3 Steps to a Better Bookshelf
My dream bookshelf is something straight out of Beauty and the Beast... floor-to-ceiling rows of books with a rolling ladder so I can glide along the wall in search of just the right book. Since I don't live in an animated Disney movie, my much smaller bookshelves will have to do. But that doesn't mean I can't improve the look and feel of my home library. You can upgrade as well in three steps... no tools required.
I'm not talking about constructing or replacing the actual shelving in your home, although that could be a fun project. What I'm exploring today is making what's on your shelves a better reflection of who you are as a reader and creating a collection that makes you smile whenever you see it.
1. Add Something New. I know this hardly seems like ground-breaking advice for book lovers. Many of us can't walk out of a bookstore or library without a stack of new titles in our arms. The point here is not to add more books (and weight) to your shelves, but to add a carefully curated title or two. We often get stuck in our notions of our reading identities. Pick a book from a new genre, an author you've never read, or about a topic you've never examined. Adding something distinct from the rest of your collection can refresh your shelves and revitalize your reading life.
2. Subtract Something Old. No one has unlimited space. Shelves crammed full of books look heavy, cluttered, and overwhelming. Removing even a few books can lighten the load on your shelves and your mind. How do you decide? Check out my advice on how to weed your shelves in this post. And remember, subtracting a few books from your collection opens up space for future growth (see Step 1 above).
3. Regroup. You can arrange the books on your shelves in a myriad of ways. Some group by author, genre, alphabetical order, even by color. I confess my shelving system only makes sense to me and would appear haphazard to anyone else. Upgrade your shelf by doing some regrouping. Move some books around on your shelves. See how new pairings look and feel to you. Find a few books with beautiful covers and turn those face out so you can see them whenever you pass by. Stack a few books instead of lining them up. Since you took the time to weed out some books (Step 2), maybe now you have room for a fun bookend or plant. The idea here is to create some visual interest that will catch your eye and capture your imagination.
Coming Soon! In a few weeks I'll be releasing my new FREE Reading Tracker Printable! It's designed to be a fun and whimsical way to track your daily reading time and help you meet your reading goals. To be one of the first to get access to this FREE printable when it comes out, just sign up for email alerts here on my blog. Click on the Log In/Sign Up button at the top of the page to get started today!
You may never own the castle library of your dreams, but taking the time to assess the contents and look of your bookshelf can energize your reading life. Whether you have lovely built-in shelving or a small book cart, these three steps will get you thinking about and seeing your collection in a new way. Best wishes for further reading!
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