On Shelving: Different Ways to Arrange Books

There are different ways to arrange our books- in the box, under the bed, on the floor, on the table, and of course, on our beautiful shelves. The art of arranging our books- there's something quite therapeutic about it eh?

Some may have already figured out their own system of shelving, and some may have not. It may vary from time to time, depending on the mood, or not. But regardless, each of us bookworms has his or her own preference. Thus for this post, I thought of enumerating some common ways of arranging or cataloging books.

The first major category is a very familiar one and one that is used by almost all. The following are subcategories you can arrange by alpha order:

Author's last name or book/series title
Regardless of the genre, you can arrange and catalog your books by author's last name or by book/series title. This is a very simple system yet still quite all over the place. I used to do this system before but abandoned it later on for a more 'organized' approach. Haha!

Genre → Author's last name/book or series title
For a more systematic cataloging, next would be by genre, then either by author's last name or by book/series title or no system at all, just by genre. If you read from a wide range of genre, I think this will help you find/pick a book easier especially if you're just wanting to read from a specific genre.

Currently, this is my 'inner' system. 'Inner' because the bigger umbrella for my system is below. 😁

Read or unread category → Genre/author's last name/book or series title
For those with a lot of TBR (ehem, guilty), you can first divide your books to Read books and Unread books. From there, you can arrange by genre. If you're feeling a little more organized, you can also arrange by author's last name or book/series title. Or from read/unread category, you can directly arrange by author's last name or book/series title.

Paperback or hardbound category or size
I saw this system on Youtube X years ago. The inner arrangement could be by genre/author's last name/book title as well. But the general idea is for the books to be of the same height. And folks, it looks very aesthetically pleasing. 😍

I can't do this system though because some of my trilogy are of different editions/covers. Shame, I know. 😁

By ARC/review copies or finished/bought copies
If you are a book reviewer or are receiving physical review copies from publishers, you may separate your books by review copies and those you bought. This way you will have an idea which 'needs' to be read first (and reviewed). 😁

Now done with alpha order, let us now go to another popular system- by color, also known as 'rainbow shelves'. I haven't really done this before because I do not like separating my series. Haha! But I admit, rainbow shelves look good. 😍

Publication Date/Year
Okay, I am not really sure if this is a common way of arranging books. Probably not. Haha! But there, you can also arrange books by publication date.


So there folks! As mentioned, my current system is: Read/unread → Genre. Though I am also planning to further catalog by book series/title. I don't know yet. I will reorganize my shelves soon. We'll see. 😁


How about you? How do you organize your shelves?