Why Instagram Is In An Uproar Over The Organization Of Ruth Reichl's Bookshelves

There may be two types of people in the world: those who choose to color code everything from clothes to books to groceries, and those who'd rather use more practical approaches to organization. Ruth Reichl, it seems, much preferred the latter category when it came to organizing her library until a houseguest decided to shake things up.

Sharing a video of her rearranged library on Instagram, the former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine said that, "The artist friend who stayed at our house while we were gone organized our books by color." Although now the writer can't find anything in her library, she does find all her rows and rows of books organized by color to be quite a fascinating scene. Her fans, however, are not feeling so gracious.

Most can't help but wonder whether Reichl had given her permission to the guest for her entire book collection to be rearranged. Even "Top Chef" judge Gail Simmons weighed in to give her opinion on the matter, saying that the color-coded library is "simultaneously my heavenly dream and my worst nightmare."

Instagram finds the color-coded library impractical

Some Ruth Reichl fans think that the rearranged library organized by color is a great way to get reacquainted with an old collection of books (via Instagram). Others, though amazed by how beautiful the library looks, find the color coding to be impractical and non-functional. "This is some real 'I don't actually read books' energy," wrote one user, and others said that organizing books based on categories or authors was bound to be a more useful approach.

Some comments suggested that the way they choose to organize their respective libraries is a personal preference that they wouldn't be happy if a guest messed up. One comment even jokingly piped in to ask, "Did said guest/artist rearrange your closets alphabetically and your dresser drawers by the days of the week?" and another wondered whether the guest offered to put the books back to how they were if Reichl didn't like it.

Even experts weighing in on the color-coding system told The Spruce that while organizing books by the shade of their colors is a great way to beautify a space, it's not a good idea if you have a large book collection or tend to pluck books off their shelves often. In that case, finding the correct place to put them might be painstakingly annoying whether Reichl is reading some of the silliest celebrity cookbooks or a favorite comfort novel.