Filling bookshelves cheaply

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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obafgkm
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by obafgkm » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:29 pm

BSA44 wrote:In response to why I care, is that I'm in a field where image matters (business/teaching MBAs).....
Watty wrote:Don't put dummy books there. In addition to looking phoney there a chance that someone important could see a book on your shelf that they are familiar with and ask you something about it.
I agree about looking phony. I'm a professor, too -- over 20 years in -- and if I saw a new tenure-track professor having an office full of random books on her/his shelf I'd wonder what else is phony, too... Don't buy books just for show. In my opinion, it diminishes books. And you.

In my office I have shelves of my old physics and astronomy books from my undergraduate and graduate years, as well as examination and desk copies of textbooks that have been sent to me since I started teaching. In addition, I have old lab notebooks from my research over the years. I also have a shelf of non-science books (dictionary, Bible, and some comic strip collections such as Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, and New Yorker cartoons). One more shelf is devoted to knick-knacks from Star Trek, my favorite baseball team, and comics.

What I'm getting at (and I think a lot of us are saying this) is that even though we're moving into an age in which much stuff is digital, you will find that over time you will have some books. No need to rush the seasons at this point. I like the idea of using the shelves in the meantime to non-book pursuits.

carguyny
Posts: 326
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by carguyny » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:34 pm

leave them empty - been that way in my office for 7 years now. People sometimes ask and I just tell them I despise paper and clutter.

My office also has no paper in it anywhere - my team knows everything for my review/approval is electronic only.

North Texas Cajun
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by North Texas Cajun » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:43 pm

daveydoo wrote:Call me crazy but isn't it intellectually dishonest to fill your shelves with books you've never read?!
I'm not so sure about that. The OP is a college professor who is seeking books in his subject area. We can assume he is an expert in that subject area. As he pointed out, he has read many books or passages from such books electronically. He is likely to be familiar with the subject matter of the books he displays, and may consider loaning these to some of his older students who are not as comfortable with ebooks. He may use some famous book passages as references without reading the books.

Do you think it would be intellectually dishonest for an architect to display in his office of a print of a Frank Lloyd Wright building if he has never visited that building?

daveydoo
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by daveydoo » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:12 pm

North Texas Cajun wrote:
daveydoo wrote:Call me crazy but isn't it intellectually dishonest to fill your shelves with books you've never read?!
I'm not so sure about that...

Do you think it would be intellectually dishonest for an architect to display in his office of a print of a Frank Lloyd Wright building if he has never visited that building?
Different thing. If he were an architect and filled his lobby with paper models of other architects' buildings, I'd think so. Hanging a Picasso doesn't imply that one painted it.

What if your doctor had shelves of important-looking books that he bought solely as props? I'd think that's a sham, but maybe that's just me...?
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

rec7
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by rec7 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:47 pm

Buy used Bogleheads books to give to students. That would solve two problems.
Disclaimer: You might lose money doing anything I say. Although that was not my intent. | Favorite song: Sometimes He Whispers Jay Parrack

ABQ4804
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:08 pm

Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by ABQ4804 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:32 pm

obafgkm wrote: I agree about looking phony. I'm a professor, too -- over 20 years in -- and if I saw a new tenure-track professor having an office full of random books on her/his shelf I'd wonder what else is phony, too... Don't buy books just for show. In my opinion, it diminishes books. And you.

In my office I have shelves of my old physics and astronomy books from my undergraduate and graduate years, as well as examination and desk copies of textbooks that have been sent to me since I started teaching. In addition, I have old lab notebooks from my research over the years. I also have a shelf of non-science books (dictionary, Bible, and some comic strip collections such as Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, and New Yorker cartoons). One more shelf is devoted to knick-knacks from Star Trek, my favorite baseball team, and comics.

What I'm getting at (and I think a lot of us are saying this) is that even though we're moving into an age in which much stuff is digital, you will find that over time you will have some books. No need to rush the seasons at this point. I like the idea of using the shelves in the meantime to non-book pursuits.
Agree with Professor Obafgkm. And think about why that specific office with all those shelves was available to you; no one else wanted it either!

Toadandfriends
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 9:41 pm

Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Toadandfriends » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:33 pm

Dear OP
I am jealous of your empty, serene bookshelves. I can only imagine the beautiful, quiet blocks of uninterrupted space. Come visit my office and wade through the crooked stacks of chaos, notes, old textbooks, and ****. In fact, your post inspires me to hire a dump truck. Enjoy your peaceful shelves. Nobody else will think twice about it or care a bit. Trust me, everyone is very busy worrying about their own bookshelves.
Best,
Prof.

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