There’s a fun little game you might not have heard of yet, but it would not be a bad thing to see it become the next Internet craze.
It began way back in 1993 with Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books project, which contains a gallery of photographs like this one. And in another reality it might have remained there, except that Stan Carey recently posted about it on his blog (and on Twitter before that, but it took the blog post before I understood it), including photographs of his own creations.
Essentially, the idea is to arrange two or more books so that the titles, when read in the order they appear, make sense (or at least coherent nonsense) as a collective. As a form of amusement it can accommodate a variety of approaches: some might think of it as a form of poetry, others primarily as a form of humour. If you have some books, a digital camera, a blog, and the inclination to put them all together, you really should have a go. My own contributions follow.
First, here’s a premise for a science fiction tale:
And here’s a somewhat more cheeky contribution:
And finally, here’s one for the linguists:
And that’s all I’ve managed to do from my bookshelf.
If you decide to do some of your own, you can post a link in the comments here, or in the comments on Stan’s post, or using the #bookmash tag on Twitter. In any case, I strongly recommend posting a photograph rather than simply transcribing the titles – it’s so much funnier if you can actually see the books.
Update: A while ago it occurred to me that you could take someone else’s bookmashes, cut-and-paste the images of the spines, and re-arrange them to form new, recycled bookmashes of your own. This gives you virtual access to other people’s shelves. I took books from Stan Carey’s bookmashes published no later than April 2012, and re-assembled them to form these:
More recently I did the same thing with bookmashes composed by Alex McCrae (a frequent commenter on Stan’s blog). The source bookmashes used to create this were published no later than October 2013.