This is what my bookcase looked like before:

Books unsorted

And this is what it looks like now:

Books sorted

Much better!

So how does a geek organize his books? He uses a technique called self-organizing maps (SOM).

I basically took a high resolution photo of my bookcase (the first picture shown) and then cut out all the book spines and saved them as separate images.¬†After doing that I had 347 little images. I used the ImageMagick command-line tool to resize all these images to a 1×1 picture. I figured that the single pixel in these images would more or less approximate the average spine color. The RGB values of these pixels were then used to train a 1 dimensional SOM. After training, the best-matching unit on the SOM for each bookspine was determined telling me how I should reorder my books.

And yes, I realize that there are easier ways to sort books by color ūüėČ

Aswin van Woudenberg

I'm a software engineer based in the Netherlands. Besides software, I am also interested in areas ranging from music and art to mathematics and literature.


Esther O. · November 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Haha awesome! De laatste zin stelt me wel gerust :p

tawhid · October 3, 2015 at 6:06 am

i will see more book self design……….

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