Here’s What Your Bookshelf Says About Your Personality

Updated on June 1, 2022 | by Alex Smith

What Does Bookshelf Say About You

Someone can say so much about you and your personality based on the types of books you read. But you probably don’t know that your bookcase can say just as much.

As American novelist Walter Mosley said, “A man’s bookcase will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about him,” and it can’t be any truer as bookshelves speak volumes about your personality—from the way you arrange your books to the ornaments you display on them. Its organization, or lack thereof, can suggest either practicality or your love for order. 

What Does Your Bookshelf Say About You? 

Many book lovers arrange their books alphabetically by author. In some cases, they also arrange them by color, height, or trim size of the book spines. If you’re one of them, you probably prize appearance more than finding the right title quickly. 

Your bookcases could also represent how you view your books: your favorites at eye level and arranged according to genre and themes, while the rest are sorted randomly on the rest of the shelves. 

Let’s get more specific to bookshelf styles and what they say about you: 


You are classy and prefer to keep things in order. One of your strengths is problem-solving—no wonder your friends go to you for advice. 


Creativity has always been one of your best traits and your love for crafts reflects on your bookcase. You want to group books of the same color and experiment with them every once in a while. 

By Genre

You like keeping different aspects of your life segregated, just like how you would organize your bookcase. It may sound and look confusing to others but for you, it all just makes sense. 


You are a great storyteller and you tell stories in vivid colors. You like collecting souvenirs from your travels and displaying knick-knacks that have been gifted to you. 

Cluttered and Full

Your books are stacked on top of each other and some others are leaning sideways, if not shoved into the littles of space you have left. It may not look organized, but you just couldn’t care as what matters to you is what’s inside—just like how personality matters more to you. 

How to Arrange Your Bookcase 

Discovering how much a bookcase can say a lot about you, you’re probably wondering now how it can better reflect your style and personality. 

Good thing, we’re here to provide you with some tips to give your bookcase a strong, well-put look. 

1. Start with the KonMari Method 

Given Marie Kondo’s fame, this step is pretty much self-explanatory: take all the books out of your bookcase and get rid of anything that no longer sparks joy’. These can be anything from books that you don’t use anymore or just no longer love. Donate them or sell them—whatever your preference, the key here is to avoid overstuffing your bookcase with books you don’t read. 

2. Update Your Bookcase 

Your bookcase could probably do with some updating. Consider dressing up the back of the shelf with wallpaper, fabric, or a fresh coat of paint. It’s a great way to fit your bookcase into your existing decor while creating a sense of depth into an otherwise dull furniture piece.

3. Arrange Your Books 

Now comes the highlight of revamping your bookcase: arrange your books the way you prefer them, either by genre, color, or alphabetically. Here, you’ll want to add some variation by positioning your books both vertically and horizontally. The height of your stacked books should not be higher than the set of vertically-arranged ones adjacent to them. 

4. Keep Everything Balanced 

Just because your bookcase has a lot of space, doesn’t mean you have to fill it. Balance and visual weight are key to getting it right. Fill your bookcase in a way that it’s not so crowded but at the same time, doesn’t look too sparse. 

5. Finish off with Accents 

Decorative accents work wonders on a shelf. They add personality by allowing you to express your style and creativity. Add artwork, sculpture pieces, and souvenirs from your travels. These can be grouped in pairs or placed as an accent item beside a stack of books—just remember that symmetry is what we’re going for here. 


Take a picture of the result. Try moving things around and playing with different groupings to see how they would look all together. 

Getting your shelf to look perfect takes quite some time and re-editing until everything falls into place. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect either. What matters is that it reflects your personality and probably your mood at the moment. 

How do you style your bookcase? Let us know by leaving a comment below.