Exploring: My bookcase (part 1)

Maybe it's wrong but whenever I visit someone's place, I can't avoid taking a look at their bookcase and cd collection - it's a great way to get a sense of their interests and tastes.

I'm sure that to some level or another we are conscious of this when we stock our shelves - unless we have enough room for everything - and it's the books/cds that paint the best picture of us, the one that matches our own image of ourselves, that are placed most prominently.

Then again, maybe it's just the books that we think we are most likely to need.

I was looking at my bookcase a couple of weeks ago and realised that accurate or not, it does tell something of a story about me. This set of pictures (you can find the entire set on Flickr) simultaneously offers an opportunity to talk about some books that I think are pretty cool - killing two birds with one stone.

I'm going to start with an easy part as I'm now thinking that it would be good to have cover pictures of the books and I'm not entirely sure that I'll be able to find them all.

(Click on the pic for the full-sized version)

This is the top of the left bookcase - the place where the things that are too big to fit in the regular shelves live. There's also my hole punch, because it's one of those things that take up too much space on the desk and won't fit in the drawer with the rest of the stationery.

On the right is a folder of ideas and tasks that I'll come to someday maybe. (Probably, but not urgently). This came about after reading David Allen's book, "Getting things done" - which offers strategies for, well, getting things done. It's largely about organisation and lists and whatnot, as well as the way it's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of unfinished tasks we have floating around the back of our mind.

I've always been pretty chronically disorganised, which I put down to being easily distracted and regularly thinking of new things to do before the old ones are finished. (One day I hope to put the rest of the ideas in the book into practice :)

The folder on top of that one is the "Things to do" folder, with tasks broken down by context - e.g at the computer, around the house, at work, errands, calls to make. Sadly, it's probably a little dusty but from time to time I pick it up and try to knock off a few things or cross off things I've managed to get done anyway.

Below that is the manual for my printer, a Canon something something. I have a lot of manuals - again, that don't get a lot of reading beyond the time I first buy the thing or when it goes wonky.

This is sitting on the printed out manual for my favourite game creation software, FPS Creator. (ok, so I haven't tried any others but it's still awesome).

I've posted a little before about work I've done with FPS Creator but in essence, it allows you to create first-person-shooter video games. (This is where the point of view - pov - is yours, so you move around the environment holding - or not - whatever weapons or other objects you can find)

As much as I'd like to be more tree-friendly, I find it hard to go past the print-out when I want to read anything more than a few pages - it's the combination of the tactile and the ability to scribble on it that technology still hasn't quite managed to adequately capture yet.

The PC, smart young thing that she is wrote her Master's thesis in linguistics on some of the speeches made directly after September 11, both by Bush and Bin Laden. (Sorry honey, still haven't read it yet but given that it integrates two things I'm really interested in, politics and language, I'm looking forward to it.)

The bright red-spined book under this is a notebook of various ideas and rants and raves I've jotted down over the last 14 years - as well as some excessively angsty and self-indulgent moaning from my working-myself-out period in my 20s that I'm pretty happy to have put behind me.

Below this is an anthology of Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comics that I think I inherited from one sharehouse or another in the past. An underground/counter-culture comic created in 1968, it ran until 1992 and is now being made into a stop-motion animated film. (Here's some of the test animation from it)

I like this one because it has a great subversive sense of humour and I've always liked comics.

I've also always been right into surrealism and dada - two art movements from the earlier part of the 20th century that explored the inner world. There was a major art show of the surrealists at the National Gallery in Canberra when I was at uni and I've always regretted not going along on the big road trip a few people arranged.

At least I have the book I guess.