Over the past couple of years, the cover of books has given way for a charming creative challenge. Using some strategic placement and illusion photography, readers are becoming one with a publication—literally—by merging their bodies with the images appearing on the chosen cover. They align the book with their face, shoulders, or even feet to form a trompe l’oeil portrait that brings the inanimate object to life. The practice was popularized by Librairie Mollat, a Bordeaux-based bookstore who created the Instagram series called Book Face.
Librairie Mollat isn’t the only place having fun with this literary trend. There’s an entire hashtag dedicated to Book Face that’s aptly called #bookfacefriday. At the end of every work week, people everywhere transform themselves into iconic figures seen on book covers around the world. Not specific to any genre or time period, they feature graphic novels, memoirs, fiction, and nonfiction—any book with a striking cover is game.
Libraries, in particular, enjoy taking part in this hashtag and use their vast collections as fodder for amusing matches and as a way to make book recommendations. Below are some of our favorite iterations of the trend. Follow the hashtag for a weekly dose of the literary optical illusion.