Monday, February 22, 2010

Book Recommendation

I think reading something light (as in not homework or papers) makes the time spent commuting on the train much more enjoyable. I picked up a book called, Don't Throw This Away! The Civil Engineering Life, in the library the other day and started reading it on the train. It's a collection of stories from a bridge engineer who worked for PB and now teaches at Tufts. His writing style is very humorous and a lot of what he says is true for people in the civil engineering profession. I think this book started when he wrote an article for PB News and then ASCE about the tendency of civil engineers to never throw anything away because these drafts and scribbles made for a conceptual design project might someday become useful. So funny and so true. I keep everything! I even keep the things I'm about to throw away. I don't empty my paper recycling until the next quarter, just in case! But I also started collecting stamps way before I became an engineer. So here another one of those chicken and the egg questions. Does the profession attract people who are like to collect things or does the profession create people who always have clutter lying around?

Anyway, it's a good book. I would recommend it to all my civil engineering friends. Even those who aren't might still find it funny. I don't know if I would buy the thing though. Not sure if it will actually be useful later in life and thus might not be worth taking up space on that precious bookshelf (the book is very thin).

1 comment:

yalu said...

I'm actually not convinced that they are correlated at all. I think you collect things because of who you are. I mean sure, if you compare engineers to doctors you may find that engineers keep better records and are more neat about it but I think within a general field high variation exists - so no chicken or egg problem if not correlated