Have you ever found yourself looking along bookshelves when you visit a person’s house? I often do it, mostly to see what books are there that I have read and perhaps chat then about a particular author or book. The books we read and and how we display them provide a lot of information about us without us even thinking about it.
What do your bookshelves say about you?
If books are organised by the colour of the spines, then finding a relevant book quickly relies on remembering the colour of the spine which isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do. However, if you’re a visual thinker and tend to remember the appearance of a book more easily than the person who wrote it, this could be the filing system for you.
This arrangement suggests that you like boldness, you like to stand out and you care about the appearance of your books. You like things to be co-ordinated and don’t mind if it means having to search for a book for a while.
This organisational method also makes your books look like visual objects to be admired, they add to the decor and they appear streamlined.
If your books are organised alphabetically by author, this suggests a very organised household. You will be able to find a book easily. On a practical level though, it means you have to leave spaces between A and B for new purchases so don’t forget to fill those spaces with vases or other accessories so the gaps look intentional.
Filing books by genre is a popular way to arrange books and makes books easy to find. However, if you have a lot of books, it might look like a library with crime books in one area and classics in another.
If you haven’t got so many books, and choose to intersperse them with accessories, it probably suggests that you also see books as decorative objects to accessorise your home as well as for reading material.
If books are rather higgledy piggledy in terms of size, colour and genre, and placed on a single shelf like this, it probably suggests that you like having your favourites grouped together, that some books are like old friends, that their proximity to you is more important than having them looking orderly.
Book Spines to Wall
I have to admit that I struggled with this one. Why would anyone arrange books in a way that turns the spines to the wall? I can’t imagine anything as frustrating when you’re looking for a book. However, it does look very well so I guess this homeowner was thinking about the neutral shades of colour, the balance of books and other objects, the relaxed and organic atmosphere it creates. It looks beautiful although I have to admit I’d be sorely tempted to turn around every single one of those books to see their titles.
There are no right or wrong ways to arrange your books but it’s interesting to think about how your filing system, as well as your choice of reading material, reflects your personality isn’t it?
How do I organise my books and what does that say about me? Anyone looking at my bookcases would know immediately that I like reading crime, memoir, farming books, social history and Irish literature. They’d probably guess that I’m nostalgic too as many of my old dog-eared books from my childhood years are there too: James Herriot, Malory Towers, Famous Five amongst others. I have books that are old friends and when I spot them on a shelf, they make me smile for the memories they conjure up – not just for what is written on the pages within but also the memories of where I was or how I felt while reading that particular book.While some books are arranged according to height for convenience given the size of the shelving, they are arranged by genre too. I have my classics and childhood books in the bookcase in the sitting room. A long shelf in the utility has my farming and memoir books while crime and everything else fits into a huge bookcase in the living room. My “to be read” books are now on two shelves in my main bookcase in an attempt to stop me buying more!
How do you organise your books? And do you have enough bookshelves?