We really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we can’t help ourselves—it’s all we can do! And other book lovers are no different. The #bookface challenge is sweeping social media again, with bookstore employees and customers alike aligning covers to match the view in front of the camera. Or, to put it plainly: you stand behind the book so that you continue the photo on the cover.

It’s so creative and so much fun, our team here at Bored Panda couldn’t wait to share it with you, dear Readers! So we carefully crafted some of the best pics for you literature lovers to kick back with (and hopefully to inspire you to do the same)! This isn’t the first time that the Bookface challenge has surfaced on the net! You’ll find Bored Panda’s previous quirky posts about how bookstore employees like to have fun right over here and here. Give them a glance once you’re done enjoying this list and upvoting your fave pics.

Bored Panda spoke about the #bookface trend with Marianne Chala, the Director of The Willoughby Book Club, the UK’s leading personalized book subscription service. Marianne joked that she spent the first lockdown doing "millions of bookfaces," so she's a real expert on them.

#1

Bookface-Challenge

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Couldnt_Find_A_Good_Name
Community Member
4 weeks ago

What can we comment on any of these??

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#2

Here's One Of Our Favourite #bookfaces From A Couple Of Years Ago. Do You Have A Fave? #amanadaquick #tightrope #bookfacefriday #bookface
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#friday #friyay #libraryfun #librarylife #librariesofinstagram #publiclibraries #libraries #marionlibraries #marionlibrary #sacouncils #partofyoureveryday

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Soph the Loaf
Community Member
4 weeks ago

It lines up so perfectly.

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#3

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Kevin Donegan
Community Member
4 weeks ago

The hands are impressive.

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"I think it appeals to people because it can be as simple or as complicated as you like—a quick snap against a bookcase or a really elaborate costume. It also suits the camera-shy as the face is partly or wholly obscured, so there are no excuses for not joining in," Marianne from The Willoughby Book Club told Bored Panda.

According to Marianne, book covers are incredibly important and play a vital role in our buying decisions. "We’re all extremely judgemental about covers here at Willoughby! I’ve also been a bookseller for long enough to see trends in cover design come and go," she said. "At the moment I think the increase in beautifully designed and presented books reflects customers’ buying trends: people are now prepared to spend on books as items to keep and build into the decoration of their home. The pandemic has also reminded us all of the importance of books and reading for comfort and escapism, we’ve all needed it this past year. I’m always glad to see when a title has been well presented, as a good cover can make or break a title."

#4

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Belandriel
Community Member
4 weeks ago

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Nope... not perfect!

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#5

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Jesse Baxter
Community Member
4 weeks ago

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bahahahahah😂😂😂

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#6

Bit Of A Cheat As It’s My Own Face In One Of My Own Books, But Happy #bookfacefriday
#fridayvibes #friday #bookstagram #writersofinstagram #crimereadersofinstagram #writer #books #bookfriday

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Kaylee Daugherty
Community Member
4 weeks ago

bru thats like perfect

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How much input book authors have on what the covers looks like, however, depends on how much freedom they're given by their publisher. At times, they might have some leeway; otherwise, they're at the mercy of the publisher's marketing department.

Marianne also opened up about what booksellers and book lovers do when they're not working or taking part in the #bookface challenge. "I’ve done ‘spine stories’ sometimes, where you stack the books to make the titles read like a micro-story," she revealed, later adding that literature lovers tend to do what they do best and open up a book when they have a spare moment. (And the mountain of books I have at my desk, propped open and swaying in the spring breeze, agrees with her.)

#7

Bookface-Challenge

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Kirbi (hehe get it)
Community Member
4 weeks ago (edited)

WUT THATS PERFECT

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#8

Reposted From @readingsbooks This Week’s #bookfacefriday Is The Act Of Living By Frank Tallis. An Exploration Of The History Of Psychotherapy, This Book Hopes To Guide Readers Towards Living Happier And More Fulfilled Lives.
#bookface #readingsbooks #shoplocal #independentbookshop #theactofliving #stonnington #stonningtonresidents #cityofstonnington

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Beau_Tye
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Woah

#9

Here's One Of Our Favourite #bookface Posts!
want More Bookface Fun? Make Sure You're Following Us On Instagram!

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ThatOneCrazyFanGirl
Community Member
4 weeks ago

wait, look at the hand on the left side. the index finger is in the front but the thumb is in the back. whaaa?

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Tons of bookstores, libraries, and organizations have been taking part in the challenge. And there’s even a #BookfaceFridays hashtag floating about on the web, too. As you’re lining up the book cover with your body, you try to create a seamless whole that’s both realistic and aesthetically pleasing.

So it’s not just books with real-life photos on the covers that can work; stylized covers can, too! However, the latter takes a bit more work and imagination to get just right.

#10

Bookface-Challenge

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ThatOneCrazyFanGirl
Community Member
4 weeks ago

perfect!

#11

Happy Book Face Friday!
kevin Is Looking Very Dapper Today In His Famous Red Coat.
julian Barnes’ Book Takes Us Through An Exciting Time Of Change And Ideas Amongst The Backdrop Of The Belle Époque In Paris. Our Guide Through This World Is Samuel Pozzi, The Society Doctor, Free-Thinker And Man Of Science With A Famously Complicated Private Life, And The Subject Of One Of John Singer Sargent's Greatest Portraits.
penguin Random House Canada Julian Barnes
#bookface #bookfacefriday

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Dog Fan For Life
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Oh! Just the background is a little different... but other than that...Amazing!

