• Mental Cost of Ownership

    The other day i chatted about reading three books a month and touched on the subject of how I decided to prune my book collection. Today I’m going to elaborate a little and put this down for everyone. This isn’t a new subject, but is a good way of thinking of stuff.

    I like books a lot. I like getting them, flipping through them and more often than not actually reading them. Each book is something I’d like to learn more about or just enjoy reading. The problem that has snagged me in the past is getting too many books in the queue. It doesn’t take much for me to fill a bookshelf with all the things I’d love to learn. It’s easy to forget how long it’ll take to actually get through the pile of books. Somewhere a goal is set using guidelines of how much time I used to have vs. how much time I actually have today. It’s amazing how little I have these days. Always eaten up by work, projects and just living.

    So I used the mental math of “how long will it take me to get through these books?” and “Is this something I want/need to read?” to figure out which to get rid of. It’s amazing how quickly this reduced my bookshelf to not overly full. Add in the thoughts of does this still pertain to my life and I managed to clear out quite a bit. There were some titles that were old dreams and goals that just don’t fit into my life anymore. It’s amazing how long these stay attached when they should have been dropped a long time ago. Yes it would be nice to learn to play those songs on guitar, but I just don’t have time anymore. Probably don’t need those learn the guitar books either.

    At times I have had a smaller bookshelf to contain the books I’ll be reading in the near future along with some notebooks and 3-Ring binders filled with commonly used information. This tended to help me keep from spending 12 minutes picking a book to only have 3 minutes to actually read it. Now I can quickly see what I had previously chosen as important. I most likely had some witty name like “Current Shelf” or “Stuff I’m working on”, but don’t recall. It’s now just known as the short bookshelf.

    I have since cleared out enough books that there is a small collection of what I’ve already read and a separate section for books I have yet to read and a small space for my currently reading pile.

    Having cleared out a bunch of stuff that was related to old dreams has helped a lot. It gives me real time now to concentrate on the present and what I’m looking to read and experience now.

    I guess it all comes down to having some organization and keeping some focus on what is current and what deserves to stay in the past. Which reminds me. I need to give my book collection another pass as I’m going through the place.

  • Three Books a Month

    I have a goal of reading three books a month. I plan on mixing up “learn something books” with “fun books”. The result I hope for is catching up on all my reading material I have lying about the house. It began with a realization that I don’t have enough hours to read my then stack of “want to read” and after some pruning it has turned into a reasonable pile of books. That combined with project “don’t add any more books” has left me with a goal I can accomplish. Read all my Books.

    I am ten days into November and I just finished Let the right one in by John Ajvide Lindqvist that I started reading in October. I have already started on the first two books in my November list and feel good about being able to complete my goal of reading them in the next twenty days. I had originally planned to read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, but pushed it to next month.

    November Book Reading List:

    1. Ready Player One – I keep hearing about how great this book is.
    2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Also reading the comic, so kinda reading it twice this month. That will make three times I’ve read it.
    3. Dungeons and Dragons: Rules Compendium – To refresh myself on the rules for the Saturday games.

    I have a few rules when reading books these days.

    Stop reading a bad book.

    In the past I have had books that sit and mock me for longer than should be allowed. They were recommended by someone or it’s a book I really should read. Not anymore. If it’s a terrible read or just not my thing I cut it quick and replace it with something more to my liking. There are exceptions when it comes to required reading for work or a project, but not many fall under the exception category.

    Read the ebook version if it makes sense.
    I’m trying to reduce the number of books that I need to deal with in my life. I like to think of it is “I have to move again someday” insurance. Just purchasing ebooks doesn’t work as not every book is available. There are also a few books that scream to have notes jotted in them and I prefer to do this with a pencil. An example of the latter is Unstuff your life by Andrew J. Mellen. Third reason is my eyes like a break from LCD screens sometimes.
    So grab a book and unplug from the daily race. It is worth the time.

  • A Start

    I had a good chat with a friend at a coffee shop tonight about plans, goals and what to do. It didn’t really include much in the way of details or plans, but the feeling and need to do something more. This has encouraged me to dig up a planning notebook that could use some refreshing and use again. We all can use a little inspiration from time to time. A reason to dig out and organize the thoughts that tumble around in our heads.

  • Carry less and have more

    A device needs to fit your life and it’s hard to really know without doing a lot of research and getting some time to try a device out. There is a huge difference between seeing something and really being able to test it with your own data and accounts. See what it’s like to read some books, listen to some music, watch a movie or TV show, make a call, deal with some emails and handle online social media sites.

    I am reminded of how much I loved when I got my iPhone as it consolidated my devices into one. One device that can do so much. It doesn’t do everything great, but it does it and a lot of times easily and without much or any hassle.

    I am an iPhone owner and enjoy it for many reasons. Syncing with iTunes for music and episodes of TV shows I have purchased is great. I have a good amount of pictures and can bring one up and show someone at a moments notice. Digital comics and books are great to kill some time and I have them with me all the time. Email, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and WordPress are nice to access on the go as well.

    So as I’m trying out an Android 1.6 phone to get some actual time using it day to day I’m finding out more about my daily mobile device usage. Which brings me around to what I consume while on my phone (movies, ebooks, comics, twitter, facebook, flickr, email from three accounts and calls).

  • First!

    I have felt the need to change this “first post” into something … less unedited.

    I’m working on a few drafts of posts for the site and hope I beat them into something coheriant soon.

    So of you see this and wonder WTF “what’s this for”, I’m working on that. It’ll be stuff that I enjoy.

    Right now it’s time for me to get back to the final three episodes of Battlestar Galactica.

    Happy St. Patricks Day and hope you had some color green to brighten your day.