Tips for Sellers: How to Organize Your Bookshelves

Organize Bookshelves

Keeping your books organized will help make the selling process quick and easy. With your shelves in order, you’ll be able to quickly locate an ordered book to ship, keep track of what you’re listing online and the titles that are part of your permanent collection, and you can even use a well-curated bookcase as the backdrop of your listing photos.

If you’re stuck for inspiration on how to organize your collection, or what shelves to even use in the first place, read on for some tried and true tips that are sure to boost both your mood and your sales!


Organization Tips for Pango Sellers at a Glance:

  • Separate your “for sale” books.
  • Organize by genre, like at bookstores–but get niche with it!
  • Sort your books by color.
  • Organize your books the library way–alphabetically by author.
  • Use unconventional bookshelves and display methods.

Separate Your “For Sale” Books

You don’t want to keep your listed books too close to the books you plan on holding onto. We recommend keeping one shelf (or two!) for the books you already have listed on Pango and one for the books you plan to list. Keeping them separate will make it much easier for when you need to find a book that’s sold or one you’re ready to take photos of for a listing.

When you finish a new book, think about whether you want to shelve it with your “for keeps” collection or your “to sell” collection. If you have a hard time making up your mind, you might need a “maybe” pile, or shelf, for that matter.

Organize by Genre

You can go the classic route and organize by genre, but don’t box yourself in! While bookstores have great genre-based organization, they don’t always get super specific, like sapphic teen vampires–which is arguably a shelf many people would love to shop. Think of your book collection and what hyperspecific genres you could make shelves around. Maybe you have a lot of “summer before college” books, or a bunch of fantasy books with protagonists avenging a late parent, or contemporary books with music at the heart. People tend to gravitate towards books of a similar genre or theme.

Broad genre shelving is an alternate approach that can attract repeat buyers. For instance, if you have an LGBTQ+ shelf, and someone is looking for more LGBTQ+ books, they may notice a book in the background of another photo and open the conversation about buying a bundle of books from you!

Pro tip: Design and print labels for each genre for free with a design app like Canva!

Organize Bookshelves

Sort Your Books by Color

Bright shelves are enticing to potential buyers, and the color-coded organization will bring you peace whenever you glance at your own collection. You can create a full rainbow of books, going from red to yellow all the way down to violet, er, purple, one book of each color at a time. Alternatively, you can separate by shelf–one shelf all red, another all different shades of blue, carefully choosing gradients that you have the right books for.

If you’re looking to use your bookshelves as the backdrop for listing photos, the rainbow look is especially appealing. Shopping on Pango might be virtual, but it’s still a visual experience, and eye-catching photos make shopping more exciting!

The Library way–Alphabetically by Author

If you tend to gravitate towards favorite authors, this method may be particularly useful, especially if any of those authors write across multiple genres, like Rachel Lynn Solomon who writes both adult romance and YA contemporary.

You can do this for both your “listed” shelves and your “for keeps” shelves. It will also make selling much easier–no guesswork on where one of your listings is hiding!

Use Unconventional Display Methods

There are lots of reasons to use different kinds of bookshelves: maybe you prefer a funkier design, or your limited vertical space leaves you with few options, or you want an innovative way to separate your “for sale” books from more permanent additions to your collection. If you want to use a smaller shelf separately for your listings, an unconventional shelf may be a fun option.

If you don’t need much storage space, a LACK shelf from IKEA would be a great way to display your collection. The vertical shelves are perfect for color-coordination and unconventional shelving methods--stacking your books horizontally or on their sides, rather than the traditional vertical method. Desktop bookshelves are another great way to display your “for sale” collection if you’re pressed for space! Amazon offers some fun options that also give you room to display your creativity with fun accents.

Organize Bookshelves

Extra storage tips: If you’re getting serious about being a stellar Pango seller, consider getting a small rolling cart to hold your packing supplies, like packing tape, bubble mailers, stickers and more. You can find great carts in fun colors at IKEA and Michaels.