How do you organise your books?
September 27, 2021
BY Amy Kennedy
By genre, by author, by series, by colour, by height, in alphabetical order, by dewy decimal?
How do you organise your books?
how do you organise your bookshelf - The Organising Bee

Do you organise your books by colour?

How you you organise your books? By colour, by genre, by author, by series, by subject, by height, in alphabetical order, by dewy decimal?

There are so many different ways to organise your books and it all depends on what purpose your books hold for you and your relationship with them.  

  • Are you an avid reader or an occasional reader?  
  • Do you have a lot of non-fiction or reference books that you need to review frequently for study or pleasure? 
  • Have you read all your books and just keeping them because you love them? 
  • Do your books hold sentimental value to you or simply hold fond memories?
  • Are you keeping them simply as a design feature? 

There is a huge trend to organise your books by colour. This looks stunning from a design perspective, but from an organisational and functionality perspective it may not be the best approach for most people.  

Organising books by the colour of the cover works brilliantly for those who are visual people and have very good recall and can easily remember the colour and design of every book that they own. 

But for those of us who have trouble remembering what we had for breakfast, this may not be the best approach – rather it may increase the difficulty in finding the book you need. In this instance there is very little difference to books being placed haphazardly on the shelf with no order at all. 

From my professional opinion, and the way that I like to organise the bookshelves for most of my clients is via height, then genre and then author.  I also aim to avoid books being pushed all the way to the back of the bookshelf as it prevents items being placed in front of books on the shelf, hence restricting easy access. 

I have also on occasion helped clients catalogue their home library using sophisticated software like Zotero. So much fun!  I’d love to hear what you do.


The Organising Bee is a professional organiser based in Canberra. Amy Kennedy supports families to organise their homes and their time. Book a free consultation with Amy and talk about ways you can organise yourself so you can spend your time doing the things you love.


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