Through The Lens Thursday #15: Books

posted in: Photography, Through The Lens Thursday 49 comments

Through The Lens Thursday is a one-year photography project, where every week, my project partner, Greta of GFunkified and I, will post a picture (or pictures) we have taken based on a prompt. Our hope is that together, we can teach and learn from each other, stay accountable to our goal of improving our skills, and hopefully, be taking some gorgeous photographs. 

A photography project

This week’s prompt is “Books”.


1/30, f/7.1, ISO 1600

There is something magical about bookstores. It was one of my favourite places to go to when I was a little girl. 

It’s still one of my favourite go-to places now. On the rare occasion I get a couple of hours to myself, I always head to a bookstore. 

I cover all sections of the store.

The toddler and preschooler shelves to see what books my boys might like. 

I run my fingers along the spines, I especially love revisiting the books of my girlhood, like these Enid Blyton classics.

Enid Blyton books

1/30, f/7.1, ISO 3200

I make my way slowly through the fiction section, from A to Z. 

Then I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at memoirs, and wondering why someone like Justin Bieber would be interesting. 

So I head back to my beloved fiction.


1/30, f/9.0, ISO 1600

I almost always leave with a book or two in hand. 

It’s inevitable.

(What do you think of my ‘books’ photos? This IS a photography exercise, so I would appreciate any critique!)

Next week’s prompt: Together

For the full list of prompts, check out my Through The Lens Thursday page. If you’d like to join Greta and I, but not necessarily blog your picture, join our Flickr group, where we upload our photos, and give comments, or helpful critique on each other’s photographs.

I made some yummy cookies for kids at Everyday Family – check out my Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies recipe!

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Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • April 10, 2014 Allie

    You are getting quite skilled at this my friend! I also LOVE a good bookstore. I can even bring the boys with me. When they were little, we would sit in the kids section and I would read to them for at least an hour. It was such a great way to spend a winter afternoon. Long live the bookstore!
    Allie recently wrote…Find Your Inner AthleteMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Thank you! I bring the boys with me sometimes – they love browsing as much as I do. Long live the bookstore indeed!

  • April 10, 2014 Felicia

    You are really talented, Alison! I love visiting bookstores, but I’ve been avoiding them lately because I don’t have the time or money for books right now unfortunately. I’ll return soon though and maybe I’ll take my camera with me! πŸ™‚
    Felicia recently wrote…#AtoZChallenge: I is for Ice CreamMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Thank you Felicia. I save up to buy books, it’s where all my $$ goes πŸ™‚

  • April 10, 2014 Katie

    These photos make me want to go spend time in a bookstore too! I also love going and just looking at all the books. There are so many! Every time I just walk all the aisles looking at all of them…touching them too. Awesome shots!
    Katie recently wrote…Spring Showed Up for Spring BreakMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Yay fellow book lover!

  • April 10, 2014 Shannon

    It’s been a while since I’ve been to a good bookstore. I’m at the library constantly, but you’ve inspired me to venture out to a bookstore again soon.
    I love your take on books. Those shelves of books look so full of possibility. I had very good intentions of returning to Through the Lens Thursday this week, but I’m leaving for the Erma Bombeck Conference in an hour, so my intentions remain unfulfilled. Next week, I hope. I miss it!
    Shannon recently wrote…Where I’m FromMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      The EBWW is a big deal, and there are plenty more prompts left for the year! Hope you had a good time.

  • April 10, 2014 vanita

    I absolutely love bookstores. how sad is it that I haven’t been to one in almost two years? sigh, i can spend hours in barnes and noble, and have! i’ve instilled the same love in the teens and monthly i have to shell out b+n money. πŸ˜€
    vanita recently wrote…When Pinterest Gets UglyMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Books is one expense I’m happy to shell out for when the time comes for my kids πŸ™‚

  • April 10, 2014 Kerstin

    I love bookstores! Fortunately my family shares this love, so we always visit bookstores whenever we can πŸ™‚
    P.S – I can ask my daughter if you’re really wondering why Justin Bieber is interesting πŸ˜‰
    Kerstin recently wrote…Auer Life 2012My Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Yes, please enlighten me on the Bieber mystery, please. πŸ™‚

  • April 10, 2014 My Inner Chick

    Libraries and Bookstores Excite ME!

    And so do these photos, Alison Lee.


    Btw, books have transformed my UNIVERSE)) xxxx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…The Sun Shines Differently Without YouMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Books changed my life, Kim. xoxo

  • April 10, 2014 Greta

    I love those pictures! The first one almost gives me the feeling that you’re frantically moving through the aisle on a quest for something. πŸ™‚ I love bookstores, too.

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      In a bookstore, I’m always on the quest for something. πŸ™‚

  • April 10, 2014 Katie

    I am not a photographer by any means, but I think these photos are gorgeous! I too love hanging out in bookstores – big chain ones if I have my son with me (for the big children’s section), small independent ones if I’m by myself.
    Katie recently wrote…Extreme Makeover: Christ EditionMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Ooh, I love small independent bookstores!

