Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Organizing and a Slightly Disturbing (to me) Realization

Yesterday, for no real reason, I decided to make some checklists of what needed to be done on various projects (including some 2013 goals), as a way to help guide me when I have a free moment. I dislike turning on the TV or web surfing simply because I couldn't recall the things that might fit into the same time frame.

Doing that, I noticed that May is nearly over. I know, I was shocked too. 

What this means is that I'm way behind on where I wanted to be on my zine's first issue. Fortunately the checklist helped me sort out some quick items I could get done and now I'm ready to do some layout today.

While reviewing the projects, a stray thought popped into my head, "How much print material do I have that is waiting to be read?"

So, I picked   pencil and pad and went through my bookcase to identify all of the gaming related items that either had never been read, had only been skimmed, or read so long ago and sat unused as to effectively be unread.

Warning: Do Not Attempt This at Home. 

Trust me, you will regret it.

My list, to my surprise, is some 71 items long and includes things such as old Dragon Magazines, 4 fiction titles, Osprey titles, other history books, D & D modules and rules for wargames and RPGs. This does not even include the books that don't in any way relate to this hobby of ours, items like The Basic Bakunin and a compilation of Wittgenstein's writings entitled Major Works.

Here I had been thinking I might buy an e-reader so I could make better use of all of those game related pdfs I have and move away from print for everything. I don't need an e-reader; I need a machine that stops time so I can read my way out of this pile.

To put this in perspective, when I first got back into the hobby after a 2 year hiatus, my gaming related books took up some 9" of shelf space, nearly all of it read, if not used. Today, they take up 45". That's a 500% increase - most of which occurred in 2012, either as gifts or as purchases (and sometimes, gifts with purchases as the case may be). Most of which is unread, never mind unused.

I had planned to sell some of these items (6 or so) and now, I think, I may increase that number a bit.

Now to go and have a look at that lead and plastic pile.


  1. John, I'm sorry that I've not yet had a chance to write that article I promised for your next zine.

    I have had some substantial health problems of late (I had to have 17 teeth pulled earlier this month and I'm waiting on the hospital to schedule me for two needed eye surgeries).

    I do intend to write something for you but it might take a bit longer than I anticipated.

    -- Jeff

    1. Jeff,

      No problem at all - there's no rush. I haven't even started in on issue 2 yet myself.

      I look forward to whatever you can submit whenever you can submit it.

      In the meantime, I continue to hope that your health improves daily.


  2. Replies
    1. I suppose there's always the comfort that someone surely has more than I do in this category.

      Although, I'm not up to 73. I totally ignored my own conclusions and jumped on some books that had been on my want list for awhile because they were available now at a good price.

      Rome wasn't built in a day, nor did it fall in one.


  3. I shudder to think about what my progress really looks like on my stated goals for the year. My issue right now is with pdf rules scattered throughout my hard drive. I've even double ordered some, forgetting I had them. Fortunately I mostly order from one company and they have awesome customer service, so they helped me out with that one.

    1. Hi Sean,

      I'll probably do a thorough review of my progress on stated goals near the end of June. Last year, I made a monthly review and frankly, helpful as it was, it began to feel like work.

      As for PDFs, I can't count the number of times I've seen something on DriveThruRPG or WargameVault and thought, "Hey, that looks cool. I should download it." Only to have the message appear on the screen that I have already purchased it.

      Or on other sites, I go to download the file and I'm prompted if I want to overwrite the copy I already have. But I haven't read it, so I've forgotten all about it.

      Hmm. Maybe an e-reader IS a good idea!


    2. I use my Kindle Fire all the time. It has some annoying lack of features but it works well for carrying around rules to read while the kids are at karate etc. Any kind of tablet that handles pdf files is very useful.

    3. Hi Sean,

      I had been thinking basic Kindle model, but all my research says run away if reading PDFs is your goal. Looks like a tablet is on the horizon. The Kindle Fire/Kindle Fire HD were on my short list, but I'm leaning more towards the Nexus 7. Today. Tomorrow that could change.


  4. The first rule of game collecting: don't look back at the pile! The pile grows, the pile knows. Keep the pile happy by adding to it. But then again, I am an unabashed collector so it doesn't bother me as much.

    I use my Asus Android tablet all the time for pdfs. If you get Android, get eBook Droid Reader. You can add your own bookmarks to pdfs, and mark them up internally easy as pie.

    1. Hi Kelroy Was Here,

      I know. I don't know why I did that to myself! On the other hand, it's nice to have an idea of what's on the shelf/pile. Now, when I think there's nothing to read or do, I can prove quite easily that in fact there is plenty.

      I'm considering the Nexus 7 from Google for PDF viewing. The hard part will be not playing games or surfing the web with it.