Obsessive Compulsive Order
July 30, 2010 1 Comment
As wonderful as my new Nook is, my wife will attest that it’s also given me another method of obsessively organizing things. I’m the guy that used to keep all his books in alphabetical order by author on the shelves. I never got around to it after we moved into our current apartment, and don’t think it doesn’t nag at me all the time. I’m just pretty sure that if Hannah comes home and sees me standing amongst piles of book stacked up by letter muttering, “Do I put Lucifer’s Hammer under ‘N’ for Niven or ‘P’ for Pournelle?” we’ll end up on an A&E reality show with some concerned therapist asking my why the books have to be in order. And which would probably end with me looking at them like they’re crazy and saying, “What the hell else do we have alphabetical order for?”
But on the Nook, it’s much simpler. You’re just moving files around. All you have to do is click the top of a column and boom! Instant organization. But that’s not going to scratch my itch, so to speak. I mean, some of these books are part of a series! And I can’t not know which is the first one and which is the third one. I might read them in the wrong order! So I go through and append a series name and number to the title of each book. So Tarzan of the Apes becomes Tarzan 01: Tarzan of the Apes. And you know, that cover is nice and all, but it’s not the cover I remember seeing as a kid. I don’t want some classy early 20th century print of Tarzan, I want a Frazetta or Boris Tarzan lifting a log over his head while a naked woman sits nervously at his feet fretting over the giant hyena lurking nearby. So it’s off to the internet to find a suitable replacement cover. And the Calibre, the book management program I use, has the ability to enter a field for the name of the series, which gives me the opportunity to puzzle over whether to call it “The Tarzan Series,” “The Adventures of Tarzan,” or just plain “Tarzan.”
Now repeat that process for every one of the 250 books currently on my Nook.
Yeah, my wife is a saint.