  • April 11, 2014 Rorybore

    Love the first shot of the whole aisle! You know you are a book lover when you try to enlarge the shot so you can discover a new exciting title! πŸ™‚
    There’s nothing like a the fresh crisp pages of a new book and you have definitely captured that here. Now I have to read Enid Blyton.
    My books in my shot are not quite so crisp… they’ve been well loved.
    Rorybore recently wrote…Pondering: A Novel Idea!My Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      I love new books. I love touching and smelling them. Weird?

  • April 11, 2014 Tamara

    I LOVE the shutter speeds, and the all-around feel of that first photo.
    And the all-around feel of a bookstore!
    Tamara recently wrote…Winter’s Leftovers.My Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, my friend! I love love love bookstores.

  • April 11, 2014 lisacng

    Kinda cool effect with the movement in the first photo. Great job!
    lisacng recently wrote…We are totally legit backpackers {photos}My Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Thanks Lisa!

  • April 11, 2014 Allie

    I’ve been so excited to see this one, since I saw the prompt last week. Greta picture. I love bookstores too and was lucky enough to stumble upon one of the coolest I’ve ever seen, over spring break. LOVE!

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      That’s so cool!

  • April 11, 2014 Nina

    I love bookstores and libraries and all things bookish. A random thought– these pictures could also work for next week because I did notice how much my type-A personality liked the look of the same books TOGETHER.

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Hah! YES!

  • April 11, 2014 Clare at CatsEatDogs

    I love book stores too! We also love the library which is essential because we read so many books. These photos are so colour filled and vibrant.
    TTLT is such a great project, I am learning lots! Today, I had to use a tripod to get a photo of my books. I wouldn’t have even thought about that a few months ago.
    Clare at CatsEatDogs recently wrote…Through the Lens Thursday and Ten on the 10th April 2014My Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      I love libraries too. Only we don’t have one near us, unfortunately.
      I’m so glad you’re learning from this journey – I am too, and having fun doing it!

  • April 11, 2014 Jessica

    Great shots! The blur in the first shot is particularly fun. I love the library, too, always have. It’s a wonderful place.
    Jessica recently wrote…Why Write Everyday?My Profile

    • April 11, 2014 Jessica

      meant to say “bookstore,” not library in my comment. Though, I love the library, too! πŸ™‚

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Jessica! (I love the library too)

  • April 11, 2014 AwesomelyOZ

    The first photo made me dizzy πŸ™‚ I love physical books, I can’t get the grip on e-books, it just doesn’t feel the same. Feels as though I’m cheating. Hmm I feel as though it would’ve been awesome to see a set of books stacked on some form of table at an angle with outside lighting hitting it. Some form of depth I guess? Still absolutely great photos momma! Have a great one Alison -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently wrote…The Friendship ConundrumMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      My husband is trying to get me to consider a Kindle. It’d save more money that’s for sure, but I’m old school, so I”m resisting!
      I did consider taking a picture of a stack of books on my desk, but I’ve actually taken a bunch of pictures just like that so I thought I’d try something different in the bookstore.

  • April 11, 2014 Susanna Leonard Hill

    I don’t know enough about photography to say anything helpful, Alison, but I love all your photographs! πŸ™‚ And I love today’s subject! You’re in my world! Bookstores are my favorite, and I seriously cannot be let loose in one because I will buy way too many books πŸ™‚ If you ever need book recommendations for Monkey and Scrumplet, come on over to the Perfect Picture Book Friday list – we’ve got tons of great ones, old and new πŸ™‚

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      I will, thanks Susanna!

  • April 11, 2014 Christine

    Oh I love bookstores too! And yours looks so neat and orderly (things get messed up pretty quickly in NYC bookstores). Love getting lost in all those stacks of books and words. Love your photos too!
    Christine recently wrote…Friday Round-Up: True to YouMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      I went in there first thing in the morning πŸ™‚

  • April 11, 2014 Natalie

    I LOVE a bookstore…and the smell of new books! And a cup of coffee…then I am in heaven!
    Natalie recently wrote…Smiles All AroundMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Ooh, match made in heaven!

  • April 12, 2014 Roxanne

    A trip to the bookstore is now in order.
    Roxanne recently wrote…March for Babies in MayMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Isn’t it always?

  • April 12, 2014 angela

    I have no photo critiques, but oh how much I love photos of books (and real books, of course!)
    angela recently wrote…SnippetsMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Oh me too. Me too.

  • April 13, 2014 Kim

    I love bookstores. I lose track of time and could just wander.
    Your photos make me want to visit one! πŸ™‚
    Kim recently wrote…SupermomMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      I hope you do!

  • April 14, 2014 Nicole

    I LOVE bookstores, especially when my girls are happily occupied at the Lego or train tables, and I can just get lost in the new titles. And while I’ve come to love & appreciate my Kindle for biz trips with limited carry-on space (hauling the last two Harry Potters back and forth to Germany was a chore!), there’s just something special about cracking open a new book and breathing in that paper smell. And NOTHING will ever replace the magic of holding a children’s book and discovering it with your child for the first time (and 15 million times after).
    Nicole recently wrote…From the Mouth of Babes: Travel EditionMy Profile

    • April 14, 2014 Alison

      Yes, yes and yes!
      (I’m still resistant to my husband’s suggestion of getting a Kindle, because I’m spending so much money on books. I know he’s right. But….)

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