Sunday Stats

I have a problem. I love books, but sometimes I wonder if I love acquiring books more than reading them. That’s probably not true, but my “To Read” shelf has consistently held more books than my “Already Read” shelf. In fact, it has become enough of a problem that I have purchased books only to find that I already own them. To solve that problem, about a month ago I decided to catalog every novel in my library. I’ve used Goodreads before, but I’ve always been unimpressed. It’s too clunky, and never really provided the features I was looking for. Instead, I found My Library.

My Library only appears to be available through the Google Play Store currently, but it is wonderful. You can simply scan in books using their ISBN barcode, or if you have a collection with a lot of older books like me, you can look them up. The app pulls from multiple open source databases so you can select the best match. Some of the databases are better than others and you may have some cleanup to do afterward. You can even mark books as read, leave comments on individual books, and export your entire library into xls (from there you can go to CSV and get really crazy if you want).

I finished uploading my entire library the other day finally, and now I can give you some of the stats that I uncovered. These are all conveniently surfaced by the app. Let’s take a look:

Number of Books: 315
Number of Books Read: 122
Percentage of Books Read: 38.73%
Duplicates Discovered: 5
Most Popular Author: Larry Niven (24)
Second Most Popular Author: Clifford D. Simak (18)

I would like to get that read percentage much closer to 50% before I buy any more books, but I’m a slow reader, and the idea of reading 25.5 books before buying any is a little daunting. It’s worth noting that this little catalog largely discounts any books I’ve listened to on Audible or read on a device unless of course I also own them physically. I didn’t want to get too far into the weeds here… at least not yet.

If you skipped to the end of this post, you may have noticed that another book came off my reading list though. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi was wonderful. It’s a short book, and on Audible it has an expert performance by Zachary Quinto. This is one of those books that would translate very well into a movie. Definitely worth a listen or a read. Anyway, I’ve droned on for longer than I wanted to and delayed this post enough since my original title was Saturday Stats. Enjoy your week and enjoy the new story I posted Friday.

Currently reading/listening to:
The Magician by Raymond E. Feist
Revival by Stephen King
Back to the Moon by Homer H. Hickam Jr.
Galaxy Outlaws: The Complete Black Ocean Mobius Missions by J. S. Morin

Notes on Progress

I think I have everything the way I want it now, except I still have some more pruning to do. All in all, things are looking pretty good considering that my attempts to do some stuff brought the site down not once but twice leading to some FTP fun. WordPress is a great platform, but it can fight back when I want it to do things that it wasn’t specifically designed for. With the right plugins and a little bit of compromise, everything came together nicely. If I want to make more major changes they will likely be small and subtle.

A few things I’ve noticed about the old writing I’ve been going over. Some of it’s pretty dark, which is fine but not where my writing style really is anymore. I like some of it anyway so I think I will keep it around. A lot of it, at least the really early stuff, is short. So much of it, in fact, that I added a flash fiction category. For the sake of simplicity, or maybe for the sake of complexity, all stories in the flash fiction category will also belong to a genre category. This way if someone wants to read all Sci-Fi or all short stuff they can still go to one place and not have to search. Also, in the future, most of my stories will be longer than these flash pieces.

On to my plans. I said I wanted to post a story once a month. I’m throwing that idea away right now. As of this writing, there are only a dozen or so stories on the site, and that will just not do. So I am going to be bolder. Two a month! I’m going to try to hold to it too. We’ll see how it shakes out this month, but clearly, I have to get something up soon if I am going to adhere to that schedule. Anyway, I think that’s all for now. I hope any visitors find this site to their liking.

Oh, before I forget. I just finished Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. Though I always prefer novels, I do try to read some non-fiction from time to time. This was a difficult read. Not hard because of language or style, but hard because of content. It was only made harder because it was a true story. That said, I recommend this to anyone interested in the beginnings of the FBI, true crime, the early 20th century American west, and most of all the plight of the Native American people. I would love to learn more about the Osage tribe someday.

As a side note, that link to the book above is a referral link to Amazon. I do not plan to link books other than those that I like and these will be the only “ads” on my site.

Currently reading/listening to:
The Magician by Raymond E. Feist
The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
Back to the Moon by Homer H. Hickam Jr.
Galaxy Outlaws: The Complete Black Ocean Mobius Missions by J. S. Morin

More Tidying Up

I have started making changes around here but I am far from done. I’m hoping to still get a fresh story on here before the month is out though that day is approaching fast. Here are a few things I have on my agenda, and I apologize in advance if I am repeating myself. (I’m crossing them out as I complete them)

  • New stories (hopefully monthly).
  • Separate the blog from everything else.
  • Add a static page for published stuff.
  • More pruning of old stuff.
  • Get rid of the cheesy tags I thought were funny.
  • Fix side widget to only display stories
  • More stuff that I didn’t think of or forgot already.

I’m pruning because since I began this website I have changed a lot as a writer. I want to keep the things that I am truly proud of and get rid of anything that I grew out of. I learn more about the craft everyday, and though it’s important to know where you came from it’s also important to be proud of what you do. I don’t foresee doing this again in the future.

In addition to all that, the reviews are gone, and I was not sad to see them go. However, I do still plan to comment on what I am reading from time to time, mostly with positive remarks and things that I am enjoying from other writers both new and old. To that end, I’m going to start including a list of what I am currently reading at any given time to the bottom of these posts. Normally I read up to four things at a time. Some are audio, some are digital (Kindle, etc.), and some are good old-fashioned books. Some books I will burn through faster than others and that is not always a product of their individual quality but rather how and when I consume them. In other words, don’t assume that lingering books are bad and books that fly off the list are good. Also, I am a completionist, so if a book falls off the list in between blog posts, then it is safe to assume that I did finish it even if I didn’t talk about it.

Sorry if this was a little long winded, I rambled too much, or what have you.

Currently reading/listening to:

The Magician by Raymond E. Feist
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Back to the Moon by Homer H. Hickam Jr.
Galaxy Outlaws: The Complete Black Ocean Mobius Missions by J. S. Morin

A First Blog Post

My site has been around for a while, and I am going to try to start taking that a little more seriously. THat means I will be priuning a ot of the content already posted and I will hope to post more regular content including actual blog posts like this one.

In the past, the only thing I called blog posts were my reviews, which, you may notice, are now entirely gone from this site. Though they were one of the few thigns that actually brought in traffic, I don’t at present care about traffic and I am nto entirely proud of those reviews. i never wanted to be a critic, and though that was not my intention with those review anyway, i feel they were sending the wrong message and not actually hlpeing me be a better writer. In short, they are gone, sorry.

Though I will be blogging more regularly, in theory anyway, this blog will stay mostly professional. If you have ever looked at any of my social media accounts, then you would know that I am a relatively private person. Though I have a family and a life, I won’t be bringing that onto this site, at least not in the immediate future.

What I will blog about is writing and myself as it pertains to that topic. I will also start posting stories more regularly, but I’m not looking to keep a regular schedule with any of this yet. If you’ve made it here, hopefully you will find something to enjoy on my site as it gorws, and soemtimes even shrinks.

Thanks for reading!

Words from another dimension… Sometimes