Beware the Ides…

I started writing this on sunday, but didn’t hit the publish button, so we’ll keep the title. If i want to stick with the roman theme I only have Nones, Ides and Kalends to pick from, none of which it actually is today.

I kept up with the haiku, every day. Some days are better than others, but the point is to write something every day without excuse. My recent favourites :

  • I, taking notes, am / Intimidating. So? Good! / Now? I’ll underline.
  • Sunday, no lie-in / Armed with book and toast. Reading / In my quiet house

I also took up responding to @writerlytweets #sixwordstory prompts to make myself write on a random subject. I’ve decided that my brain is a little weird, if only because I can rapidly come up with multiple responses to some prompts, which makes me think that these are subjects that I have subconsciously contemplated for a while.

  • Home remodel disaster > “Careful, that’s load bearing paint”/ “Bricked yourself in, you say?”
  • Clowns > Under the paint: No face
  • Bad visit to ex > “So, I’m not dead after all…” / “Conjugal visit? Not on your life!”
  • criminal lover > ” Wouldn’t hide bodies for anyone else…”

Actual writing, writing…eeeeh, not so much. I’ve been doing a lot of deleting editing, and plenty of reading, although most of it was re-reading of old favourites.



today I will be mostly

… doing book related things without getting suckered into reading them again.
I had plans to scan the remaining Cubes from my wall of cubes(tm) into delicious library, and from thence import the csv file into Goodreads so that I can organise thingummies online.
However, that gets mildly scuppered as i keep reading the blighters and not scanning them. Also, if Nephew B hears of scanning occurring without his assistance, there may be consequences. Or Sulking. Perhaps both.

I have therefore developed a cunning plan, which is to sort and backup my ebook library and not the dead-tree(tm) collection.

Currently I am reading in epub ( ipad ) and mobi ( kindle. on my ipad ) format. I’ve always tried to buy DRM free stuff to prevent the unable to read when device is changed over, versions. I also have PDF comic books for my girl genius addiction.( Its the Jagermonsters and not the steampunkness. Honest )

Therefore, I need to make sure that

a) I have backup copies of everything I have purchased

b) That I have said backup copies in appropriate formats – preferably non DRM’d

c) That I file things carefully under Author

Plan b is to Summon the child and make him scan books for me while i read.

Room with a glow

When the house was built 4 years ago, I obtained my hearts desire : A room of my own that i could fill wall to wall with books.
And I got one.
Okay, so it was the smallest room in the house – literally.

It was the 0.5 of a bedroom that is targetted towards the least whingy child in a family home. It had four tall bookcases in it, all double stacked, things balanced precariously on top on them ( sewing machine, toolbox, junk)
It had a little desk and chair and enormous beanbag and the filing cabinet and my lava lamp too. No actual floorspace.

So. My options were :

A) replan and replace the bookcases and desk and chair. reshuffle to make things a bit better laid out ( can I hang the desk from the ceiling I wonder… )

B) knock the wall down between middle sized room ( adams computer room) and the poky room, making one mega bedroom to contain both adams pc and a guest bed, and relocate all my books and stuff downstairs into one of the orange rooms.


Its not like its a load bearing wall, right?

After several months deliberation, I went with the destruction option, measured the downstairs RoomOfOrange ™ and then spent weeks working out how many bookcases would fit n the available space.

I decided on many Expedits from IKEA.

With the aid of @ConstructoGoth (Neice A), who was armed with power tools, I now have a wall of cubes

It turns out that I can stack paperbacks 3 deep in each cube. Otherwise they won’t all fit.

Nephew B was recruited to help me carry all the books downstairs, but they were piled in willy-nilly.

I forsee many many hours with DeliciousLibrary in sorting them out… (brrr Voldemort )

Dead Trees, Pixels & Soundwaves.

I am become Dys, Devourer of Words.
Well, to be fair, I always was, there’s no becoming about it. My imagination requires feeding, and I go through stories like a …like a thing that goes through things, to coin a discworld type metaphor.

