Saturday, 11 September 2010

Bookish things I have been up to offline: Feature shelves

As I said in my last post, I've staged a quiet take-over of the small collection of books that we have at the Community Center where I work. We cater to the needs of the International Community in Taipei and, being a transient bunch, people regularly leave and donate their books to us. We've got about 900 books and each and every one of them has been registered on bookcrossing as we are now an official bookcrossing zone. Also I re-organised the entire collection to be categorised by genre rather than just alphabetically by author because I'm fussy. All of this has taken months as I only work part-time but has been achieved with a lot of help from some of our student volunteers and now it's finally in order and I'm feeling pretty chuffed.

Then my boss says "Hey, you know what? Why don't I give you a budget to buy a couple of recent books every month to keep our collection up-to-date?"

Pay me to go pick out books? Do you need to ask?!

And so the idea of the Feature Shelf was born in my mind. I decided that each month I would buy books in theme and set up a feature shelf showcasing these books and any others that were along the same theme. September is "Memoir Movie Tie-In" as Eat, Pray, Love is being released in cinemas here pretty soon (October) so I figured people might like the chance to read the book beforehand. Not to mention its a personal favourite of mine - that's totally nothing to do with it! So keeping in theme I also got Julie and Julia as I figured it was a pretty popular movie but most folks I know hadn't read the book but wanted to. So voila! September's feature shelf is up and running.

All I need to do now is come up with more themes! Next month I was hoping to have a Booker Prize shelf in honour of the winner being announced but I wanted to ask you guys to see if you had any fun ideas about possible themes. Let me know what you think - I'd love to hear your ideas!


  1. There are a ton of great books about dogs out right now, that might be fun. You could do features on different cultures/countries; I always love to read about other places. Love the Booker idea--seems to me that the Booker is often the prize-winning book that is most approachable.

  2. Lisa - awesome ideas, thanks! I had a hard time getting Booker books (being in Taiwan and all!) so I did a Literature of Asia shelf this month featuring Kitchen Chinese and Shanghai Girls. Must have been a good choice as both books were gone the next day! :)