I actually thought about not bringing any books with me to Brooklyn. I have a Kindle and I know that books on any shelf of mine would just gather dust. But I figured my apartment could use some … nice-looking, not purely utilitarian stuff. Also I gave into the vanity of having books for show. I know. Who am I, even?
Anyway, this is what’s packed up in the living room of my parents’ place along with 80% of my other shit:
- Designing Design by Kenya Hara
I remember when I first heard about this book being published. The same day, I called my mom and asked her to preorder it for my birthday. I remember savouring the whiteness of the book before I actually read it. It’s one of the few books I keep in its dust jacket because I fear marring the inner whiteness. True to Hara’s design credo, it’s simply written, so very Japanese.
- The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte
I’ll be honest, this is the one book in this list that I haven’t read cover to cover. I bought it around the time I started interning at the NYTimes, because I knew that a lot of the foundational principles behind the Times’ information graphics were inspired by Tufte’s work. Maybe bringing it to Brooklyn will encourage me to read it this time.
- The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
Uh, yeah. What designer doesn’t know about this book? I can’t believe I even considered giving it away. I read it through once, but I don’t really consult it while I’m working as I originally expected I would (maybe I should). But it is definitely pretty enough to stand on a shelf all by itself.
- Glimmer by Warren Berger
This book was my life-changing, “I have a purpose” book. I bought it not long after I graduated from college, still green and confused and all. Reading that the work I do, the thought processes it involves, is capable of world-changing things was nothing short of self-validating and inspiring.
If you were to look at my copy of this book, you’ll see that unlike the other three books, which I try to keep in good condition, it has been used. I even passed it along to a friend, encouraging him to write in the margins like I did. It’s a shame that Amazon doesn’t have any new copies for sale.
There’s a closed-up fireplace at my new studio. I think these will look quite nice on top of it.