If you are a follower of Gretchen Rubin, like myself, then you’ve most likely read Happier at Home, her second book that, among many topics, discusses cultivating a shine (or two or five) in your home to something that you love. It’s a place you can pass by and feel “happier at home” because it is there.

I never realized until I read her book that I was already doing this in my home. Recently, I became more intentional with the idea of shrines in my home, more specifically with my library.

There are multiple great things about creating shrines in your library (and your home). Here are just a few ways my library brings me happiness, especially at the start of a new reading year.

Easily find books from a favorite author

If you collect every book from a favorite author, putting them all on the same shelf or same location makes it easy to find them to read, share, or take inventory of what might be missing.

I have two shelves dedicated to Jane Austen. The top shelf has books that I have read yet while the bottom shelf stores all the books I haven’t read that relate to Austen. I also included some fun knick knacks I’ve acquired over the years.

I also have a small section in my bedroom library for the James Patterson books I have yet to read, plus Janet Evanovich, J.D. Robb, and my full Nancy Drew collection on one shelf.

Display collector items

If you have non-book items or collectables that relate to an author, dedicating a shelf to display those items and include the books by the author is another great way to bring happiness to your library or home, not to mention a creative way to spice up your shelves.

My most recent shrine came about after I received a wooden Shakespeare sign for Christmas. I needed a place to display it and what better location than the library. I cleared off a shelf to include the sign and all my Shakespeare related books (most being older, collector editions).

Prioritize reading and tracking

This might be one of the most important shrines for me and anyone else obsessed with books. Designating a shelf to books you have borrowed (from the library or friends) can help you prioritize what to read next.

I finally had to organize a couple shelves to hold not just the books I have borrowed from friends and keep forgetting to read, but also books I’ve started but haven’t finished. In addition, it houses the books I most want to read so I’m not wondering what to pick up next.

Now every time I catch a glimpse of my growing library, I find joy and happiness in the organization and reminders of why I love books so much.

What shrines do you have in your library or what shrines do you want to create? 2018 is the perfect time to start a new tradition, or dust off the old shelves and refresh them with a new look.

Happy reading!




Also published on Medium.