Contest: Non-English Bookpiles

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Contest: Non-English Bookpiles

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Edited: Jan 18, 2011, 1:21 pm

See the blog post. Discuss your submissions, languages, ideas here!

Jan 18, 2011, 1:57 pm

Despite still not thinking that it was a bug not to have this, it is a great idea. Thanks.

Jan 18, 2011, 1:59 pm

No, it wasn't a bug, but it was an opportunity :-)

Jan 18, 2011, 2:35 pm

There was a non-English book pile competition also in 2008. I made a book pile and sent the picture. Is this the same competition?

Jan 18, 2011, 2:37 pm

No, this is specifically for each of the LT language sites (you can re-submit entries from any previous contest if you like, however)!

Jan 18, 2011, 4:35 pm

My photo's are in my profile! Dutch of course.

Jan 18, 2011, 11:16 pm

Ooohhh this is awesome! I have no non-English books, since I only know English, but I'll be obsessively checking to see the submitted piles!

Jan 19, 2011, 12:51 am

My Chinese entry is here.

Jan 19, 2011, 1:29 am

Now where did I put those Pirate books...

Jan 19, 2011, 11:46 am

Nicely done!

Edited: Jan 19, 2011, 2:27 pm

Who? Me? If so, thanks.

Jan 19, 2011, 2:13 pm

Still no Esperanto? Do I get extra points because I built a tripod out of books to stabilize the camera?

Jan 19, 2011, 2:19 pm

Ha - I just asked Tim about Esperanto yesterday! I'll see what I can do :-)

Jan 19, 2011, 4:41 pm

I asked this on the blog post, too, but will ask here as well:

What about dual-language books? The titles appear in both languages on the spines.

Jan 19, 2011, 4:47 pm

Some of the Chinese books I used have English on the spines. If I'm disqualified, well, I only wasted half a day!

Jan 19, 2011, 4:48 pm

Oh sorry, haven't been paying as much attention to the blog-comments as I should be - will mosey over there :-)

I'd say it's fine to include dual-language books if you like - go for it!

Jan 19, 2011, 4:51 pm

I made a quick Croatian pile Here... if it's usable...

I could make at least eight other ones. Weekend project!

Jan 19, 2011, 5:09 pm

Very nice ones.

If possible, orienting the titles like on the home page would help. It fits the positioning more. You can't show the right-hand side of books if the titles are on the left of the spine, as it were.

Jan 19, 2011, 5:18 pm

Lola, that's an interesting pile of books, but as Jeremy says on the blog post, you need a white or light coloured background.

I just used some white material laid over a table and clamped up onto my mantelpiece. A quick and dirty 'behind the scenes' shot is here so you get the idea.

Have a fun weekend shooting books!

Jan 19, 2011, 5:24 pm

Have a fun weekend shooting books!

Ack, no! Just send them to me. I'll pay for postage!


Jan 19, 2011, 5:25 pm

>18 timspalding: Damn! I knew it was angled one way or another and didn't log out to check. Glad I left the gear set up.

Jan 19, 2011, 5:38 pm


Wow, I should just give up right now. One problem... by gum, I don't think I have ANY piece of white linen anywhere. Everything is black! Or at best, crimson! Even my towels are black! Even the kitchen towels are black! And the hallways in this building are dark grey and silver! This obviously isn't meant to be...

orienting the titles like on the home page would help.

i c

Well I'll try to figure out something--probably recruit a friend who actually knows how to photograph. And his bed sheet.

Edited: Jan 19, 2011, 6:06 pm

Arrgh! TIM! Or Jeremy! I remembered what I meant to say about the title orientation! See, many-most non-Anglo books have titles running in the opposite direction from the most common US usage. Bottom to top, NOT top to bottom. Meaning that, if you try to orient them so that the tiles "bunch" on the left--the books will be upside down. And the titles will be upside down! See what I mean?

Jan 19, 2011, 6:11 pm

>23 LolaWalser: - Yup. This may be a little tricky. If you can "bunch" them, great; if not, we'll see what we can do.

Jan 19, 2011, 6:13 pm

What about vertical instead of horizontal stacks? Although I get it, you want images as like each other as possible...

