Captain’s Blog

Frequently asked questions about my bookcase

Why I organise my books by colour, and why you should too.

Books ordered by colour
This suits my book

One of the first things that most people notice when they see me on a video call, livestream, or visit to my house is my BILLY bookcase. Not because it’s big or anything. In fact, it’s quite small. It is however organised by colour, which seems to trigger a lot of people.

Frequently asked questions


I often get questions about my bookcase. This page tries to answer most of them.

Why on earth would you do this?


My books spend more than 99.9% of their time in the bookcase. Since I rarely need to retrieve a book from the bookcase once I’ve read it, it makes little sense to optimise my bookcase so that books are easy to find.

Instead, I prefer to maximise the aesthetic qualities of my bookcase, since it’s there 100% of the time.

How do you not spend hours searching for a book?


Unlike some people, I actually read the books that I buy, so I know and remember what the cover looks like. It also helps that most books are non-fiction, so by the time they get a place on a bookshelf they’ve often been read more than once.

Why don’t you read fiction?


I have .

Where do you buy your books?


I would love to support my local bookshops, but I usually buy my books online. Not only is it cheaper, it is also more convenient and the books do not come with annoying stickers that I have remove.

Which books do you own/recommend?


The table below shows (some of) the books in my bookcase and how much I appreciate them.

324, 89%, 39%New York City encounter (Lonely Planet)2010260en
251, 51%, 34%Head first design patterns2004629en
235, 43%, 41%Principles of economics2009786en
230, 45%, 41%Making software: What really works, and why we believe it2010624en
226, 36%, 36%Megastructure Schiphol: Design in spectacular simplicity2013320en
223, 31%, 19%The Oxford style manual2003603en
220, 92%, 22%Modern database management2002720en
220, 41%, 39%Knowledge engineering and management: The CommonKADS methdology2000439en
211, 40%, 52%Public transit planning and operation: Modeling, practice and behavior2016702en
207, 24%, 38%香港巴士年鑑20172017182zh
203, 22%, 44%The goal: A process of ongoing improvement1984362en
201, 68%, 40%Survivalgids voor de OR: Praktische toolkit202083nl
200, 41%, 22%Introduction to information retrieval2004440en
200, 31%, 42%Business process management: Concepts, languages, architectures2007355en
197, 29%, 64%Handboek buitenpromoveren2015407nl
190, 100%, 37%Logica voor informatica2003352nl
189, 100%, 36%Domain-driven design2004514en
187, 100%, 39%London encounter (Lonely Planet)2007240en
187, 40%, 40%The mythical man-month1975292en
184, 100%, 29%Interaction design: Beyond human-computer interaction2007722en
166, 100%, 20%Problem solving with C++20091048en
177, 34%, 27%Model checking1999295en
76, 45%, 50%Boston encounter (Lonely Planet)2008176en
65, 61%, 59%Designing interactive systems: People, activities, contexts, technologies2005759en
60, 100%, 50%Verjongd stadshart: Een nieuw Utrecht Centraal2016174nl
55, 90%, 50%Communiceren als een beest: Handboek voor effectief communiceren in de OR202099nl
52, 100%, 62%Graduation guide for design students2012144en
46, 63%, 36%300個歷史之謎2004291zh
44, 81%, 69%All my friends are dead201096en
43, 94%, 59%Wayfinding at Schiphol: On the how and why of signage at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol200853en
19, 78%, 57%Introduction to computer security2014498en
17, 61%, 51%Help, ik zit in de OR!: Meer dan 250 Gouden tips voor de ondernemingsraad2018229nl
5, 99%, 64%111 plekken in Utrecht die je gezien moet hebben2016231nl
5, 89%, 58%Hong Kong unveiled: A journey of discovery through the hidden world of Chinese customs and culture2012267en
5, 81%, 50%Hammer & tickle: A history of communism told through communist jokes2008312en
1, 98%, 32%Managing the unmanageable: Rules, tools, and insights for managing software people and teams2013402en
1, 44%, 27%Peopleware: Productive projects and teams1987237en
0, 0%, 100%Building mobile experiences2012137en
0, 0%, 100%Secure programming with static analysis2007394en
0, 0%, 100%Software security2006543en
0, 0%, 99%Understanding the theory and design of organizations2007518en
0, 0%, 98%Steve Jobs: De biografie2011678nl
0, 0%, 98%Discovering statistics using SPSS: (and sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll)2000808en
0, 0%, 98%Psychologische veiligheid: Zo vorm je vrijmoedige teams2020157nl
0, 0%, 98%What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School1984137en
0, 0%, 93%Human transit: How clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our communities and our lives2012236en
0, 0%, 60%Information is beautiful2009255en
0, 0%, 1%Fundamentals of game design2010651en
0, 0%, 1%Smile & squeeze: Dualisme van zelfsturing en aansturing2014103nl
0, 0%, 0%Strategic planning for information systems2002615en