off the shelf

How many books does one person need - at any one time? I reckon probably less than 50. That includes cook books, design books, novels, travel books, language books etc. I mean if I'm stuck I can have any book on my desk within 48 hours.

The same goes for music. I can't remember the last time I actually handled a music CD - probably not for about 2 years. I usually read a book twice - tops, unless it's a handbook or manual. I'll upload a CD or go to Spotify. So rather than them gathering dust on my measly little 150cm shelf, I think I should be letting them go, moving them on to a better home, not in the Sarkozy style but with respect and a bit of a send off. So I now declare the 10on12 store open. I'll keep the choice to 5 (for now) and offer up my best stuff, mostly books and CDs for now - so keep coming back for a look. Here's the first 5 from my short shelf.

THE HUSTLER - Walter Tevis, SOLD.
It's about winning and losing and the price you're willing to pay to become a winner. The battle between youth (Eddie) and experience (Bert). We equate winners and losers to sport, which is why The Hustler is sometimes cited as the best sporting book ever written. Both book and subsequent film centre around the same pivotal points, how to spot the opponent's weakness. Here's the dialogue from the film (it's much more succinct) as Fast Eddie is pummeling Minnesota Fats in an 18 hour pool marathon.

EDDIE (to Fats) “I'm the best you ever seen, Fats.
I'm the best there is. Now even if you beat me, I'm still the best!”

Eddie walks over to the water cooler.

BERT (quietly, to Fats)
“Stay with this kid. He's a loser.”


BITCHES BREW - Miles Davis, SOLD.
It's Miles Davis' biggest selling record. God knows why, because it's probably his most impenetrable. This 2 disc set was pieced together by Teo Macero from 3 days of recordings, or directions as Davis called them. It's cut and paste on an unimaginable scale considering it was all done by hand.If you listen to the full box set of the original material, released about 10 years ago, you'll understand the monumental feat of audio engineering that happened. I bought the remastered vinyl when I was 16 and from the off Bitches Brew was a challenge, it's unlike anything before or since.


HOW TO BE A DESIGNER… - Adrian Shaughnessy, SOLD.
I bought this when it first came out as I was going out on my own. As I've always found in life, the only way to truly learn something is to go through it. Most of it I had experience of already but there are lots of good insights, especially on working freelance and alone.In fact one of the best pieces of advice is "never work alone". The more people you have to bounce ideas off the better. You don't necessarily have to employ someone, just have a sounding board.


THE GOLDEN AGE OF ADVERTISING - THE 70s - Jim Heimann, SOLD.
It's the decade I was born into and some of these images still seem really exciting, especially the toys and the technology. The copywriter was still king as most of the work is still very verbose but you have to remember that this was the big medium at the time, TV advertising for most companies was still a luxury, so you had to pack a lot of information into your allotted space. Loads of inspiration, lots of it tongue in cheek and a decade where sex still sold.


GRID SYSTEMS - Kimberley Elam, SOLD..
Not Muller-Brockstone's concrete flagstone that is "Grid Systems" but a smaller, more approachable text. The web's a awash with "grid system"s at the minute but anyone who has worked in print will need no introduction. All newspaper and magazines have employed them for near on 100 years. This book doesn't get hung up on the mathematics of constructing a grid but focuses is on how to arrange elements within a grid - type hierarchy, horizontal, vertical & diagonal composition. Some really nice examples with acetate overlays.

All these items are available in the 10on12 store. Click the button at the top of the page.

Written on: September 30 2010
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moving them on to a better home, not in the Sarkozy style but with respect and a bit of a send off

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