Yesterday, I managed to get along to the first day of Sydney University’s annual book fair, which as usual took place in the Great Hall.
I went along expecting maybe to see one or two things that I might want to purchase, but not expecting to actually buy anything. I have more books than I have space for at the moment, and I now have enough money saved up to be able to afford new copies of books that I want. So …
… about an hour later, I was at the counter with a small box of books to take home, total purchase of around $38. Some – especially the economics and finance books – were classics which I might not readily find in new editions. Others – especially the ‘thinking’ books – will serve as good working copies which I can use for as long as I need to, and then may re-sell or donate should I want to.
The books related to thinking and deciding are:
- two books by Edward de Bono – Teaching Thinking and The Use of Lateral Thinking – which I haven’t yet read, and which will complement the three other de Bono books that I ‘impulse’ bought the previous week from Glebe markets (The Mechanism of Mind, Opportunities and The five-day course in thinking);
- Robert Thouless’ classic Straight and Crooked Thinking, which I haven’t yet read but, having been first printed in 1930, is roughly contemporary with Stebbing’s Thinking to Some Purpose – it will be interesting to see how they compare;
- Frank George’s Models of Thinking, which covers topics in cognition, learning, problem-solving, perception, thinking, hypothesis-formation and logic;
- a rather ancient introduction to psychology, Psychology – a Study of Mental Life, by Robert Woodworth, which has chapters on learning, memory, perception, thinking and imagination;
- Gellatly and Zarate’s Mind & Brain for Beginner’s, which may provide some new insights, including into how to present information; and
- Lindsay and Norman’s Human Information Processing – An Introduction to Psychology, which I purchased particularly for its chapters on memory, problem-solving and decision-making.
For those interested, the books relating to economics and finance are:
- Trevor Sykes’ Two Centuries of Panic, about the most notable stories of boom and bust in Australia’s financial markets;
- Salsbury and Sweeney’s The Bull, the Bear and the Kangaroo – The History of the Sydney Stock Exchange – promises to be interesting but will take a while to get through (and no data appendix of prices and earnings, which I would like to have for valuation charts);
- Morishima Michiyo’s 1982 classic Why Japan Succeeded – Western technology and the Japanese ethos – we can probably write a follow-up now, Why Japan Stopped Succeeding – non-market financing practices and demographic suicide; and
- three books from legendary Australian economists: the tragic Ed Shann’s 1930 Bond or Free? (sadly without a dust jacket), Copland’s 1947 The Australian Economy, and Butlin’s 1953 Foundations of the Australian Monetary System (again, this will take some reading).
Hopefully, that will be it, for book buying, for another year.