[Update 10 January 2011: These books have now been sold.]
For sale right now on eBay: my copies of Edward Tufte’s first four books on data visualisation: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative and Beautiful Evidence.
This is the first of a whole bunch of things I’ll be selling over the next few weeks. Yes, partially it’s because I have to move house. But it’s also because I’ve decided to make good on the comment I made at a lunch with the people from Blurb — that books I haven’t even opened in six months are simply wasting space on my shelves and are of no use to anyone. They’re an asset in a coma.
This also relates to a point I’ve been trying to make for the last couple of years, with varying degrees of success: that digital media allows us to separate to creative content — a novel, say — from the container it was traditionally published in, i.e. a book. One version was a Crikey article, Literature? What’s that got to do with the price of books? The core issue is that the pleasure people enjoy from reading the novel, with its characters, settings and plot, is a separate pleasure from the tactile sense of turning pages and feeling the paper, or the satisfaction of collecting objects. I don’t deny anyone any of these pleasures, but they’re no longer necessarily interlinked.
But I digress…
Having read Tufte’s books and absorbed their message, there’s no need for them to sit idly on bookshelves. They’re not something I refer back to. And I have no need to reinforce my sense of self-worth by displaying them as tribal markers either.