The Plan Thus Far

The Other Half is on a decluttering binge, inspired by the fact that he can never find what he is looking for when he is looking for it. I think this is not due to having too much stuff, just not organising the stuff one has in a smart way. Whatever it is, seems like we’re dedicating some serious time this year to decluttering.

His decluttering binge has been somewhat interrupted by the arrival of my Aunt and increased hours for me at my work. If my Aunt and I have the day off, we want to go out walking if the weather is good, which it has been. You see at the top of this post a photo of the stunning Jervis Bay on a recent walk we did. But even so we are Getting Shiznit Done here at home.

A few rooms of the house have been tackled, but one room needs a LOT of work and that is my Book Room, which also became the dumping ground for anything else that did not have a home. Before I take on this task head on, I need to make some decisions.

The Problem – E-books VS Physical Books.

Some of my heavy books – the Shakespeare one is very heavy!

I like to read before I go to sleep. I have a lot of physical books. Over 300 at last count, some of which I have owned for 20 years or more. They have travelled from house to house with us as we lived life. They have been good friends, there when I needed them. Which makes the decision to let them go quite difficult and I have never been able to manage it.

Sure, sometimes I have done a small book declutter and let books I was no longer interested in reading go. I would always take them to the second hand book store for credit, where I could get secondhand books with that credit. This is really no longer an option I am interested in, because I do not want more second hand books.

Click on this photo for a larger view

The reason why I do not want more second hand books is simple. Over the years I have mostly switched to reading on my Samsung tablet for many reasons. Here are some of them –

1. I don’t have to have a light on when I read because the tablet lights up.

2. No page turning = complete silence so The Other Half can sleep.

3. I can store a lot of books on my tablet and take them everywhere I go.

4. There are a lot of older books available for free via various sites – Project Gutenberg is the one I use most.

5. E-books cannot collect dust or take up room in the house.

Click on this photo for a larger view

6. Some e-book readers will keep a record of when you read an e-book, how long you have spent reading it, and it even works out how many words a minute. Mine has the Recent shelf, where it stores the most recent reads in the order I read them – or did not read them, if I was looking for a new read and then decided to look for another book. Those show up with 0 hours in the time spent reading.

I know a lot of people have not made this switch to e-books yet, but I am telling you it is awesomeness wrapped up in a nice neat tablet bow. I don’t miss physical books. Especially not on a cold night when I only need one hand available to tap the screen to turn the page.

I would read a physical book once every 6 months or so these days, but I mostly read them during the day rather than before bedtime. I have collected a lot of e-books over the years and my collection now contains nearly 12,000 books though some of these are the same title just in different formats – epub & mobi mostly.

I don’t carry them all on my tablet, I have narrowed that down to a select few, just under 4,000 books there which is nearly 4gb of data. I add in new folders every few months or so. Can you imagine trying to carry 4,000 actual books around?

Question Time

The next logical step in my life is to decide – do I want to keep physical copies of the books I have? If yes, do I want to box them up away from the elements so I could get them out never? If I am doing that, what exactly is the point of that? Would it be better to take some to the second hand book store so they can find new owners who will love them as much as I did/do? Donate some? Try to sell them online? I can use that money to buy digital copies of books.

Do I want to try and find digital copies of my entire library? There are some books I have which I would really love to own digitally, especially the very heavy ones. I have been slowly adding these books to my digital collection over time, one author at a time. For example I have a collection of Arthur Hailey books which I want on my tablet. They are available, I just have to buy them.

I guess what annoys me about this is, I already own these books. I just need them in the digital format. While I have no problem buying them again, it seems a bit unfair especially when I paid $25-40 for some books I own. I think there should be a scheme of some sort where you pay a lesser cost for the digital book if you already own it, and then you can return the book to the seller so they can sell it as a second hand book. Maybe there is such a scheme, does anyone know of one?

If I am going to buy digital copies is it worth joining something like Amazon Prime, do I get a discount if I buy them that way, are there other digital book services I should consider?

But then some of my books are not available digitally, so if I want to be able to read them again I will have to have a small bookshelf somewhere in the house.

The Current Plan –

I have a lot of questions without much in the way of answers as yet, so I think I will begin by sorting my books into – books I own digitally, and books I do not own digitally, and then decide what to do with the physical books that I have digitally.

I’m using my Timer to set 25 minute sessions, playing some of our great new techno/trance playlist, bopping along cleaning and sorting. I am finding if I do one timer session a day they do add up and I can get a lot done but in small, non-annoying chunks. Before I could even tackle the books I had to clean much junk out of this room and sort through all the Avon and various bits and pieces. I’m now ready to jump head on into this task.

Most of these I have in e-book format now.

I never thought I would want to let go of my physical books. Ever since I was little books have been a touch stone for me, a way to escape the present and visit other worlds in my mind. However it seems nonsensical to keep so many books when it is unlikely I will ever read them again in that format. The tablet is so much more convenient, I do have multiple backups of these books in case anything happens to the files, and I am feeling ready to say goodbye.

books, e-reader

So Anyway….


Recently I was reading So Anyway…. by John Cleese.

The book was a fantastic read and there was much silent giggling from me because I like to read before going to sleep, and the other half likes to just go to sleep.

The trouble with silent giggling, while it is silent, it has a great tendancy to shake the entire bed. I tried very hard to control myself, but there came a section of the book where I totally lost any ability to keep it together, and twas so bad, the other half half-woke, looked at me, and mumbled something like he dreamed there was an earthquake. Oh, there was an earthquake, all right!

I covered my mouth to prevent an explosion, and I had to quietly and quickly leave the room. I sourced a pillow to giggle into, and the giggling continued for a multitude of minutes, until I got the hiccups.

I hope that John Cleese would not mind my quoting the section which caused an earthquake in the other half’s dreams. There are sections in the book which are even funnier but something about this one really got me giggling. Here tis –


When I got back to London I was contacted by my old Cambridge friend Alan Hutchison, who had just returned from a long trip abroad that had taken him to places as far-flung as Japan and South America.

Alan’s travels had proved far more exotic than mine. At one point, after spending some time in Tokyo, he had decided to visit areas where Westerners had not yet trod. Realising that from now on his English was going to get him nowhere, he asked a fellow traveller to teach him the Japanese for ‘I’m sorry to bother you, but could you tell me where I could find accommodation?’ Then he set off.

Immediately the weather turned against him: rain bucketing down, thunder and lightning, the full works. Fortunately, a few rather small dwellings came in sight, so he approached one, knocked, and when the door opened, repeated his Japanese phrase. The householder looked very surprised, gathered himself, smiled, bowed three times and closed the door.

Mystified, Alan decided to try again at the next cottage, with the identical result. By now he was soaked to his skin but since he had no Plan B all he could do was to keep on and on, repeating the scenario, until at last he found a woodshed where he spent the night.

The next day, to his relief, he stumbled on a Japanese-style youth hostel, where the owner spoke some English. Alan asked him if he would translate into English the phrase that he had so carefully learned. The owner agreed, listened and explained that it meant ‘May I take this opportunity to wish you goodnight?’

How dismaying it must have been for those poor people to have been roused from their beds, to find, standing at their front door, towering over them, the first non-Japanese being they had ever set eyes on, a creature probably of aquatic origin, and moreover one who had chosen to make a special excursion to their home in the midst of this torrential downpour, simply in order to wish them goodnight.

In fact so implausible must this have seemed, that, as they lay tossing in bed, these Japanese can have only come to the conclusion that extraterrestrials were busy reconnoitring their neighbourhood, and, under the cover of offering blessings and asking, ‘May I take this opportunity to wish you goodnight?’, were estimating the strength of their defences. It says much for the legendary politeness of the Japanese that they did not band together to hunt Alan down with hoes and pitchforks.


I sincerely doubt John Cleese would find my little blog, but if he did I would like to say thanks for all the laughs. Out of all the laughs I have had in my nearly 40 years, I would have to say that at least 20% of them have originated from Basil Fawlty. It does not matter how many times I watch the show or how well I know the lines, I still enjoy it just as much as the first time I saw them, possibly even more so. I have loved Fawlty Towers since I was a child, and I will always love it.

I have given the gift of the Fawlty Towers box set several times and on each occasion it was a case of my giving a gift I really wanted for myself. Somewhat bizarrely, I still do not own it, nor do I have a digital copy of it. The pay TV channels here are extremely generous in replaying it so regularly I can always seem to catch an episode when I feel like a laugh.

Of course I loved Monty Python too, and I have enjoyed everything I have ever seen John Cleese do. This book is a lovely addition to my book collection. I highly recommend So Anyway…. I greatly enjoyed it. :)

books, e-reader, funny, Happy Snoskred, television shows

Calibre Book Sorting


The Other Half and I have a huge collection of E-books now.

Over 14 thousand books at last count, many of which I (or we) have never yet read.

