THE PROS AND CONS OF A STYLED SHELF // I’m in a shelf slump?

Hey guys, today I am coming to you with a new discussion. Today I want to chat about bookshelves, something we all love. I have been in a shelf slump (is that even a real thing) lately and so I thought I would go through a bunch of ways to organise my shelves and see which way you guys prefer to deck out your shelves! Also, just fyi, none of these photos are mine, I found them all on Google Images!

Let me know how you organise your shelves!



This is probably the look everyone goes for aesthetically. I think this is probably the most common look you can find on Bookstagram or Booktube. It’s a really fun way to style your bookshelf and brighten up your bookshelves. I like to style my shelves this way around exams because it’s a small thing but, it helps to brighten my mood every time I go into my room to study.

However, is it practical? Sure, it looks absolutely amazing and so pretty! But, if you buy books regularlyย I’m sure it would be difficult to continue the rainbow and still have nice-looking shelves. I really like this idea but the onlyย con would be having series apart if that bugs you.


Image result for books alphabetical order shelves

So, I have never organised my shelf this way. Once, while sick, I attempted to organise my mum’s shelf alphabetically (via author) and it was a total disaster. I mean, who’s got the time? It takes hours to organise! You have to get the books off the shelves, alphabetise the authors and then actually put them all the shelves! I know that personally, this type of style is just not for me. I don’t really need to keep all my books by each author in one spot and I just don’t think it’s necessary, though I’m sure it might be appealing for a lot of people. Also, I’m sure it might give your shelves a cool library sort of look.


Image result for books genre order shelves

On one hand, this could be really helpful, in terms of just being able to find a certain book, but also for blogging. I find this is really helpful for me whenever I recommend books via genre on my blog. I did have myย shelves like this before I took the plunge and switched to rainbowย and I really loved it. It looks slightly more random to people who don’t know my shelves, but I find it is a really cool and efficient way to quickly find books, and it is a good way to also keep series together if keeping them apart bother you.


Related image

Aside from colour and genre, this is one of my favourite ways to style my bookshelves. I love the really cool way you can make your shelves look really neat by keeping them all the same size. It looks really great and makes me feel really proud whenever I look at my shelves. The only downside is that much like most of these ideas, you have to rearrange a big part of your shelves if you buy new books, so you can add the new ones! However, organising your books by height can also bring attention to how big some of your books really are, and then you might find yourself avoiding them.


Image result for organize bookshelves spines inwards

I wasn’t quite sure how to name this style but, basically what I mean by “spines in” is if you can see the image, it’s to have the pages facing outwards, opposite to having the spines on display, like they would be in the other organisation techniques. I think this style looks absolutely amazing and turns out really well in photos, but I don’t have good enough lighting in my room (what is even the point of having a window if you don’t get any sun) for it to look any good.

I also don’t know my books well enough to not have the spines out. I have enough trouble finding my books with the titles facing out so I can’t imagine how long it would take me to find my books without that help. But, it looks so good though???


Image result for organize bookshelves harry potter

So, you can take this one way. One, you can organise each series in chronological order. Or, two, if you can collect sites or books by your favourite authors you could have whole shelves of a particular author (I’m looking at you, Riordan) with all their books in order by publication date. And while, I really love this idea, and definitely used to do this when I was younger and had a lot fewer books (literally, they all fit on the one shelf on top of my bed). However, now that I have more books and I have tried more ways to organise my shelves, I have found that this isn’t the style for me. I’ve found that it doesn’t look quite as good and it really limits at least, my creativity.


Image result for organize bookshelves by favourites

Aesthetically, it usually looks like shite, but if you fiddle around with it you can make it work. For the last 6 months, I have had two different shelves on my main white shelf in my room. The top shelf was my tbr shelf and the one below was my favourites and my favourite hardbacks (I don’t really own many hardbacks) together. I found that I really loved having my favourite books together, but because now all my books are apart I feel a big pressure not to reread old favourites, but to read my tbr shelf. So, it’s both a good thing and a bad thing.



