The Bookshelf Tour

A what’s what of my colour-coded reads


Our bookshelves are a bit of a conversation starter; both online and in real-life. The colour-coded organisation gives some people a case of the heart eye emojis and others some serious Monica Geller ‘OMG we need to get out of here before she starts hoovering her hoover‘ vibes (they’re not wrong). I get asked a fair amount for a bookshelf tour, but after doing a twitter poll on the matter a couple of weeks ago the results suggested that it might be a bit of a snooze-inducing video, so instead I’m treating you to it in blog post form. If you are still awake by the end of it then consider it a triumph…


The bookcase is from West Elm. It’s still available and currently in the sale (SCORE! Link here) and although it wasn’t exactly the cheapest purchase – it houses all the annoying bits and bobs that we keep in our living room in a way that still looks pretty minimal. Open up the doors and it’s stuffed with board games, CD’s, vinyls – the lot. Those bits live in the closed shelving units and then in the open ones below  we keep extra blankets and pillows, our photo albums and our Crosley Record Player.

Right onto the books. In terms of the colour-coding organisation, it’s easy peasy to do. Just take everything off the shelves, sort in piles according to the colour of the spine and then adjust the books accordingly as you put them back on the shelves. The only ball-ache comes when you buy a new book that yet again has a white-coloured spine – boo! When it comes to reading I like a bit of everything, but I tend to reach for literature that focuses more on the #GIRLBOSS side of the spectrum, those with a bit of beauty and fashion thrown in or books written by some of my favourite people in the entertainment industry. I save full-on fiction reads for holidays and airplanes because I tend to get sucked in and struggle to function as a normal human being (I once walked into a lamppost because I was reading Gone Girl’ on a walk home in the rain).


Other books that I’ve enjoyed aside from #GIRLBOSS, in the ‘women kicking ass’ category include; ‘Lean In’ by Cheryl Sandberg (I’m currently reading this for the second time), ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert and ‘Running Like a Girl’ by Alexandra Heminsley, which if you ever fancy getting into running is a book you must read before dusting off your trainers.

For a serving of beauty you can’t go wrong with Sali Hughes’ ‘Pretty Honest’ and ‘Pretty Iconic’. Both are reads that I dip into whenever I want to soak up some cosmetic industry knowledge and know-how. If you want a beginner’s guide to beauty then I highly recommend Bobbi Brown’s ‘Makeup Manual’ – I begged my parents for two years to get me this for Christmas and it was well worth the puppy dog eyes. For something that’s so visually appealing that it hurts check out ‘Makeup Your Mind, Express Yourself’ by Francois Nars. You won’t be disappointed.

Some of the books that I reach for time and time again are written by hilarious ladies from my favourite programmes and because I’m such a 30 Rock/Parks & Rec/The Office fangirl, they naturally make me all giddy whenever I read them. I read ‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey in about two days, when I finished ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler I downloaded the audiobook immediately because I wanted to hear her read the whole thing again for me and ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ and ‘Why Not Me?’ by Mindy Kaling make me do the shoulder-shake giggle. I’m dying to read her book with B.J Novak when it’s released. KELLY AND RYAN 4EVZ.

Photos by Lauren Shipley



  • Eda Savaseri

    Your Bookshelf gives me life. This gave me the inspiration to do the same on mine. At least I know what I’m doing this weekend 🙂 As always lovely post Anna!

  • I love how your books are grouped in colours. Just so aesthetically pleasing to the eye! Sadly I’m not much of a reader, but my husband is so we have our fair share of books at home. Ha!

    Mimi | According to Mimi

  • My books are organized by theme and then by size, which makes more sense to me for finding stuff, but I have to admit, the color coordinated look is very pretty as well.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • I love seeing what people have on their bookshelves, so thank you for posting this! I think you’d really like Facepaint by Lisa Eldridge (if you haven’t already read it).

  • The inner organisation lover inside me loves that you’ve colour coded your book, your bookshelf looks amazing!

    Jodie //

  • Maggie

    I love the organization of this shelf! Its adorable as well!

  • Love the colour coding, makes the books something beautiful as a collective as well as as individual objects

    – Natalie

  • Wow that is quite a bookcase, you’ve inspired me! I really loved Girl Boss too x

  • Your bookshelf is so beautiful, I love the colour co-ordination 🙂

    Rachael xx.

  • The colour coding is the most satisfying thing I’ve seen online xx

  • Fatima

    I’ve been looking for some new books to read and some of these sound right up my street! Plus that colour coding is so aesthetically pleasing!!

    Fatima x

  • I am loving the colour coding of the books! 🙂

  • Thanks for the recommendations. I too cannot wait for Mindy Kaling’s book with BJ Novak!

    Sweet Spontaneity

  • This is such a gorgeous bookshelf… I wish I could have mine be this pretty!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

  • Great recommendations, you’ve inspired me to read more non-fiction! Steph x

  • joyfuljoyous

    Actual hearts are in my eyes right now. The colour coding system looks so satisfying!

  • Beautiful shelf and great recommendations.

  • Beautiful book shelf and full of amazing books for the modern #GirlBoss I love the combination of beauty, fashion and comedy books, great variety. Oh, what I would give to spend a weekend in your office, reading…

    xo, Yasmin

  • Nerina

    Your bookshelf is so pleasing to the eyes!

    Nerina /

  • It looks pretty, but wouldn’t it take longer to find a book compared to organizing by author?

  • Mila S


    loved the post babe

    x MILA x
    || ||

  • I color code my books too and it is satisfying!!!

  • Sara MacGregor

    I like organising biography type books as if I was doing a seating plan for a dinner party (that’s normal right?!) Anyway I’ve got Sali beside Estee and then Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, David Sedaris and Richard Ayoade. I also feel like I can’t put two books next to each other if they wouldn’t be friends IRL…I’ll get me coat.

  • I organise my bookshelf by colour too and I find it SO aesthetically pleasing! I’ve tried every other way but nothing fits as right as a rainbow bookshelf!

    Sharni //

    I dont read physical books because im more into audible, but i loveeee listening to the books by comedians, its always so amazing to get to hear it in their voice! I loved yes please and bossy pants!

    I would recommend chelsea handler’s books for some good old laughs. I just got through amy schumer’s IT WAS GREAT! If you’re looking for any books, give those a try 🙂

    ♡ Carina – Blog // YouTube

  • Aah I love bookshelf tour videos / blogposts ^^

  • This is so cute! I really want to read girl boss!

  • Well I enjoyed this! 🙂 That Bobbi Brown book looks like a good one to start with. Thanks Anna and happy reading! xx

  • Samantha Hunt

    Loved this post Anna! Can’t wait to get my hands on some of these books 🙂

  • Jessika Garcia

    I love reading about what people are reading and I def. need that shelf (once I get more books, lol)! Jessika /

  • elisha mae

    I love that you did a post on your bookshelves Anna, not even a little boring!

    Elisha-Maé |

  • pistachio

    Love your blog, but colour-coded bookshelfs are a petpeve of mine. Books are for reading not aesthetics! (Unless they’re coffee table books). Sorting books according to time/genre or even alphabetically makes so much more sense for me personally

    • Lucy Bonette

      Exactly! I have way more books, spread out through my house. It would be impossible to find anything if I didn’t sort by category and author. I mostly read novels and those are just sorted alphabetically by author and title.

  • I love the colour coded bookshelf – I thought about doing it but have so many large ‘coffee table’ style books mixed with novels that it would look a little funny. Yours looks fab!

    Cass | CassandraMyee