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What does my shelfie say about me?

(24 Posts)
Modestandatinybitsexy Thu 11-Feb-21 08:58:49

I'm a new school librarian and I'm about to run a competition where students submit pictures of what they've been reading over lockdown. To make it fair I'm going to share first, but now I'm a bit nervous.

So, what does my shelf say about me? Do I need to put more YA in to appeal to the students? Or am I overthinking this?

OP’s posts: |
AmberRoseGold Thu 11-Feb-21 09:25:25

I think take it face on so kids can see the names of books? As I could see some and liked them but not the far end very well at all

LApprentiSorcier Thu 11-Feb-21 09:34:34

If it's supposed to be what you were genuinely reading over lockdown, is it not a bit pointless to tailor the selection to appeal to a particular audience?

It's heavy on Philip Pullman would be my first impression.

I'd have found the idea a bit intrusive when I was at school - I hated people poking into what I was reading - so I probably wouldn't have entered.

SJaneS49 Thu 11-Feb-21 11:03:23

I’d be hiding Crawdads!

unmarkedbythat Thu 11-Feb-21 11:46:30

If you're asking children to submit a picture of what they're read over lockdown, then submit a picture of what you've read over lockdown, not a curated photo designed to give a particular message. And consider whether you will actually get photos of what children have read over lockdown or photos of what they want people to think they have read over lockdown!

Modestandatinybitsexy Thu 11-Feb-21 13:41:20

@SJaneS49 I actually haven't read crawdads yet, was on my tbr pile and I chucked it in as I was up next. I'm not suggesting they should read what I am but is it too controversial anyway?

@LApprentiSorcier It is heavy on Pullman - the little ones don't take long to read and I had and misprinted version of 'book of dust' so read those in the meantime.

I haven't currently tailored this shelf, was asking if I should!

OP’s posts: |
HideTanner Thu 11-Feb-21 13:47:35

Whenever I see a bookshelf like that I have an urge to pull the books forward so that the spine is at the edge.

My first instinct would be that they all look pretty pristine and I'd suspect they hadn't actually been read. I'd put a couple of well thumbed faves in there to make it seem more real.

SJaneS49 Thu 11-Feb-21 13:52:57

No @Modestandatinybitsexy, it’s just over hyped clap trap and I was being facetious and book snooty!

RevolutionRadio Thu 11-Feb-21 14:12:15

Could you do a coffee table instead and include a couple of magazines?

There might be ones who haven't read lots of books but read other mediums.

EBearhug Thu 11-Feb-21 14:34:38

What school level? Secondary? I'd think they are fine, they will have heard of st least some of those.

I did a talk recently about books I'd been reading over lockdown, so it was a lot of Blyton and Biggles in the images. I've got more non-fiction and adult fiction coming back in now, but I think I need a lot of comfort reading after an initial reading block with first lockdown. So that would probably look weirder than your selection, especially as I'm in my 40s.

Your books make me think we'd get on okay - I too have attached of Pullman and Gaiman, and I've heard good things of Circe.

KilljoysDutch Thu 11-Feb-21 15:37:29

Your books say you like the more popular books and that you have excellent taste because Circe is my favourite book ever grin I would take the photo straight on though so I can be nosier at the other titles.

GlitterBiscuits Thu 11-Feb-21 15:47:06

Any non fiction?

I'd say to encourage teenagers a magazine or a graphic novel. Maybe one of the classics too?

Modestandatinybitsexy Thu 11-Feb-21 18:29:53

I don't really read non fiction for fun but there's fabled coast and princesses behaving badly at the other end. Oh and the bear hunt one.

You're right that a front facing one works better - I just wanted it to look a bit more interesting!

Think I'll take out the little Philip Pullman ones, and crawdads as I haven't actually read that yet, don't want to be asked any questions I can't answer!

OP’s posts: |
Modestandatinybitsexy Thu 11-Feb-21 18:32:04

Meant to also say thank you for taking the time! It's really used to have outside input smile

OP’s posts: |
Juniperandrage Fri 12-Feb-21 17:23:07

I bloody love The Fabled Coast

zafferana Wed 17-Feb-21 15:56:55

You're overthinking it. I doubt they'll ask many questions, if they're anything like my teenager!

JaninaDuszejko Fri 19-Feb-21 07:44:58

Leave the little Philip Pullmans in, I agree it should reflect what you've read. How about asking the teachers for their shelfies as well, you'll get a bigger range and probably good for the boys to see some men read as well.

Agree a graphic novel might be good and would be quick for you to read so it was still a real shelfie. Persepolis is probably a good choice that I'd guess you'd enjoy even if you haven't read any graphic novels before. It's translated as well, at the moment you've got no translated books there.

Laeta Fri 19-Feb-21 08:00:28

How will the kids who read on a Kindle take a photo? My dd is a vociferous reader, but all on kindle!

JaninaDuszejko Fri 19-Feb-21 08:19:43


How will the kids who read on a Kindle take a photo? My dd is a vociferous reader, but all on kindle!

I thought this after I posted as well. Also, any audio books or library books won't be there. So you'll end up with the middle class kids whose parents like physical books having nice shelfies but other people will be excluded because they access books in different (cheaper/better for the environment) ways or because their parents don't value books at all. So it will depend on your school intake how devisive this is. Might be better just to get the teachers to do it.

elkiedee Sat 20-Feb-21 20:24:56

What they've been reading during lockdown doesn't have to be on a shelf. You can say it can be books on a table, that it can include magazines, comics, graphic novels....

Can't they get the pictures of book covers if they read on a gadget? Do any of them access books via their phone?

I love my Kindle but my 13 year old prefers paper books DS2 is a competent reader but prefers watching Youtube and playing on his Chromebook. He does have some football stats books and magazines etc.

Scissor Sat 20-Feb-21 20:33:49

This is absolutely the most bizarre thread I have ever seen.. So you are a librarian showing the spines of books some of which you haven't even read to inspire who???

Show the front cover..the marketing bit.. It's why display bookshelves show the front and school teachers have loads of those annoying metal book display things so the children can actually see the face of the book.

You look like you're talking to the paying parents

Motherdare Sun 21-Feb-21 01:23:29

it’s just over hyped clap trap


Did someone just describe Where the Crawdads Sing in this way? Claptrap?

I adored that book, found it incredibly moving and interesting. The writer is an expert in the flora and fauna of South Carolina and weaves a brilliant yarn with her knowledge. I was completely transported to her world and I still think about the characters.

I’m troubled that they’re going to make it into a film and will probably ruin it (looking at you Reese Witherspoon and the travesty that was your adaptation of Little Fires Burning!).

Aebj Sun 21-Feb-21 01:35:48

Ops I don’t think I would be invited into your English class but I do enjoy reading. A few over the last year I’ve read!!!
I think it’s good for them to share anything they have read . Reading is important

SJaneS49 Sun 21-Feb-21 11:57:05

@Motherdare, yes I did and completely stand by it! I thought it was badly plotted and written. And if you go to the thread on here about overhyped books people haven’t enjoyed it comes up time after time. So not only me then 🙂.

Each to their own though - pretty sure there aren’t right or wrongs here and it’s one of those books which creates strong opinions either way.. which does make it an interesting book for discussion!

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