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36 thoughts on “THE PROS AND CONS OF A STYLED SHELF // I’m in a shelf slump?

  1. This is such a fun idea! I hadnโ€™t thought of some of these before! I think I would prefer having them organized by genre for all the reasons you said (my current tactic is โ€œdoes this book fit here? Then itโ€™s going hereโ€ because limited shelf space)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Haha, there are so many ways to organise a bookshelf! I totally get that tactic, I think I use that one too! I’m glad to hear you have a style you love!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The rainbow shelves are fun to look at, but they’re a pain to actively organise and design onto your shelves, so series and authors is kind of more practical!


  2. i organize my shelves first my genre and/or favourite books & then by height. it actually gives me anxiety when books aren’t in order of height………. :(((
    i love the idea of rainbow shelves SO MUCH but dont think i could do that for myself, i mean…. seperate ur series bc the colors dont work??? impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand that. I think it gives the shelf a really cool look to have books of different height next to each other, but besides that, it also bothers me a bit too. Haha, I know that really tore me up at the start too, but over the years I have learned to love it!

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    1. Haha, I know how you feel. I redid my shelves after Christmas and I ended up splitting my tbr and read shelves and only did a rainbow with my tbr shelf, it was a struggle. I think the rainbow shelves turn out better on a camera, depending on how good your irl lighting is!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. i sort mine by color! i used to sort them by genre, but now that i have them as a rainbow i just can’t go back. they look so pretty!!! & i have too many books for my shelves anyway so i don’t have to constantly reorganizing since i’m just stacking books on top of each other :p i also have them by size b/c i’m aesthetically obsessive. anyway i’m team rainbow for life!

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  4. I organize my books alphabetically by author’s last name, but I put books in series order (if the author has multiple series, I put the series in order as opposed to jumbled up with the author’s other works). I tried to organize my books by genre when I bought a second bookshelf a few months ago, but I like being able to find my books easily even though I love the aesthetic of a rainbow shelf. My mom uses books as decor and displays them with the spines in and not knowing which book is where gets my goat!!

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    1. I know what you mean. Back when I had less books and I mostly read the same authors I used to do the same thing. I really enjoyed having my shelves like that but, I rarely buy series or the same author nowadays so I don’t organise my shelves that way anymore.
      Haha, I know! Whenever I see books with the spines in used as decor (especially with non-readers) it really bugs me! If they’re just your books and that’s how you like to style them than that’s fine but if it’s just decor, that is what annoys me, I don’t know if that makes me sound like a twit.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have them alphabetically by author, but divided into adult, YA, and middle grade, and then nonfiction is by topic. I like the idea of styled shelves because they can make a whole room look cool, but it would drive me nuts; I don’t think I’d be able to find a book I wanted, and no one visiting me would be able to see if I owned a particular book they wanted to borrow.

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    1. Wow, I wish I had the patience to organise my shelves like that and I am definitely jealous right now! Haha, I can skip around that easily because neither of my friends are readers! I pretty much have a whole middle-grade section though, so I pretty much just let my brother go nuts with that shelf!


      1. It definitely took a while! And some thought about whether something is MG or YA, or whether it was YA or adult, etc. For some reason, the last time I moved, though, the people helping me thought they would “help” by just shoving books on the shelve and kind of eye-rolled when I said they were organized. I mean, I know people have different methods of organizing, but I don’t know anyone who just shoves the books in any old place and calls it a day! Wouldn’t you at least want series together or books by the same author together or something???

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Who knew there were so many ways to organize a bookshelf! I usually prefer my books to be in alphabetical order by author just because thatโ€™s how I search for them. Spines in would never work for me ๐Ÿ˜‚. Rainbow shelves are also cool in theory, but Iโ€™ve come to accept that I oddly donโ€™t like rainbow designs. To each their own ๐Ÿ˜!

