At any one time I have around five books on my bedside table. I tend to buy books I want to read and dump them there until I get to them, plus I tend to read more than one book at a time.
To stop myself from just reading trashy novels, I have process – I alternate between non-fiction and fiction. I have just started reading the new Malcolm Gladwell book “Outliers: The Story of Success” and the “The Voyage of the Sable Keech” by Neil Asher.
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I reckon I have been reading around 50 books a year since I was 14, or around 1500 books. Assuming I live to the average Australian age of 78 and keep my eyesight and interest, I expect to read another 1700 books.
Since I buy most books I read, I expect to spend about $34,000 (assuming $20 a pop) and need another 34 metres of bookshelf (at 2cm per spine). Since I already have 30 metres of bookshelf, it looks like I will need to get a new house and have my own library.
I have a lovely collection of bookmarks given to me by my children, but it’s rare that I find them though, and consequently I tend to use whatever I can find lying around, which normally means old receipts and (unused) scraps of toilet paper. Unfortunately these tend to slip out easily, and I then spend time trying to figure out where I am up to.
Online I’m a bit tidier, having bookmarked everything I like to read.
But every once and a while I replace an old computer, plus I am now in the position where I regularly use three different machines. This means I am forever losing bookmarks. Having just had recommended to me by ACER that I wipe my new netbook to see what’s wrong with the trackpad (grrrr…) I decided to come up with a better solution.
I didn’t have to look far. del.icio.us is the tool I selected. del.icio.us allows you to manage bookmarks / social networking / content promotion tools. Not just a website, it also has a tool that inserts itself on to my browser, allowing me to access my delicious bookmarks just like I would my normal bookmarks.
Delicious bookmarks can either be private or public. If you make them public, you share them with all other delicious users. It’s fascinating to see how many other users have also bookmarked the same page as you – especially if it’s one of your websites. At the time of writing this: The Churchill Club, 14; SmartCompany, 155; and Wikipedia 34,724.
An important attributed of bookmarks is that you can also tag them. Tagging is the classifying of bookmarks by keywords, rather than in an older less intuitive way such as categories and subcategories. There are two types of tags on del.icio.us, “tags” and “favourite tags”.
For stuff that you regularly look at, you can give a favourite tag. The reason this is important is that the bookmarks delicious puts on my toolbar can be stored in folders, one folder for each favourite tag; but it doesn’t offer this for plain old tags. My favourite tags are: “TCC” for Churchill Club stuff, “FP” for Flinders Pacific stuff, “L2i” for L2i Technology Advisory stuff, “technology”, “entrepreneurship” and “lookup” for useful tools and news sites.
This means that the 30 or so websites I regularly go to can be stored neatly on my toolbar into five folders that have drop down links. I can still access all my other bookmarks, they’re just not at my fingertips though.
Now to the really nice thing that saves me lots of time.
By installing the del.icio.us tool bar on to all my computers, I no longer have to re-create bookmarks as each computer is automatically updated. It also means that my bookmarks survive any one computer dying.
There is a whole lot of other features on del.icio.us as well, such as the ability to share your bookmarks with specific people (useful for collaboration teams), and being automatically notified when other people bookmark something with the same tag as you. However just the basic functionality was enough to get me across the line.
Anything that saves me time online has got to be good.
Brendan Lewis is a serial technology entrepreneur having founded : Ideas Lighting, Carradale Media, Edion, Verve IT, The Churchill Club, Flinders Pacific and L2i Technology Advisory. He has set up businesses for others in Romania, Indonesia and Vietnam. Qualified in IT and Accounting, he has also spent time running an Advertising agency and as a Cavalry Officer with the Australian Army Reserve.