a coder's bookshelf

August 30th, 2008

What is this obsession people have with books? They put them in their houses - like they're trophies. What do you need it for after you read it?
- Jerry Seinfeld

I think it's because reading a book takes a lot of effort, and we want to get credit for it. Reading a big book takes considerably longer than anything else you might do for "fun". And then you can point to it and say, "look, this is what I know".

I have a bunch of computer books, a lot of them from college, that I'll probably never toss out even though I'm unlikely to ever re-read them. Meanwhile, I can do what a lot of people are doing and put them on display. "Look, I must be really clever, I have all these books!"

Frankly that's all they're good for after I'm done with them.

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2 Responses to "a coder's bookshelf"

  1. You might be interested in the BookCrossing project — it's a projet where people give away their books into the wild (e.g. place them somewhere with the notice they're free) marked with an unique ID and when someone picks them up they can note that on the projects website and the first owner (as well as anyone else, really) can see where the book has been to in the world. Each book has its own "travelling" journal — I like it :]

  2. erik says:

    I was gonna take a picture of my bookshelf (that runs across the entirety of the longest wall in my bedroom) with my 200+ books but it didn't fit on camera :D

    Totally seconded.