Sagging metal shelves stuffed with dog-eared catalogues - Hiltie, Marlin, Altro - line the walls of every studio in the land.
At the bottom there may be a few centimetres of space left over. So what gets in out of all the favourites each team member will claim is indispensable to his or her contentment?
The year-outs may want a Foucault or Baudrillard (show offs). Senior team members will probably have an ancient Who's Who that they refuse to junk (should any one dare suggest it).
The intellectuals will insist on The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and maybe a Shakespeare (useful for writing up projects for journals). There are certain essentials, of which individuals will refuse to lend their personal copies. The office kitty may justifiably be raided for the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture , the Penguin Dictionary of Building and Curl's Dictionary of Architectural Terms - there is also a good one published by Dover. Kenneth Frampton's Modern Architecture: a critical history is a good standby, with erudite quotes at the beginning of each chapter. The Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of Modern Architecture has the advantage of being in alphabetical order, and the Victorian volume in the same series is a mine of information.
Then there is the Eat London , Drink London Ellipsis series that has become the Ferrero Rocher of architectural book collections. Happy reading.