Filling Your Bookshelf With Joy

When we moved in, we only had old bookshelves from a friend of mine. He didn’t need them anymore and we didn’t have any. They weren’t my taste but at least I had a space for my books. Throughout the years I thought about what I wanted instead of these. Custom made shelves would’ve been nice but incredibly expensive. A few months ago, I finally found shelves that I liked. The downside: it’s an open bookcase and it doesn’t look good to stuff it completely with books. So here’s my dilemma, which books do I display?

My reason to rearrange my books might not be the same as yours but having a bookshelf filled with books that bring you joy is highly recommended to anyone (especially readers). So here are a few tips on how to create a bookshelf that makes you smile.


I think most of us book lovers will start with our favourites books. If you’re lucky (or unlucky) you can fill up all of your shelves with favourites. Organise them by colour, genre, author, enjoyment. Whichever you prefer. I filled up the rest of the space with books that sparked joy but aren’t favourites. They’re books I still enjoyed or love the cover of. I’ll also keep my signed copies there because most of those books have a special place in my heart. I know that when I look at my shelves, I will smile.


You can dedicate one shelf as a TBR-shelf. If you do any reading challenges, you could preselect all the books for the prompts and you don’t have to think about what to read next anymore. You could even use this as a way to limit your book buying. You’re only allowed new books if they fit on the shelf! (But no one sticks to those rules, right?) But you can also add your book clubs books, your buddy reads, any books that have been on your shelf so long the cover is already being discoloured by the sunlight but you still haven’t read it. By keeping them in sight, you’ll be less likely to forget them.

Picking new reads for the next year is one of my favourite things to do, and with my participation in the r/fantasy bingo, I had a second time picking books for my TBR-shelf. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t fit all my physical books on one shelf for the bingo. And with my new bookcases, I have even less space now. But that’s okay. I won’t pick any books around new year next time since I can still read books for my bingo and I have the BBNYA winners to read. Next year will be better.

Covers and spines

I think most of us can agree that the aesthetic of a bookshelf matters to a degree. Even if you don’t care for a rainbow-themed shelf, grouping books together with the same height, author, and series, will make it more pleasing to the eye.

If you lack the inspiration to create the shelves of your dreams, try searching for ‘shelvies’ on Instagram or Pinterest, and you’ll find amazing pictures. Gorgeous rainbow shelves, shelves with funkopops and other accessories to celebrate a fandom, or minimalist shelves. Feel free to reorganise your shelves every week or month until you think it’s right. And it gives you a perfect reason to unhaul some books you no longer enjoy.

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