Sunday, April 25, 2010

You'd Think It Would Be Easy...

Easy to let go of books and magazines, that is, now that I typically have immediate access to the internet as well as extensive local information (and many e-books) on my iPod Touch, Blackberry Storm 2, and a notebook PC. I can look up pretty much anything in a minute or so. But books have sentimental value (collectively and individually for some books). Even reference books are hard. We've been packing most of our books and other things into boxes for a house project that requires shifting most of the furniture around. I've tried to get rid of dead wood (so to speak) whenever possible, and today I did manage to dump a 1997 "Video Hound" movie reference book and a New York Public Library Desk Reference book (also 90's era). This sort of thing is now much easier and better on the web.

But I was also looking at some of my many Japanese dictionaries. I'm not actively studying Japanese now (and I have Kotoba! on my iPod Touch), so that would seem to be an easy category to toss. But those books are so amazingly intricate (this one is great, sample page at left), and they have so many memories of trips to Japan and to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles... I can't part with them.

The same for Billboard's Book of Top 40 Hits. Of course all that song information is on on the web somewhere - but the compilation, the cross-comparisons, and especially the "ooh, I remember that song" serendipity... the web doesn't quite replace that. So I'm keeping that book (it's pretty old, around 1990 - I may update to the 9th edition when it comes out this fall).

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