Video: How to Write Book Spine Poetry

There aren't many household items that you can stack into a pile and make poetry out of. Coat hanger hymns? Mop bucket sonnets? Not so much. Books, on the other hand, lend themselves well to verse – after all, they do have words printed on their spines. Watch a video on how you can make your own Book Spine Poem for National Library Week.

Book Spine Poetry is simple in concept -- just stack up books and read their titles, top to bottom. The challenge comes in finding the right words.

"Look for books that have one-word titles, books with titles that sound poetic, that have prepositional phrases or active verbs, or have titles that just sound unusual," advises our own book-spine Wordsworth, Kaite Mediatore Stover, readers’ services manager at the Kansas City Public Library.

In this video, she explains how to craft a simple and fun book spine poem from the books lying around your house. (And if you run out of words, we have millions to choose from on the shelves at the Library.) Once you’ve built your poem, snap a pic and send it to, post it on our Facebook page, tweet it to us @kclibrary, or upload it to Flickr using the tag “kclibrary.”

National Library Week is April 10-16, 2011, and we’re celebrating it in a variety of fun ways. In addition to Book Spine Poetry, we’re inviting readers to post the titles of the last three books they enjoyed reading to our Facebook wall, where a team of readers’ advisory librarians will recommend the next book to read. And we’re inviting people to share their Lifewriting stories.

Learn more at

-- Jason Harper