Hashtag Shelfie: Sharing your library under the hashtag

We know that internet, blogs and social networks gave or maintained a general taste for writing and creation! It also  gave the world of books a second youth by putting self-publishing at everyone’s reach.

Books and writing are part of the daily life for many of us. And the internet pays them tribute!

@earthscorners

What the shelf?

On Instagram, we find under the hashtag #shelfie a whole lot of inspiring photos featuring shelves and libraries. The word “shelfie” itself sets the tone by combining the words “shelf” with the word “selfie” (the famous self-portraits photographed in the 21st century, for those sleeping at the bottom).

Many of the photos feature furnitures arranged like they’re almost taken straight out of an IKEA magazine. But, and this is what interests us here, we can also find books!

@culturetripbooks

#Shelfie indeed is the occasion to make your personal library a star while the hashtag lasts ! It’s also the moment to share your reading taste or your  storage foibles to your friends and followers… Or even to discover what composes the tastes of others and how people organizes and surrounds one’s readings!

@bluestockingbookhelf

@bluestockingbookshelf

No boasting of elitist readings or endless rows of books here (even if we recognize that a full library is always pretty to picture 😉 ), only the joy of seeing beautiful book-related photos and starting exchanging about your favorite books!

After all, the contents of a library are often indicative of the personality of its owner(s): It is with this idea that the newspaper The Guardian launched the concept of the Shelfie in December 2013.

@shelfjoy

More than 820 000 publications are now classified under the hashtag #shelfie and more are coming everyday, so it’s always time to get involved and show what you have and love!

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Article source (French) | Images:  @earthscorners, @culturetripbooks, @bluestockingbookshelf and @shelfjoy

Books portage, when reading comes at home!

In France, the media library of Poitiers (named “Médiathèque François Mitterrand” as an hommage to one of France’s former Presidents who is said to be fond of arts and culture) has found a great solution to bring company and entertainment to the elderly, handicapped or isolated people. Books portage!

Poitiers’ inhabitants are thus given the possibility of being delivered of their books for free ! With all the books directly coming from the collections of the media library.

books-portage-women
Dominique Delbor receives her new audio books from Carine Chollet and Isabelle Brillanceau’s hands, from the media library staff

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The delivery is “included” in the price of their annual subscription to the library (costing from €6 to €16) ! Thus offering an invaluable service without any extra cost. The people that are delivered are visited by the Media Library’s staff and can exchange a few words as well as their books! Which they give back (of course;)) while borrowing again.

Every 24 days, a new arrival of audiobooks arrives at the tables of the beneficiaries. It allows them, thanks to the quantity and diversity of content available, to find their happiness for several years!

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The multimedia library makes nearly 2,300 texts available to read and has also signed a partnership with the Valentin Haüy association (located in Paris). It allows visually impaired subscribers to obtain access to an additional fund of 200 texts engraved in “Daisy” format. Subscribers can also freely download 20,000 titles from the Éole online library.

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Source (French only) | Photos credits: Bm-poitiers.fr et Marie-Laure Aveline

[Update] The Book and Bed hotel in Tokyo : an original concept !

Japanese people are known for having crazy ideas, and at BlookUp we love a concept that stands out!

In Tokyo, the owners of this hostel just made every book lover’s dream come true: An accommodation bookshop. Don’t let the name fool you though, the books are not for sale; however you can read as many of them as you want while being comfortably seated on one of the sofas!

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As for the beds, customers can choose between sleeping in bunks if their budget is tight or inside a bookshelf and being surrounded by hundreds of books: The ultimate bookworm’s nest! However, comfort might not be the first words to come to your mind while looking at the mattresses, and the staff is well aware of that.

The staff focused their efforts into providing the most unique experience as they could, the idea behind the accommodation bookshop was to create a space where people would be able to do what they enjoy the most until they ultimately fall asleep. And for those among you that always drink something while reading, well you are sorted because you can get coffee and other drinks at the bar inside the hostel!

beds_photo_1Tokyo is not the only city to have a Book and Bed hotel, Fukuoka and Kyoto also have their own. If you cannot make it all the way to japan, you can check out their Instagram and get a glimpse of the magic of this place!

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20 of abandoned books leading to open a free library in Bogota!

Twenty years ago in Bogota, a man decided to save as many abandoned books as he could. José Alberto Guitierrez, to call him by his full name, drives a Garbage truck around the columbian city and found out that people threw away their books so he decided to save them by taking them to his house, this initiative got him the title of “Lord of the books”.

José Alberto driving his truck in the streets of Bogota. Credits : Guillermo Legaria/AFP

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With the house slowly being filled with abandoned books, José Alberto, along with his wife Luz Mery and their three children turned the ground floor of their house into a free library they called “La Fuerza de las palabras” (The Power of words in English). The library became famous very quickly, to the point that volunteers from all around the country (and even from abroad) came to Bogota in order to help José Alberto and his family. In addition to this library, Luz Mery came up with the idea of opening a “Hospital” for old and damaged books that she would fix with her sewing skills.

José Alberto became so popular in South America that he was invited to the International Book Fairs in Bogota, Monterrey (Mexico) and Santiago (Chile). Shortly after, book donations came from all over the continent to the point that their library now contains more than 25 000 books. With space becoming an issue for the family (The surface of the library being 90m² or almost 108 square yards), the reading sessions they held for the kids of the neighborhood stopped and the library only opened when someone knocked at the door to get a book.

José Alberto reading to the children of the neighborhood. Credits : La Fuerza des las Palabras fundacion

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The news of the Guitierrez’ free library reached one of the disarmament zones of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), who recently signed a peace treaty with the government thus ending 50 years of conflicts. One of the rebels reached out to José Alberto and his family to ask them for books so that they could prepare for their reintegration into the society.

Through “The Power of words” José Alberto wanted to show the world that not only people waste food but also books, and that this loss of intellectual nourishment was almost as deplorable as Food wastage. He also stated: “Books transformed me. So I thought that in places like these, it would be a symbol of hope, a symbol of peace”

If you want to know more about José Alberto and his family’s work, we invite you to visit their website!

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Back in the days, we had bookmobiles!

Many of you probably don’t remember that time before Amazon!  Before even the internet was a thing, people still managed to bring books home though. Most of them went to the local bookstore or to the library, but what about the country folks or the people living in the suburbs ? The ones who did not have this chance?

Well just like Pepperidge Farm, BlookUp remembers!  Bookmobiles, were the solution to those who lived too far  away from the city and thus did not (or hardly) have access to the riches and joy that brought books. We have to travel back to the late 1850’s in Warrington (England) to see what is believed to be the first bookmobile, a horse-drawn van full of books. Behind this idea was a philanthropist, called George Moore whose project was to spread the goods of literature to the small villages around the city.

An old bookmobile pulled by a horse
The Perambulating library of Harrington in 1859, believed to be the first of its kind.

Needless to say people spread the word and the concept continued growing to the point of reaching the United States. Ultimately horses were replaced by cars, more efficient, and allowing the librarian to carry more books. Bookmobiles eventually reached the peak of their popularity in the mid 20th century before slowly disappearing.

Picture of a bookmobile in the 20's
Photo of a bookmobile in the 1920’s. Credits – Numismatic Bibliomania Society

However there still are a few of them out there, their goal remained the same: diffusing good literature and educating those who need it the most. Many libraries like San Francisco Public Library or Toronto Public Library have bookmobiles driving around the city, who knows maybe one day you’ll see one of these mobile libraries too!

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