I Guess The Discussion Is: Aesthetics vs. Order?

Damn people, it’s already time for my third prompt! Let me first tell you something about Bookending Spring before I start! This is an event created by Clo@Book Dragons and Sam@Fictional Sam. Every season they have a certain theme and feature a gaggle of hosts who come up with awesome prompts (one of them is me yay!). This season is spring (duh) and takes up the whole month of April. I have two posts left, so let’s get to it shall we!

I’m a huge fan of order, but I also really really love pretty things. I’ve long wondered how I wanted to sort my bookcase and if I’m honest, I’m only doing it the way I’m doing it because I have no room to do it any other way. But you might, and I think it’s always nice to know how you can order your books. Today I’m going to compare rainbow sorted bookcases and bookcases sorted by genre or author or alphabet. First up:


Alright, I can’t tell you about rainbow sorted bookcases without showing you some of them first. Well.. I’m going to show you one amazing bookcase that I have been jealous of all my life.

These are the most amazing shelved owned by Alexis Lampley, dropandgivemenerdy on instagram, also the owner of Nerdy Post. Everytime I see a post of her on instagram, I fawn over how pretty her bookcase is. So why don’t I have these? I don’t have enough books. You see, while this type of sorting is incredibly beautiful and aesthetic, you need enough colorful books to actually make a rainbow. Most of my books are black. Or dark blue. That really doesn’t make a rainbow.. well maybe it does but I’d have one case of colour and the rest would be dark :’) Yeah.. not so aesthetic. Plus, what if I get a book of a specific colour and I have to put it on shelf 1, but shelves 2-6 are full. I would have to change ALL shelves in order to open up a spot on shelf 1.

The other reason I don’t have it sorted like this is that I would never be able to find any book ever again. I would need to remember what colour a specific book is and then need to focus long enough to actually find it. Is that going to happen? No. So even though I adore rainbow sorted bookcases, it might not be for me. What other types or sorting are there?

Sorted by Publisher/Author/Genre

So this is going in the right direction. So, sorting by publishers, some publishers have standard sizes, you have a pretty bookcase. NO. When you do this, you should realize that authors don’t always publish all their books by the same publisher, meaning you’re still breaking up authors.. Not my choice, but it could be good!

Sorting by genre is actually quite interesting. You can look up certain books if you want to read a specific genre. Though this might not be the best way for everyone. I know lots of people that only read one or two genres and then it might not be a fun way to sort your bookcase. And there is still the problem of, do you just dump all books of the same genre next to eachother? Where’s the order???

And now my jam, sorting by author. If you sort like this, you know how many books you have of one author and you can find them so fast. It’s the best in my opinion, though less aesthetically pleasing, I admit. But you cán fix that, just start reading new books that really class up your bookcase! And this is the only option where you have all books of a certain author bundled together, since authors have different publishers, and they sometimes write different genres. This way doesn’t even have to be on alphabet, you can do it any way you want, just make sure all the books by one author are with one another. Though if you sort them alphabetically, you would find books even faster!

Alright, let’s recap this shall we!



  • It’s so pretty! Very aesthetically pleasing


  • Can’t find any books
  • If you don’t have enough coloured books, say bye bye rainbow

Sorted by publisher/genre/author


  • Well, you at least have the illusion of order
  • For every type of sorting, you can pick out books you like – genre if you are a moodreader, author if you want to read all books of a series at once
  • You don’t have to change up your whole bookcase if you want to put one coloured book in a specific place


  • It’s not as aesthetically pleasing as the rainbow sorting
  • um.. depending on how you sort it, it might still not be easier to find books
  • that it. I’m sorry rainbow books

Well. I guess my stance on this discussion is pretty obvious! While I have my bookcases sorted by author, it doesn’t mean that you should have it like that aswell. If you love rainbow sorting and your bookcase is sorted like that, please keep it that way!

I can’t believe my hosting days for BE spring are almost over already! I have one prompt left and after that.. it’s back to do science and rule the world! But before that, let me know down in the comments how you sort your bookcase, and if you actually want it that way, or you prefer something else but can’t/won’t sort them like that!

