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COVID-19 Crisis: Pic Of Bookshelf With Hidden Message Of Self-isolation Intrigues Netizens

Artist Phil Shaw took to Instagram to reveal a picture of a digitally morphed bookshelf that left the netizens awestruck with its secret COVID-19 message.


A digital-printmaker from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire created a distinctive Coronavirus message by arranging books in such a way that the titles narrated a story of self-isolation amid the pandemic. Digital-printmaker Phil Shaw took to his official Instagram account to reveal a picture of a digitally morphed bookshelf that left the online community awestruck. He captioned the picture with: “Shelf isolation 2 - the story so far...' (sic). 

Books ranging from Stephen King's It to Adam Thorpe's Still revealed a hidden message that read, “'The English patient had caught it on the beach. I should have stayed at home she said. Now she was in quarantine in the dark house of splendid isolation.” In the second row, the titles combined in liners further read, “Still hope springs eternal with a little bit of luck and personal hygiene. The corona book of horror stories must end soon. Always remember clean hands save lives and when in doubt don't go out!” 

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'Isolation' series arrangement

In no time, the bookworms swarmed the posts, both on Instagram and Facebook, with a slew of comments lauding the printmaker’s wit. “Very clever and amusing,” wrote a user on Facebook. “Just realized to read it across”, wrote the second user. “Charlotte sent us this last night! Yay Gina! Spreading literary delight,” wrote a third user, amused. 

This is not the first time the digital artist has resorted to this novel method of raising awareness.

Earlier this month Shaw shared photographs of another digitally rearranged social distancing series that was titled in a way that it urged people to remain indoors amid the pandemic. The stack of books featured works of acclaimed authors including Thomas Hardy and Virginia Woolf.

Shaw owns a website, where he wrote: “'I've always been fascinated by the possibility of creating the impossible. In life we all know deep down that magic just ain't possible, but at the same time we all wish that just once something magical might happen.”

"Just beyond the surface of a picture, the membrane that separates reality from fiction, we are able to experience the impossible. My world, the world beyond the picture plain, abounds with strange coincidences, contradictions and paradoxes; it's where I live. My world is a place where humour is a serious matter, and it's purpose is not simply to raise a laugh but to call attention to the puzzling absurdities and the dangerous myths, that permeate all our lives."

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