Are Shelfies The New Selfies?

At first glance, a shelfie is a generous way to share your library of ideas instead of your silly selfie face. But at worst, shelfies let you promote how unique is your intellect, and at best, how deep is your soul.

Writing Shelfie by Jann Alexander ©2014
Writing Shelfie by Jann Alexander ©2014

Like selfies, shelfies are informative. They show the people we’d like to be, once we get through all those books. And they provide inspiration and ideas to others. They may even offer a glimpse into why you’d want to know someone better, what areas of commonality you have, how to strike up a conversation. Selfies, on the other hand, are more selfish: “Look at me! I am so [insert adverb: clever! gorgeous! blessed! fun-loving! amazing!] Was there ever a dour, unflattering selfie shared by anyone but a tortured literary idol (and probably for affect)?

“Shelfies are a generous way to share ideas and inspiration.”  

I’d like the world to see my self as clever, attractive, curious, intuitive, generous, empathetic, helpful and smart. Hard to say if I can really convey all of that in a thousand selfies. I stand a much better chance of showing it with numerous shelfies.

Of course, the only one I really need to persuade is me. ♣

My Ideal Bookshelf
My Ideal Bookshelf

Shelfie Inspiration

  • Daily Inkling: Caitlin Ziegler creates a color palette from her favorite shelfie
  • My Ideal Bookshelf: An irresistible book featuring illustrated shelfies from notables, like Alice Waters, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, William Wegman, Roseanne Cash and dozens more
  • The Guardian Books Blog: A creative assortment of shelfies contributed by The Guardian’s readers

What’s on your favorite shelf? Share a link to your shelfie below.

Click Here to get your free weekly digest of Popular Pairings.

Get Your Free Weekly Digest of Popular Pairings Here:
Popular Pairings :: Your Free Weekly Creativity Digest

9 thoughts on “Are Shelfies The New Selfies?

Add yours

  1. Great post – interesting and thoughtful – and I have to agree – could “selfies” be any more selfish and boring? But then again, why does everyone – or almost everyone – think that we have to share! Ridiculous. Life is meant to be lived – experienced and enjoyed – not wandered through searching for “kodak” moments all of the time.


    1. It’s the age of ME, and the concept is this: if I don’t snap and show a picture of it, it didn’t really happen. Once we get over the coolness of our devices (in another decade or so), perhaps we can return to being in the moment again. Thanks for commenting. Got a Shelfie you want to share?


        1. This is but one of a few – I’d love to have a wall of shelves – just filled with volumes and volumes – but that would pretty much take up the rest of my lifetime – and well, there are other needs and desires that have to be met too 🙂


I'd love to hear what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: