Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy (Sad) News in the World of Books, Journals, and Technology

Four of the five gifts I gave Kevin for Christmas had to be exchanged. But that fifth gift was a success. It was a nine dollar "invisible book shelf" I picked up at Barnes & Noble. He installed it right beside his bed and we both admired it.

In fact, I admired it so much I went out the other day and got one for myself.
(Despite the fact that these iPhone photos make it look like Kevin sleeps in a beige room and I sleep in a lavender room - I assure you, it's just the poor photo and we haven't moved to separate bedrooms.)

Now my nightstand can be kept clear for things like Kleenex, dust, and the odd assortment of Legos and art projects and, this week, since we're all sick - the digital ear thermometer.

Take a look at that red book about fourth from the top on my shelf. That was an impulse buy off a Target clearance endcap the other day. It's a journal. I have a compulsion to buy journals of all shapes and sizes, every time I see one, and although I really have no use for them, part of the fun of the compulsion is inventing the need for the journal. I already keep a regular journal, along with a diary (that blue book at the top of the book stack) - so you can imagine how creative I have to be to come up with purposes for a steady influx of new journals. I decided the red journal would serve as a book list for all the books I've ever read. I told a good friend and fellow reader about my shiny new journal and my proposed use for it and she mentioned how she uses Goodreads for that. Well, this was a bit of a slap in the face for the red journal, but since this friend was the forty-third person in my life to recommend Goodreads, I finally took a moment and visited the site. At this point you should clearly hear the death knell sounding for my collection of empty journals.

Goodreads keeps three valuable lists for me: 1)Books I've read. I happily copied the list I had of all the books I read in 2012 to my Goodreads "shelf". That list was originally on my iPhone, so no journal had to die in this case. 2)Books I'm currently reading. I am keeping this list at one title, even if it kills me. 3)Books I want to read. Geez Louise, this list will probably grow pretty quickly. In addition, I can see what my friends have read, are reading, and want to read. It's fantastic! Where I used to walk into a person's house (not strangers, I promise) and peruse their bookshelves - now I can obtain this information from the comfort of my own desk chair. So I've eliminated not just the need for my precious journals, but the need to ever visit anyone's home again. What a relief! More time to read!
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