The blurb in Newsweek’s December 5th issue stated Books: Seen, and Not Read, making me wonder how designers go about buying books and what titles we let sit idle on the shelf.
Newsweek’s short article in Periscope stated that most people buy books based on their visual appeal, and then there’s the “geek” factor. The author supposes that people buy certain books to have them laying around, projecting an intellectual image. Titles may not be readable, let alone read. Such books would include Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Said title would sit on your shelf without ever being cracked open, in order to impress in-laws or guests, who marvel, “Whoah, look at that, they’ve read Hawking.” Author Nick Summers closes with “at least people are still buying books.” Nice attitude, Nick, would you still feel this way if you authored the book? I suppose if the publisher’s royalties pad your pocket, there’s no need to complain.
The last time I touched on this issue, it dealt with subject matter, and what books designers read. Now we’re dealing with usage. As a person who designs or writes (or both), is Summer just in his complacent statement at least people are still buying books?
Lastly, if you’re in a confessing mood, What do you do with the design books you buy? What books sit and collect dust on your shelves to impress those who happen to see them (design books or otherwise)?