November was already crazy busy, what with

– trying to leave comments on 1,427 blogs – which is 47.5 comments each day if I want to finish this commenting challenge

– walking 5km every day on my borrowed treadmill

– chicken chores, house chores, cooking, general life duties

Somehow we have decided that now would be a good time to sort through these books! We’re using a free program called Calibre which allows us to grab metadata from the web for each book to make sure the info is correct, plus you can choose from different covers if the book had several different covers over the years.

Deleting A Book.

How do I make a decision to delete a book I have never once read? This is a tricky one, but the answer is actually quite simple on some occasions and within 5 seconds of loading the book, I say delete – if the other half has not already hit the key. Here are my rules for deleting a book.

– If the cover involves a bare male chest, delete.

– If the cover has a half naked lady, delete.

– If the cover has both a bare male chest and a half naked lady, delete.

My sister reads a lot of erotic fiction and somehow we’ve ended up with all of it in our collection.

So if a book survives the cover inspection?

Is it a book I have heard of? If no, then –

Is it an author I have heard of? If no, then –

A quick read of the book summary can usually tell me everything I need to know if I will like this book. Hey, I’ve known me for 39 years now, so I know what I like.

I like mysteries. I like books with medical examiners, detectives, police officers, investigators of some kind as the central character. I like airplane stories, zombie stories, stories of surviving an apocalypse of some kind, I love everything from Jane Austen to Stephen King via Jodi Picoult plus Tom Clancy. I *love* an autobiography. Overall my tastes are wide and varied and I’ll give most things a try.

Right now I am reading The Skin Collector by Jeffrey Deaver which is another Lincoln Rhyme book – you may remember The Bone Collector which was a movie with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie – there is a series of 12 books with those characters.

Yesterday, I was reading Hard Choices by Hilary Clinton. Last week I revisited Lizzy and co in Pride and Prejudice. Before that I checked in on Tom Ripley. Did you know there were 4 more Ripley books after The Talented Mr Ripley?

Physical Books

A few years ago I did go through and put in all my actual books into Library Thing. You can see them here. However I have probably added 50 or more new physical books, plus some books that I got in e-book version I took to the second hand bookstore and traded for new books.

Over To You –

How many e-books do you have?
How many real books?
Have you switched to an e-book reader and if yes, do you prefer it?

About Snoskred, books, e-reader, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014

The Danger Of Flicking..

So there I was innocently flicking around on the teevee last week and I ran into a movie known as Twilight..

What I knew about Twilight before watching it – not a lot. Three things, to be exact –

– that the other half said vampires do not sparkle in the sun and how stupid that means it all is (he is a big Anne Rice fan).

– that the cast are very pretty.

– that Kristen Stewart really does not love being on the red carpet.

I did not reckon on

– Robert Pattinson being like a car accident you just cannot look away from and at the same time incredibly charming.

– Kristen Stewart being equally compelling and by the look of it an excellent actress.

– that they would use part of the movie like an advertisement for a very fascinatory Volvo that I recently looked at in a car yard and after investigation happens to contain the exact same motor which is in our XR-5 Turbo.

– that it would be so.. green and involve so many trees.

So I was surprised to find that I liked it – in fact that I liked it so much, I watched it a second time when it was on the +2 channel.

I then went off and spoiled myself for the future books because I wanted to know what happened next. Just a couple of days later, I decided it was time to get the e-books and read them. More on Twilight at a later time, I am still processing.

I do want to type about my stunning ebooky thingy. The other half got this gadget a while back mainly as a gps however you can use it for so many other things. He has since moved on to other gadgets and I have inherited the awesomeness as an e-book reader.

I have always been a huge book reader ever since I was a kid and I was not sure that I would like an e-book reader. However it turns out I adore it for the following reasons –

– percentage thingy – it tells me at the bottom of the screen what percentage of the book I have read.

– touch screen to turn the page – absolutely silent! this does not wake the other half up yay.

– can read it in the dark.

– can carry around a whole bunch of books in the one small unit.

– do not have to hold up a heavy book – the unit is very light.

– can download a bunch of free ebooks from places like project gutenberg.

I think it is pretty reasonable at just under $166 considering you can use it as a GPS also – and having used tomtom and navman, this is actually the best GPS we’ve used. So if you are looking for either a GPS or an e-booky-reader thingy, then this could be your answer.

I will leave you with a link to one of my favourite Volvo scenes from Twilight. Enjoy!


books, e-reader, movies, Twilight