Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Fri. Oct. 21, 2006: Trinity College book sale

The last book sale of the year, and traditionally the best. David is slightly disappointed this year.

(by David): I’m usually not looking for specific books, so it’s purely opportunistic whether I come with a huge or small batch of books. This was one of those unlucky years.

The book sales are also usually an opportunity for a social event. A group of friends gets together to stand in line for an hour, and we talk. This year, everyone begged off, so I was by myself. Since I had a client meeting, I arrived relatively late, about 5:30 for a 6:00 p.m. opening. I got number 191, which put me in the basement, but just around the first turn (before all the plumbing is visible!) As forecasted by one of the volunteers there, I was out of the building by 7:15 p.m.

I didn’t find many “hot” books & just a few to fill out my library.

  • Wurman, Information Anxiety. Wurman is a master in the visual presentation of data, and this was a nice copy of his book.
  • Rosenberg, Landau and Mowery, Technology and the Wealth of Nations. A collection of readings, some by various notable economists. This could be one of those books where getting the original articles is tough, so owning the book could save some stress.
  • Kelly, Leyden & Members of the GBN, What’s Next? Scenario planning by the masters.
  • Wilber, A Theory of Everything. There’s a lot of Wilber fans out there, including some in the systems sciences community. I haven’t had time to look into his work, much, but what I’ve seen sometimes leads into spirtuality, which is beyond what I use in my research.
  • Foster & Kaplan, Creative Destruction. I didn’t think that this was the most original work, but some business readers like it. I was on Mohan Sawhney’s web site yesterday, and he described it as warmed over Schumpeter. He suggested reading Clayton Christensen, instead.
  • Lash, Sociology of Postmodernism. Someone must have used this as a textbook, because there’s highlighting in it. Lash is well known, and I decided to pick up the book because a quick scan shows his writing is relatively easy to read. Thre’s something rare for philosophy!
  • Kelly, New Rules for the New Economy. I’m not a regular reader of Wired, but a lot of people seem to like this writing.
  • Harvard Business Review on Innovation. The articles aren’t what I would define as innovation, in my academic research, but it’s a good idea to know what the average business person reads.
  • Pink, Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself. I’ve heard that Pink is a popularizer, so I’m not expecting much. His new book seems to be getting more attention.
  • McLuhan, Understanding Media. I’ve never actually read it, and this was a nice hardcover edition.

Here’s some books that I already own, that I’ve bought for anyone who wants one.

  • Jane Jacobs, Systems of Survival. Not that I don’t have other copies, but this is a like-new copy.
  • Russell Ackoff, Creating the Corporate Future. The more research I do, the more I move away from Ackoff. Still, he’s a strong foundation from where I started, and this is one his most coherent books.

I think that I only spent around $60 on this trip. I’ve spent as much as $150 in prior years.

After the book sale, I ended up shopping for CDs, and ended up with a huge stack. I need some relief from the long commuting drives, and the radio stations aren’t helping much.

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