Stacking books for decor is great, but what about all the people who have a lot of real books?
Some of us must be around, right?
My bookshelf decor used to make me very stressed out because I have a lot of books.
Having a lot of books isn’t very different from having a lot of other things to show off, but that’s the point. And most of the time, collections look better when they’re put together.
The hard part about having a lot of books is that you want to be able to know what you have and quickly find things. Add in the fact that you also have to make the thing look good, and things can get difficult.
Fortunately, books have been around for a long time, which means that people have been dealing with this problem and coming up with great solutions to it for almost the same amount of time.
Let’s look at some of them!
How to display a bookshelf with a lot of books
Here’s a WARNING: Do not do this! There are a lot of people who don’t like some of the book organization ideas on this list because they put form before function. It’s okay if those ones make your inner librarian rage a little bit inside. You can also leave me an angry comment. I don’t mind if you do that.
I just want to say that not all of these ideas for organizing books will work for everyone.
People don’t have to follow a “right or wrong” way to show off and organize their book collection. The most important thing is that you can find what you need and that you like how it looks.
People can find something that works for them, though. It could also be a mix of a few of the ways. Don’t be afraid to play around with things until you find what you like.
Bookcase: Empty it out. Do it if you really want to take this book organization bull by the horns and do it now. The best thing to do is to get rid of all of it. Clean your shelves, blow the dust off of your books, and look at your space with new eyes.
Edit your library. Ask yourself if you really want each book you own. Check out what you have and decide whether or not you want to keep it. It’s fine if you do. Ask yourself why you want to keep the book. No, I won’t. Is it important to you? Is it out of date? If so, what are they? If you can’t think of a single reason to keep a book, it might be best to put it in a “donate” pile for now. You can go through the things you’re going to give away later and think about them again if you’re not sure. If you want to keep all of your books, then by all means, do it! There’s no such thing as too many books.
Decide where to keep your things. Keep your home library in the same room? Do you have enough room? Do you need to buy any more shelving? Dust can get into your books. Do you need to cover any of them? As an example, a bookcase with glass cabinets would be a good choice
Remove the dust jackets
If your books have dust jackets that don’t look very good, you might want to try taking them off. There’s a good chance that your “naked” book will look better than you thought. In most cases, the hardcovers are wrapped in cotton in a single color. They look very smart and classy.
BUT! Make sure you think about what will happen if you take the dust jackets off! To what will you all go? Toss them or keep them? Then, how will you feel 6 months from now? Don’t throw them away!
As a rule, I don’t like how my books look when they have dust jackets on. What if they get scuffed or I spill peanut butter on them? It’s too much for my little brain.
So in the end, I keep them on, but I always want to take them off. It’s a real struggle.
Play with horizontal book stacks
My favorite thing is when I see a neat row of books that fills up the whole shelf. Try breaking up your row by adding stacks of books in horizontal piles to make it look less like a straight line. As you stack things, you can make different heights and then put decor items on top of them.
There are many good ways to store your magazine collections, but stacking is also a good one.
Separate hardcover books from paperbacks
Hardcover books look different on the shelf than paperbacks. Hardcover books look better on the shelf than paperbacks, because paperbacks look a little more messy than hardcover books do on the shelf. It might look better if you put your paperback and hardcover books together on different shelves.
Separate hardcover books from paperbacks
There are a lot of ways to organize your books. You can group them by author or genre. For example, you could group fiction and non-fiction together, or classics and modern literature. Etcetera. Do what your internal librarian wants!
Use baskets and pretty storage boxes
Large matching baskets should go on the bottom shelf to hold books that you need to be able to get to sometimes. There are many books that you can do this with. They can be ugly or tattered for any reason that you don’t want them on show.
Make sure that you pick a color scheme for your storage before you do anything else! Is it going to help you if you have a lot of baskets and boxes that don’t go together?
Add 2 rows of books per shelf
Two rows of books on each shelf will make the most of your shelf space and give it a beautiful, layered look. People will have a hard time seeing and accessing the books in the back row.
Organize your books in alphabetical order
In this case, if you can remember titles and authors better than colors, this method might be better for you. In this case you can choose to make the alphabetical list by author or alphabetical list by title.
Want to learn how to quickly sort your books? How to alphabetically sort almost 1300 books in just 3.5 hours? This video shows you how to do it!
Introduce tchotchkes, plants and artwork.
After all your books are out, do this. Try putting decor items in between your books where there’s space.
A good rule of thumb is to never add anything smaller than an orange to your project. Anything too small will make the shelf look messy.
Place larger books on the bottom
A good idea is to put heavier things at the bottom of bookshelves. Larger books at the bottom can make the room look more balanced (top heavy things sometimes tend to look a bit weird).
Only use the top shelf for decor
Fill your bookcases to the brim with books, but leave the top of the shelf free for things like art, plants, and interesting vessels. There are many ways to make this look good, like with lower bookshelves lined up against a wall or under a window.
Align books by height
As many books of the same size and height as possible should be grouped together. Try to make a row of books that are all the same height. This will make it look a lot less messy and clean.