Thursday, April 29, 2010

a new obsession

I first saw this idea over a year ago over at Sassy Monkey Reads. She'd posted an amazing picture of a weekend project she'd just completed (click to go see for yourself). I was delighted with the end result, but never really considered a similar undertaking. 

It seemed waaaay too contrary my Type A personality way of organizing and arranging things... 

But it looked so pretty! 

No, I told myself, I'd never be able to find anything... 

My kids would wreck it...

But... soooo pretty!

Then, not surprising, I did nothing. But I never forgot that picture. And last week when I decided to do a search on Flickr for "rainbow books", the same smile spread across my face. As I spent the better part of 30 minutes clicking through image after image of books arranged by colour, it became impossible to resist. I mean, just look at these:

book rainbow mosaic
1. Camdyn's colorful bookshelf!, 2. New library, 3. Rainbow, 4. Bedroom book rainbow, 5. Rainbow of Books (Explore #93)., 6. Rainbow Books

Amazing, right? So. Much. Better. So much better than books arranged by author or subject or simply by height *yawn*. I think every room can be improved with the presence of a rainbow. The colours are so bright and fun and cheerful. Dewey Decimal who??

At first, I wasn't sure we had enough colourful books to even make a rainbow. There was a lot of white and pale yellow, not much pink or purple (not surprising) and lots of blue (also not surprising). What did surprise me is that we only have one (one!) orange book*. I mean really orange. ORANGE IS MY FAVOURITE COLOUR. 

Speaking of colour, sorry about these pictures... A good reminder before my photo session this afternoon TO ALWAYS CHECK MY SETTINGS BEFORE SHOOTING. Ah well, these pictures will do for now. I'll take some more after we paint the walls grey and the shelf itself white. The antique dresser next to the shelf will also be getting a fresh coat of paint.

(Yes, that lamp shade is broken (thanks boys). And yes, those are knitting needles** sticking up out of those lovely alabaster... vases? jars? candle holders?... lovely nonetheless. Peter's parents bring them to us from Egypt.) 

rainbow books-2

rainbow books-1

So. What do you think? Peter thinks I'm a bit crazy, but thankfully he's used to it/me by now. I happen to love it. I smile every time I look at the bookshelf (and can't wait to tackle the big shelf in our bedroom and the two full shelves in the boys room).

* It's George Orwell's Animal Farm. That tiny one right in the middle of the top shelf, between Ewan McGregor's Long Way Down and Ayittey's Africa in Chaos.

** I taught myself to knit over Lent! I've actually made some things too! Another post I haven't gotten around to writing yet...

(I'm working on a page to show where this post is linked to. I'll be back! Promise! My kids need lunch now though... how annoying. *wink*)


  1. Thanks for causing my left and right hemispheres to become locked in a death match. Please call an ambulance.

  2. My rainbow has grown since then but I still love it. After we move this summer I should have a rainbow that extends for a whole wall. *joy*

  3. My books have been sorted by color for years. When we moved from Florida to Illinois some people in my family tried to convince me to shelve them "properly" - hah. By color IS shelving properly.

    I love them by color, I love them so much.

  4. I so want to do this to our bookcases. BUT my husband would KILL me. He has them all sorted by subject, author, and how much he loves them. LOL But he better watch out because I think I need a rainbow.

  5. OK...looks great but it would drive me crazy trying to find a book since I would have to remember the color PLUS my organizational brain does it according to subject. But...the color really does look nice. Interesting and definitely different. Love, Mom/Mora/Nana

  6. You are funny. I'm always amazed at what you come up with next. :) And, yes, your bookshelf does look very pretty. I love it.

  7. I've been wanting to do it for years but have been waiting for: a) the perfect bookshelf, b) the kids junk to get out of my living room, c) my brain to allow books of different sizes to reside next to one another. It will be a hard change but I'll get there eventually.

    I love it in your room. Looks great!

  8. This looks amazing! Great job

  9. That is a really good idea! But not for my husband!!! Do you know what? I make my rainbow in my closet with all my t-shirt! ;) Elise xox

  10. I can hardly wait to see how the children's books look. I subbed in my old classroom today and guess what she wanted me to read--"The Lorax" !
    I was always finding it hard with children's books--especially when I needed them right away. I finally filed them by the months I would use them.
    The other problem was, the shelves were too short for some of the tall books, so I had to lay them on the sides (backs). Well the color thing looks great for adult books, Hugs, Dianne

  11. ooooh. preeettyyy! hmmm. i hope it rains this weekend so that i can attempt this challenge.

  12. Such a creative idea. I think I will try it with our books when we get to move into our place in June. :) Love it!

  13. LOVE it! I'm definitely going to do that with Bella's books!


  14. Amy, I can't stand it!! You have to change it -- the tall ones of each color have to be on the ends descending towards the middle! Then you would have waves of rainbow colors and you would be the first to combine the sky with the sea. Things will have to change at the beginning of June. I think I can deal your inferior placements for 2 days -- then let the most neurotic win!! To be forewarned is to be forearmed... with a good supply of yellow "do not cross" police tape (or whatever you call it)! Ah-h, poor Peter...
    Miss Ellie

  15. Visually pleasing and made of books - Love that combination!

    Thanks for linking at Lucky Star Lane!

  16. Love it..

    Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday. Please join me next week for another great party!

  17. Now that is Art! I absolutely love the rainbow bookshelf

  18. I was always finding it hard with children's books--especially when I needed them right away. I finally filed them by the months I would use them.
    Baby Bedding

  19. I LOVE it!!! Maybe that's because my treasured collection of books is sitting in rubbermaid containers in my basement. But it's just so nice to look a. Well done.

  20. i did this too!!!!!!!
    so much easier to put them back on the shelf when alex has emptied the book shelf onto the floor for the third time in a day;)).

  21. I would have to remember the color PLUS my organizational brain does it according to subject

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