10.26.2013

bookish

Books.

I love books.

I have a lot of books, though not as many as some, it's true.

So far 15' L x 6' H of bookcases. And some bankers boxes. And some Rubbermaid tubs.
Need another bookcase, I guess.

Most of these books are technical in nature; not a lot of fiction left after the big purge of 2001. Just the favourites were kept.

Books about machining, steam engines, woodworking, sand casting, cooking, furniture repair, surface finishing, World War I, model building, blacksmithing, railway history, programming, robotics, telephones, web technolgies, chemistry, anatomy, sleep medicine, home renovation, operating systems, electronics, etcetera.

I've been talking about getting rid of things. I've been talking about that for a long time. I am getting rid of things, but not books. My fiction library is a mere shadow of its former self, and I doubt it will get any smaller. The technical library will, if anything, continue to grow.

"Isn't all this stuff available on the Internet for free?"
Show me comprehensive coverage that will never suddenly disappear overnight without warning and I'll get rid of that printed reference work. Honest.

"Why don't you just scan these books into your computer?"
Not a trivial task. It would take a couple of years. And I'd likely destroy some (or all) of the older books in the process. Bit of a sacrilege, frankly. Technically, I'd still have to keep all of the books (the primary source) in order to do that legally. So no real gain there.

I do have some commercially produced electronic collections which replaced more than a few shelves of periodicals. The image quality is not as good as the print versions. Some fine drawing elements are blurred. I recall seeing at least one badly scanned page. At least I can search the contents to find specific references. I even have some digital publications that are not available via any other medium; I use a 7" tablet to view these.

But there's something about holding a real book and flipping the pages that can't be replaced by a digital experience.

Can't explain it; just prefer it.

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