Library Shelfie Day | JOY for Today

An image of your personal library, or a favorite shelf in a public library, hints at what fuels your JOY. So, snap a shelfie that will document what your interests and passions were on this day in your personal history. Then, connect with someone over what fuels their JOY. It will work today as it has worked in times gone by. Personally, I would like a glimpse at what books Paul (the author of the following verse) asked Timothy to grab.

A bookshelf filled with books and notebooks in the background. Text overlay reads "Library Shelfie Day; January's Fourth Wednesday" and quotes 1 Timothy 4:13

JOY for Today Offerings:

Did You Know:

  1. A secret door, disguised as a bookcase, was a fixture in Charles Dickens' house? One title on the fake bookcase was The Life of a Cat which appeared in nine volumes. (Interesting Literature & Lit Hub)
  2. The smallest book in the world can only be viewed using an electron microscope? Once, the Welsh National Library housed the smallest book in the world, Old King Cole, which measured 1mm by 1mm. Its pages could only be turned with a needle. But now, Roberts Chaplin, with supporters via Kickstarter, replicated Teeny Ted from Turnip Town as a 70 micrometers by 100 micrometers micro-tablet book carved on crystalline silicon. The project cost $15,000 to complete. (Interesting Literature, Imprint DigitalKickstarter, & Guinness World Records)
  3. The Japanese have a word that describes a book buying habit? The word is "tsundoku." It means buying a whole bunch of books that you never get around to reading. (Interesting Literature)
  4. Theodore Roosevelt was known to read a book a day? His goal was a book before breakfast and perhaps another two or three in the evening. (Imprint DigitalBook Riot
  5. It was once recommended to judge a book by the 99th page? Ford Maddox Ford advised this page was a better predictor of quality than the first page. How many of your favorite books would pass the test? (Interesting Literature)

We'd Love to Know:

Which fact was new to you?

Wolfe Stew Connects

Books are important! They are an official record that ideally stands the test of time. The words written therein were recorded because someone thought the information needed to be known or the story should be told. The books you choose say a lot about you: what information you seek and what stories you like being told. 

If you were to take a "shelfie" of your library, what would we learn about you?

From the types of books you read, we infer your interests. From the knickknacks interspersed among the books, we see what you value. From the way your shelf is maintained, we glimpse your tidiness tendencies.

We humans are natural detectives. It helps us make connections. We connect through our interests, our passions, and our habits. We search for ways we are alike and different - and we are interested in both! 

This Library Shelfie Day, we encourage you to take time to be interested in others. Take a break from rereading The Story of My Life by Me, and let someone else take center stage, if only for a moment. Be a detective; notice things about another person - similar and different - and ask them about it. Then, listen. Follow it up with another question - about them. See how long you can keep the spotlight off yourself.

But remember, however good of a detective you think you are, God's a better one. God wants your name known; He took the time to record it so Jesus could profess it (Revelation 3:5). When I meet the great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) and start recounting their stories, I wonder what story they will share about me.

In response:

  1. Look at your bookcase. What book, knickknack, or detail would you hope another would notice? What would you hope they would graciously ignore? How does this answer reflect what you would like others to see in your character?
  2. Seek wisdom with us as we GROW in our journey toward identifying ourselves and others as VALUABLE. Or engage in last year's growth opportunity and learn to CHOOSE decisions that reflect your values.

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book." Job 19:23 KJV
  • "Take a book and write in it all the words which I have said to you about Israel, Judah, and all the nations. Write all I have said since the day I first spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today." Jeremiah 36:2 NLT
  • "it seemed good to me also, having accurately investigated all things from the very beginning, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus." Luke 1:3 MEV
  • "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Revelation 3:5 KJV
  • "Bring the cloak that I left in Troas with Carpus when you come and the books, especially the parchments." I Timothy 4:13 MOUNCE


  • "One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time." - Carl Sagan
  • "Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you." - Louis L'Amour
  • "Books are the quietist and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." - Charles W. Eliot
  • “We read to know we are not alone." - C.S. Lewis
  • "There are rainy days in autumn and stormy days in winter when the rocking chair in front of the fire simply demands an accompanying book." - Theodore Roosevelt

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote would you display in your library?


Activity Suggestions

Book sharing activities in several genres are what you'll find here including book shopping, show-and-tell, and discussion opportunities. Download a printable version at our Teachers Pay Teachers store.

The Mr.'s Suggestion:

Buy a new book!
And position it proudly in the middle of your "shelfie" captioned with the reason for your selection.

The Mrs.' Suggestions: 

Manage the Classroom Library

Many leaders today organize their libraries by reading level. (The Mr. does too.) But might you find a corner, shelf, or special display you could let the littles organize? We know that ownership inspires motivation, so encourage them to take ownership of this space. Here are some ideas as to how:
  1. Each group plans an organization method for the selected area. The class votes on one and carries the plan out. Then, snap a shelfie to display to remind the learners how to keep it that way.
  2. Let groups (or individuals) take turns being the librarian for the week. As Librarian, they get to choose how to organize the selected area.
  3. Do a combination of the two. Determine the purpose of the area: author study, recommendations, topical, etc. - as a class. Then, rotate through organizing and maintaining the area.

Share Shelfies

Have learners bring in a picture of their personal library (or favorite book). Then:
  1. Host a Show-and-Tell
    1. Each learner takes a turn to share their library (or book) picture.
    2. Listeners consider how their reading preferences are similar and different. 
    3. Allow a few minutes for listeners to share how their preferences compare.
  2. Play Guess Who
    1. Post the pictures anonymously with a blank piece of paper underneath. 
    2. Give each learner a class roster. 
    3. Learners guess who the owner of the library (or book) is by writing his or her name on the blank paper underneath the picture. (Learners could even add a reason for their guess.)
    4. Cross off the person's name after the guess so there are no repeats. 
    5. After every learner has guessed, reveal the picture's actual owner one-by-one.

Go Book Shopping

  1. Learners browse a book list (Scholastic book club flyer, Imagination Soupor teacher/school created)
  2. Choose one book they would buy.
  3. List reasons for their choice.
  4. Present their selection and reasons (essay, paragraph, draw and write, slides, speech, etc.)

Discuss "Would You Rather..." Questions

  • Read only fiction or only nonfiction?
  • Read e-books or physical books?
  • Organize your home or school library?
These questions are unique to this post. If you would like three "Would You Rather...?" questions for every January day, download this Wolfe Stew PowerPoint.

Take on the Family Challenge

Everyone chooses one book that they really enjoyed reading. If it's a long book, mark a favorite section. Swap books with each other and read each other's books (or sections). Then talk about them. Shelf all selected books together and encourage each other to read (and comment) on everyone's book by the end of the month. To facilitate understanding of more challenging books, encourage reading aloud and explaining context to each other.

We'd Love to Know:

What book from your library would you share?

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for... Inspire Your Heart with Art Day!

Your Partners in JOY Finding,
Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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