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Method to read book titles without tilting your head at the bookstore

Image credit: Ryan Morrison from Pixabay

Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte May 22, 2022
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Is there a way - perhaps by using a smartphone app - to make the titles of the books at the bookstore appear horizontal, so that they can be read without tilting your head ? It becomes painful when browsing.
Creative contributions

Exercise vertical reading

Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 23, 2022
Just like any other skill, we should be able to get good at reading vertically. Initially, you can consider it training. Purposefully hold yourself back from tilting your head while reading the titles. I'm guessing that after a few weeks/months it should be as easy as reading horizontally.
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Live photos or videos of the bookshelves

jnikola May 23, 2022
As Darko Savic mentioned in the comment, it would be cool to be able to roam the bookshelves from the comfort of your home. But why would I have to take a photo? A system of cameras that take photos of the bookshelves a few times a day.
  • Making it easy for the readers to roam the bookshelves and look for new titles from the comfort of their homes. I personally enjoy just walking around reading titles, but I feel bad walking around the library for hours.
  • Making it easy for the libraries to organize, and keep all the titles in their place in perfect order. Any lost books would be detected easily and without human effort using AI.
  • Easy switching from horizontal to vertical view for easier reading.
How would it work?
A set of cameras, along with the camera sliding construction, would be installed along the bookshelves. The cameras from the opposite bookshelf would take photos of the bookshelf few times a day.
If possible, a single camera on a sliding track could also be installed to automatically slide between shelves and take periodical photos of all the bookshelves.
Addtional information
On days when libraries are not working, sliding cameras could be used by visitors to roam through the library. If made remotely possible, small camera drones could be used for the same purpose. Visitors could operate the drones by the computer mouse and keyboard arrows. The drones would still have a portion of autonomous control of flight to avoid crashing, breaking, etc.
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Print titles vertically with a custom-made font

Michaela D
Michaela D May 25, 2022
It seems obvious, but printing titles vertically would solve the problem of tilting our heads.
On the image above which titles are easier to read? If you had to go through a dozen titles, how would you prefer them to be printed?
The downside of printing vertically is that characters take up more space. At least this is the case with Latin characters and with the common fonts. Korean titles are printed vertically. This is because the Korean alphabet and word structure allow for this.
What we need is a font tailor-made for vertical typing of Latin characters. The characters would need to be slightly shorter and wider than the standard shape. The distance between the characters also needs to be optimized. With the common fonts I tested, the distance between characters printed vertically is much longer than the distance between characters printed horizontally. You can see the difference in the image above (ex. Arial 14 sideways vs Arial 14 verti)cal. Vertical titles not only take more space, but they also take ever so slightly longer to read.
With an appropriate font, vertical titles would fit nicely fit on the spines of the books, we could read them fast and without tilting our heads.
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Book addressbook

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni May 27, 2022
Every bookstore should keep a book addressbook. It could be a touchscreen where people name the book they want and the screen shows the exact location of the book in the store including the alley, shelf number, and rack number. Even the rack could be divided into finer sections to give a more precise location. The user will then need to read the names of the at most 8 to 10 books in the section of the shelf before they identify the book of interest.
This will eliminate the problem for those who know what they want to buy. This is what most readers do these days. They hear about a book on different platforms or get recommendations from friends and family and then they buy the book.
This idea will not help those who are casual book buyers - those who enter the store, browse through numerous books, and then decide what to buy.
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Tilted bookshelves

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni May 27, 2022
A bookshelf is tilted at an optimum angle so that there is not too much strain on the neck of the reader, and it is still possible to hold the books with one hand and remove a book from under a pile. If the books were kept horizontal, the reader wouldn't have to tilt their head but removing a book from under a pile would be difficult. Hence, tilted bookshelves.
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Store books horizontally

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni May 27, 2022
Store books horizontally and ask for store help when you want to remove a book from under a pile.
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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
You could take a photo of all the bookshelves. Then in the comfort of your home and desktop computer, rotate the photos and read the titles horizontally. Circle the ones you want to read, rotate the photos back to the original and send them back to your phone to be used as a shopping list for the next time you're at the bookstore.
By doing it this way you also have more time to google reviews or summaries, thereby maximizing your value for money
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