Virtual Book Spine Poetry (Edition 2014 + 2015/6)

I am going to merge two overdue posts: 1) the 2014 edition of my yearly book reviews, a tradition I started last year, and 2) my next experimental poem, in a new experimental genre.

I owe to the inventors of Book Spine Poetry – and I’d like to challenge this: You can’t do that with ebooks. Which is a problem as I hardly read physical books.

But can’t we stack digital books on top of each other – creating a poem from their titles, that is: their virtual spines?

Books belong mainly in one of these genres.

  • IT security, hacking, and history / culture thereof. Plus a few history of science books
  • Life, work, technology, psychology, and their interdependencies.
  • Sleep research also including books read in 2015. Hence: 2015/6, one sixth of 2015.
  • Fiction by 1) Douglas Coupland, seismograph of geek culture and 2) Andra Watkins, a new author with a signature witty and succinct style.

Take artistic liberty I use the main title or the sub-title as a line of my poem – see the hover text on links for full information. I salt the poem with some spam comments (the lines without hyperlinks), and I add images from a building that boasts Germany’s largest unsupported concrete wall.

If this is too experimental: see my chronological Reading List instead.

it still appears to be a bit surreal to be honest

The Secret Life of Sleep
Exploding the Phone

are generally preventing the situation
Democracy Without Secularism

Night School
The Art of Deception

Lean In
don’t hesitate and lunge for a goal
Ghost in the Wires

architectural poetry

Not Without My Father
Catch Me If You Can
I am a Strange Loop
The options can be a little intimidating

The Glass Cage

The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest

The Year Without Pants
Nevertheless, for all it’s success,
Carry On

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Good sleep, good learning, good life
The real trick now is maintaining a pipeline

architectural poetry

Generation A
The 4-Hour Workweek
Farewell to Reality

Girlfriend in a Coma
Hers was a outstanding life
Countdown to Zero Day

Spam Nation
So Good They Can’t Ignore You
it feels like to have a million dollars in bitcoins
Spoilt Rotten

Gödel, Escher, Bach
Robust Control System Networks

To Live Forever
I have always disliked the idea

architectural poetry

Quantum Computing since Democritus
as elliptical and centred as
The Twenty-four Hour Mind

Internal Time
Engineering Security
including officers with drawn weaponry

Generation X
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Moving On
if you are tired of accepting failure

Applied Cryptography
It truly is incomprehensible to me now,

Its not like you’ve said something extremely impressive architectural poetry

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Joseph Nebus says:

    Hm. Over my shoulder the Jonathan Lethem shelf seems to be composing a haiku: “Girl In Landscape/The Fortress of Solitude//As She Climbed Across The Table”.

    A couple shelves above that is “Vermillion Sands//Enslaved By Ducks//What Do You Do With A Kinkajou?”

    1. elkement says:

      You’ve perfectly explained why I had to add some spam comments – books I’ve read did not lend themselves as perfectly as yours to Book Spine Poetry!

  2. Michelle H says:

    I have another thing to say. I just looked at my stats for the last little while, and it seems you’ve been reviving by blog faster than I’ve been able to kill it. Your sharing of my last post brought a huge flow of traffic. I should declare Elkement an official Word Press influencer.

    1. elkement says:

      I admit, I’ve shared it on any social network – I hope this was OK! I think I noticed that you don’t have social sharing buttons anymore… but I hardly used those anyway (I don’t like the obfuscated wp… something links). If you add a warning ‘Don’t share!’ your posts will go viral (paradoxical psychology ;-))

      1. Michelle H says:

        It’s okay to share! I did take the links off, and maybe I’ll put them back on at some point. I have been restricting my digital footprint while I’ve been considering what I’ll do with this blog. I think that when a good piece of information can be shared, like Conservation House, then it should go as far as people’s interests carry it!

        It was interesting to me to see the jump on the stats bar, though. A bit of social sharing can have huge impacts. Another layer of dissection in the on-going observation of social media, Freshly Pressed and site stats.

  3. Michelle H says:

    I enjoyed your spine poetry; I think what transformed the piece was how you embraced the e-reader’s experience of virtual books and included well-annotated links to Amazon. :)

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, Michelle! Maybe I should have also used a custom font for the hyperlinks – reflecting the ones used by Kindle!

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