I have the enjoyable affliction of not being able to read only one book at a time. That means that there is a huge pile of books next to the bed, plus a few more in whichever handbag I’m carrying around. Right now I’m mentally twitching with excitement about the books I’m currently reading, all of which are in tune with the once-hazy and now beginning-to-materialize idea that I’ve been having for a possible PhD research proposal.
The first book is my eagerly-awaited copy of Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman. I’m only at the beginning of this one, but so far he’s managed to excite me even more about the two books that are to follow in this three-part series, which also have to do with craft and society.
I’m planning for one of the areas of my research to be about craft and craftsmanship, but I also want technology (especially the Web), learning, meaningfulness, socioeconomics, and culture to play a part. As a result, I’m also in the middle of reading the following:
- Useful Work vs Useless Toil, by William Morris
- The Language of Things, by Deyan Sudjic
- The Cult of the Amateur, by Andrew Keen
- Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams
- various issues of Crafts magazine
I keep flitting from one book to the other in excitement: it’s the grown-up equivalent of holding as many fingers as I can between the pages of a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ story. I’m rarely so enthralled by so many books at once. Reviews will follow, once I get through each of them.