Bookshelves have become the official unofficial backdrop for Zoom presentations. I can’t count the number of meetings where I’ve seen the speaker sitting in front of a wall of books, all strategically placed, and it makes sense: Nice-looking bookcases look professional. Elegant, even. They show off a sense of sophistication that others will notice.
Take the Twitter account Bookcase Credibility, for example, as a great place for learning (and judging) bookcase arrangement. It’s an art, not a science. So, it’s time to get tidy. Here are some inventive ways of organizing your books to make a strong impression.
Consider arranging your books by color
Carrie from the home organization site Lemonade likes to take the sleeves off of books to expose the books’ natural look and color. After removing the sleeves, you can sort each book based on their specific color. All of your blue books should be together, red books, yellow books, and so on. Carrie explains she likes to group books by color but not necessarily in rainbow order, stacking some books on their side as a focal point and a way to make the room pop.
Organizers like Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit like to stick faithfully to the rainbow order they call the ROYGBIV method. “Our brains innately recognize this pattern, making sense of where to put things,” the duo explains. You can organize the books by size to help the flow.
Display your books in wall boxes
A sleeker way to display your books is with decorative wall boxes. To start, take differently-sized boxes and arrange them however you like on your walls. Create a large box with the smaller boxes, or a staircase progression up the walls—whichever combination inspires you the most. Place a few books in each box—not so many that they look stuffed, and not too few where it looks like something is missing. For a display like this, choose titles you want people to notice, as display boxes are a chance to show off your taste.
Use a suspension book rack to make a statement
One unique way to display books is a suspension book rack. You’ll be the talk of the Zoom with this custom display, where a wooden rail is hung on the wall with fancy clothespins and strings are wrapped inside your books’ covers so they hang down. (Don’t worry, this hanging method won’t damage your books.) You can find this custom hanging system on Etsy, but it costs to be this unique, running a minimum of $160, from what I found.
Make coffee tables and nightstands with larger books
An overflow of books can clutter up your bookshelves, so while you’re cleaning up your library or home office, take your rejected books to make a custom nightstand or coffee table. The Spruce suggests only using your hardcover books to make sure you have a sturdy structure. After stacking your books spine-side out, just put a plank of wood or glass on top. The style offers a good opportunity to incorporate the color-coding method, too, as you can use brighter books to create a brilliant focal point, or darker books to match darker woods.