organizing by color
Organizing bookshelves by color is by no means a modern novelty (nor is shelving books spine-in, but that’s a different kettle of fish). In 1848, English publisher Joseph Cundall remarked how, “in the British Museum, books of Divinity are bound in blue, History in red, Poetry in yellow, and Biography in olive colored leather. This is an excellent plan in a large library.”[i] Private collectors of the past were also concerned about the colors of their bookshelves: either as a navigational aid or as an effort to present an image of uniformity.
I wish books were still color-coded by subject! I prefer color blocking books - I find it soothing. For a large number of books, I’d organize by topic and then by color.
My work bookshelf is color organized. Interestingly, that shows trends in book cover art in the productivity sphere. Yellow was the new red. Blue is the new yellow.
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