Data Viz Done Right

March 17, 2016

Dear Data Two | Week 46: Books I Own

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For week 46, the topic was books we own. This feels like the first week in a while that I haven’t had to really keep up with logging data on the fly. I simply took my computer to the bookshelves around the house and entered the titles of the books. From there, I searched for each book on Amazon to get the author, pages, physical size and category.

When I started exploring the data, the first thing I noticed was that I was missing a lot of books, especially many of my data viz books. They must be in a box somewhere because there’s no way I would have left them in storage in California. Anyway, I digress.

For the books that I actually have, I have at least cracked the cover on all of them. I was really surprised at how many I haven’t finished. With data viz books, I don’t generally read them cover to cover. I flip through them and read the bits that I want to learn more about. But still, I haven’t even made it completely through so many of them.

For the fiction books, which I used to read a ton of, the average page length is 592 pages, whereas it’s 168 for those I have read. Perhaps it’s harder for me to concentrate long enough to read an entire book. I wonder how true that is for other people. Is it a sign of the digital, fast consumption age we now live in?

On the postcard, I placed the books on two shelves according to whether I read them or not. I then ordered them by their physical height, marked them as either read or unread, then went through and thought about which books I would most likely recommend and which books I refer back to often.

As I finished the postcard around 6pm, it was started to get dark, so I ran down to the postbox so I could get a picture and the postman had just taken the mail. He graciously waited while I took a picture of me dropping it in the post (for Instagram). We then got into a discussion about to googly eyes on the postboxes. Apparently some of them even have noses!


Flip through the story points below to see more about what I think about my books and to see the postcard.

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