Bookshelf Tour & Organization

I’m taking a bit of a detour from my Home Office Organization series this week with a look at my bookshelves.  I often receive requests for not only bookshelf organization ideas but also just a general tour of what I keep on mine.  It seemed fitting to share an all-in-one look at my bookshelves now after going over my Home Office Built-Ins last week.

Don and I are both huge book lovers and we have independently accrued quite the collection over the years.  Don keeps his books in two large freestanding bookcases and a wraparound bookshelf feature of his desk in his home office.  That is the one space in the house that I do not attempt to organize in keeping with my firm belief that each family member in our home is entitled to a space all their own to keep as they please since we have the room for it.  His books are stored in a fashion I would personally refer to as “willy nilly.”  I’m sure Don would be happy to film his own Bookshelf Tour for his YouTube channel, DisorganizedDon.  I will only be sharing my personal book stash and bookshelf organization in this post and the coordinating video.  Feel free to tweet Don @DisorganizedDon if you’d like to request a look at his!

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I keep my books stored between two rooms in the house, the first of which is my Home Office.  The Built-Ins I discussed last week have twelve ample bookshelves total.  I tend to organize my books first my general category, by series (where it applies),  and by size.

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I split the left side of my built-in unit into several topic categories, which is easy to do because of the divider that supports and also separate the shelves.  I have dedicated the left section to historical fiction, dystopian society, and fantasy-based literature (top left photo).  The right section’s top two shelves are where I store books that I haven’t read yet, with hardcover books on the top shelf and paperbacks on the middle (top right photo).  I have some reference books on the bottom shelf.  The right side of the built-in unit contains my Peanuts collection, childhood and young adult fiction favorites, and crafting related books on the left section.  The right section is where I keep all of my animal related books, including nonfiction stories and reference materials.  It made sense for me to have this particular section dedicated to that topic, because it is located at the furthest corner of my office right next to my grooming desk.  I’ve also chosen to display some photos and sentimental figurines and items since I have the space for them.

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I store the other half of my book collection in our master bedroom.  We have two tall freestanding bookcases flanking the large picture window looking out to the back of our house (which is a nice juxtaposition now that I think of it considering my home office bookshelves flank a picture window overlooking the front of the house).  I purchased the two Cadence bookshelves from Crate & Barrel when we moved into the house in 2007.  They are unfortunately no longer available, but Crate & Barrel currently stocks the Payton Tobacco Bookcases, which are practically identical to the ones I have in shape and size.

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Each of these two bookcases has six shelves.  I organize each shelf by general category and size just as I do in my home office.  I also utilize some horizontal storage (book stacking or piling) to give a more varied look.  It also comes in handy for some books that are too tall to fit in the shelves vertically.   I have numbered each shelf from top to bottom as shown in the photos above:

1.  African American Literature
2.  Favorite Books from High School & College
3.  Misc. Paperback Fiction
4.  Misc. Paperback Fiction
5.  Misc. Hardcover Fiction
6.  Art & Art History
7.  Marriage & Family Planning
8.  Gratitude Journals & Poetry
9.  Personal Wellbeing & Spirituality
10.  Nonfiction, Autobiographies, & Biographies
11.  Yoga, Fitness, & Nutrition
12.  Favorite Children’s Book

I share my Bookshelf Organization & Tour in detail in the video (shown below) if you’re interested in a closer look.  Check back next week for another Home Office Organization post and coordinating video!

* I am not affiliated with any of the brands or stores mentioned in this blog post or video.  All opinions are my own. *







19 thoughts on “Bookshelf Tour & Organization”

  1. Your book collection is great. We seem to have similar taste in books.
    I envy you, because of all the hardcovers….they are so expensive in Germany that I rarely get any.
    What did you think of Sisterhood Everlasting?

  2. Well, we have more reads in common on your bedroom shelves. Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” is my favorite book-I am waiting until I forget enough of it to reread it, and I don’t reread a lot of books. From your office bookshelves “not read yet” books, read “The Help.” Great book. I know that you collect children’s books that you love, at least partially, in anticipation of the children you will have some day. I collect my favorites (3 shelves full) in anticipation of the grandchildren that I will have some day. So far, no grandchildren, but I take them down and read them myself occasionally, and they hold lovely memories of reading them with my children. Good for you!

  3. Hi Jen! You had a lot of my favorite books shown like the Hunger Games series, The Help and To Kill a Mockingbird. Have you ever read Diary of Anne Frank?

    I’m interested in the Sisterhood series as well and will probably check that out soon. Enjoy your weekend!

  4. I LOVE you organisation system. I too love to read, and my bookshelf is exploding a little at the moment… I think I need a system similar, where I break down my books into categories.

  5. Loved your book collection. I love books, now i only have to find the time to sit down and actually read them 🙂
    Did you receive my email by the way??

    1. My email inboxes are a bit of a wild forest I’m afraid. As soon as I’m caught up on snail mail (hope to be so this week!) I’m turning my attention to email. I appreciate your patience 🙂

      1. I understand 🙂 and it’s not that i’m impatience or anything, but it is an important email. I can’t get into the details here (when you read the email you wil understand why) and i just want to make sure you did receive it 😉

  6. I have never considered adding my lladro figurines to a bookshelf! Jen you just made my night! My collection is stored away because I turned my living room into a scrap room yrs ago. I miss seeing my figurines which we collected while stationed in Germany! As soon as we get back from Orlando I’m going to pull them babies out of storage!

  7. Great collection, Jen! I love the way you organize your books. You mentioned that you and Don keep your books separately and I was just wondering that since you do that, do you have an repeats between the two of you? Or does he have his own set of completely different books?

    1. We do have a few repeats, but mostly they’re the kinds of books that we both like to take notes in, so it makes sense to have individual copies.

  8. Jen, I love your bookshelf organization! I’m starting to organize mine the same way, and right now I only have one of those dark wood-ish (because I know it’s not real wood, lol!) bookcases from Target, but I love the way it’s coming along so far! I’ll probably add two or three more, and there is also a bookshelf from PB Teen I have been eyeing lately!

    We have very similar taste in books, so I love to see what you’re reading! It gives me ideas for which books to pick out next. Thank you for sharing with us!

  9. Hey Jen, as usual I love your book collection and how you organize them. Mine are all stacked on one small bookshelf in no particular order. I have outgrown my book space. Anyways, I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter, and was wondering, was that the Tales of Beetle and the Bard sitting on top of the box? And if it is, where did you get it? Because I have seen something like that, but they were small chapter books, with art on the cover.


    1. It’s the Collector’s Edition of the Tales of Beetle Bard, which I bought a few years ago. I don’t think it’s for sale anymore, but you might be able to find it on eBay.

  10. I love that you have African American literature on your shelf! I have a few of those books that I’m working through and I see you’re a big fan of Richard Wright. The Bluest Eyes was one of the first serious books I read, right after my Sweet Valley High days. I love your collection.

  11. Hi Jen!
    I was wondering: Which marriage and family planning books do/did you read or can you recommend? I’m not married (yet?), but I’d still be interested to hear which ones you liked… Thanks!

    1. I don’t have many on marriage, to be honest, just a few that were given to me when Don & I tied the knot in 2005. The family planning books are good reference for natural birth control and fertility education. The ones I have are The Garden of Fertility and Honoring Our Cycles: A Natural Family Planning Workbook both by Katie Singer and Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.

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