Thoughts on Thursday: My Shipshape Shelves


My Shipshape Shelves

How do you organize your bookshelves?

Some of us dread this question. I am sometimes one of them. Especially if I have moved within the last year…which has been four times in the last three years. My bookcase is always one of the first things I unpack. Maybe because the boxes are so heavy…

I didn’t have a bookcase a space reserved for books growing up. It wasn’t really until I was halfway through college that I really started my own collection of books and building up my personal library.

My shelves originally started out as stacks of books on and in my headboard.  As I bought books, I tried grouping them by genre, but sometimes the different sizes of books got in the way of that. And then I just started getting so many books on my TBR that I just started stacking them up next to the lantern.

My first shelf photo.

After I graduated college, I bought a bookcase. True, it’s not the best and one day will fall apart on me  has fallen apart on me, but for now it works. When I first bought it I had it organized the best, and I’m trying to get back to that. Despite the photos I took, I just couldn’t seem to replicate this organizational pattern after I moved…and then moved again 6 months later…and then again 7 months later. Erg.

I think I was avoiding my physical books because they are not organized how I know they were. And also I have so many books I need to review that it’s becoming ridiculous. I have even made a stack of books that need to go away next to my bookcase, and I don’t feel that I’ve gotten that many more books to throw off the balance so much.

So I finally sat down and did some serious book labor.

 ~  BEFORE  ~ 


Top Shelf: anthologies, six copies of my college graduation booklet, some Story Plant books, recently acquired books, bookish things and bookmarks, my sign that needs to go to school and the temporary home to my vase (now permanently homed in my bedroom)

All these books are on my TBR.

First Shelf: DOUBLE STACKED random books

All these books are on my TBR. 

Second Shelf: DOUBLE STACKED on the ends, home to my two favorite series (Bloody Jack and Outlander), my literary YA books, a few random books standing up on my TBR, and on the far right in the back my Kristin Hannah and Elin Hilderbrand books and some historical fiction about Edward Plantagenet and King Richard III

Bottom Shelf: (clockwise from back left) DOUBLE STACKED with the classics, some nonfiction and other oddities, partial Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection, Hunger Games, a few literary fiction and randoms, some romance novels

Most of the classics in that are hidden in the back left I have not read, and some of the ones standing up (like my Outlander Companion and flower book).

On the Right: The small stack of books I have weeded out are off the to side. I read all but one.

~  AFTER  ~ 


Top Shelf: (clockwise from back left) anthologies, all Story Plant Books, books I purchased for my classroom, immediately-next TBRs, YA books, the book of my name

All these books are on my TBR.

First Shelf: (clockwise from back left) romances, literary fiction, historical fiction, light and chicklit type reads…DOUBLE STACKED on the outside

All these books are on my TBR. 

Second Shelf: This shelf didn’t change much. I added a few books in the middle to my literary YA stack and the standing books and removed some from the back right stack. 

Bottom Shelf: This shelf also didn’t change much. It only received my hardback copy of Huck Finn and a few to add to my randoms pile on the front right. 

On the Right: I added more to my go-away pile!! 


Here they are side by side to compare: 

20150714_175702   20150714_185654 It looks better right? Not as scary? 


Alright, Mr. Demille, I’m ready for my close-up. 

(Fun Fact: I always thought it was Mr. De Vil…like Cruella De Vil…until I looked it up!)




Umm…where did all of those Nicholas Sparks books come from???






Do you keep your bookshelves organized? 

What is your shelving method?

Do you have a shelf for your favorites?

Do your finished books and TBR books stay separated?

14 thoughts on “Thoughts on Thursday: My Shipshape Shelves

  1. My shelves are not nearly as organized as this! I do have it divided into mysteries on one shelf, romances and rereads on another shelf, and nonfiction in it’s own bookcase but there’s so much overflow that it’s a bit of a mess. I do put my finished books in a bag to swap or donate unless I’m keeping them as a reread in which case I kind of wedge them into that shelf.

  2. I’m jealous. My books are stacked in piles on tables, chairs and any other free space that I can find. I wish I had room on the boat for at least one bookshelf.

  3. I’m in the middle of organizing my books… I pack away ones I have read but don’t need… and I am keeping out my TBRs and a couple collectibles… I don’t have room for anything else.

  4. I just recently did a reorganizing project with my bookshelves when I got a new (to me), nicer, bigger shelf to replace one from college (it was falling apart as well, haha). I have my read and to read books separated, for the most part. One bookcase has all my read books, sorted by author. The second bookcase has all my to-read books, also sorted by author, as well as all my career-related books from college (I have a major professional exam coming up in the fall, will probably weed these once I pass that). Then my third bookcase, the new one, is sort of my showcase. It houses my Stephen King collection and all my favorite books and series. These are mostly in order of what looks nice, with HP is front and center. Some of these books are series I haven’t finished yet. It also houses all the unread ARCs that I own. Whew, now I feel like I could write my own post about this….

  5. I am super organized with my books and it drives me absolutely crazy that I can’t organize my Kindle library!!! I want to be able to have genres together and it’s just big massive mess. I would give so much to get Amazon to let me organize!!! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! It was a fun post to read!

  6. I am obsessively organized. All the books in my house are those that are next to be read (one book for each author), on the shelves in alphabetical order by author last name. All my other books are in boxes in storage, and I know which box every book is in, because I have a list of all the books I own that have a comment next to the name of the book to tell me where the book iis located.

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