Books! They are so incredibly special and important. Books provide knowledge, enjoyment, laughter, comfort, and an opportunity for our mind to visit places we never imagined. I feel an incredible sense of peace when visiting a bookstore, especially older ones. It’s the smell when you walk in, the excitement of exploring different genres, and picking out one or more books that call to you to bring home. Since having children, my heart finds so much joy watching them want to find their own novels while visiting bookstores and libraries.
When you get home, of course, a book needs a new place to reside! There is no right or wrong way to display books. I have a few go-to arrangements, depending on the genre.
One arrangement I use in the kids' rooms is ROYGBIV . While some people find it is easier or more aesthetically pleasing to arrange books in height order, I find that arranging by color adds value in a different way. For example, sorting children's bookcases into ROYGBIV allows for early learning opportunities such as categorizing, learning colors, and of course, understanding patterns.
I have found great success using ROYGBIV with my children. Now, instead of just shoving books into the bookcase, they will actually pause. They will look at the color, recognize the pattern, and place it accordingly. By creating this organizational habit, I noticed I rearrange the area much less often.
Although ROYGBIV is my preferred methodology for children's books, in the rest of my house, chapter books are separated into related themes or height order. You will even find art books all of sorts used as part of the décor with no discernible pattern.
It is my dream one day to have a sitting room with bookshelves full of books, my own little library to go off to wondrous places…swoon.
To BIV or not to BIV, that is the question! I say nay…that’s just too much to maintain. As I’m writing this my husband walked by and asked what a BIV is so I suppose I should clarify. I’m referencing ROYGBIV and the modern trend of “organizing” and/or arranging books by color. For those of you many moons removed from kindergarten, the acronym stands for Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo and Violet. In a rainbow, fan-freakin-tastic. On my bookshelves, it’s a hard no for me. With no intention to offend, I simply don’t find it comfortable or inviting and that’s how I prefer my organization.
I am a lifelong book lover and have collected quite a stash over the years (though I’ve probably given away more than I could ever remember!) I try to sort through them every year or so, recalling favorites as I run my hands over them, keeping those in prominent locations, and pulling out the ones that didn’t quite speak to me so loudly, sending those off for donation. I keep my collection as decoration in my home; this allows me to maintain its size and change its aesthetic as often as I feel.
I like to arrange my books by height vertically or use them horizontally to create depth or visual interest on my shelves. I use them to hold up picture frames or plants, even a pair of owl salt and pepper shakers my grandmother gave me.
Books are important to me. They are, each one, special and unique. Certain ones have changed my life. So, I use them in my home in a way that displays them like the cherished pieces of my life that they are.
I say let the books be free! Keep your collection small but let them live in your home as items of interest and fantasy and education and wonder! Don’t burden them with the anxiety of trying to match their neighbor – how boring is that?