Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

How to Use the “Breaking Things Down” Bracket Meme as a RA Tool

Let me break this down for you

There is a new meme trend sweeping the social media landscape called “Breaking Things Down” or the Bracket Meme that invites you to, well, break things down. It looks like this:

It invites you to break a book down into it’s parts and it is fun. What a great RA tool for social media sharing. Let’s discuss.

Here’s how it works: You take a book and break it down into it’s parts. For example, a book can be 2/3 flirty and fun, and 1/3 it will rip your heart out. For the record, the trend isn’t just about books, but for our purposes here it’s ALL ABOUT BOOKS.

Here are some other examples for you to get a handle on the trend: https://www.buzzfeed.com/angelicaamartinez/twitter-meme-brackets

I made the A . S. King example above using a photo App called Over. Pretty much any app or program that let’s you add a background and text will work. If you use Canva, you can do it there as well. You can share plot elements, character descriptions, themes or even just funny notes about a book. I feel like every time I read an A. S. King book I don’t understand what’s happening but I keep going because in the end, she’s going to blow my mind. That’s what I wanted to capture in my breakdown of her upcoming book SWITCH, which did start with time actually stopping and then literally blew my mind.

Create Your Meme Step by Step

  1. Start with a plain white background.
  2. Add your book cover. You should be able to find and download a book cover easily on the internet. You want a clean cover, no background or edges.
  3. Use either a text block or a graphic to add 2 or 3 right parenthesis on the right side of your book cover.
  4. Next to your parenthesis, use a text box to add your description. A handwritten looking font looks best in my humble opinion, but you do you.
  5. After you have completed your image, save it as a .jpeg or .png
  6. Share it on your social media

Just Some Follow Up Thoughts

Just a note, it really helps if you have read the book and have some witty things to say about the book. I’m not always witty, so looking at a lot of other examples helped me out a lot. Luckily, a lot of authors have been sharing their own memes on Twitter and that helped.

Also, the Over app that I used let’s you choose a plain white background from the first step so it was a go to app for me for this project. If you were going to use something like Canva, you could even set up a template and just plug in your book cover and text each time. Setting up a template is a really good idea if you want to make more of these. I love and recommend using templates as often as possible for repeated images.

And this is a great social media/virtual programming challenge to get tweens and teens involved in. Create a hashtag and invite your library patrons to create their own memes. If you have a template you can even share it with them and include your library brand and logo on it. If you are worried about the cursing and such, create a submission email for them to submit them and then share them from your library social media in a more curated fashion.

As with anything, by the time you are reading this post it’s probably close to being played out, so act quickly. Though I just saw the above Buzzfeed post so it probably has a little shelf life left in it. But most importantly, it’s pretty quick, easy and fun to do and we’re all looking for ways to get more book covers into the eyeballs of our patrons, especially in the time of Covid, so I highly recommend this.

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