Jan 19, 2011, 10:11 pm

We can work with any pile. But "our" orientation is easier, for sure.

Jan 20, 2011, 3:43 am

#26: A hint on the desired pixel dimensions would be appreciated, I think. It's a waste of time to create a bookpile with just barely readable titles if choosing some large books or zooming in would have done the trick.
BTW I like justjim's bookpile, so I think I'll just ship my books to him and have him select a pile to photograph :-)

Jan 20, 2011, 3:47 am

The bigger the better. We can then size it. See the home page for the end-result.

Jan 20, 2011, 6:22 am

#28: Sure, but if we know how small they'll end up, it is possible to avoid pictures, that look nice while big, but like crap when small.

Everything looks like crap, when scaled to very small, so the question is how small will you want to make it. has
..img style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0;" title="BookPile" src="" alt="" width="133" height="227"... is 222x378 pixels, so lets go for something large that is acceptable when scaled to say 225 x 380 ?

Jan 20, 2011, 6:43 am

And if you're going to make your shot exactly for the usage required, which is always a good idea, don't forget that sRGB is the default colour space for the web and 72 dpi is the default resolution.

Exporting that size, colour space and resolution image as a .png file will help with the readability of any text in the photograph. Unless Tim has a specific reason to prefer jpeg or tiff formats?

Jan 20, 2011, 12:05 pm

No, you always want to submit things with at least loss as possible—the largest size you have, in the colors you started with.

So, don't submit PNG files, because PNGs will apply a color table to the image. In theory, if you used PNG24 you could be fine, but I suggest a JPEG set to maximum quality.

Resolution doesn't matter on the web. It's just the number of pixels by the number of pixels.

Jan 20, 2011, 1:05 pm

So, don't submit PNG files, because PNGs will apply a color table to the image. In theory, if you used PNG24 you could be fine,

Most PNGs aren't paletted; if you're editing the original camera shot with most programs, a PNG will be more faithful to the original than the JPEG. It will also be huge enough that JPEG is probably recommended anyway. Best bet is the original JPEG images as it comes out of the camera or a crop of it in a program that does lossless crops for JPEGs.

Jan 20, 2011, 3:14 pm

Here's my first attempt (well, actually second...) at Welsh book piles

Jan 20, 2011, 3:20 pm

>33 gwernin:
Can I also request an audio recording of you pronouncing all those titles? :)

Jan 20, 2011, 4:18 pm

Three cheers for the Welsh ones!

Jan 21, 2011, 1:04 am

How's my second Chinese bookpile attempt for right aligned edges and titles?

Jan 21, 2011, 3:14 am

Looks great.

Jan 21, 2011, 3:59 am


Edited: Jan 21, 2011, 5:11 pm

I added my polyglot to flickr, but it is now in my profile as well - though I suppose it is misleading, as I cannot read very many of them :(

Jan 21, 2011, 5:15 pm

I've uploaded four slightly different versions of a French bookpile to Flickr.

Jan 21, 2011, 6:26 pm

I've uploaded a pile of Danish books to my profile gallery.

Jan 21, 2011, 6:44 pm

>39 TimSharrock: Nice one. I don't have enough books in or about other languages to attempt this.

>40 staffordcastle: Have you changed your Flickr account since you did the "Also on" on your profile? Your profile sends me to Flickr user smonson17 which is not able to be found.

>41 bnielsen: Nice shot, I like that you don't have the biggest book on the bottom. Nice textured background as well.

I have an acquaintance who is strangely keen on dressing up as a pirate, I might see what books he has for the Piratical site, arr!

Jan 21, 2011, 6:46 pm

>42 justjim:
>40 staffordcastle: Have you changed your Flickr account since you did the "Also on" on your profile? Your profile sends me to Flickr user smonson17 which is not able to be found.

Yes, sorry - I'll fix that. You can find all the submissions by searching the tag "LTInternationalBookpile" though.

Jan 21, 2011, 6:53 pm

Yeah, here's the Flickr collection, which is looking pretty amazing!

Jan 21, 2011, 6:56 pm

>43 staffordcastle: Yeah, I should have thought of that! *facepalm*

Edited: Jan 21, 2011, 7:03 pm

Well, there seems to be a problem with LT referring to aliases on Flickr. Here's a direct link to the photos:

Jan 21, 2011, 7:13 pm

I found them anyway via the tag. Nice bookpiles.

