Day Forty Three of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Book caseShelfies!

Do you take photos of your To Be Read (TBR) pile of books??

This is an excerpt from a teacher’s blog about taking shelfies with her students, and the fun they had! Check out this blog to get the whole thing!

“Thanks to popularity among the Nerdy Book Club-types, shelfies have become trendy. Many of us have even made shelfies something of a habit. Just look at the call for #winterTBR stacks or the unsolicited shelfies we’ve all been posting in anticipation of snow day reading bliss.

So, why is it? What is it about shelfies and TBR stacks that have us all playing along?

When you and I gather up the books off the top of our to-be-read stacks (Let’s not pretend you don’t have multiple stacks, too!) and artistically position the camera at just the right angle to capture their spines or covers and post those shelfies to the social media world, we’re keeping reading lives–our own and each others’–alive.

In this vein, my #winterTBR picture prompted me to experiment with this theory in my school community.

Before Christmas vacation, I enlisted my students’ help to take my shelfie.

And then, I turned the camera on them, snapping pictures of each one with their reading plan for the two-week break.

And we made posters.


Yes, posters. Big, loud, colorful, you-can’t-miss-us posters with printed pictures of the students’ shelfies. And we blitzed the hallways of our school with them.


Then we waited to see what would happen.

What happened was a whole lot of talk about reading.

There was animated book conversation from the start. As students were shopping in the classroom library, consulting the TBR lists in their notebooks, and making arrangements to borrow titles from one another, students were making plans–reading commitments–and talking to each other about books. Then came slogans and phrasing that encouraged others to read as students lettered their posters. And as they shopped for prime real-estate in hanging their posters around the school, my students considered their audience and who they were trying to promote reading with.

But then there was more. We noticed other students and teachers pausing at our posters, looking at the students’ faces and the titles in their pictures. We overheard other students who recognized titles they loved in our pictures, and other students who wondered aloud about books they didn’t know. And the best comment that we overheard? It was the one from a 5th grader in the classroom next door when she pleaded to her teacher, “Can we make TBR posters, too?” “