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    1. Haha, I know! I’m sure there were a bunch more that I didn’t think of too, I’d never even thought about it until I was outlining this post! You’re one of the only people who commented who doesn’t like the rainbow shelves, they’re so popular! I think they are really cool in theory, but for a lot of people they just don’t work – especially depending on how many books you own.

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      1. Oh no hahaha. I want so badly to like rainbow shelves, but something about all the colors being perfectly grouped together puts me on edge ๐Ÿ˜‚. That’s true – the fewer the books, the better hahaha.

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  7. What an interesting post! I don’t have a bookshelf currently but I’m desperately hoping for one soon. I often think about how I’d arrange it and it would probably be a mix of favourites and genre. I have so much merch I want to display on the shelf too so I’d like to have sections dedicated to popular series (like Harry Potter) and then little bits by genre. I want it to be fun but it will probably be a mess!

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    1. Thank you! Ooh, I hope you get one! I only got one a few years ago and before that I used to use my bedhead as a shelf lol. I see what you mean!
      I have a whole HP shelf and I love it, though it does make me realise how many copies I have! Haha, it will be so much fun when you eventually get a shelf, you won’t know what to do with your shelves once you get them!


  8. I always organise my shelves by color (and sometimes also by size). I want my bookshelves to look aesthetically pleasing, so no arranging by genre or author for me. That said, whenever I rearrange my shelves, it gets repetitive and boring soon because I always end up sorting them by color!

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    1. Exactly, what’s the point of having shelves if you don’t like the way it looks? Haha, I know how you feel, I feel like I always revert back to the same style – I guess I’m a creature of habit.

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  9. I love bookshelf organisation discussions but it makes me realize I don’t know what I’m doing ๐Ÿ˜‚ At the moment my books are vaguely organized by genre and then authors, but also KINDA read/TBR? I don’t even know.

    I don’t REALLY have a lot of physical books though because I get mostly thrift books and redonate them afterwards if I don’t think I’ll reread. And this is due to my moving house habits.

    In the future though, who knows…

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    1. Haha, I know that feel! I recently split my read books and tbr into two and then split it further into a 2017 and prior tbr and the books that I’ve bought this year. It’s pretty hectic but it kind of works but I also kind of hate it…

      I get that. I feel like I’ve mostly bought books either on sales or thrift books this year and I usually just redonate them or pass them on to friends and family. Recently I have also started taking a bunch of books to the book swaps that have been popping up in the big stores (Strathpine, Brookside etc.) Haha, I think I’m going to purge my shelves in the second half of the year and figure out what I actually want to own and maybe re-read and just unhaul a bunch of books, I think it’s about time.

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  10. I don’t even want to think about reorganizing my shelves at this point. The last time I did it, I freaked out because there were books EVERYWHERE and I felt like I was drowning in them by the time I had filled half my bookcases, haha.
    That being said, I have five specific shelves – one Harry Potter, one Cassandra Clare, one Sarah J. Maas and then the twoothers with my favorite fantasy and contemporary reads. All my other shelves are divided into read- and to be read-shelves and.. within those two categories I also went with genre because that’s easier when I feel in the mood for a specific genre, haha.
    I did try and keep books with the same height on the same shelf though.

    So I guess I’m combining a whole lot of ways you mention.. Oops. :’)

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    1. I totally know how you feel, The act of actually filling the bookcases is incredibly stressful but I love how it turns out!
      I love it, depending on my mood, my shelves will either be just one of these categories or they’ll be a mix like yours!

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      1. True! I simply panic as soon as I see all my books piled up in my entire apartment and having to put them back in, haha. But we have to do it once in a while since they catch so much darn dust. D:
        I think I’m going to actually plan it in detail the next time I’m going to dust / reorganize my shelves. Maybe it’ll go easier.. Or so I hope.. ๐Ÿ˜›


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