7 Design Secrets To Organize and Display Your Books Proudly


Organizing Genie's 7 Design Secrets to Organize and Display Your Books Proudly

In a previous post, I shared how to trim down your book collection by discovering and keeping only the books that speak to your soul.

Once you have dwindled your size down to a manageable size, many clients ask me for tips on how to present and store the remaining books on a bookcase in an organized fashion.

Here are 7 Tips to Display and Honor the Books You Cherish

 1. Store specialty books such as business, cooking, craft and sewing books in their appropriate rooms.  This will allow you easier access to these books when you need them.

 2. Store antique and infrequently read books on the higher shelves of your bookcase.

 3. Gain easier access to the books you refer to most often by storing them in the middle and lower shelves of your bookcase.

  4. While you may be tempted to organize books in alphabetical order, the best way to organize books is by category, such as fiction, non-fiction, and reference material.  For a cohesive look I display hardcovers and paperbacks separately, grouped by size.

 5. Store children's books on a lower shelf so that they can have easy access. To avoid these classics from looking messy, store them in a basket and teach children to put them back in the basket when they are finished.

 6. If you don't own a bookcase (which I run into quite frequently)  invest in one.  Or think outside the box and build your own floor-to-ceiling bookshelf next to a fireplace or a narrow unused corner of a room.  Just find a way to get your books off the floor to display these treasures proudly.

 7. To avoid a bookcase from looking cluttered, place a few photos or decorative items in between the different categories you have created.  This really adds a nice final touch to your newly organized bookcase.


Once you begin to organize your remaining books, you may still find a few that just don't speak to your soul anymore.

You can also transform your unloved books to help those who are less fortunate.

  • Change a child's life in Africa by donating educational material to children who can't go to school  at Booksforafrica.org.
  • Donate gently used kids' books to Project Night Night . They will include your donated book in one of the their packages which gets distributed to over over 25,000 homeless children a year.  What a great cause!

Genie's final piece of organizing wisdom: Whenever you bring in a new book, be sure to eliminate one that no longer serves a purpose in your life.


  1. Rhondda Mol

    That bookshelf built into the wall is stunning. Sadly I must admit to having 2 full bins of books currently in storage in our home - we don't have any bookcases or even room for bookcases at the moment. For now they are safe and clean - one day I would love to have a built in!

    This was a great post with a lot of helpful links :)
    Thank you,
    Visiting from UBC

  2. Laura

    Project for the weekend, another rework on the bookcase in my office. Maybe a trip to IKEA for a better one.

  3. Gretchen Duhaime

    We have dozens of boxes of books that we just can't part with and don't have room to display. I'll have to take a look at your post on trimming book collections. Thanks!

  4. Julie Jordan Scott

    What a great idea. I am a book junkie, often using book pages in my mixed media art. I love your suggestions and easy to follow tips.

    Ultimate Blog Challenge is so great because it introduces me to such cool people.

  5. Demosthenes

    Great tips! I'm a cluttered mess, and I'm desperately trying to simplify my life by decluttering my home. I recently did away with a numerous amount a of books, keeping only those that were friends. I want to get an IKEA bookshelf to proudly display them on, but I fear that will have to wait a few more months. I'll definitely keep these tips in mind when I purchase my bookshelf though. Thanks!

  6. Organizing Genie

    Glad you enjoyed these tips :) I find the best way to keep books under control is only allowing yourself to have one bookcase. It's a great starting point.

  7. Organizing Genie

    Hi Julie, Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Happy to learn that you found these tips helpful. I agree, this blog challenge has allowed me to step out of the box and not only write more but to meet some great people.

  8. Organizing Genie

    Hi Gretchen, Thanks for your comments. Can I offer a bit of tough love? If you keep the books that you can't part with stored away and lost in boxes, then how can you honor them? I would love to hear if you are able to bring down the amount of boxes down to a manageable size. Hope you are able to find my post on trimming your collection down useful :)

  9. Organizing Genie

    Hi Laura, I agree, this is a great weekend project. Can you believe that I have yet to visit a IKEA store?

  10. Organizing Genie

    Hi Rhondaa, thanks for commenting on my blog. If you don't have room for a bookcase, you can always consider installing shelves on the wall and using bookends to keep them neat and organized. I bet if I had a peek in your home, I could find some fun alternatives that would allow you display them :)

Leave a Comment