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Posts tagged as “The Beloved Mustiness of Ancient Pages”

My Labors Are Not Ended

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lenora at rest in the library

But I am going to take a rest for a bit.

Above you see a shot of my cat Lenora resting in front of the "To Read Science Fiction" section of my Library, the enormous book collection I've been accumulating over the last quarter century. I have books older than that, of course, but they're stored in my mother's house in my hometown. It's only over the last 25 years or so have I been accumulating my own personal library.

But why am I, if not resting, at least thinking about it? I finished organizing the books in my Library.

lenora at rest in the library 2

I have an enormous amount of papers, bills, bric a brac and other memorabilia still to organize, file, trash or donate, but the Library itself is organized, at last. It's even possible to use it.

How organized? Well...

Religion, politics, economics, the environment, women's studies, Ayn Rand, read books, Lovecraft, centaur books, read urban fantasy, read science fiction, Atlanta, read comics, to-read comics, to-read science fiction magazines, comic reference books, drawing reference books, steampunk, urban fantasy, miscellaneous writing projects, Dakota Frost, books to donate, science fiction to-reads: Asimov, Clarke, Banks, Cherryh, miscellaneous, other fiction to-reads, non-fiction to-reads, general art books, genre art books, BDSM and fetish magazines and art books, fetish and sexuality theory and culture, military, war, law, space travel, astronomy, popular science, physics of time travel, Einstein, quantum mechanics, Feynman, more physics, mathematics, philosophy, martial arts, health, nutrition, home care, ancient computer manuals, more recent computer manuals, popular computer books, the practice of computer programming, programming language theory, ancient computer languages, Web languages, Perl, Java, C and C++, Lisp, APL, the Art of Computer Programming, popular cognitive science, Schankian cognitive science, animal cognition, animal biology, consciousness, dreaming, sleep, emotion, personality, cognitive science theory, brain theory, brain philosophy, evolution, human evolution, cognitive evolution, brain cognition, memory, "Readings in …" various AI and cogsci disciplines, oversized AI and science books, conference proceedings, technical reports, game AI, game development, robotics, imagery, vision, information retrieval, natural language processing, linguistics, popular AI, theory of AI, programming AI, AI textbooks, AI notes from recent projects, notes from college from undergraduate through my thesis, more Dakota Frost, GURPS, other roleplaying games, Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, more Dakota Frost, recent projects, literary theory of Asimov and Clarke, literary theory of science fiction, science fiction shows and TV, writing science fiction, mythology, travel, writing science, writing reference, writers on writing, writing markets, poetry, improv, voice acting, film, writing film, history of literature, representative examples, oversized reference, history, anthropology, dictionaries, thesauri, topical dictionaries, language dictionaries, language learning, Japanese, culture of Japan, recent project papers, comic archives, older project papers, tubs containing things to file … and the single volume version of the Oxford English Dictionary, complete with magnifying glass.

lenora at rest in the library 2

I deliberately left out the details of many categories and outright omitted a few others not stored in the library proper, like my cookbooks, my display shelves of Arkham House editions, Harry Potter and other hardbacks, my "favorite" nonfiction books, some spot reading materials, a stash of transhumanist science fiction, all the technical books I keep in the shelf next to me at work … and, of course, my wife and I's enormous collection of audiobooks.

What's really interesting about all that to me is there are far more categories out there in the world not in my Library than there are in my Library. Try it sometime - go into a bookstore or library, or peruse the list of categories in the Library of Congress or Dewey Decimal System Classifications. There's far more things to think about than even I, a borderline hoarder with a generous income and enormous knowledge of bookstores, have been able to accumulate in a quarter century.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

-the Centaur

Finally …

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Barnes and Noble is adding Google Play to the Nook.

I remember when I looked at my first Nook Color, how excited I was to learn from the in-store sales representative that this great tablet supported Android, and how betrayed I felt when I learned that I'd have to root the device to actually install Android apps on it. Barnes and Noble, you (collectively) lied to me, and I've never gotten over it.

The rooting procedure always looked a little heinke to me, and I never did it - so my beloved Nook Color, which had the best form factor of any tablet I'd used, eventually ended up languishing as I couldn't use it for most of what I wanted it for. I ended up using my phone as my primary reader, and occasionally my Asus Transformer Prime, though it was a bit big.

Now Barnes and Noble is opening up the Nook to Android applications, legitimately. I could have told them that trying to lock down their devices wouldn't work. Steve Jobs tried it, with the iPhone and the iPad, but you know what? I didn't buy an iPad. I bought a Nook Color for the free OS, then got cruelly disappointed. Good job, salesman. Bad job, B&N.

Well, now they've changed course, a little. Should I find an excuse to spend my piling-up B&N gift cards upon a Nook HD? Perhaps. But I already have a Nexus 7, which fits right into the form factor that the Nook should have occupied. Why get yet another tablet … especially when Barnes and Noble is dialing back its investment in the Nook?

I hope Barnes and Noble survives. I hope we're not seeing another death spiral, a la Borders.

But it feels like too little, too late.

Still … I have all those gift cards.

-the Centaur

Pictured: A Nexus 7. Barnes and Noble, this could have been your device … but years ago, you betrayed my trust.