How many books does it take …

Monday morning while scouring the dark corners of the Internet I happened across a cache of e-books available for download. Since I had just previously announced to the world that one of my resolutions this year was to read more books, I thought, well gosh, this’ll work out great! So, I downloaded them all. I mean, let’s face it — who knows how long these things will remain online? Might as well grab them all now and decide which ones I want to keep later. And so, with a couple of mouse clicks, I began downloading the entire directory of books.

Monday night shortly before bed, I noticed my computer was still downloading books. This in and of itself caused me to investiage further; I have a really, really fast cable modem, and this should have been finished hours ago. After checking my hard drive I was surprised to discover around 20 gigs worth of random e-books. With an approximate average size of around two megs per book, I had downloaded somewhere around 10,000 individual books. Knowing that the download must surely be close to finishing, I went to bed, planning on sorting through the files the next day.

Unfortunately for me the download was not even remotely close to being finished. When I checked my computer Tuesday evening after work I found over 70 gigs of e-books waiting for me (over 40,000 books) and the download wasn’t even halfway finished. With no end in sight I cancelled the remaining books. Last year I read a grand total of six books; at that rate I have enough reading material for the next 6,500 years. It’s a good thing e-ink doesn’t fade.

So now, I’m busy cleaning up the mess. I’ve deleted literally tens of thousands of unwanted books. Even if I were to live 6,500 years I doubt I’d ever get around to reading “Bioinformatics – A Practical Guide To The Analysis Of Genes and Proteins”, “Build Your Own 4.25 Inch Dobsonian Telescope”, or “Chaotic Dynamics and Transport in Classical and Quantum Systems”. The ones that I am keeping have been divided up into no less than 20 categories such as Financial, Cooking/Recipes, Computers, Photography, and of course general Fiction and Non-Fiction folders.

Tonight, I’ll be cuddled up next to the fireplace with a warm blanket, a mug of hot chocolate, and a book … on my laptop.

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