My husband built me a library – it was fabulously Beauty and the Beast of him, I know – and being able to see my books and appreciate the spines and cover designs of each of them is incredibly satisfying. The pretentious English major in me particularly likes seeing Proust, Elliot, Franzen, Joyce and friends sitting there in their literary glory, ready to be admired by anyone who happens to be browsing my shelves. But recently, it started to bother me that the books displayed in my library do not represent my entire collection. What about all those amazing authors and titles that are trapped in my Kindle?
There are a few titles that I purposely chose to purchase on Kindle for reasons of discretion (*cough* 50 Shades of Gray *cough*). I wouldn’t display those, but the other nearly 300 digital books on my reader are getting short shrift!
Sidenote: I didn’t realize I had so many eBooks until I went through my Kindle for this post! I’ve paid a shockingly small amount of money for these books with the help of daily book deals and free galleys. I’ll share some of my eBook acquisition tips in a future post.
I had to think of a way to make my eBooks a physical part of my library, and after a little brainstorming, I figured it out. I would take my retired iPad and create a slideshow of the covers of all the books in my Kindle collection then play it on a loop. I had this idea about 6 months ago and I’ve finally got the slideshow up and running with all kinks ironed out (there were more than I thought there’d be!).
And how does it look? Not to toot my own horn, but it’s pretty darn awesome. The iPad sits vertically on my desk atop a stand that allows it to stay plugged in. Covers for each title (sometimes more than one if there are different versions) cycle through an infinite and mesmerizing loop. Granted, I still can’t pick up the books to read the summary or smell the pages, but at least I get to see beautiful book covers of my eBooks every time I look at my desk. They have been set free from the Kindle’s shackles and I can show off even more of my literary-snob books. Infinite Jest, anyone? 🙂
Below you’ll find my step-by-step directions for creating your own physical manifestation of an eBook library:
- Find a digital device that has slideshow capabilities (iPad, digital frame, phone). I used an old iPad that I don’t use regularly because I wanted my slideshow to be on display permanently. If you’re using an iPad or phone, you’ll probably want to buy a stand that allows a power cord to pop through the bottom.
- With your Kindle or e-reader in hand, go through your collection and search for images of book covers for each title you own. I’d recommend using a computer and searching on Google Images. When you’re searching, make sure to filter results using the “Search Tools” option and under “Size” choosing “Large.” Images that are too small will end up looking pixelated in your slideshow. Save all images in an easy-to-access folder.
- Once you have all the book covers you want, upload the folder of images to your device. How you do this will be different for each device. For the iPad, I uploaded the images to iCloud and created a “Kindle Covers” album.
- You can use the Photo app on the iPad to play the album as a slideshow, but when I used it, the slideshow would freeze every few hours. So, I downloaded the Slide.show make.r app and created a slideshow video instead. Additionally I downloaded Loopideo and uploaded the video to it, so it could play on a loop.
- Before displaying your slideshow, put your device in airplane mode and turn all notifications off. This will prevent your show from being interrupted by pop-ups.
- Find a nice spot for your device where it can stay plugged in, play your video/slideshow and enjoy!