The four books I’m bringing on my move

Published Mar 24 2013

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.