I accidentally pressed the right-arrow one to many times. A lady wearing a kilt and a Naval Officer marching with his sword clipped to his belt? Abomination!

I checked my Flickr link on my LT profile and it seems to work fine. Your user name on Flickr seems to be the same as it is here, 'staffordcastle'.

Jan 21, 2011, 7:32 pm

Poor Mr. Sharp! His satchel has misled you into thinking him a lady! And certainly, a naval officer would wear his sword when in attendance on Her Majesty the Queen!

Edited: Jan 21, 2011, 7:50 pm

I do apologise to Mr Sharp, I did mistake his satchel for a handbag.

A Naval Officer would not 'wear' his sword, he would 'carry' it. It would be in the scabbard but the scabbard would be unhooked from his sword belt and carried in his left hand. The only time he, or indeed she, would have the sword in the scabbard and hooked to the sword belt would be if carrying 'Colours'.

There is a lot of rumour and stories as to why, but in the end it is all down to Queens Regulations and Instructions.

And now back to your regularly scheduled thread...

Jan 21, 2011, 9:22 pm

I'll pass that on to Admiral Clanwilliam!

Jan 22, 2011, 6:26 am

Please give my kind regards to Vice Admiral Clanwilliam, OBE†

†I'm guessing here. OBE or MBE possibly, I can't read the other ribbons at all.

Jan 22, 2011, 2:45 pm

KCB & KCMG at least, though I don't know whether he's wearing those; they're just the ones he gets announced by.

Jan 22, 2011, 4:59 pm

Ribbons? He's posing as a little girl?


Jan 23, 2011, 12:04 am

>53 Nicole_VanK:
Ribbons as in military medals! In the service, often referred to as "fruit salad."

Jan 23, 2011, 8:10 am

I have uploaded some Norwegian books to my profile. :)

Jan 23, 2011, 9:17 am

Uploaded some German, Austrian, Swiss and French book piles to Flickr. I found the task of choosing the books quite difficult. It should be personal, yet somewhat representative, with a nod to regions, date of publication, genre and gender. Some great titles had to dropped because they had no spine labels, others were in the wrong language ...

>49 justjim: Swords are carried because they tend to dangle on the ground, making undignified noises. An officer is supposed to be mounted on his horse, on land anyway. In the confined space of a ship, a sword is a useless weapon (compared to a cutlass). Modern penis symbols like ties, pens and cell phones are much more comfortable to wear.

Jan 23, 2011, 11:36 am

One polyglot and four Italian on Flickr.

Jan 23, 2011, 11:45 am

I don't think we actually have a polyglot site yet. Maybe we should. Though translating the English interface into 'polyglot' might cause some problems ;-)

Jan 23, 2011, 11:50 am

We're going to use the polyglot ones for any languages sites that don't get submissions, so they're welcome too!

Jan 23, 2011, 12:02 pm

Okay, in that case I might try to pile up some books representing every language in my library. Having some problems with camera > computer at the moment though.

Edited: Jan 23, 2011, 1:45 pm

Maybe for polyglot we should ask people to make a pile of books with no words on the spine. No words, nobody offended! :)

Love the Norwegian, French, etc. But do we have to have Foucault?


Jan 23, 2011, 2:26 pm

>61 timspalding: What do you want instead? Tocqueville, Sartre, Braudel, Houellebecq? I thought about including La lectrice, a quirky short story and also a 1988 film with Miou-Miou, but such stuff ages quickly.

I also want to do a reverse spine shot with some old books, highlighting the different paper textures and qualities.

Jan 23, 2011, 3:24 pm

#58: is the language designed by a UN translator to solve exactly that problem; choose your vocabulary, choose your grammar and hope your audience understands your personal mélange!

Jan 23, 2011, 6:37 pm

I think this is a great opportunity to combine books and photography.

My Spanish attempt here although I believe that the "real" contest will be the polyglot one :-)


Jan 23, 2011, 6:56 pm

>27 bnielsen: (and everybody else)
I've got my lighting setup and post-production workflow just the way I want it now.

