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Controversial? Color Coded Book Shelves

I was recently struck by some beautiful images of bookshelves.  Their contents had been organized by color and the hues seemed to brighten the area and bring a bit of unexpected joy to the space.  Without thinking much about incorporating the design tactic into my own personal space, I shot the link over to my husband who I figured would also appreciate the character it added to the room. 

Over the next few weeks I felt like all I saw was rainbow bookshelf after rainbow book shelf, each with their own personality.  Then came the articles about how ridiculous the color coded libraries were.  How would you ever be able to locate that one book you were searching for it they werent placed in subject categories?? 

created at: 01/18/2011

I am not certain if its really controversial or if bloggers were just looking for something to write about that week but I think its a great idea.  If you want to find a particular book and can't recall what it looks like, then, sure, you may have a tough time finding it amongst your sea of books.  If, however, you only have a few bookshelves full, color coding may be just the ticket to adding some life to an otherwise mundane room.  And, best yet, its free!

After reading the link and taking a look at our boxes of books still sitting around from our recent move, my husband decided that we should give it a try.  We shuffled, stacked, sifted, and categorized until we got a look that we felt was fairly cohesive.  Let me tell you, you do NOT know your colors until you color code books.  Ones that you could have sworn were green turn out to actually be more blue and those that you thought were burgundy turn out to fit best with the bright purple books.  Its a humbling excersize that takes you back to your elementary school days but the end result is rewarding.  I happen to think that I am more likely to switch off the television and pick up a book to read now that my shelves seem more inviting.

created at: 01/18/2011

What do you think?   Hot or not?

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Mallory on Mar 12, 2011:

This is how I organize my shelves. I connect things well visually, so the color coding is actually incredibly helpful in for me to locate a book.


bruno on Jan 20, 2011:

I think: hot. But not very practical. I know Chris's books are color-coded, and we've had a few posts on the subject before


SarahC on Jan 19, 2011:

Yay!  Someone actually read my post!  Thanks for commenting.  :)


elseajane on Jan 19, 2011:

I love color coded book shelves, my husband does not. I remember books by what the cover looks like not necessaryly by title or author. Marty on the other hand is a title guy. So we go back and forth, and have for the last 25 years. If you like it and can use it, go for it!


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