I like an organic approach to organizing books. By that I mean that I suggest paying attention to how you use your books and what works well with your current set up before rearranging them.
- You may find that books you use a lot are already on the most convenient shelf. If not, that's a good place to start. It doesn't matter if those books are on different subjects and are different sizes, keeping them as handy as possible is a good idea. If you have a visual memory, returning your books each time to the same spot makes it easier to find them next time.
- If you like a fun, decorative look to the bookshelf, arrange your books by the colors of the spines.
When I first saw this method it seemed silly to me, but then I realized that it would be easy to start remembering my books by their colors.
- If your bookshelves are spaced far apart, maximize the space by putting
your books on the shelves horizontally. This also makes it easier to
read the titles.
- Use loosely grouped categories where needed. My bookshelf has several sections: professional reference, travel, decorating and home care, and gardening are some of them. Not all the books are categorized. It makes sense to categorize them when I'll refer to more than one at a time.
- Once you start reorganizing, make sure you really want and need each book. People often find it very hard to get rid of books, but just like anything else in your home that you don't use, books can be clutter. Release the ones that aren't serving you anymore.
Gorgeous bookshelves courtesy of chotda's flickr stream.