I recently discovered Otlet’s Shelf, a Tumblr theme that allows you to create a digital bookshelf. It’s especially easy to use because the theme controls are built into Amazon.com so to add a book to your shelf all you have to do is click a button similar to Pinterest’s “Pin It” feature.
For my bookshelf, which I’ve titled “Danielle Reads” I’ve used a method that I first learned from Gabriela Pereira for building a reading list, which is to divide your selections into types of books. On these shelves you’ll find:
Contemporary books – from poets writing in the past twenty or so years whose work I admire and want to learn from
Classic books – from poets who I consider part of the modern cannon, the poets may be living or deceased– either way, their work is already immortal
Competitor books – from poets published in the past four years who are keying in on the markets that I want to enter (or as Gabriela puts it, if your book was on the shelves right now, whose would be beside it?)
Critical books – works exploring poetics, craft, or the writing life in memoir or essay form
Ephemera – books that explore research topics and hobbies of mine, biographies, coloring books, novels, travel guides, cook books, critical writings outside of my field, and anything else that inspires, distracts, or encourages me
You may like this so much you decide to build one yourself. As soon as I saw Austin Kleon’s shelf I HAD to have one of my own. If that happens, let me know! I’d love to see what books you can’t live without. And just to help you on your way, here’s the link to downloading Otlet’s Shelf that will also help you install the “Save to Library” button that you’ll need (it took wayyyy to long to find this for myself!): Install the Shelf! Check back on my bookshelf every now and then, too. I’ll be making updates to the shelves every so often as I move through my own TBR list.