I just read a really interesting and entertaining column about the Shelfie in the latest MultiLingual magazine.
I had never encountered the term before, and if you haven’t, either, I strongly suggest reading the column – it only takes a few minutes.
If you really don’t have the time: a Shelfie is the online-meeting pendant to the Selfie, with a bookshelf in the background.
The article ponders the meaning of the Shelfie and what it says about the person in it, and my thoughts immediately turned to the bookshelves in my office.
If you don’t know yet, my office is quite small. In fact, sitting in my office chair, I can touch the walls and the door without having to stretch. Out of necessity, it has shelves all the way to the ceiling, but I can reach the bottom ones without having to get up. Naturally, the books and materials I need most frequently are located there.
Since the shelves are to the left and right of me, they are not visible in an online meeting. No Shelfie for me, alas. Although, that may not be such a bad thing…
Yes, most of the books and things on the shelves are work-related: dictionaries, encyclopedias, reference books, and the like.
And while observant readers will have spotted the (empty!) beer bottle (a Polish brand called “Dog in the fog”, which I bought only because there is a dachshund on it), a “Brain Shower” head massage device (which is awesome, btw) and some other non-business things (and there are even more on other shelves), those are not really that incriminating (at least I don’t think so).
Following the reasoning of the MultiLingual column, the books on my shelf could be construed to say about me that I am old-fashioned (who uses paper dictionaries anymore?), if not outright old (most of the books in the picture are from the last century, some from its beginning!), and odd (a dictionary on funeral services? Chinese characters – I don’t know Chinese).
Of course, if you know me, you also know that while I may indeed be a bit odd, there are perfectly logical and acceptable reasons for every single item on my shelves. And yes, in a way, they do say quite a bit about me.
The question is, whether these things would be apparent in a Shelfie for people who do not know me (well).
Perhaps my preferred background (a cream-colored curtain) is the better choice, in any case…