The books a person keeps on the bookshelf can tell you a lot about that person, right? Well, over the past two months, as cable news channels and social media feeds have filled with images of politicians, celebrities, and all types of commentators broadcasting from home, there’s been more attention than ever on the bookshelves in the background.
This month Amanda Hess of the New York Times has reported more than once on “bookcase credibility,” or the sense of authority and distinction that people try to project by strategically featuring certain volumes (along with the occasional knickknack) on the bookshelves behind them. Instagram now has over two million #shelfie posts. A Twitter account called Lockdown Book Detective is on a mission to identify seemingly every book in each celebrity background. And another Twitter account, Bookcase Credibility, currently boasts over 75,000 followers.
From Joe Biden to Tina Fey, Anna Wintour to Elmo, cultural icons of every sort are becoming curators of their own shelfies, and we would be remiss if we didn’t showcase some of our own contributions to this riveting new genre. Can you spot the LOA title(s) in each of the following tweets? (Hint: Our distinctive and undeniably stylish black dust jackets are the common denominator, except for the last two images, which give our slipcased editions equal time.) Click on any of the individual tweets to explore further—and don’t hesitate to acquire more LOA volumes if you start to feel your own “bookcase credibility” starting to suffer by comparison.
Sitting around and watching TV all day is doing wonders for our shelf-awareness. First up,
DianeSawyer</a> talking coronavirus w/ <a href="https://twitter.com/ABCWorldNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">ABCWorldNews. Note the pair of distinctive black dust jackets in the upper right corner . . . (1/2) pic.twitter.com/8L0sl6pGFK
— Library of America (@LibraryAmerica) March 30, 2020
Revised Updated Thread on #BetosBookshelf
What’s different when a political candidate is also an English major in college? Take a look at Beto O’Rourke’s bookshelf. This is not another collection of unread bestselling political biographies @BetoORourke. 1/ pic.twitter.com/eBIoN5EW4b
— Lockdown Book Detective (@BookLockdown) May 7, 2020
Washington Post reporter, David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) without a single book on his shelf revealing Donald Trump’s finances. Rather, we find titles about the Bible, presidents, and a more transparent past, including first-hand accounts of publishing The Pentagon Papers. 1/4 pic.twitter.com/H3ujWQLGUa
— Lockdown Book Detective (@BookLockdown) May 17, 2020
More #shelfie fun while we continue to spend time in front of the TV. Here's @mikebarnicle with a pair of our reporting volumes in the background (keeping company with a Robert Caro LBJ tome—not too shabby!). 📺👏 pic.twitter.com/GS5U3HHzdn
— Library of America (@LibraryAmerica) April 29, 2020
#Shelfie Our latest cameo came when
brhodes</a> appeared on <a href="https://twitter.com/MSNBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">MSNBC recently. Note also at least one @EverymansLib edition and the original hardback of Don DeLillo's UNDERWORLD. pic.twitter.com/f4qmSsoVx8
— Library of America (@LibraryAmerica) April 30, 2020
— Lockdown Book Detective (@BookLockdown) May 6, 2020
Eli Stokols was just on MSNBC reporting from “The Explorer’s Club” in North Carolina once again. With the camera positioned a little closer we can confirm one title. @EliStokols pic.twitter.com/Y0Dug8KzMC
— Lockdown Book Detective (@BookLockdown) May 11, 2020
LOA mystery: unlocked! pic.twitter.com/S95ynxH8GF
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) May 12, 2020
NavalWarCollege</a> professor and <a href="https://twitter.com/USATODAY?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">USATODAY columnist
RadioFreeTom</a> was on <a href="https://twitter.com/amjoyshow?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">amjoyshow last Saturday. If you look over his right shoulder, he appears to have a number of our slipcased editions in his home library. Thanks, Tom! (2/2) pic.twitter.com/4RlsbvErmX
— Library of America (@LibraryAmerica) March 31, 2020