My inner librarian has OCD

I’m working on beefing up my bookshelves at the moment. When you’re like me and are graced with a touch of OCD, reorganizing things happens on a regular basis. I’ve been reorganizing my bookshelves a lot recently and I’ve also come across a lot of images which are giving me lots of inspiration. 

“There are many ways you can choose to arrange your books: by size, by color, by number of pages, by subject, by your favorite titles, by publisher, by publication date, by date you received your book, or by your favorite genre and then by author {fiction} …” – How To Organize Books

I have quite a lot of books – mostly hardback {there’s something so much nicer about a hardback} so I’m looking to arrange or offset them in a way that shows off our collection.

This first image is full of what I want. A contrast between light and dark, and that dusty purple – I’m really into that shade at the moment. Coincidentally, I’m also working on a painting to hang in front of my bookshelves in a similar way to this one – aesthetically, as well as to hide some unsightly DVD’s behind it. Sneaky. I do like the minimal amount of books/magazines in the background, but in reality I have a ton of them so there’s no escaping for us. 
I do like the chaotic side of stacking books and magazines. Again, it contrasts with the clean lines of the shelves and surrounding objects in the image on the left. Then again, on the right there’s thought and order to how everything is arranged. Here the emphasis is not strictly on the books or magazines themselves. They’re mixed in with other objects. 

Those shelves and more importantly the arrangement. I really like how everything at first glimpse looks a bit reckless  but on closer inspection is tidy and carefully thought out. Plus, that Eames chair … 
If I wasn’t so blindingly afraid of using such vibrant colors in my own home, I would tackle something like this. But I think my guy would be too worried of putting a book back in the wrong place. Hell hath no fury …
This in a way is what I have at the moment – everything organized by height. I do like this monochromatic style of organizing and the different levels of shelving. Everything has a place.
Image sources 1, 2, 3, 45 and 6.

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  1. Barb_in_GA
    September 5, 2011 / 14:05

    I have to admit to intensely disliking books arranged by color. It practically screams "I don't care about what is inside these books — I just bought them to look pretty." And can you find the book you're looking for if you can't remember the jacket color? Not for me.

    By necessity I have to go with the 'arrange by height' method, but I'll group subjects. And use objects as bookends and to break up the endless line of books.

    The painting idea is brilliant. Must use this.

  2. September 5, 2011 / 14:26

    I totally disagree with Barb. I have had mine organized by colour since i was a teenager. I find it looks neater, and I suppose it's because I'm a visual person, but that's how I remember what my books are. I also had my cd's that way and it worked forever. My boyfriend has considerably (hundreds) more books than I do, and his are strictly alphabetical by author and then chronological by publishing date.
    Anywho – if you ever want to kill a fair amount of time drooling, check out:

  3. September 5, 2011 / 14:48

    In a way I do agree Barb! It does seem like the books in this particular picture may have been bought for their color, not for what's in them. They're sooo colorful. But I must admit I'm with Mel also, where the finicky side of me likes how they're organized. My closet has been arranged like this since I was about 4 … (embarrassing confession). I'm on the fence with this one.

    At the moment I have my books organized by height – like the window illusion with old buildings – small up top, medium in the middle, and big on the bottom.

    p.s. Where was that website this morning when I was looking for inspiration Mel! Argh, it's gorgeous!