How Do You Organise Your Bookshelves?

FC Malby

A friend told me yesterday that their books are all arranged in alphabetical order. I smiled and said that mine are roughly arranged by type. I have a section for psychology, travel, theology, biographies and autobiographies (which are mostly political, but I also have one on Miles Davis), crime thrillers, short stories, poetry, literary fiction, commercial fiction, favourite books (mostly by J.M Coetzee, Julian Barnes, Hilary Mantel, Alice Munro, Colm Tóibín, Milan Kundera, Deborah Levy and Alison Moore).

This morning, I noticed that I have a selection of books with yellow covers, although I’m not entirely sure how the lime green snuck in! It’s the only colour I seem to have grouped together, purely because I love yellow. I don’t think I will ever match my books by colour, having seen a few well-known figures (who shall remain nameless) adding the results of this to Instagram. It feels a little too OCD for my liking, by we are all beautifully different.

The Home Edit

How about this cascading cover colour bookshelves look from Book Bub?

Book Bub

As a writer and a reader, I love books, bookshelves and other people’s bookshelves. If I go to a home and there is a large book collection on the shelves, I like to scan the collection and see what the owner reads. Sometimes I find we like similar authors and there are other occasions where I find something new. Amidst the Covid pandemic over the past 15 months or so, and with life as we knew it transferred to Zoom and Teams meetings, a background of bookshelves never fails to capture my attention. Personally, I like a more mixed approach to bookshelves.

Indie Wire

Douglas Hill

Michael Sinclair

Bespoke Carpentry

How do you arrange your bookshelves? Do you have any favourite bookshelves? Drop a link to a snap in the comments, or tell us how you organise your shelves, and share the book love.


  1. I just finished reorganizing my shelves in my office–and as you do, they’re organized by type and genre. I also keep a stack of literary mags, aspirational ones and ones I’ve been published in. Then there’s the craft book section, for when I’m feeling stuck. I also sprinkle in a few framed photos–for those staring off into space moments.


    1. fcmalby says:

      Mine are arranged by type and genre, mostly, although there’s the yellow section! Craft books sound good. We all need a bit of inspiration. I love black and white photos for inspiration. Which lit mags do you read?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Photos are definitely key for inspiration! Graveyards work for me, too!

        O so many lit mags…mostly aspirational ones I’d love to get my work in: Image, The Missouri Review, One Story, Boulevard…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. fcmalby says:

        Graveyards, wow! It’s the beach for me and people watching. The Missouri Review is a good one. I like Granta.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yes, Granta–major aspirational journal for me!

        Liked by 1 person

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