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#12

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jasper
Community Member
4 weeks ago

ha!

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Despite the name of the #bookface challenge, it’s not just your face that you can replace with a book. Any part of your body will do.

And some of the more creative shots show people posing in various different ways, moving away from the classics where people stare directly at the camera. Truly, the sky’s the limit here and we think it’s a wonderful way to get engaged with how visually stunning some books on display can look.

#13

Bookface-Challenge

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Avery S Alberico
Community Member
4 weeks ago

WOAH

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#14

The Sound Of Music Was Released On This Day In 1965! Our System Has Many Different Materials Related To This Classic Musical. Visit Https://Cefls.org/Sound_of_music To Request Them. Interested In Learning More About Julie Andrews Or Christopher Plummer? We Can Help With That As Well!
#soundofmusic #musicals #julieandrews #christopherplummer #libraries #bookface

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Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Tell me! Julie and whom?

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#15

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Ray Githinji
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Perfect

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The New York Times suggests that the challenge may have started gaining more and more traction around 2014. The challenge isn’t just fun, however. It’s a great way for bookstores, libraries, and booksellers to remind the public that they exist and to engage their existing and potential customers.

#16

Bookface-Challenge

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Dog Fan For Life
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Oh my god. That is near perfect!

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#17

We’re All Dressed Up For #bookfacefriday! #bookface #ebrpl #anatomyofsteampunk #katherinegleason

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Dog Fan For Life
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Ohhhhh! The elbow...but Wow!

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#18

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Avery S Alberico
Community Member
4 weeks ago

STAAAAAAAARE

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As social media continues to expand into our lives, you can’t afford to not post something on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter because the barrier to entry is low and your competitors will be doing the same thing as well. The #bookface photos are a wonderful way to do that, translating our love for books into a purely visual format, akin to a tiny, easily-digestible work of art for the digital age.

#19

Bookface-Challenge

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Dog Fan For Life
Community Member
4 weeks ago

WOW! That is soo cool!

#20

Bookface-Challenge

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Mintchinchilla
Community Member
4 weeks ago

sholders a bit off but otherwise....ROUND OF APPLOUSE LOVE IT

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#21

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Vanessa Nunez
Community Member
4 weeks ago

WOW

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In an earlier interview with Marianne, Bored Panda spoke about the pet peeves that booksellers have. Marianne told us that she and her staff (all book obsessives) have seen “a lot of abominations towards books” in their careers. One of the biggest faux pas that they’ve seen people do is arrange their books with the spine facing inwards. “This is a crime against literature.”

#22

Bookface-Challenge

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aesthetic.baddie27
Community Member
4 weeks ago

WOW

#23

A Few Years Ago We Learnt That It Is Almost Impossible To Take A #bookface Photo When You’re Laughing Hysterically 😂 🤣
#bookfacefriday #friyay #alanpartridge #backofthenet #bookworm #librariesofinstagram #readingrocks #librarylife #libraryshelfie #fortheloveofbooks
#booklover #bookstagram #coverlove #bookfacemagazine

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Chewie Baron
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Smell my cheese!

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#24

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Avery S Alberico
Community Member
4 weeks ago

XD

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Marianne also told us that cracked spines also scare her and her staff. Especially if customers do so in front of the book lovers’ eyes. What’s more, books bought just for show without any intention of reading them, as well as books with film tie-in covers won’t win you any brownie points with real literature fans, either.

According to Marianne, some of the worst things she’s ever seen done to books included having a beloved book lent to a family member getting mauled by a dog, a burst pipe destroying an entire collection of books, and a large hardback having been sawn in half with a breadknife because it was “too big to read in bed.” The horror!

#25

Bookface-Challenge

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Mr. Bean (she/her)
Community Member
4 weeks ago

this is great! :)

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#26

Bookface-Challenge

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Dog Fan For Life
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Even the hair is lined up! Perfect!

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#27

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Felice Coles
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Doom for the doppelgänger...

“From working in bookshops, I have had books returned for a refund that have been dropped in the pool on holiday and are crunchy with sand… or when 50 Shades of Grey was the thing, we’d get copies returned with the spine cracked on the saucy bits.”

Marianne continued: “I have seen sandwiches, burgers and on one memorable day, a whole burrito tucked into the shelves with the books… and a large coffee upended on the Christmas display tables of bestsellers— ugh, it’s giving me hives to have to re-live it,” Marianne revealed the nightmares that some book lovers have to deal with on a regular basis.

#28

Bookface-Challenge

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Ariel Linares
Community Member
3 weeks ago

im in love twice

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#29

Bookface-Challenge

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Dog Fan For Life
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Ha-ha! This is great!

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#30

Bookface-Challenge

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Jazzy C.
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Other than the hair... perfecto...

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Note: this post originally had 107 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

So, dear Pandas, have you ever taken part in the #bookface challenge? Do you plan to? What book covers draw your attention the most in stores? What’s the worst way you’ve ever seen someone treat a book? Let us know in the comment section below.