Friday, June 3, 2011

Reading, Sorting and Letting Go

I am a voracious reader.

Always have been and presumably will continue to be. Not only do I love to read, but I'm...good at it. I read incredibly fast and still manage to spot errors and retain what I've read. Which serves me well in the EDJ as my alter ego, The Editor.

Of course, there is only so much a person can immerse themselves in before the cup runneth over. After time spent working on writing my own stories, editing, evaluating submissions, judging, beta reading, and managing to keep up with my auto-buy authors (who, darn them, keep pumping out books I barely have time for but CAN'T miss), any time for the rest of my library, both ebook and print, has taken a hit.

The print ones just sit there nicely on the bookshelf, and I occasionally dust in front of them. But more of a problem is the fact that I have an insane number of ebooks I bought some time ago when I was more of a reader and prospective (then newbie) writer, when I was in the habit of making the rounds on release days, hitting up my favorite ebook sellers, and looking for books after reading reviews. Insane. I'm talking literally hundreds of unread ebooks, just sitting there politely in a unimaginitively titled folder called "Unread". These days, I'll dip in there once in a blue moon and pick out a book to read, but really, I just don't have the time and don't forsee a change in that anytime soon.

So now what? Well, I'm contemplating buying a new computer (yes, again). So I'd like to get my elibrary organized and streamlined...but what to do with all those hundreds of books in "Unread"? Complicating things is the fact that I have read some of them, just didn't follow through with adding them to GR and then either filing in the appropriate genre folder (for keepers), or deleting.

I've spent some precious time lately picking through them. I started a NEW folder called "Want To Read" and moved some of them into that one. I've added some read ones to GR and filed or deleted. And yes, a few I just sat and read right there on the spot. But even spending a fair amount of time on it, I've barely made a dent. A part of me just wants to wipe the slate clean. Yes, I know. It seems foolish to delete a book I paid good money for. But really...when am I going to read them? They're just taking up space on my hard drive (and bugging the heck out of me, knowing they're there). Some go back to 2008. Yeah. Haven't read them in three years. Will I ever?

So what do you guys think? Keep plugging away at sorting and reading, a bit at a time? Delete them all? Get rid of the oldest, say two years or older? Keep in mind the time it takes to do this...takes directly away from my writing time. It really goes against my grain to think of deleting them, but man, I'm really obsessing on this lately (which is also affecting my writing time!). Seeking words of wisdom!!


  1. Ebooks don't take up much space at all, but it sounds like the mental space they're taking is more of a concern.

    I wouldn't delete them all. Would it help if you added them all to Calibre with some useful tags?

  2. You hit the nail on the head, Chris. It's really a mental thing...just knowing they're there. :)

    I got an email suggesting I keep sorting a bit at a time and maybe transfer to a disc or external device.

    Tags would help since if I'm in the mood for say PNR or a series, I can search by that.

  3. I find cleaning up tags and titles and covers in Calibre strangely comforting sometimes, so maybe... :)


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