1. Keep all book collections together. We have a number of special collection books, mostly children's sets, that I like to keep together on a shelf. I think it is obvious that anything that is in a numbered set or such should all stay together.
Quick Aside: These 2 book sets were some of my favorites as a kid. The top set is called The Junior Classics and was given to me by a special family friend and the set below is The Childcraft Library. When I was a kid my parents bought an encyclopedia set and the Childcraft series was included. I used to spend hours reading these books. My parents still have our original set so I bought this one off of ebay. My kids now love both of these too.
2. Keep all of an author's work together. This is also common sense to me. I don't go so far as to put my author's alphabetically, but I do like to keep all of their books together on the same shelf. This leads to my next goal...
While each of these genres are kept together on their own shelves, I purposely keep it somewhat unorganized within each genre because I love the idea that you have to browse around to find what you were looking for. That is how I always find other great reads when I am at the book store or at the library. You never know what you will stumble on or what will tickle your fancy while you are searching the stacks.
The picture above shows my historical collection. As you can see it is only loosely organized which I hope will encourage people to grab something unexpected.
You can see how nice it is to have the doors to hide this mess.
5. Make it pleasing to the eye. I love to add little knickknacks, framed photos, and such to the shelves to help break up the monotony. I will put books on their sides both as bookends or to show off a particular set of books. One nice thing about having the skinnier bookcases in the corner is that it is perfect for showcasing little collections of items.
This shot shows a few different ways to decorate the shelves. You can see where I added some family photos, a wooden bowl, and I used a basket to hold all the kids board books. I purposely keep all the kids books together on lower shelves to make it easier for the kids to reach them.
I hope this post gives you some ideas for your bookcases. I'd love to hear if anyone has any other good tips or tricks so leave me a comment.
This last shot is my favorite thing about this room.
~Gold Shoe Girl~