Look supervisors! All that time I spend messing around on Twitter paid off! After seeing this brilliant idea from the Johnson County Library, I knew we had to repeat it here in our teen section.

If it’s not obvious, the covers of the books have been covered up. Instead, all the patron see is the first line of said book.

My coworker Emma is usually in charge of this particular display section, but I asked if we could copy the above display for May. She was down, so I got to work finding titles with solid first lines. I specifically looked for books that we had multiple copies of, as well as overlooked gems that weren’t circulating in the collection.

Here are the images I made to tape to the front of our YA books. Feel free to use ’em. It would make me happy, in fact.

baby girl by lenora adams

Baby Girl by Lenora Adams


Cupcake by Rachel Cohn

derby girl

Derby Girl by Shauna Cross

Eleventh Plague

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

everybody sees the ants

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King


Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

going bovine

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

how it went down

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon:  Also, this is one of the most topically relevant YA books out right now. If you haven’t read it, get on it and make sure teens can access it.

in darkness

In Darkness by Nick Lake


The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (the first in the Lockwood and Co. series)


Monster by Walter Dean Myers

party girl by lynne ewing

Party Girl by Lynne Ewing

sorta like a rockstar

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

the final four

The Final Four by Paul Volponi

Here's the main sign for the display.

Here’s the main sign for the display.

Emma, because she’s done the whole “wrapping up books to obscure their cover” deal before, wrapped white printer paper around all the books, leaving their barcodes exposed so that the circulation desk workers don’t want to kill us:


I glue-sticked all the first lines to the front of the book and bang-boom, the display is a done deal!


IMG_20150501_151333632 IMG_20150501_151339456

Thanks to the lovely folks at the Johnson County Library for sharing this idea! Virtual high five!

So, what’s your favorite first line? Let me know in the comments.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Librarian Wardrobe ♥

About magpielibrarian

Youth Services Librarian, Mediocre Crafter, Urban Magpie, Glitter Addict, and Worshiper of Ridiculous Outfits, Emerging Leader 2012, Former Rainbow Book List Member, and GLBT RT Director-at-Large! This is what a librarian looks like, kids.

20 responses »

  1. daleinqueens says:

    I love the idea!

    Just to participate, my favorite first line is “I will be her witness. That would translate ‘sera su testigo’, and will not appear in your travelers’ phrasebook because it is not a useful phrase for the prudent traveler.” Joan Didion “A Book of Common Prayer”

  2. missprint says:

    I’ve said it before but my favorite thing about this is how easy it is to replicate thanks to all of the first line images being pre-made/typed.

  3. okramsey2 says:

    Excellent idea! Thanks!

  4. Meghan says:

    I’m really excited to see In Darkness by Nick Lake on here!

  5. […] Table thématique : « don’t judge a book on its cover »… tentative avec la première phrase ! […]

  6. Allegra says:

    Reblogged this on Trust me, I'm a librarian and commented:
    I think I need to do this soon. Love this idea!

  7. lbpsbbook says:

    Wow, this is an amazing display idea. Even as I was reading through the lines, all I could think was that I have to read this book! Re-blogging this onto our school librarian site!

  8. Kristen Mohr says:

    I love this. We did something kind of like this, but our wrapping job was easier because we have RFID.

  9. Molly says:

    This is such a great idea!!! I am definitely going to use this in my classroom this year!! Thank you!!!

  10. sharon ruffy says:

    they were all awesome first lines. what a great idea. loved it.

  11. Hi. Im looking for a cool format for quick book reviews for my 6th Grade Class

  12. […] a recent book display featuring first lines of books, complete with downloadable images to use: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover…But What about the First Line?: A Teen Library Display. And Molly at Wrapped Up In Books wrote about Library Displays: Merchandising Tips, showing how […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s