Shelfie! Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine

We have all participated in the selfie. In 2013, the Oxford Dictionaries announced their word of the year to be “selfie”, which they define as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” In fact, the picture considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie”. The image in question was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Setting up his camera at the back of the family store in Philadelphia, Cornelius took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back of the image he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”

Well today is in fact a slight variation of the selfie, it’s Library SHELFIE Day! It’s actually celebrated on the fourth Wednesday in January. The New York Public Library founded Library Shelfie Day as a way to observe various national holidays by displaying shelfies representing books from each day. Some collectors of books tend to arrange their collections so their spines can be admired pleasantly. Others have a system of organization that results in an alternative art form. However our books are organized on the shelf, on Library Shelfie Day, they are meant to be photographed and shared on social media using the hashtag #LibraryShelfieDay.

So here we go, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

Keep in mind your local libraries today and all the good they offer. Free events, free classes, great prices on used books, free information and groups. Also, if you are looking for new books to add to your collection, remember to check out your local small business, consider trading with friends, and through I haven’t tried it, there are book trading websites available such as!

Now it’s your turn, share with us your shelfies! Or if you do anything cool with your books, like Elizabeth Sagan below, show us! Lastly, if you know of any good book swap sites, let us know what you think of them.  

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