Saturday, December 24, 2005

Bibliophile? Me?

Well, the shininess and button-y-ness had its way. The new washer and dryer are being delivered Tuesday. I am such a sucker for this stuff. We had really decided not to do the whole 'christmas present' thing, as I noted below, but it was too much for us. Does a household appliance count as a romantic gift?

Probably not.

I always feel sorry for the Adorable Husband when holidays and gift-giving occassions roll around. Most men have the fallback position of "jewelry" that is always good and makes their wives happy. I hate jewelry, for the most part. I don't wear earrings, for years all I wore was a wedding ring. It makes it a bit harder for those "big" gifts, like anniversaries. But I make up for it by being a gadget freak, and an ipod or computer part or new speaker wire is likely to have the same result.

A barcode scanner for my birthday was great! Ok, that probably requires some explanation. We have a lot of books. (Ok, I have a lot of books). A lot. A truly stupendous amount that is actually one of the primary reasons we had to move out of our previous, smaller house. We were pushed out of our house by the book stacks and bulging bookcases. New house, an extra 150 feet of bookshelf space, and we're a bit more in control.

However, our homeowners insurance -- like most policies -- has a flat percentage of the house value for "stuff" and when we asked about the books, our friendly agent resplied that, "Oh, we assume you have a standard amount of books, probably about 2K."

Well, I have two thousand dollars worth of technical books in the bookshelf behind my desk, not to mention the six other cases in my office. We were informed that we'd have to inventory them by title in order to get any more for them. A listing by title, ISBN, with accompanying pictures of the shelves. Most people when they are told they need to LIST all of their books would thinkg, 'Oh, No! What a waste of time."

My response? "Wow! A list of all the books? A library catalog? Cool!" and rushed off to find software that ;ets me do this. has software that tracks books, videos, etc and supports scanning in barcodes and looking up the details for books on Amazon and the Library of Congress. I was hooked. I've been scanning them in every since. I started with a little hand-held scanner I got off eBay until he found the tabletop scanner. Yeeha! Technology wins again!

I'm weird. I know this. But organizing, categorizing, and documenting all the books is one of those things that makes me content. It must be some weird OCD thing. We're up somewhere around 3K books and that's not including the boxes in the basement. I think I have every book I"ve ever bought. I try to take them to the used bookstore and it makes me get all nervous and sweaty and sad. Bibliophile? Me?

Of course, we haven't inventoried anything else in the house, you know, like things people might actually steal...

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