Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bibliophilic Mecca

As a book lover, purchasing new reading materials is always one of those things that I both relish and anguish over, as it tends to put a sizable dent in the wallet. While fiction is one thing, the the high cost of many arch and landscape related volumes is sometimes laughable when deciding which $80 book to pick up. While an occasional free review copy is a welcome addition, the low-volume / high-price of design literature is cost-prohibitive to fully obtain the plethora of great titles. The library is an option, but I'm more of a owner than renter in this case (specifically in the non-fictional) - mostly as these aren't short-term relationships but long-term engagements that get visited and re-visited over the years. The other local mecca Powells and other used book stores is always a benefit - shaving a few dollars off, but more often than not the price tag is large.

So I was excited to visit local Title Wave Books here in Portland today... the word 'bookstore' here is somewhat applicable, as it's more a repository for Multnomah County Library to unload books that are taken out of circulation in the regional library system and sell them at a significantly reduced price. Today was a local special (an additional 55% off books in Architecture and Design), so I was salivating over the possible additions to the library. I wasn't disappointed.

The full list of books I acquired:

:: Building Inside Nature's Envelope - Wasowski
:: Earth Sheltered Houses - Roy
:: Theory and Design in the Second Machine Age - Pawley
:: Emilio Ambasz: The Poetics of the Pragmatic
:: The Making of a Town: Potsdam-Kirchsteigfeld - Krier & Kohl
:: AD: Sci-Fi Architecture
:: AD: The Architecture of Ecology
:: Architects: The Noted and the Ignored - Prak
:: Tight Spaces: Hard Architecture and How to Humanize It - Sommer
:: Understanding Architecture - Conway
:: The Architecture of Happiness - de Botton
:: Nature Near: Late Essays of Richard Neutra
:: The Language of Space - Lawson
:: Architecture and the Phenomenon of Transition - Gideon
:: What is Architecture? - Shepheard
:: After the City - Lerup

Total price-tag: $36

While admittedly, I may not have chosen all of these had they sold for full price, but even a chapter's worth of knowledge is worth a dollar or two sometimes, and some were just chosen for some good imagery or an interesting historical viewpoint. Many were hardcover, and a good bit where standouts, which will inevitably be mentioned in upcoming reviews or posts, so stay tuned - and check out your local library for a sale or a store... you won't be sorry.


  1. Hey Jason-

    You should check out the book "Last Landscapes: The Architecture of The Cemetery In The West" by Ken Worpole. It's really interesting.


  2. Will have to check it out... my fascination with cemeteries has yet to wane, and lots of interesting design happening around the world in this typology. Thanks for the heads up. JK

  3. What a screaming deal! I must go check that place out. I, too, have a serious book acquisition problem. Not only does it eat money--but it's really cumbersome when moving houses. Nonetheless, I can't seem to resist. Just ordered Beardsley's latest Schjetnan book . . .


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