What a strange title for a blog post, right? Well, I recently had a look at my bookshelves, and I realised that something was bothering me. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was, until I looked at my TBR pile.

Now, you should know that the books I have read are arranged on my shelves vertically – you know, the typical way. But on my TBR shelf, the books lie on top of each other. This wouldn’t be important, if it hadn’t helped me understand what was bothering me about my shelves: GERMAN SPINES ARE UPSIDE DOWN.

If you only read in English you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. But as someone who reads in two languages, this is possibly the strangest thing I’ve ever noticed about books.

Have a look at this part of my TBR.


Do you see it? There is one book, called Noir, which is upside down. I didn’t do that on purpose. The books are all lying there in the exact same way – cover facing upwards. But GERMAN BOOKS APPARENTLY LIKE TO BE WEIRD. What kind of design is that? It’s not just that one book either – I had a good look at all my German books when I noticed what the problem was, and they’re all like that. Why? WHY? It’s weird, right? Please tell me it’s weird. I can’t be the only one bothered by this.


Imagine the publishing people meeting up and discussing this.

“So … umm … we have to decide which way to write the text on the spine.”

“Hmm. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Once you put the books on a shelf, no one will care.”

“Uh … okay. I mean, technically -“

“Shut up, Frank.”

“But when the cover faces upwards-“

“I said shut up, Frank.”


But you know what’s even funnier to me? English and German spines are different, but at least they’re consistent in their design. Spanish and Italian books, on the other hand, have no system whatsoever. My parents are Italian and we live in Spain, so our library at home is pretty diverse – and the Italian and Spanish publishers apparently do whatever the hell they want. Some spines face this way, others face that way. If you don’t look closely it doesn’t really matter, but MAN. Once you do, your bookshelves start to look SO WEIRD. EVERYTHING IS UPSIDE DOWN.

I’m not crazy, am I? I am pretty sure that English spines all face the same way. Same goes for German ones. Or do I just own books that were all designed similarly? This is honestly driving me nuts. CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME PLEASE?


I mean look at this shit.


If you want the text on the spine to be readable you have to lay the book down so that it ends up with the blurb facing up. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?

Can someone PLEASE have a look at their bookshelves and tell me that I’m not imagining things? I feel like I am being really dramatic but I AM SO CONFUSED.


I’m gonna stop talking now and try to completely ignore how weird my bookshelves look. I hope you guys are having a wonderful day and that I didn’t just ruin it.

‘Till next time and happy reading!



26 thoughts on “Discussion: GERMAN SPINES ARE WEIRD

  1. That picture of all the spines the correct way and then the one German book bothers me so much I am so sorry you have to deal with that. I like things nice and orderly. Everything needs to be the same way. Although I laughed at your “shut up frank.” Also it’s incredibly cool that you read in several languages. I would like to know a language other than English. I studied French for two years and have been studying Danish for two years. I’m not near being able to read well in either

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I said shut up Frank” 😂😂😂

    That is so odd!! I ignorantly had NO IDEA that other countries spine’s went different ways. This is super interesting I’m so glad you shared this. I can’t imagine how annoying it must be though. I have a pile of TBR books on my desk and I would go crazy if I had to see that. I’m sorry you have to deal with that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have no idea how glad I am that so many people understand me. I thought everyone was gonna read this and go, wow she’s being so dramatic! Or just tell me that actually English spines don’t all face the same way so my post wouldn’t make any sense … I’m so relieved hahaha. x


  3. I can kinda see what they were doing? Like, looks like, when it’s standing up, the words go left to right from bottom up….maybe that’s why? Cause they wanted the words to move up instead of down the spine??? Man, I dunno.

    I’m in the US, & i don’t know any other languages, so all my books are in English & they’re all the top to bottom, left to right text on spines.

    I guess they want you to tilt your head left instead of right to read it? I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT’S HAPPENING

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so strange! If I kept looking at my bookshelf and some were upside down, I’d just have to split my books into German/ English. The tbr pile for German, and tbr pile for English books. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so strange! I feel like buying a German book now just so I can puzzle over the spine!
    Maybe it’s an evil publishing company hell bent on destroying our orderly bookshelves 1 German book at a time XD hahaha.

    Really interesting post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have a load of French books which are all weirdly small. This particularly annoys me because I shelve them next to their English translations (if I have them) and they are normal size. What is this madness? Do French people have smaller hands or something? I completely feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is so annoying and I’m only looking at a photo of it lol. Luckily, I only have one German book, but it has been translated into English, so it has a normal spine cover. However, I did buy one book the other day, which had no page numbers in it whatsoever! Now that seems completly weird and strange to me! What kind of book doesn’t have page numbers in it? I wonder if there’s any other countries that create their books differently?.. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a handful of novels in French (across multiple genres), and all of their titles are oriented exactly like those on your German books. It’s cool to know it’s not just France that does this–but yeah, seriously, what are they thinking? Makes no sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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