If anybody wants to ship me half a dozen or so books I will be happy to take a photo of them for you. I will email you back a free high resolution image specifically licensed to you so that you can enter the competition and will have no legal problems claiming your prize should you be judged to win.

It's just the sort of generous guy I am.

Jan 23, 2011, 8:30 pm

> 61

Actually, I have a lot of books with no words on the spine!

Jan 24, 2011, 1:01 am

>66 lilithcat:

I'm intrigued. What books are like that? Blank books? Very thin books? Spiral-bound ones. What else? Art books?

Jan 24, 2011, 1:13 am

Old but not ancient hardbacks, from the early days of the dust jacket, often have very little on the boards or the spine.

Jan 24, 2011, 3:03 am

27> What I'm missing in your offer is the bit about shipping the books back.

Jan 24, 2011, 3:05 am

>69 MarthaJeanne:
I was wondering about that myself ;-)

Jan 24, 2011, 3:45 am

Shipping the books back? Did I say anything about shipping the books back? I don't think I did.

If you're going to be like that and want the books back, I'm going to have to have some sort of shares in your T-shirt (and, of course, in the everlasting fame and glory).

Jan 24, 2011, 5:37 am

I could easily find some books that I wouldn't want back :-)

Jan 24, 2011, 8:36 am

Some of my non-English books, some older books, some thin books.

I'm at work now, but when I get home tonight I'll make you a pile!

Jan 26, 2011, 2:40 pm

I have uploaded my German book pile and my Turkish book pile to my profile. I hope the pictures are acceptable.

Jan 26, 2011, 2:52 pm


Edited: Jan 26, 2011, 10:29 pm

> 67

Okay, I promised you a pile of books with no titles on the spine. (One does have text on the spine, but it's the name of the publisher!) If you click through to the photo on Flickr, it has notes identifying the books.

(You know, the worst part of doing these bookpiles is re-shelving the books afterwards.)

Jan 27, 2011, 6:56 am

Considering the fact that winners were never picked for the last book pile contest, I'm not really motivated to go through all that trouble yet again.

Jan 27, 2011, 12:03 pm

especially if, like me, you keep them on different shelves in different parts of the house, and have to remember which went were.

Jan 27, 2011, 12:05 pm

If I win, I want the everlasting fame, of course, and the cat thing. Thanks.

Jan 27, 2011, 12:05 pm

Well, I can't speak to what happened last time, but there will definitely be winners for this one!

Jan 27, 2011, 12:16 pm

Just an idea, for possible prizes that is. Anybody can oder an LT t-shirt, but how about making it a staff autographed t-shirt?

Jan 27, 2011, 12:16 pm

I 'd love to see a pile of Irish or Scots Gaelic books. I happen to be learning the two, so it would be nice to see something most people don't see regularly.

Jan 27, 2011, 12:21 pm

I have only Teach yourself Gaelic and Teach yourself Irish - hardly a pile. Do we actually have a Gaelic site?

Jan 27, 2011, 12:28 pm

I have one or two Irish books that I was planning to throw into a polyglot pile.

Would a pile of books about Ireland do instead?

Jan 27, 2011, 2:21 pm

Now I wish I read other languages.

*staff-autographed tee shirt -- want, want*

Jan 27, 2011, 2:58 pm

I'm hoping to get an Irish one - I'll know at the weekend.

Edited: Jan 27, 2011, 4:05 pm


Thanks for reminding us. I had no idea what you were talking about. Probably at some point I did. Jeremy and I pinged Abby and she reports that, as she recalls it, there were only 2 photos up by the actual deadline, and she was waiting for Flickr. (There are now many.) My guess is that she checked a few times after, but anyway the next week she had to go on emergency bed rest. (Abby had a rather difficult pregnancy.) If I knew about it, it escaped my mind during the rush to replace Abby.

Anyway, my apologies. Late it is, but we've decided to pick winners from that batch. There are some really awesome photos there—photos I really don't think I've ever seen! ( )

We're going to announce the winners all together. The contest closes monday, but we'll wait a few days, to make sure Flickr has listed everything.

Jan 27, 2011, 10:10 pm

>82 hisbigal: I hope to do a Scottish book pile over the weekend, but I'm not sure I'll meet the deadline.

