Give your reads their moment in the spotlight: Take your #shelfie and join a growing trend

Selfie: A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.

Now that most of us are carrying a camera with us at every moment of the day, with just a push of a button, we are able to share photos of just about anything with our friends and family! You’ve taken the selfies in front of key landmarks, you’ve captured the stadium behind you, and you’ve even taken them with your food , even if it made you feel silly.  You’ve done the pictures of the kids, your new car, a sunset, your partner. You’ve shared an old photo no one remembered existed…

But, how about pictures of your bookshelf?  


Believe it or not, “shelfies” , pictures of books & bookshelves, have been loosely blamed for a recent summer decrease in e-Book sales.  

Over the summer some linked the crazy popularity of a new hashtag on Instagram, #shelfie, with a decline in eBook sales happening at the same time.  Unfortunately, it’s rather difficult to link the hashtag and sales trends together causally.  Given the numerous channels selling eBooks & print books, and the limited availability of comprehensive data, such a claim can’t be made for certain.

However, the Instagram trend has seemingly made it hip to display your shelves in all their glory. Finally, all those volumes of items you’ve stored on your shelves for years can earn you some internet fame.

Obviously, it’s difficult to tell whether people are snapping pics of their own bookshelves or the extent to which people are curating their volumes for display, but there is suddenly new life and new attention focused on your bookshelves.

If you’re like most, you don’t give your shelves much thought, unless you’re moving, or they collapse out from under you.  However, beautiful shelves can revive your room and make even the most underwhelming book collections look impressive.  Shirley’s Simple Shelving is incredibly easy to assemble and can fit in just about any room or space.

While cute, the term “shelfie” actually existed long before the hashtag caught bibliophile’s attention.  Hard core eBook fans will likely have heard of the app, Shelfie.  Using the app, people could snap pictures of their book shelves and download free or steeply discounted eBook versions of paper copy books they already owned.

Much like Amazon providing you MP3’s for CDs you’ve bought on Amazon, the app was designed to allow those already owning the copy of a book to use it in a new format, but at little to no cost.  In fact, Amazon’s MatchBook program, which allows you to do just that for books purchased on Amazon, is one of the reasons behind Shelfie’s shut down in January 2017.

Shelfie fans will be pleased to know the app was recently purchased by Kobo Rakuten, a company that sells the Kobo e-reader, seemingly breathing new life into the Shelfie app.

While you wait, you can invest some time arranging your books and getting them ready for their social media debut.  Whether you decide to showcase your shelves online or not, freshening up your book shelves can breathe new life into your room.

One of the best ways to tidy your shelves is to start with taking a picture.  Looking at a photo can give you a new perspective on what your room and shelves look like to the unaccustomed eye.

While you’ll likely want to organize your books themselves in a logical fashion – alphabetical order by author or by subject, etc., there is a lot you can do to make them neat and appealing.

Start by taking anything off the tops of the books you have stacked there (guilty!).  Dust the tops of the books and the edges of the shelves.  Wipe down the shelves themselves to remove surface dust and shine the surface.

If your shelves aren’t quite full, consider setting off groupings of books with interesting photos or other décor items.  If you’re short of space, consider stacking same sized books horizontally between sections of vertical book groupings.

If your shelves show signs of wear or the centers of the shelves are sagging, consider an upgrade!  It’s an easy way to change the color palette of a room or shift the focus either to or away from your bookshelves.  Shirley’s Simple Shelving offers a wide selection and various styles that will not only support your volumes but add a unique design element to your room.

With your new shelves in place, not only will your room look great, but your books will be ready for their time in the social media spotlight!