The Lure of Book Spine Poetry

Warning: It can be pretty addictive

Photo by Anu Anniah

The Time Keeper
Only time will tell
The secret
Desire
Friends, lovers, chocolate
The secrets we keep

Just 5 random books from my bookshelf melded into a thought-provoking poem in my head. This may not be the best of poems, but there seemed to be some connection there.

Ever since I learned about this form of poetry called Book Spine Poetry, I can’t not try to stack books up together to see if something emerges. It is almost like a game, a challenge. It is also a great way to not notice time flying by!

What is book spine poetry?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Pretty obvious — poetry that forms itself from titles found on the spines of books. If you stack a bunch of books and read the titles line by line, you should feel like you are reading a poem.

Naturally, the best ones are those that come together without sounding stilted, without being grammatically poor, and without sounding disconnected.

This may sound like an easy pursuit. How tough could it be to pick out a few books and stack them up to read meaningfully? I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. It takes time to find the right books and craft a coherent message. Hmm! On second thoughts, maybe I just don’t have enough books. A sign from the universe telling me to buy more books!

Do we notice the spine?

I have to admit that I began to really notice the spine of books only after I heard about book spine poetry. Book spines typically have the book title, the author’s name, and the publisher’s name or logo. If there is space after all this, there might be some subtle design elements.

Some books have such beautifully crafted spines that you immediately begin to covet the book — no matter what it is about. Because? Hey, it will look great on your bookshelf. Right?

Such a good-looking spine. Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Book spine poetry caters to different moods

Depending on the genre of the books we stack, book spine poetry can be poignant, romantic, dark, funny, or any number of other moods.

I usually crack up on the funny ones. Who wouldn’t? See these short ones I found in this post.

Say what you will
Children make terrible pets

When lions roar
Hide!!!

Look at your bookshelf and have some fun

Now go check your bookshelf. See how many poems suggest themselves automatically. Or maybe you need to move a book here or grab a book from there to compose a better one. I guarantee hours of fun. The time spent creating book spine poetry is directly proportional to the size of your book collection.

Tip: If you have an incredible poem brewing but are missing that one book title that you know will fit perfectly? Well, buy that book already! What better excuse do you need?

3 thoughts

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