>83 Nicole_VanK: As far as I am aware we don't, but we do have a Reading Gàidhlig group.

Jan 27, 2011, 10:18 pm

> 87

I don't suppose we get a vote, but I love this one!

Jan 27, 2011, 10:23 pm

>82 hisbigal:

Scottish Gaelic? (We don't have a language site for that yet. If you promise to translate 5,000 phrases, I'll make one!)

>87 timspalding:

Yeah. Awesome. A lot of them are.

Edited: Jan 27, 2011, 11:09 pm

>90 timspalding:: Um, no. I am a student (still), but I have been canvassing for volunteers to help out with that, because I would love to see it come to fruition.

Jan 28, 2011, 9:30 am

> timspalding

Thanks for clarifying that, I've often wondered what happened. Thanks!

Jan 28, 2011, 9:49 am

#78 "you keep them on different shelves in different parts of the house, and have to remember which went were.

Tags and or collections are excellant at this, you just have to keep LT open anytime you need to find a book, or put one away. And train the rest of your household to so properly as well.

Jan 28, 2011, 11:31 am

No fair! Jeremy said we could post them in our profile. Since that was in the blog it seems only reasonable that you include all submissions before you decide. Right or wrong?

Jan 28, 2011, 11:45 am


If you're referring to Tim's post in #87, he's talking about the last bookpile contest (mentioned in #77), not the current one.

Jan 28, 2011, 11:59 am

Yeah, profile gallery pics are fine for the international one, no need to post to Flickr.

Sorry about that!

Jan 28, 2011, 12:26 pm

Right. No need to post there. But we'll wait a few days so that people who did post there have their stuff seen.

Jan 29, 2011, 4:19 pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jan 29, 2011, 4:24 pm

Thanks catsnbooks! Can you tag your piles "ltinternationalbookpile" so that they're show up with the others? That way I'll be less likely to miss them when I go through the entries.

Jan 30, 2011, 6:33 am

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jan 30, 2011, 8:58 am

>82 hisbigal:, 83, 84, 88, 90, 91

I have submitted a Scottish Gaelic bookpile photo, though I think the background is too dark. I hope someone will do a better one.

For anyone interested, there is an LT group for everyone who does, or would like to, read Scottish Gaelic at any level, including absolute beginner.

It's called Reading Gaidhlig (should be a grave accent on the a of Gaidhlig). Find out about 5-minute reading, 3-word reviews, 5-word scores, readalong and more!

Not sure I'm up for translating 5000 phrases, but anyway LibraryThing would be RudLeabharlann, pronounced approximately ROOT LYOW-er-lahn.

Jan 30, 2011, 11:46 am

Another Welsh bookpile entry, but were are the Welsh (the "Cymry Cymraeg" I mean)?

Jan 30, 2011, 8:55 pm

I uploaded some photos for TAGALOG and CHINESE:

The Tagalog photos are the same books, with a slight variations in angles.

The Chinese photos have minor stacking differences.

I can resubmit the Chinese pics if they need to be oriented the other way.

Edited: Jan 30, 2011, 9:07 pm

Nice job, fish! What's the very top one in the Chinese piles? I can't make out the characters here.

Edit: Well I probably could, but this may be quicker. ;)

Edited: Jan 30, 2011, 9:24 pm

I believe it is titled 新約附詩篇.

(If it looks like gibberish, change your browser Character Encoding settings to UTF-8.)

Jan 30, 2011, 9:27 pm

Ah, the New Testament and the Book of Psalms! Interesting. My Chinese professional library doesn't include such things.

Jan 30, 2011, 9:31 pm

Yeah, I've got a mishmash of all sorts of things. Really had to pick and choose to build a stack that didn't look like it was all part of a single set... :/

Jan 30, 2011, 11:45 pm

I have uploaded my Spanish book pile. The picture it's in my profile. Thanks

Jan 31, 2011, 3:12 am

I added another pile of Norwegian books to my profile, wanted to include titles that were really easy to make out.

Jan 31, 2011, 10:10 am

Added French, German and Polyglot (French, German, Irish and Chinese) bookpiles to my profile gallery.

