10 Ways to Organize Your Books

Large blue bookcase with books organized by color with ladder in front

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

This article is part of our series, The 7-Day Spruce Up: Your Ultimate Guide to Home Organizing. The 7-Day Spruce Up is your destination for whole home happiness, curating our very best tips and product recommendations to help you create your tidiest, coziest, most beautiful home yet.

Every bibliophile knows the importance of a well-organized book collection. Not only does a system make it easier for you to find your next read, but it is also much more visually appealing. A well-organized bookshelf can become the centerpiece of any living space, and the good news is there are so many different ways you can organize your books (both aesthetically and for function).

Whether you have a massive library or just a few classics you want to show off, we've found some of the best ways to organize any book collection. Click through for our favorite ideas.

  • 01 of 10

    Organize by Color

    Bookshelf organized by color


    One of the most popular ways to organize a bookshelf in your living room is to start by grouping your books together by color. This beautiful glass-fronted library from 1001kirjaa proves that organizing your books by color can be incredibly pleasing to the eye. Some hardcore book lovers may scoff at a bookshelf organized by color, but if you're a reader who tends to memorize covers, this is a great idea.

  • 02 of 10

    Pick Modern Shelves

    Book shelves hanging from wall


    If you want to display a few of your favorite books but don't have the floor space for a full bookcase, consider installing floating shelves. These streamlined shelves from theliteraturearchive appear to almost disappear into the wall, but are incredibly useful for organizing a handful of books. This is a great idea for a small living room, in a bedroom, or above a desk.

  • 03 of 10

    Stack Them

    Books stacked


    Don't be afraid of the stack. In a corner or next to a bed, a great book stack can not only add an eclectic, rustic vibe to your space, but it can also allow you to rank books to read next in order. This book stack from hotcocoareads is perfect for lining up your next big reads.

  • 04 of 10

    Fill a Basket

    Basket with books


    In a similar vein, using baskets to organize books is a great idea. Here, organizing_home displays a few favorite kids books on a shelf. This is a great way to set aside your child's current favorites so it's easy to find them. Once they've been read, put them back on the shelf and refill.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Play With Horizontal Stacking

    Bookshelf with horizontal and vertical books


    Not all books need to be stacked vertically. We love this corner shelf from jennareadsbooks that features an extensive collection of books, some sitting vertically and others horizontally. This is a great way to create a parquet-like effect to the shelf and break up the rows of books. Add trinkets to the top of the stacks for even more texture.

  • 06 of 10

    Mix Them In

    Book shelf with books mixed in


    You don't have to dedicate an entire shelf to books. A more minimalist approach like this one from nordde_ allows you to mix in a few of your favorite books without creating a full-fledged library. Whether you're a Kindle reader or you just don't have space to store hundreds of books, picking a few and displaying them elegantly is a great idea.

  • 07 of 10

    Try Alphabetical

    Bookshelf floor to ceiling


    Now, if you have an extensive collection like this from pictured by a1000xbetter, a real organizational system is a better bet. One of the most common ways to organize an extensive book collection is alphabetically by author's last name. This makes it easy to find exactly what you want to read, quickly.

  • 08 of 10

    Organize by Height

    Bookshelf with books


    If you feel a sense of satisfaction from seeing books lined up just right on a shelf, this idea is for you. Here, sand_between_pages arranged books based on height so that books with similar sizes are grouped together. You can also go from largest to smallest, or try largest on the outer ends of the shelf (with the smallest in the middle) for a little more visual interest.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Arrange by Genre

    White book shelf with books


    Another great way to organize a larger collection is by genre. If you have one similar to this one pictured by neatnikdc, you can give yourself a bookshelf makeover by arranging titles based on category. Group mystery novels with other mystery novels, nonfiction with nonfiction, and so on. This is a great idea if you often pick books based on which genre you are in the mood for.

  • 10 of 10

    Place Large Books Near the Bottom

    Bookshelf with books


    Sometimes heavy, large books up near the top of a bookshelf can feel messy and unkempt. Here, squid_and_goose, uses the lower shelves to store the largest books which, helps to add balance to the overall space.