Until next time,

10 thoughts on “I Guess The Discussion Is: Aesthetics vs. Order?

  1. TheCaffeinatedReader says:

    I’m pretty much like you, not enough colors, mostly blacks, blues, browns. That is changing with all these new lovely colors, but I don’t know if I’d like rainbow shelves for functionality in my case. I usually like to do it by genre/author though right now it’s actually all about just putting the books where there’s space like I have a deep need for more shelves! I really enjoyed all your prompts and reading your posts Michelle!


  2. northernplunder says:

    my shelves dont reallywork for rainnbows, ive tried but as theyre 3 rows deep its kinda pointless.

    i keep my read and unread books seperated. and then my unread ones sorted by sries + standalones


  3. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites says:

    my memory is pretty visual so I think I’d actually be able to find my books by color, but as much as I love the look of rainbow shelves it just doesn’t make sense for the way I mentally catalogue my books. typically when I’m in a certain reading mood I know exactly what book I want, or at least I can narrow it down pretty easily – so genre or title makes the most sense for me, especially since I can never remember the publisher and size-matching doesn’t really matter to me unless it’s a mismatched series or one book that’s a lot smaller than all the others.

    I’ve been tempted to turn all my books spines-in for spite (“I do what I want, suck it, book snobs!”) and as a conversation starter, though I never have people in my childhood room so it would probably just be ammunition for my parents to make fun of me 😅


  4. Clo @ Book Dragons says:

    So I actually split my books up by read and unread. The shelves on my wall are home to all books I need to read still or reread…in some cases with series I’ll keep the books I’ve read in that series on there until I finish reading the series. So I don’t split them up.

    Then they’re sorted and grouped based on authors, and organised in a way that looks pleasing to me. They’re also a mix of standing upright on the shelves and bookcases and lying down flat. Rainbow shelves look super pretty but considering I read a lot of paranormal/supernatural themed books, they like black and dark colours for covers so I wouldn’t have enough colours for a rainbow shelf. I would love to try organising them in a rainbow though one day…maybe just with my contemporaries though xD


  5. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious says:

    I love the way rainbow shelves look, but I definitely don’t have enough rainbow-y colored books to achieve that… and I would literally go nuts trying to find anything.

    I sort my books mostly by size and keep the series together. I find this is the least OCD inducing for me. I’d prefer alphabetical by title but books being different sizes just induces anxiety for me, haha. Great post!


  6. sepiareads says:

    I sort my books by wherever it looks good and all the series can fit together and the authors’ books are together. I would love to order by colour but I don’t have many colourful books either. Mostly black or darker shades. I have a second bookshelf, which one shelf is occupied by colourful books but I can’t do that for all the books.


  7. Meeghan reads says:

    I sort my books by genre, and then within the genre I sort by author, series and year of publication. I’m ok splitting authors if they have different genres they write to.
    I would LOVE to have rainbow books, but I think I would cry because I couldn’t find anything. Also, I have a lot of books (like the original UK edition HPs) that have block multi-coloured spines, and I wouldn’t know where to sort them!!


  8. Heather @ The Frozen Library says:

    I have my bookshelf organized by genre, and I really like it! It’s still pretty cuz I decorate it with little knickknacks and put them near books that might share the same theme. (Like a little jar of pixie dust that I made near my copy of Peter Pan) I like the look of rainbow shelves, but I hate the idea of breaking up my series. XD


  9. jamsu says:

    I sorted my books by genre for the longest time. It was so easy to find books since I knew to look from the genre and books from the same series (and maybe even writer) were side by side.I sometimes had to take most of the books out though, like the last time when I had paranormal books first in the shelf if I bought a new one.

    Currently I’m sorting them by size. It’s aesthetically much better but sometimes it’s so hard to find a book I want.I still need to check how many books I need to take out depending how big the new book is.

    I tried rainbow once. It wasn’t even close to how they looked in pictures since most of my books are either black or white.


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