Feb 7, 2011, 7:34 am

I know I'm too late for the contest, but if we need a picture for the Arabic site let me know. I'm currently living in the Middle East and should be able to easily assemble a pile of Arabic books for a photo!

Feb 8, 2011, 12:07 pm

I am sure posted my suggestion for the Finnish bookpile in the blog, but my post has disappeared. It seems that all the posts before 30th January have disappeared. What happened? Or are the earlier posts just hidden somehow?

My pile:

Feb 8, 2011, 12:10 pm

They're all there, just not all displaying on one page. I saw them all when I collected all the contestants, don't worry!

I'm hoping to be able to announce the winners before too much longer. Stay tuned!

Feb 8, 2011, 12:36 pm

>113 jbd1:

Feb 8, 2011, 3:13 pm

All I need is a free night and a bottle of wine...

Feb 8, 2011, 3:19 pm

Shall I overnight some Gewurztraminer to LT HQ?

Feb 8, 2011, 4:12 pm

Naw, I got wine. Send me a free night... :)

Feb 11, 2011, 1:22 am

I realize I'm too late for the contest but I didn't see a Bulgarian bookpile among the contestant's pictures so here is one -

Feb 11, 2011, 1:16 pm

No, that's cool. We'll include it.

Feb 12, 2011, 12:22 pm

#118: Nice touch to include a book with the title "Bulgaria". I don't think I have a book with "Danmark" on the spine, but I didn't even think of it. I'll second Tims decision :-)

Feb 16, 2011, 1:42 pm

I've just posted a list of winners, for this and the previous bookpiles contest.

Feb 19, 2011, 2:56 am

Have you collected the pile pictures somewhere so we could see all of them in one place?

Feb 19, 2011, 7:17 am

All the Flickr ones are here; I didn't put all the profile ones into a central place, sorry.

Feb 22, 2011, 12:27 pm

Languages we're still looking for (remember, we'll send a prize if you send a picture we can use for the language homepage):

- Portuguese
- Slovak
- Estonian
- Italian
- Hungarian
- Norwegian
- Danish
- Greek
- Lithuanian
- Croatian
- Romanian
- Irish
- Belarussian
- Icelandic
- Afrikaans
- Georgian
- Hindi
- Latin
- Arabic
- Latvian
- Korean
- Persian
- Basque
- Urdu
- Armenian
- Maori
- Yiddish

Feb 22, 2011, 12:51 pm

is the Greek Ancient or Modern?

Feb 22, 2011, 12:55 pm

Feb 22, 2011, 12:59 pm

>118 kotarana:


That's a nice pile :)

Feb 22, 2011, 7:19 pm

... Well, now would be the perfect time for all my Hungarian wishlisted books to suddenly become available. lol

I've seen some awesome book piles here!!

Feb 25, 2011, 4:26 pm

I posted a photo of an Italian book pile. The background turned out to be a tad too dark perhaps. But if you can use it, go ahead.

Feb 27, 2011, 12:07 pm

Thanks all! I've gotten quite a few Italian submissions so I think we're all set there - lots of others left, though!

Mar 5, 2011, 10:19 am

The Chinese home pages (both simplified and traditional) are still showing the Dutch (?) pile. Not trying to offend any Dutch Thingamabrarians, but this is possibly making a worse first impression than we started with.

Mar 5, 2011, 10:36 am

No offense taken: neither I (born Dutchy), nor my Chinese neighbours (I live on the edge of our local "China Town"), think the languages are much alike.

Mar 5, 2011, 11:56 am

Tim's just got to finish rolling out the images. Sorry it's Dutch at the moment.

Mar 25, 2011, 7:53 pm

Here's a try for Romanian and Hungarian each...



Apr 3, 2011, 2:48 pm

Here is a nice bookpile...

Apr 4, 2011, 11:35 am

Now, if only we could get that bookpile translated...

Jul 15, 2011, 4:55 pm


Jul 16, 2011, 9:04 pm

Sorry, I was more bumping for >133 jbd1:.

It has been months now and the book piles still don't appear to have been used anywhere, defeating the whole purpose of the competition.

Jul 16, 2011, 9:05 pm

Yes, believe me, I know this. It's on Tim's plate to do, and he knows it's there to be done.