It’s Spring. Or it feels like it, anyway. So I’m pruning my (paper book) library, picking out anything from the shelves that I’ll never read again, or that has no sentimental value, and chucking it into a cardboard box to be taken to a charity shop.
Sadly, though, there are some books that shouldn’t even make it to the charity shop, but be put straight into the paper recycling. Because nobody should be learning CSS 2.0 right now. Or starting to learn C++ using an elderly edition of Stroustrup. Or reading up about the bleeding edge of graphic web design, circa 2009. Or getting started programming in Objective C using a book older than the ARC.
I can’t see anything better that can be done for these poor, outdated books than for them to be put out of their misery. It would be a curse rather than a blessing for some naive student developer to spot them being offered cheap in Oxfam and start their career by learning non‐responsive web design, or C++ that predates the STL, or how to drive Xcode 4.
No. The only thing I can do, really, is make a note to my future self: next time I buy a paper book on programming (and I will, because learning from actual paper books still has some advantages), I should set a reminder in my calendar for a couple of months’ time. And if I’m finished with the book, I should get it out of the house while it can still be useful to someone else.
And if I’m not finished with the book, well, I probably shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.