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Do-It-Yourshelf: How to Organize Your Bookcase

An in-house library is every book lover’s dream. But, when a full-functioning one isn’t possible, a bookcase makes a great alternative. Bookcases provide a sense of organization for your precious books. They are also a place to display other items like picture frames, vases, and other decorations that you want to show off to visitors. They are available in a wide range of makes, shapes, colors, and sizes that you will be spoiled for choice. For some, shopping for bookcases can be hard. After all, you have to consider it as the home of your precious books. 

In this article, we are sharing some tips on creating a bookcase that is as beautiful as it is functional.

How to Style & Organize Your Bookcase

1. Sort according to your preference

Whereas shopping for bookcases can be fun, organizing your books while keeping them stylish can be challenging. Ask any book-lover, and they will probably tell you that part of their bibliophile life is organizing their books. While there are about as many books as there are ways to arrange a bookcase, arrange them in a way that works for you. If you are building a library, you need to figure out which books should adorn it. If you are a striving reader, you need to ensure that your library is well-stocked with books from Saddleback.

Below are some ways to organize your books: 

– alphabetically—by title, by author, by genre 

– chronologically—by publication date or by the date you plan to read them 

– by size 

– by genre

– by color 

– by separating books you haven’t read yet 

2. Take a Marie Kondo approach

When organizing your bookcase, start by pulling everything off the shelves and sort them according to your taste. You might also want to weed out shabby-looking ones that shouldn’t make it to the display. The same goes for the books that no longer spark joy. Get rid of the books that do not tell your story—sell them or donate them to a thrift store. 

3. Keep some books upright and lay others flat 

Make your bookcase look more interesting by alternately keeping some of your books upright while laying others flat. This is particularly useful if you have books of varying sizes. The key here is to keep the upright books higher than the horizontal stacks. 

4. Layer by introducing other accents 

This is a great time to add life and accent to your bookcase: think of layering items such as a potted plant, candle, globe, a golden trinket, artwork, or souvenirs from your travels. Rotate these items around the shelves or swap them out according to your mood or occasion. Even better, these items can easily double as bookends or a topper to your stacks of books. 

5. Balance books with accessories 

Balance is key to creating an eye-catching bookshelf. Experts suggest filling each shelf with two-thirds of books and one-third of accessories. You can examine your bookcase after decorating each shelf, so you can style and edit as you go. 

6. Invest in bookends 

Bookends have made quite a comeback recently, and for good reasons: they are a clever way to subtly separate your volumes while adding pops of personality to your bookcase. Today, you can find a wide selection of statement bookends at affordable prices online. 

7. Change the backdrop 

Apply your color scheme onto your bookshelf by painting or adding wallpaper to the backs of shelves. It should add depth, as well as pops of color, while pulling together the overall look of your home. You can use any leftover wallpaper or paint from your supplies. 

Final Tips 

Modern shelves call for a sparse, minimalist look. So, you might want to leave plenty of open space to let your books and accessories shine through. 

With that said, we are concluding with some dos and don’ts when it comes to styling and organizing your bookcase. 


  • Group small sets of books for a uniform look.
  • Accessorize in a way that their colors and placement are complimentary.
  • Bring the books up to the edge instead of pushing them against the back of the shelf. 
  • Take time to gather, assemble, and curate. 


  • Display items that are too light to hold themselves down. 
  • Fill every inch of the bookshelf . 
  • Go too far decorating your bookshelf—less is more. 


If you are merely lining up your books alphabetically on your bookcase or by the order of your purchase, you are missing out on a great styling opportunity. A well-styled bookcase that pairs functionality with aesthetics allows your books to become part of your decor. On the other hand, the bookshelf, itself, becomes an extension of your interior design. 

The objective here is to let your books and bookcase serve double duty—with that in mind, you can hardly go wrong with styling it according to your taste and personality. 

Do you have any other tips on how to style and organize your bookcase? Let us know by leaving a comment. Don’t forget to share this article with your book-loving friends, too! 

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