My bookshelf with project management expert, Nader K. Rad

Today’s bookshelf is a bit different than the previous shelfies since this one is our first digital shelfie.

Yes, I don’t have a physical bookshelf anymore!

I used to spend most of my money on books, and had a great collection. I also had the habit of spending many hours hunting for used books.

Things changed in two steps:
First, ebooks started to appear on the internet, and, after a while, they were so accessible I didn’t need to buy paper books anymore. I officially migrated to ebooks about 12 years ago.

Then I moved to Belgium, and it was really hard to bring my old books with me. So, I just left them behind [in a safe storage of course].

I’m happy with my current setting. I have my whole collection in my laptop. I also have a small collection of reference books, and interesting to-read books on my tablet for the times I’m out without my laptop.

I use Calibre to manage my ebook collection. It’s absolutely great, and I highly recommend it.

How would you describe your bookshelf?
I love it. I groom it all the time, by adding metadata, grouping books, etc. Even though it’s digital, without limited space, I still don’t want to have as many books as possible, and delete those I don’t find useful.

I have three main groups for my books: those that I’ve read, those I’m going to read, and those I keep as references.

In the event of a fire, what books would you save?
The nice thing is that I don’t have to make such a hard choice. There are backups of my collection in three different places, just in case.
However, I’ve experienced a tough choice: I decided to bring only one book with me, when I was moving to Belgium. These were my choices:

1. The first book I’ve published: it’s important for me, because the success of that book turned me into a complete author, and changed my life. The book was on… on digital photography! I have hobbies too. People found it practical, and it sold very well. Few people know that I bought my first camera and started photography after publishing that book, using the royalties.

2. Spectrum Sinclair Manual: this is the manual of my first computer. I was 10 years old (1989), and I learned programming using it. It made a big impact on my whole life.

3. Nietzsche‘s Thus Spoke Zarathustra: one of my favorites. I enjoy reading it repeatedly, and feel a deep connection.

4. Khayyam’s Poems: I don’t like poems, but this one is different. The poet is an ancient mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher. I like his poems, because he’s very bold and skeptical, and uses complex amphibology to say what he was not supposed to say in that semi dark age.

At the end, I picked the poems to remind me of being brave and critical, and to tell the truth :)

Written by Nader K Rad.

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