My eReader has gone the way of the dodo. I hauled it everywhere and then when I upgraded to my shiny Ipad I handed it over to Neice C who made appropriate purring noises. It finally kicked the bucket a little while back. I think the e-ink wore out. However, just managed to get a good deal on a reconditioned kindle to replace it for her. My eardrums havent recovered yet. We’ve just done the setup by phone/email and voila. All done.

It kind of brought home to me the fact that the advent of technology has not reduced the number of books that I buy at all. No. Now if I really like them, I buy them THREE times.

Dead Tree – for reading in the bath and hoarding

Pixels – for portability, buses, trains, planes, lunch breaks and in bed.

Soundwaves – for long drives and sleeping.

I’m not really sure where the RealBook(tm) folks are coming from. Yes, I have a handful of actual books that are precious to me for one reason or another. I’ve got a copy of Carpe Jugulum, signed by terry pratchett – made out to Frogjuice ( cough ). I have some out of print and out of any sort of print format books that I can’t replace, and I have an awesome books of british myths and legends that I adore that was given me by my grandparents. For me the value of most of my books is the black scribbles in the middle that allow me to disengage my brain from the outside world and start it going elsewhere and elsewhen. I get that not everyone thinks like that, but I’m able to disconnect just as easily with pixels and soundwaves as ink.

It’s a fairly safe bet that I’m going to buy things in paper and short of a tree killing apocalypse, I’m not going to stop. I’m even being very good these days, and I even give some of them away. If they seem to be of the type that I’ll not read again. I do miss Borders though. Civilised bookstores. Open till 11pm, with armchairs and coffee and us paperbacks that I couldnt get anywhere else. Moving from headingley has reduced the casual purchases from the oxfam usedbookstore as well. Which is a shame. Ahem. Nowadays its just amazon and waterstones.

Ideally, I’d like for somewhere like THIS

This is a second hand bookshop in Inverness.


I am become….

  • Dys … devourer of words
  • Dys … destroyer of walls
  • Dys … Constructor of bookcases

Yes, I’ve said that before in relation to Geeks, but this time I mean it.
I’m rehoming my library.

When we moved into the house four years ago there were technically 4 bedrooms. In reality this was 1 large bedroo , 1 medium bedroom and one teeeny tiny bedroom. plus the room downstairs that opens into the garden and is billed as a bedroom/study. That makes 3.5 bedrooms to my mind.

The library is currently installed in the 0.5 of a room upstairs. If we had a cat, it would have a concussion, the bookshelves are starting to creak under the load.

I have therefore hatched a plot to steal the repsol room for my library, it having an additional 100cm of width. This leaves the small pointless room … well, pointless. I measured, and adams desk won’t fit. As a desk. It sort of fills the room from wall to wall.

Solution : Remove the plasterboard wall betwen middle sized room of Orange and the pokey room. Produce a much larger room at the back of the house. Block up a doorway, redo the lighting. We now have a 3 bedroom house, or will do. Probably move into the bigger room, and install Adams desk at the end. Ok, we lose immediate access to the en-suite, but given that there are two bathrooms upstairs, thats not so big of a problem.
If we ever move we need to put a wall back up and a door back in. Not a problem.

Which means that I have to shift the futon from the Repsol Room, And fill it with bookcases. .i’m thinking Expedit from IKEA cause theyre cubey and will hold gubbins pretty well. Need a new desk that sits over the radiator.
And then carry all the books downstairs. Wheee.


Totally awesome software for my iMac, or what?

I found this when we moved into the house, and I got my library installed. I thought “Uhm, I hope I never have to list all of these books. Or replace them. Or try and remember which ones I have and which ones I dont.”

I came cross Delicious Library 2. which performs the unutterably wonderful function of letting me wave the ISBN barcode at the camera on my iMAC, and have my ‘puter cross check with amazon and input all the info for me. It even manages to do creepy voices when you scan anything by JKR. Bwahahahaha.

It’ll suck in my itunes and log all my CD’s, I can wave books games, videos and trinkets at it. Eventually, Once I’m done, It’ll output to XML and let my link my liberry on this site too.

Of course this requires weeks and weeks and weeks of scanning. Pretty much like the time we decided to MP3 all of our CD’s.

But… Watch this space if you absolutely want to know which books I have.