition, leather bound, signed, and otherwise most precious books organized and on display.

6. By Height

Another aesthetically pleasing but equally easy way to organize a bookshelf is by arranging your books by height. The satisfying domino-looking effect of books stacked from tallest to smallest, or vice versa, allows for a great design while also maintaining a quick and easy organization system for you or anyone else using the space. 

7. Mixing in Stacks

When trying to make the space work, one unique way to arrange your books and create interest is by mixing in stacks. Surprisingly, stacking books often takes up less space on your bookshelf and lets you fit more in.

By stacking from the bottom up, you can organize by size, hardcover or soft, and work in color to create fun patterns that suit your style and fit the space.

Create an eye-catching look when organizing by staggering the stacks so they don’t form a line but instead create a casual zig-zag down the shelf. Pair that with a color pattern and turn your space into a library worth dreaming about. 

8. Separate Hardcovers & Paperbacks

Many people choose to arrange bookshelves by separating their hardcover books from the paperbacks. For floating or more delicate shelves, stacking paperbacks could be one of the best ways to organize your library without worrying about the bookshelves collapsing.

On the other hand, you might appreciate the look of hardcover books more and choose to showcase them rather than your paperback copies. 

9. Mixing in Other Décor

Make your bookshelves more visually interesting by mixing in other décor. As a large show stopping piece in the home, bookshelves are working overtime as not only storage for your books but as display space for accessories, knick-knacks, and mementos. 

Floating bookshelves with books and plants.

With no need to buy additional things (unless you want to) it’s easy to find the perfect décor pieces around your home. Select small artwork, pictures, ceramics, and other trinkets to create a cohesive look, color scheme, or style for your bookshelf. 

Organize by placing larger items onto the bookshelf first and staggering the items between the shelves, then add in your smaller decor while you stack or line books, filling in the gaps. You can even add plants, real or fake, for an additional pop of color and to give a little bit of life and texture to your shelves. 

6 Different Types of Bookshelves You Can Use to Organize Your Books

Whether they are decorative or used for functional purposes, bookshelves are essential in every home and serve as a focal point for organization within the space while also showing off your unique creative flair. 

But finding the right bookshelves for your space might not come as easily as picking out a new book. With a wide range of designs and styles available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to decide what works best for your bookshelf organization ideas. 

Don’t worry; we’ve narrowed down the selection to our top six choices in the hopes of making your bookshelf selection easier so you can get back to reading.

  • Traditional wood shelves – Vintage
  • Modern metal shelves – Trendy
  • Open-back shelves – Popular for display and decorative items
  • Floating shelves – Less need for floor space, perfect for small spaces
  • Corner shelves – Clever way to maximize storage 
  • Built-in shelves- Custom built for the space, highly aesthetically pleasing

Fill Up Your Shelves with New Books

With plenty of storage options available out there, and a plethora of ways to organize your books and transform your space into the library of your dreams, there’s really nothing stopping you from treating yourself to that new book. 

Now that you know how to organize your bookshelf, shop Alibris and find the perfect reads to add to your collection at affordable prices today. 

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