All photos by Lilia Shen.
If you’ve got messy stacks of books sitting around your house or if you just want to make your bookshelves more #Aesthetic, then this is the perfect post for you. I’ve got ten different ways that you can style your bookshelf to get those books off the floor of your room and up on the shelf where they belong. As a bonus, all of the books pictured are books from my own collection that I highly recommend so maybe you’ll find something to add to your “to be read” list as well!
1. By Color
Let’s start off with the basics. One of the easiest ways to style your books is just to put all books of the same color together. Blue seems to be a pretty common color for a lot of the books in my collection, so I’ve shelved them all together here.
2. By Size
Another simple way to style your books is by size. I shelved a few books from tallest to shortest, but you can also go shortest to tallest. You can get fancy with this—like going from tallest to shortest and then back to tallest or repeating short to tall units or tall to short units. Just find the inner architect in you!
3. By Genre
Another basic way I have for you to organize your books is by genre, especially if you’ve only got a couple of books in a certain genre to form a cute little stack. I like to keep all my “classics” together, which I’ve pictured here. I also keep my poetry and nonfiction books together in one stack since I don’t have many of those either.
4. By Favorites
The final basic way to style your books is to put all your favorites together! I’ve got books here that I simply loved too much to stow away with the rest of my books, some copies of books signed by authors I met, and even two picture books that I absolutely treasured when I was a child and still can’t let go. I’ve also got a few knickknacks and gifts that were given to me by very special people in my life. Pictures would be great for this as well. Everything that you love, book or not, goes on this shelf right here.
5. Rainbow Shelf
Now, we can take some of the basics a little further. A special way to style by color is the rainbow shelf. Books come in all colors, so why not put them into one giant rainbow? This is actually how I organize my entire fiction collection, and my rainbow shelf spans about six cubbies total. Obviously, I’ve reduced it to only one cubby here for photo purposes, but I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing the rainbow shelf looks the bigger the scale.
6. Alternating Colors
To play with color a bit more, you can also alternate them as well. I’ve got a bunch of black and white books, and you can make a checkerboard-like pattern if you alternate those. But of course, do it with whatever and however many colors you like!
7. Alternate Horizontal and Vertical Stacks
You can also alternate the orientation of your books. Putting stacks of books both vertically and horizontally is definitely eye-catching and also a great space-saving technique because you can actually stack more books horizontally than you could vertically. If you’ve got too many books, you can make the most of your shelf this way by taking up a lot of the empty space typically seen above vertically stacked books.
8. With Knickknacks
You’ve probably already noticed, but I’ve been using small knickknacks here and there to decorate my shelf in all these pictures. They’re a great way to add interest and something extra to a shelf of books, and they put all your souvenirs and collectibles to good use. I’ve got a few poetry books organized here with a wonderful smelling pomegranate candle, a little “L” initial decoration, a wooden heart my best friend carved, and some little flowers.
9. With Plants
Plants go great with books too! I purposely chose green books to tie in with the greenery of the plants here. I’m using fake flowers but potted plants work just as well—little succulents, trailing plants, etc. Just don’t forget to put a drainage dish underneath the pot—that way when you water the plants, the water won’t drain onto your books and ruin them.
10. With your Editions of the Long River Review
Ah, the grand finale! What looks better on a bookshelf than your very own copies of the Long River Review? I’ve got the 19th and 20th edition here, and they’re both beautiful and eye-catching books to keep on your shelves. Be sure to stay on the lookout for the 21st edition so you can nab one for your shelf, coming out this April!
We’ve made it to the end! Hopefully, your shelves are ready for their close-ups. If these styles inspired you to redecorate your shelf, share a #shelfie with us on Instagram and be sure to tag us @lrr_uconn. We’d love to see them. Finally, if your bomb #shelfies are starting to make you think that you should start your own bookstagram, we’ve got ten more reasons why you should follow through with that right here. Thanks for shelving with me!