Who doesn’t like to own a dreamy bookstagram-y rainbow bookshelf? Well, I’m here to tell you that it is easy to organize your books by color! I’d walk you through the process step-by-step and also give you some tips and tricks to maintain a color-coordinated bookshelf.
For the last three years, i.e. ever since I joined bookstagram, I have been dreaming of having a dedicated book wall cum home library. I had never seen open bookshelves before, forget owning one. The idea of open bookshelves was unacceptable because
a) Who is going to do the regular dusting?
b) It is easy to steal the books that way, isn’t it? Well, I believed so.
But I was transported to a dreamland every time I saw these open book walls. So, when I got an opportunity, I jumped at it.
Mufasa and I had to move to my parent’s place since the soldier was sent on active duty to the frontiers. That’s when we decided to expand our home to a double-storied one and my head exploded with ideas.
The one major requirement from my end was a dedicated studio cum reading room for myself.
When I explained the idea of a white open book wall, my father was taken aback. He had never seen such a thing in his entire life. I showed many pictures, scrolled through Pinterest for more aesthetic ideas, but the idea was a complete no-no for him. To add to my agony, we already had a humungous wooden bookshelf with glass doors. But then, he succumbed to my wishes.
And now, this is our family’s favorite room to chill!
Who Needs Colorful Wall Art or Paintings When You Can Put a Rainbow Bookshelf!
The room I had in mind was L-shaped and it was perfect to do a rainbow bookshelf. I decided to custom-build white floating shelves on this particular floor-to-ceiling wall, stretching from one end to the other.
I kept the option of having closed compartments too at the bottom because I have quite a huge collection of bookstagram props and food props (for my food photography!).
DIY Rainbow Bookshelf
To make a color-coordinated bookshelf, you’ll need BOOKS with colored spines. The bookstagrammer pro may look at me with a condescending eye when I say, you needn’t worry about owning books of the same height to put up a rainbow shelf. But that’s how I go about it. It’s decoration and also function when it comes to me.
- Think about the Rainbow Bookshelf Color Order
There are many varieties of rainbow bookshelves out there. In fact, I keep changing my bookshelf color order every now and then.
Check Pinterest for ideas and you will surely feel overwhelmed. Some are exceptionally good, others not so. If you want to know the color order I chose, here it is:
- and repeat!
I chose to do a running pattern or a snake pattern where the books are arranged by color from left to right, then down right to left, and so on.
I did this only for three shelves, the left end is dedicated to all collector’s edition books and book series.
- Take all your books off the shelf
The easiest way to do this is to take all your books off the shelf and roughly organizing them according to the colors. Divide and make piles on the floor, your sofa, and your chairs.
- Organize by color on the shelf
Once you have roughly organized the books, it is time to put them on the shelf. As you go about it, sort them by shades within the color family as well.
For eg: It was Black -> Dark Blue -> Navy Blue -> Sky Blue -> Turquoise Blue -> Green and so on.
I opted for a snake pattern this time! I will discuss the one disadvantage of doing this later in the post.
..and that’s it! Add some coffee mugs, funko pops, fairy lights, candles, and other bookish knickknacks and you are good to go!
Tips to make your color-coordinated shelf great!
- Organizing by color is easy and fun! I almost always remember a book’s cover and therefore, it is easy for me to spot a book I’m searching for, from my bookshelf.
- I have this excessive idea of perfectionism that I cannot, however, include a book series on a rainbow shelf. That is why all my classics collection, collector’s edition, book series went onto this last shelf.
- It is okay to collect/buy books just because you do not have a particular color. After all, it was your dream to make a rainbow shelf, isn’t it? And an additional book means more reading! You can check out secondhand book stores, book exhibitions, garage sales on online book websites including Amazon.
- If you find yourself short of books, which I did, simply display a beautiful cover you own on every shelf instead of organizing the books. You get the drift, right? That way you can make more space and cover more shelf area.
- Halfway through organizing, if you think you have more books than the whole bookshelf can hold, start stacking one book on top of the other. This way, you can add more books.
The one drawback I found with the snake pattern is that I cannot add a new book to a shelf without disrupting the whole pattern. Think about it?
If you ask me if I have read all the books on my shelf, then no! I have not! That’s the irony, right? So many books so little time and I still buy at least a handful every month.
I hope this was helpful. Fret not! My best advice would be to be patient. Collecting books doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience. It is worth it!
Please feel free to ask any questions about this whole process. I’d be happy to answer.
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This is like a bookshelf in heaven, Shalini! You’ve put in so much effort and it turned out fabulous.
Leha recently posted…When words sustained us
It truly means a lot, Leha! Thank you very much 🙂
Deepti Menon says
Shalini, what a wonderful post! I have a whole library of books and you have inspired me to do a rainbow theme on them. Thank you so much. I intend to share your post on my Facebook page as well. Kudos, fellow Army wife! may your nimble brain keep coming up with ideas. 🙂
Shilpa Bindlish says
I’m literally in love with this colourful display of your books. I can imagine how satisfying it would be spend your me-time here. Excellent work!
Shilpa Bindlish recently posted…Dining Etiquettes to Teach to Your Little Ones
Shilpa Gupte says
I am dumbstruck, Shalini! What a library you have at your home! You could use a tagline like, “Neighbour’s envy, owner’s pride!” 😛
Loved the way you have done up the bookshelf, and also love watching your co-reader ‘helping’ you out in your IG posts that you share. 😛
How I wish we were neighbours! Hehe
Suchita Agarwal says
That is so gorgeous. I only have a black and white library on my Kindle so to make myself feel better, I look at the Kindle app on my phone!
Rose Chandler says
What a fun and inspiring post! As a book lover, I have always been fascinated by bookshelves, and a rainbow bookshelf has been on my wishlist for a long time. The step-by-step guide provided in this post is incredibly helpful, and I love the idea of organizing books by color. It not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also makes it easier to find a particular book. The color order provided by the author is also very useful for those who are confused about how to arrange the books.
The tips shared by the author, such as not worrying about having books of the same height and including book series on a separate shelf, are great suggestions. I also appreciate the idea of displaying beautiful book covers on each shelf when short of books. It’s a clever way to make more space and add to the overall look of the shelf.
Overall, this post has inspired me to finally create my own rainbow bookshelf. Thank you for sharing your experience and tips with us!