A good developer is not someone who knows every quirck, inside info, etc. about his or her work area. Instead, a good developer is someone who knows what is living in the world these days and knows where to find more detailed information if something tends to be usefull. The second requirement for a good developer is to know how to use the technologies that are usefull for the given problem area.
Your description fits the small group of the so-called 'nerds' who lived in a time that I would like to call history...
Behind every great black man...
... is the police. - Conspiracy brother
For me it largely depends on who paid for the books. Books which I have bought for myself, I will read first at home, and then usually label up and leave at work on my desk. Books which are paid for by work I usually read at home, and then eventually take them back into the office, by which time everyone thinks they were bought by me.
I have a complete set of Visual C++ Manuals (version 1.0 I think) that I keep in my loft. It's sometimes nice to flick through the pages rather than try to read stuff on-line, even though they are old, but they take up a lot of room, and weigh too much to carry around.
Mmm, why the heck am I keeping them? Does anyone want them?
"The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice" - Proverbs 12:15 (NIV)
I read the books usually at home (for the first time). Thats the only place I can effort time for reading a book.
After reading a book, there are four places:
1. A bookshelf directly above my monitor, so I just lean forward and pick it (for the real good books)
2. A bookshelf in my office at the door I have to get up and take a walk of 4m (for the books that are good but not sooo good and not so frequently in use)
3. There is my box for the stuff to sell in ebay (for the books that I would never buy again)
4. There is the mystic place somewhere in the offices (maybe on bookshelves of my my colleagues) where the books are that I mostly need to look something important up, and in most cases I am unable to find this place (usually the very best books are there)
Hey, want to buy a copy of the IBM-1130 FORTRAN manual...?
Hmm. Good Stuff.
What about "Peter Norton. Inside the IBM PC"
The one with the in-depth description of the IBM-PC cassette-player interface...
"We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising: and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress, while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation."
Is it just me or do tech books suffer from the most awful titles? They are incredibly long.
Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 Core Reference
Programming C# : Building .NET Applications with C#
Data Structures and Problem Solving Using Java
Practical Guidelines and Best Practices for Microsoft Visual Basic and Visual C# Developers
I don't see the sense of having "Microsoft ASP.NET" when "ASP.NET" will suffice. Or "Building .NET Applications with C#" when "Building applications with C#" will suffice. It isn't going to be "Building Java Applications with C#" now is it?
I only bring this up as I am listing all the books in the office and my web-app has to truncuate nearly every single book title. And that is before you get into things like 2nd, 3rd, 4th and nth editions.