One of the problems paper bibliophiles often cite in e-books is that you can’t show off your e-book collection on your shelves. It’s all hidden inside a computer. But Engaget reports that Vodaphone Romania has found a clever way around that as part of its own e-book lending program. which it calls Digital Library Wallpaper. Customers can go to Vodaphone’s web site, pick out the books they want, and then have a big wallpaper “shelf” printed that has book decorations and scannable QR codes on it so that they, or their friends who are visiting, can load the books onto their devices for reading.
The YouTube video with the project paints it as a great way to put a “bookshelf” in a limited-space area such as a crowded dorm room. And it does at least have the benefit of putting all your e-books in a full-sized bookshelf-style environment where you or anyone else can see what you have, rather than the dinky little skeuomorphic display on your tablet.
Of course, given that the program is located in Romania, with a bunch of Romanian-language books, it wouldn’t be that useful for most people. (I should point it out to my Romanian friend, though.) And there is the problem that you can’t change the arrangement of books on your shelf without requesting a brand new sheet of wallpaper.
Still, as a concept, there’s no reason this idea necessarily needs to be limited to Vodaphone’s program. Someone could probably hack up a Calibre plugin that would generate a graphic representation of your library with QR URLs that point to the books’ locations on your local Calibre server. You could print it out on one of those humongous blueprint printers at your local copy shop, and then tape it up to your wall like a poster. (And you could always print out another one when you have more books.) Or maybe the calibre2opds people could come up with something that could put in URLs to your OPDS-on-Dropbox library instead.
Maybe someone should get on that.