This week I’m participating in a new meme created by the ever lovely, friendliest blogger Charvi from Not Just Fiction. Although I love writing discussion posts, it so happens that I often get stumped with topics, so I’m grateful to the bloggers who take the time to create prompts and host a monthly meme.

The prompt for this week is on thoughts we have while organizing our bookshelves. As I always do, I didn’t stick to the prompt exactly but adapted it to a discussion on my thoughts about the judgement and bookshelves.

Have I made you curious?

Off Tangent Thoughts (OTT) is a bi-monthly meme run by Charvi @NotJustFiction that has a basic list-based format. Bloggers express their points in the form of a short or long list with the points under the list being merely a couple lines or even complete paragraphs.



The pleasure I get from organizing my space always makes my partner chuckle. He called me a whirlwind the other day which, knowing him, is a compliment. He’s a bookworm so he knows the satisfaction that comes when a book slips perfectly into the shelf, and the joy of seeing your books comfortably at home. Every bookshelf if a piece of art. Look at any bookworm’s shelf or stacks and I bet you, you get a glimpse of their personality.

That is why it irritates me to see judgement passed on how bookworms decide to arrange their bookshelves. Whether we choose the rainbow-scheme, the backwards look, or decide to leave our books on tables, bookworms are relentlessly judged for the way they keep their shelves. Which makes me wonder – how much of our personality do bookshelves really show? And why does it bother people?

Truth be told, when organizing all I’m thinking about is the aesthetic. When organizing my bookshelves, I don’t think on what merit this book or the other holds. I don’t see my bookshelf as a declaration that I am, yes, a bookworm. I don’t see it as a symbol of my literary intelligence. In fact, my bookshelf organization is all about comfort and the ease of finding a book.

For me, rainbow schemes don’t work and neither do an alphabetized system. I’ve always stacked my books by genres which I find fitting to the mood reader I am. I have unread books shelved together; my favourite classics are cramped into a wall shelf, and my review copies take up a precarious position on my temporary shelves. It’s an organized mess.

So what does that say about me?

The judgement people pass on bookshelf organization is, in my eyes, ridiculous. I’ve seen people be called monsters or idiots on Twitter and Facebook groups for their choice of organization. The lack of books being even more appalling as if a bookworm has to keep a certain number of books to earn their badge.

It’s ironic that for people who claim to value the reading experience above aesthetics – they seem disconcertingly distressed over someone’s choice of housekeeping.

Bookshelf organization isn’t a topic for debate anymore than the organization of my underwear drawer is. 


How do you organize your bookshelves? 

Do you keep your unread books separately?

Before you go, why not visit Charvi @ NotJustFiction and support their latest blogging endeavour Off Tangent Thoughts (OTT).



  1. Zia says:

    Bookstagram (and book photos in general) have really warped how people believe a bookworm’s bookshelf should look like. If it’s not absolutely perfect – with fairy lights to boot – you’ve got yourself an unworthy bookshelf. You’re right, people really do value aesthetics over anything else.

    This OTT prompt is really interesting! I think I’ll give it a try too, hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leah Tesch says:

    Honestly, I have my books every which way. Standing up, lying down, arranged by author/series/genre. There’s really no theme, but it’s aesthetically pleasing to me 🙂 There’s just not enough room.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marie says:

    Like everyone else, I guess I have my own preferences when it comes to organizing my bookshelves and I am a huge fan of rainbow bookshelves because I find them absolutely gorgeous. yet people criticizing others’ organization choices for their books is just a big no, because everyone has their own way of organizing their bookshelves, depending on how they prefer it to be and how they prefer to look for their books too and it should be okay. All bookshelves are amazing bookshelves because they have books, if you ask me 🙂 This is a very interesting topic! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cam @ Camillea Reads says:

      I love the look of rainbow bookshelves! There are even some that are just pastel themed and they are oh so pretty, Marie! Yes, I wish bookworms just focus on promoting love for reading rather than judging. Even so, this community is filled with many supportive people. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marie says:

        Oh yes just pastels, ahhh. So pretty 🙂
        I agree with you. It’s so good to see great and supportive people in the community ❤ ❤


  4. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    GAHHH I didn’t even know this was a thing!! This must be why I don’t have a ton of followers on Instagram. It’s pretty obvious that I don’t have a ton of paper books. Honestly my situation with roommates doesn’t allow me to drag out my boxed books. I love the idea of rainbow shelves even though I’d probably go with alpha by author/series because it would drive me crazy to not have the series together. I really hope others realize that people can be total book worms with imperfect shelves!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tasya @ the literary huntress says:

    I didn’t even know there are people that judged based on their book organization preferences -_- Like, can’t we just let others live their life however they wanted it??? I love reorganizing my book, but I usually do the plain old series/authors/heights organization. While rainbow and backside organization are pretty, I got really frustrated when I was looking for books 😅 But again, just because it’s not for me, doesn’t mean other people can’t do it right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense says:

    I love the sound of this meme so much! I’m going to need to participate in the future. I also love organizing my bookshelves and it shouldn’t matter how someone chooses to do so. I go with an alphabetized system, so it’s easy for me to locate a book. I once had rainbow shelves. I couldn’t find anything, but boy, did it look great.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators says:

    I love seeing the different, creative ways people organize their shelves! I organize my books by what feels right. There’s some ombre, some grouping by author or genre, but mainly I just go with my gut feeling. This means that my read and unread books get to mingle, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest! I’m happy when I look at my shelves, and that’s what matters to me the most!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lost in words says:

    I didn’t realise people criticised other book worms about how they organise their bookshelves. That is so bad – I agree. Bookworms should just be happy that people are reading books, and should understand that how different bookworms organise their shelves is up to them.

    Liked by 1 person

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