BOOKLIST Does the Great Blackwell’s Balance-Off

When we saw the Great Blackwell’s Balance-Off on Twitter—a competition in which people try to put lots of books on their heads—we knew we had to get in on it. Why are we participating in an English bookstore’s publicity stunt? Because we wanted to put lots of books on our heads. (Duh.)

Booklist had three suckers contestants from each of our departments, pictured below limbering up. From left to right: Briana Shemroske (Books for Youth), Sarah Grant (Marketing), and Biz Hyzy (Adult Books).

trio 2


I’m not saying who tried her darndest and who slacked, but maybe the results speak for themselves. Just kidding—pretty sure your success at putting lots of books on your head has something to do with your skull’s relative bumpiness. In any case, the results are in!

Third place: Sarah, who, for some reason, insisted on stacking romance novels on her head. Good try, Sarah!

sg ten books


In second place: Briana, who tried using a floppy manuscript as a base with moderate success. She can, however, move her arms very quickly for balance.

briana with fifteen books on her head


And finally, our winner Biz.

biz eighteen


She not only utilized the floppy manuscript, but also implemented the pyramid technique, as deftly executed by this maniac at the LRB Bookshop, who somehow managed to balance 49 books on his head. While Biz’s number might not have approached that towering summit, she made the rest of us look like total amateurs. Hey, at least we all beat this baby:





About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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