Monday, January 6, 2014

The Booklover's Bookcase

I've had the sudden urge to organize. You (as in you OCD inclined people) know the feeling. First it's a little itch to fix some pens in your desk drawer, then it's the entire drawer, then suddenly everything is a mess and you feel the need to organize your bookshelf (because that's the mess that's the most fun to fix).

Since I had the time off last week, I indulged.
I gathered up all my stray books and the books I had stacked on other books:

As I worked towards the ideal bookshelf, I realized that those Pinterest worthy bookshelves, with more flowers and decorative vases than books:

 just aren't practical (no matter how pretty) for many of us book lovers. With that thought in mind, I compiled this blog post. Here are my tips on how to maximize the potential of your brimming bookcase.

 I have a ton of knickknacks and little mementos that people have given me, and some of them were taking up valuable bookshelf space. Start by taking all the little bits and bobs off the shelf. Then, integrate them back into the bookshelf, at the end of your organizing, by pushing your books back to allow room for the knickknacks in front.
These aren't the same items in both pictures, but you get the idea. 

 As well as knickknacks, I allowed my photography boxes room on the shelf. This may have been a good storage idea at first, but my books take precedence! Since the very top of the bookcase isn't always strong enough for books (especially if you buy a cheap-y like I did) you can put lighter things (such as empty boxes) and bigger knickknacks on top of your bookshelf. 

If you have a deeper shelf, you can make use of storage space behind books. You'll need to be strategic with your storage if you plan to push books back to allow room for knickknacks.

Just fill in the row of books, and you'll never know it's there!
Don't waste head space! I also helped my sister with her shelf, and this was a major problem for her. You can move the shelves up, but we found these stacking methods easier. Sometimes we need to stack books sideways to fit everything; it looks so much better when the books are underneath instead of on top. Use lesser read books as the "platforms":

Speaking of stacking...I stacked all of my sister's paperbacks. This saved a lot of room because there were enough paperbacks to make stacking worth it. If you only have four or five you're not really saving much room. The height of the stack should be significantly larger than the width. That's not overly complicated you guys get the idea; I won't muddle it up by trying to explain.

The final step is to face your books. If you don't know what "facing" is, that's library lingo for making sure all the books spines line up, preferably against the edge of the bookshelf. This gives a polished look to your bookshelf:

There you have it. A few tips on how to make your bookshelf awesome. I still have a few areas that I'd like to clean up on my bookshelf, but I got the real work done and the stray books put away. Below is some pictures of the finished product. Also, I have multiple bookshelves that line the corner of my bedroom, in case you were wondering about the different shelves.
Let me know your tips and what your bookshelf looks like!

Reading: What Darkness Brings by C.S. Harris
Listening: Arcade Fire
Watching: Downton Abbey reruns and Sherlock
Previously on A Splash of Photography: Ice Storm


  1. Wow, that looks really great! My bookshelf is a mess; I might have to take up your tips.

    1. Thanks! At least this is the "fun" type of cleaning:)

  2. Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm now following :)

  3. Hi Sunny,

    I Google image searched "how to make paperback books look good on shelves," and your bookshelf pic with the red lantern won my click.

    I'm staging my house to sell. I must tell you that no magazines, online or otherwise, have captured my attention like the tips, photos, and clear writing that you have displayed here.
    So then I read what this blog is about. I cannot wait to read more entries when I'm done staging!

    You have a bright future.


    1. Thanks for your kind words Mauna. Good luck with selling your house!


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