Piles of possibilities

#thoughts #books

Book reviews are

something I don't really read. Or write for that matter. It mostly comes down to the fact that I feel the subjective nature of what one likes or not is... well, subjective.

I do listen to suggestions, either from people whom I know likes books I also like, or suggestions anchored in other books and authors I like.

I usually prefer Fantasy and Science Fiction books, though I would read most anything that doesn't resemble the real world too much. I read to, well. I don't read to escape, but I do... escape is a strong word. I am usually engrossed in the narrative when I read, and content that mirror or describe our world must be a bit up-beat for me not to be affected*.

Footnote: I can read Poirot novels or Sherlock Holmes, but not modern crime.

Recently I've started

reading more physical books. Don't get me wrong, I've always preferred physical books – and usually paperbacks, since they fit in inner pockets of jackets.

Alas, with physical books comes the inevitable (no, not really) pile of shame. Actually, it is more piles of shame, as there are different piles. One for books I want to read, one for books I am reading... and one for books I want to re-read. And the want to read one is split into non-fiction and fiction, and the fiction into fantasy, sci-fi and others and... yes. It goes on.

Perhaps I have a structural problem. Both in the sense that I categorize my piles, but also... it doesn't really take many books – especially paperbacks – on top of each other in order to be unstable*.

Footnote: Where does the three legged horse live? In the un-stable.

Shame is such a

loaded word, though. I have had to ponder the term pile of shame when thinking about computer games. We play, and read (non-fiction at least) for fun. And we do not do fun out of shame. Bad reader, no shame for you.

So, today I wondered while walking from work, how alliterate, you fight like a librarian... no. How about calling it, them, piles of possibilities! Oh, the wonder! The creativity. A quick google search later and I found that, once again, I am not ahead of my time.

I found that it seems to be used for deciding which book(s) to read next, in a month or other period. And I want to kind of organize which books to read next. But I need several piles, because...

I can't really just read

one book at a time. I need several; one slow, heavy, probably non-fiction. One medium but world-build-y book, probably in a series. One quick, when-I-am-not-feeling-like-reading book. Most likely fantasy. And also the one on the go, the next kindle book. Oh, and that I want to re-read these books pile.

Well, the kindle book just barely counts as a pile book, though the kindle is a pile of books by itself. And here is my other categorization problem. Because the physical books are just the tip of the iceberg.

I also have the want to read books that is merely a concept, an abstract idea. The books I haven't bought, the ones that needs to be borrowed at the library or from a friend. The one my wife is reading. They cannot be piled for different reasons, except in an abstract way. Digitally, maybe.

The computer programs

of the future. The apps! The webpages! Where we can track all these books, both physical and well. Both the actually present in a pile, as well as the potential present in a metaphysical pile.

Which app to go for? The candidates seems to be 1. The old giant, GoodReads. 2. The fresh challenger, TheStoryGraph. 3. The hipster... hipster, BookWyrm.

I have used GoodReads for years, and it kind of works. It did track my kindle books quite nicely, except when I have the kindle on flight mode to save battery. Which is most of the time. I could snap pictures of covers or barcodes, and it would (usually) hook me up with a book. And I could add it as to read, or currently reading*. And I could track my reading, even if it was clunky. At least my friends in the app gets lots of email. And it is owned by Amazon.

Footnote: Except when it wouldn't, and I had to delete the book and try again.

I recently switched* to TheStoryGraph – and it is sleek and nice and give me graphs. I can search books, and they show up. I can add them as to read, or reading. I can easily update my progress.

Footnote: When I say switched, I mean imported my books and kept updating both. As one does.

And now, shortly after, there is an webapp available on the federated Internet. BookWyrm, or many wyrms – as the app is distributed and you can write once, share with others. Another place to be, another site to update. Only, I haven't started updating on any site running BookWyrm yet. Because it seems most of the fun, for others, is to share lists and reviews and reading circles with each other. And for now it seems as if some of that functionality is limited to people sharing a server. On the other hand, it does lists.

And GoodReads does shelves. And TheStoryGraph does tags, and possibly more. The choices paralyze.

And the reviews are

another thing again. Perhaps I should start to write my thoughts on the books I read. But because of how my brain is wired*, I fear I don't think about books the same way as most others.

Footnote: Aphantasia. I might try and write about my experiences with it at some time.

I'm not sure if this post makes any sense at all. Perhaps it ended up as a way for me to reflect. Again.