Book Talk: Bookshelf Organisation System or Lack Thereof

16:04 Cilla P 4 Comments

Let me take you on a tour of my bookshelves! At the moment, they are a bit of a construction site, so brace yourself for a bit of chaos.

First, a little background story. We had a termite infestation last year (the horror!) and had to evacuate all of our books. When we finally managed to clear off the termites and I could put the books back in, I tried to follow the system I'd had before. It has always been more of an ad hoc system - it only started existing once the shelves were full and I had to figure out where to put my new books. The result can be seen below:

So many books, so little space
Let's make some stops and take a closer look at the method to this madness:

  • Top left shelf is for mangas, particularly the ones that come in series. 
  • Second left is for adventures/fantasy/science fiction books. If you squint, you can see my copies of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Inheritance Cycle, Harry Potter, and the Mediator series.
  • Third left is my mystery books. That includes Enid Blyton books, Nancy Drews, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I also have Maximum Ride there, though really they belong to the shelf above it. 
  • The bottom left is my YA and chicklit shelf, particularly the translated version of YAs. My English YAs sit somewhere else, purely for the lack of space in this one (as you can see by the fact that it's not only two deep but also in piles).
  • Top right is where the system sort of unravels. That is where I keep my Little House series along with Lemony Snicket's The Series of Unfortunate Events. Why are they together? I don't know - probably because they're the same size.
  • Second right - so the books at the back of this shelf are basically put together because they were from the same publisher. The books at the front are some of my English books, including YAs and some classics like What Katy Did and The Swiss Family Robinson.
  • The third right shelf is dedicated to miscellaneous books from my childhood. There's no other way to put it. I've got a copy of Aesop's Fables in there as well as a series of comics about famous historical figures. I also have a series of Barbie books in there, actually.
  • Bottom right is also for books of my childhood, particularly the big books, such as kids encyclopedias and hard-cover books of bedtime stories.

Looking at this, we could also say that I should stop buying/hoarding books, really, because I have even more books back in Melbourne. They are being well looked after by a dear friend, who claims to have as organised a bookshelf as I am.

Our detour: Cor's shelves.
The books on the front of second shelf are mine.
But this isn't about my hoarding tendency! It's about my organisation system. Now that we've walked through all of that, I would argue that there is a method to the madness that is my bookshelves. Similar books are grouped together, even if the basis for their categorisation isn't always consistent and sometimes there's an outlier or two. Still, I know that I can do better. Maybe I will figure out a technique to better organise my collection. If you have any suggestion, feel free to share!

What's your bookshelf like? Do you have an organisation system for it?


  1. Wow, you have an amazing bookshelf! My bookshelf is sadly much smaller, and I've crammed every book into it. My books are in no particular order either, though I sometime do it by height so that I can stack books horizontally on top of them!
    Love this post! :)
    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

  2. Thank you! <3 Organising books by height is a good idea - it's spatially more efficient than the way I do it, I think. :D

  3. My bookshelves aren't nearly as organized as yours! Glad you have a great system!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


Thanks for reading! It makes my day to hear your thoughts and I will respond asap. :)