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Best Ways to Organize Books on a Bookshelf

Many organizations carry books, and not organizing them well can make it difficult to search for a specific one. There are a few different ways you can organize a bookshelf, but the most important thing is that that you keep it consistent. Here are some of the best ways to organize a bookshelf.


An easy way that can be extremely beneficial, especially for young children, is to color-code the books. Color-coding can boost efficiency in offices, schools, libraries, and other places where books are stored. Colored dots on the spine can also be used to differentiate books.

Hard Cover and Softcover

One of the best ways to organize books on a bookshelf is also visually appealing. Try to organize the books on the shelf based on whether it’s hardcover or softcover. Group them up then shelve them based on the cover type. The book’s height can also be organized as well.

Author’s Last Name

Sorting by the author’s last name is another common organizing technique. This is done by displaying the last three letters of the author’s last name, which can be placed on the book’s binding with a sticker. You will then put the books in alphabetical order based on the last name.


Like the author’s last name, you could also go alphabetical order with the books’ titles. The only trouble you may find is having an article like “the” at the start, but you could skip that word when ordering your books. This may also help group a book series, or one that consists of multiple volumes.


Dividing up your bookshelf based on genre is another option you have. This can be done in several ways. You could simply divide it up based on fiction or nonfiction. However, you may need to get more specific and base it off of a genre like fantasy or a subject like science. This all depends on what your bookshelf is comprised of.

Dewey System

The final ordering system is typically used in libraries, and it’s called the Dewey Decimal Classification system. This is helpful if you are dealing with a large classification. The system uses numbers to classify where the book will go based on the subject. Each book in the collection will be designated with a specific number, along with a last name or volume numbers. To make things even more efficient, color is used to designate each section as well. Here is how the Dewey Decimal system is divided up:
  • 001-099 - General
  • 100-199 - Philosophy
  • 200-299 - Religion
  • 300-399 - Social Science
  • 400-499 - Languages
  • 500-599 - Natural Science
  • 600-699 - Applied Science
  • 700-799 - Arts and Recreation
  • 800-899 - Literature
  • 900-999 - Geography, History, and Biography