Apparently using memes and GIFs is a “controversial” technique for reviewing books. While I’m certainly not clutching my pearls over this (I’ve used memes and GIFs myself,) I agree with the article’s assertion that they can be overused and just as cliche as calling a book “staggering” or “unflinching” or whatever.
So, maybe you should create your own visuals. Yeah, you can take a picture of your copy of the book, but that’s pretty boring too. Why not take things a little further and recreate an entire scene? Or take a picture of something that evokes the ambiance or the theme of the story? This is the idea behind Snap Scene, an Instagram project from Jessica Kluthe, author of Rosina, The Midwife (my review here.) From Kluthe’s website:
What is Snap Scene? It’s a simple concept. It offers another way for a reader to encounter a story/book/novel: through a photograph (a “Snap Scene”) that illustrates an otherwise text-only scene. It will offer the viewer some value by taking the viewer inside the story, the novel, the book, the essay…
If you’re a writer/author, this is a great chance to connect with some new readers. If you’re a bookworm, this is a great chance to find your next read.
What do you need to do? Stage a scene that illustrates a passage from a book/novel/story/essay. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you please. Along with the scene, in the caption below the photo I’d like to include 3 – 4 sentences from passage that inspired your Snap Scene.
“I love how his headstone is so elegant and simple,” you say, defying the prejudices of no one in particular. “Remember that when you’re ordering one for me, Brigs. I don’t want anything too fussy–no statues or angels or lambs.” “I thought gravestone lambs were just for dead babies.” You’re turning away from me, waving one hand. “Everyone’s the same age in heaven.” – From Jenn Quist’s Love Letters of Angels of Death.| #author submitted #snapscene| http://www.jenniferquist.com
To date, Snap Scene’s contributors have mostly been local authors promoting their own books, but I think the potential for reader participation is huge. It’s a cool way to share what you’re reading and help other people discover a new book that’s a little more creative than #FridayReads. It also reminds me of wildly popular Tumblr Slaughterhouse 90201, where literary quotes are juxtaposed with pop culture images, so the appetite for this kind of thing is there.
I love finding and creating connections between fiction and other mediums. I do it with my reading soundtracks. In fact, I was chatting with Jessica on Twitter and realized that I had created two Snap Scenes of my own without thinking about it:
My Snap Scene of The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Photo taken on “The Living Bridge,” 97st street, Edmonton
“By covering the barren rooftops with greenery we are doing our small part in the redemption of God’s Creation from the decay and sterility that lies all around us, and feeding ourselves with unpolluted food into the bargain. Some would term our efforts futile, but if all were to follow our example, what a change would be wrought on our beloved Planet!” from Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood|#bookblogger @lauratfrey submitted #snapscene | http://www.reading-in-bed.com | yearoftheflood.ca
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Photo taken near 101 Street and 107 Ave, Edmonton
But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic- their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose…But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground.
Readers and book bloggers: I challenge you to create your very own Snap Scene! Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on the Snap Scene Instagram account.
Disclaimer: This post wasn’t sponsored because I didn’t get any free stuff but the idea was suggested by Ms. Kluthe 🙂