What does your bookshelf say about you?

There is something very telling about how a person arranges their books.  In perfect alphabetical order?  Genre?  Size?  So, this is a little embarrassing for a librarian to admit—I have my bookshelves arranged by color.  It is only the fiction, which I think makes it okay…

For me it was a question of aesthetics—I have a crazy love for patterns, so I needed to calm the joint down a bit with neat sections of color.  What you can’t see in this photo is the massive bird rug in the center of the room—makes the color-coded bookshelves look subtle in comparison.  This arrangement has its drawbacks, obviously—I went a little crazy the other day trying to find a book I was sure had a white cover, but was actually gray…

How are your bookshelves arranged?  Does it say anything about your personality?  Comment below.



  1. C. Michael McGannon

    Fascinating. Unfortunately I don’t get to see a lot of other people’s bookshelves. Mine are by subject then by author, with fiction, psychology, and other books related to my writing all sitting nearer to my desk.

  2. Chris C

    I totally arrange my books by color, too. And like you, it’s only the fiction that’s done that way. I figure this is as good a way as any. I mean, I have so many books at this point, and I add new ones so often that there’s no way alphabetical is really going to work — too hard to maintain when you have to shift shelves and shelves of books to fit in that new one with an author who has a last name that begins with A! I pretty much never have trouble finding anything — I can usually see the book I’m looking for in my head and go directly to the right color section for it :-)

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