Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Using Riffle for Visual Book Lists

Are you familiar with Riffle? It’s a minimalistic book discovery site that was launched in May. It is visually and functionally similar to Pinterest—when you log in it gives you a grid of lists, favorites, and current reads of the people you follow. You see what others are reading and recommending, and mark the titles you want to read, have read, or would recommend.

Riffle’s user base is small and its features are few, but one thing I’ve found it to be great for is building visual book lists. I created one to test the list feature out, using a handful of my favorite books that I use in my music and movement storytime:

Riffle Embedded - Example

Creating lists is as simple as searching for titles and clicking on them. The books can be sorted within the list by dragging and dropping. The lists can also be embedded into websites for sharing.

The embedded lists are both pretty and interactive. If you hover over a title, it tells you the book’s title and author, and gives you options to mark it as something you want to read, have read, or would recommend:

Riffle Hover - Example

When you click on a book in the list, it brings you to that book’s page, which provides additional options for sharing and a book description.

One feature I’d like to see with the book lists would be an ability to annotate. You know I like to use these books in storytime, but I’d also like to tell you why they’re so great.

So, does this have advantages over, say, just using Pinterest? Pinterest can be used for book lists, after all. They both have their advantages. With Pinterest, you can annotate your list, and link to anywhere you find the book cover, including your library’s catalog. But I like that Riffle lets you sort lists, and the option to embed into a website or blog is useful.

Riffle is a tool with potential, and if its user base grows, it is bound to develop more features over time.

Amy Graves is a children’s librarian at the Manchester City Library in New Hampshire, and chair of ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee. You can find her on twitter at @amygrav.


  1. Lisa @ Shelf-employed

    I’ve been trying it out, Amy, but haven’t decided yet if it’s useful or just another platform that craves time and attention. I do like the look of it, though. It has potential.

  2. Aruna

    Hi Amy! Thanks for the great article on Riffle, and for your “wish list” of features. We’ve now added features that satisfy some of your needs (you can annotate each book you place on the list, and you can now add a 400-word introduction to each list, as well). We’ll also be adding to the book catalogue, and are adding users every day. I think that soon enough we’ll be an ideal source for a range of serious readers, and a great resource for librarians in particular.

    Please do let us know if you think of other things you might find useful — we’re trying our best to tailor the site to the needs of you and your readers.

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