Teach Me How to #Shelfie – Taking Photos of Your Book Shelf

Author’s Note: I want to apologize in advance for my title choice. If you don’t have the title stuck in your head to the tune of ‘Teach Me How To Dougie’, maybe it’s just a *me* problem.

Anyone who is anyone is on Instagram. At least, that is what I tell myself to justify the amount of time I spend checking the app throughout the day instead of doing adult-like things (cough-work-cough).

Alas, I digress!

If you are on Instagram and you are a book lover, you are familiar with the elusive #shelfie. Yes, the one where people take pictures of their perfectly manicured bookshelves.

Teach Me How to #Shelfie Blog

I did a book count not too long ago. The amount of books in my room comes to a grand total of 525 – awe-inspiring for some of you, scoff worthy for others. Whatever, it isn’t a competition (it totally is).

The point is, how do these people 1) have so many beautiful books, 2) have that much room in their bedroom or office, 3) have so many adorable book-themed knick-knacks, and 4) make it Instagram worthy?

Honestly, I still haven’t really figured it out, but I can share with you what I have learned by searching the World Wide Web and through good old fashioned trial and error.

Tiny Space = Custom Shelving

Right away I will admit that this isn’t an option for everyone. Really, it shouldn’t have been an option for me. However, I was young(er) and stupid, so I spent the money. The result: one floor to ceiling shelf about two feet wide and two eight-foot floating box shelves that line the top of two walls. These shelves created more space and a cool layout.

books on ceiling shelf

On a budget? Check out Ikea or Walmart. Really, any place that sells shelving units. I think the key here is that it doesn’t matter where you get them, as long as they all look the same (i.e. all black or all white, you know the drill).

Judge A Book By Its Cover

Every book lover needs to admit that one of their favourite past times is arranging and rearranging their prized book collection. Some like to achieve the coveted rainbow look (bless their patience), others are themed, and some have cute little Funkos gracing their shelves.

Cool, you clever little Leprechaun, but how do you find the book you need?!

Whatever the case, pick a theme that works for you. For me, I like to theme my shelves by genre, by the publisher, or by height. Really, it depends on how I am feeling at the moment. 

For example, grouping your Penguin’s Clothbound Classics (drool) together would look stellar and add a nice touch to your #shelfie.

Face It Out

Have you ever gone to a bookstore (ha, of course) and seen how they arrange their shelves? Often, bookstores will use what can be called a “face out” to either save space (multiple copies of one book) or keep a shelf of books from falling over. While there is a practical reason for bookstores to do this, it also provides a break in what can easily be shelf after shelf of book spines.

So, how can you use this method?

If you are running low on books, find a copy of a book – perhaps one with a beautiful cover – to face out. If you find that the book keeps falling back, find an old knick-knack to place as an anchor behind it. Note, hardcovers tend to work best for this.

On the other hand, if you are running out of space, maybe you want to face out a series. Put the first, last, or whatever book in the series you want first and stack them one behind the other.

face out on book shelf

Bring Back Bookends

Ya, I understand what bookends are for, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with them. Though, if you are like me, you may feel like you don’t need them. Sure, that may be true, but what I mean is that anything and everything can be a bookend. For example, plants are totally in! Everyone wants to be that cool plant parent (thank goodness for succulents because I do not have a green thumb), so why not put a plant in between some books. I bet something like a drape-y plant (wow, so technical) would look great just off centre on your shelf.

books stacked on shelf

Whatever you choose to do to spruce up your #shelfie game, tag us on Instagram @bibliomavens! Yup, I want to drool over your creation. So, gimme what I want – #shelfie envy!



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