Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
CLOSE ×
Search
Leaving AARP.org Website

You are now leaving AARP.org and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Upgrade Your Video Chat Background With a Bookcase

How to organize your shelves before your next Zoom call


spinner image A woman working from home
Getty Images

2020 has been the Year of the Bookcase. We've noticed journalists and celebrities on TV, perched in front of their titles and trinkets. You just know they put great care into what will make them seem smart, friendly or funny. Take note: Whether through a computer camera or in person (you'll have visitors again, eventually), people assess you by your shelves.

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine. Find out how much you could save in a year with a membership. Learn more.

Join Now

1. Think thematically

Arrange by subject? Size? Color? The answer: How you organize books isn't as important as just being organized. “Once you really start looking at books, you notice all these decorative elements,” says Marie Proeller Hueston, author of Decorating with Books.

2. Pull out a favorite

Don't just line up all the books as if in library stacks. Place one or two front-side out. “If there's a cover that's really beautiful — if it's a vintage dust jacket, for instance — it's almost a shame to have it hidden,” notes Proeller Hueston.

3. Sprinkle in Tchotchkes

“My approach is to fill the shelves two-thirds full of books and one-third with meaningful objects,” says Juniper Books’ Thatcher Wine, whose company has spruced up book collections for celebrities. So let your flair flag fly.

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?