Libraries. Whether it’s a local school library or your community library, we’ve all been in one at least once in our lives. For those of us who have developed a deep love of words, we’ve spent many hours among the stacks. We’ve checked out fantastic books and learned, escaped, imagined, experienced, and explored the world through the words of others.
Many of us fear the demise of libraries, hoping they will not be replaced completely by online media. Yet in this time of Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, and Instagram, which all encourage selfies, we now have Library Shelfie Day. Created by the New York City public library system several years ago, the holiday encourages patrons to snap pictures of their favorite library shelf, then post it with the hashtag #libraryshelfie. Slowly this holiday is making its way across the country, taking hold of the minds and hearts of book lovers everywhere and has expanded to include shelfies of our favorite library shelves and our own favorite shelves at home.
This year, Library Shelfie Day falls on January 29th. To celebrate, I’ve chosen one of my own favored bookshelves. It has been several years since I had a space to set up my eleven-foot long, floor-to-ceiling set of bookshelves my father custom built twenty-three years ago. When my husband and I moved into this, our final house, I ensured I had a wall to set them up. Forty-eight boxes of books later, I have my beloved bookshelves. I’ve snapped a picture of one of my shelves, which holds part of my collection of Agatha Christie mystery paperbacks, some of which were printed in the 1950s and 1960s.
Why Agatha Christie? She was a highly prolific author, publishing her first mystery novel the year she turned thirty. Over the next fifty-six years, she published eighty-two mystery novels and one hundred short stories centered around her famous sleuths, six romance novels published under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, nineteen plays, two books of poetry, and two autobiographies. Her works have been adapted to film forty times, with an additional twenty-eight TV movies, three TV series, and two radio series. She is one of the most successful authors of all time, selling over two billion copies of her books. How can this not inspire authors everywhere?
So on Library Shelfie Day, I tip my hat to the Grand Dame of Mystery, Agatha Christie, novelist, playwright, poet, and autobiographer. What’s your favorite shelf?