Posted in Ramblings

The Bright Spots in the Mania

In what most would see as complete insanity, I’ve managed to find some bright spots in the current mania I’ve been struggling with.
When I’m feeling particularly anxious, repetitivity is the key to retaining whatever sanity I might have left. Consequently, in the past three or four weeks, I’ve been reorganizing my book collection (I did mention it a few weeks ago… and since then it’s become bigger than Ben-Hur in terms of the battle of Deb vs her books.)
It all started because I don’t like the arbitrary way in which Kindle organizes my books – mainly the fact that it doesn’t necessarily keep my books in the order in which I like them, nor does it necessarily keep series in order. So I went in search of a new program and decide to use Calibre to fix the metadata, and Moon Reader Plus for reading. Yes, yes, I know I could have used Calibre to do both, but Calibre isn’t ‘pretty enough’ for my reading tastes.
So I spent a considerable period of time organizing my books in calibre, placing them together in series, tagging them regarding subject and ensuring that all the names etc. were uniform in their writing. (I’m so OCD currently, I can’t stand initials not to be uniformly punctuated.)
Now keep in mind, I’m a book lover. I have all sorts of books, ranging from old classics (which I’m definitely going to read one day) to reference books for writing and publishing. We’re talking about roughly 1200 books here – although it has been boosted by about another 200 in recent weeks as I’ve struggled with the swings through depression and mania. So this has taken some time.
I was a little perturbed when I reached the ‘transfer the books from Calibre to Moon Reader’ because a lot of my changed metadata got lost in translation. Normally, al things being equal, I would have thought this through more clearly, but being the way I am… I didn’t. I proceeded to ‘tweak’ the roughly 1200 books until they were the way I wanted them in Moon Reader. Which took about a week – day and night – while I’ve struggled with rampant insomnia..
Which was about the time I realized that perhaps I should have thought harder about this and put the books onto my SD card, rather than the main memory on my tablet, which is kind of full..
‘No problem’, I thought. ‘I’ll just transfer all the book files to the SD card, and we’ll be all good. It’ll take a couple of minutes.’
Nope.
Moon Reader lost the plot, I lost the plot, and I decided to start all over again because I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. (I’m nothing if not determined when I’m manic. See? There’s a bright spot.)
So I began again, and noticed that when I returned the books from Calibre to Moon Reader, SOME (and I’m talking a minimal amount) of the books now had the right metadata,. Hmmm. Have no idea how that happened. Proceed to ensure all the book records are now safely stored on the SD card, and proceed with reorganizing all the books in Moon Reader. Again. Which has taken about another week, day and night. (I’m nothing if not persistent when things get in my head. See? Another bright spot.)
Got all the books nicely organized, then decided I might like to have a copy of them on my phone as well. (You know, for those emergencies when I don’t have my tablet and urgently need to read a book on a specific subject.) Don’t laugh. It could happen.
Go to put them on my phone, and realize I’ve got a problem, because now I have them transferred onto my phone… they all need reorganizing again. ‘No problems,’ I think. ‘I’ll just back up from the tablet and restore to the phone.’
It didn’t work. And I screwed up all the files on my phone. And just to make doubly sure I’d screwed up the theory, I managed to bugger them up on the tablet as well. (Don’t ask… this is just a side effect of my Bipolar madness.)
So I’m mooching around on Google, trying to find a solution to this issue (that determination kicks in again, because I’m not good at giving up in these circumstances)… and I come across a little message from some kind soul on one of the forums.
‘Don’t forget that you MUST resave your book files after amending the metadata to make the new metadata overwrite the old’.
Ah-HA!
Set up Calibre to rewrite the files overnight, and after a double dose of bipolar meds, go to bed. And actually sleep, which is such a blessing after weeks of insomnia. (See? Another bright spot!)
This morning, I take my brand spanky new book files, upload them onto Moon Reader… and everything is just about perfect. Everything is there, exactly where I want it to be, other than a few small tweaks to reorder book series which stretch into double figures. I hate them to be out of order, i.e. 1, 10, 2, etc…
And while my tenacity on this particular project has known no bounds… I decided to just upload exactly the same files onto my phone and leave well enough alone.

And in a postscript to those people who are going to come up with some reason why I shouldn’t have bothered, here are my reasons in advance.

1. Yes, I could just forgo the issue and put up with them on Kindle out of order and with incorrect punctuation – but that agitates me no end.
2. Yes, I’m aware that ‘real’ books don’t have the same issues. But they also tend to come in different sizes, and quite often, halfway through a series the publisher changes the ‘scheme’ of the covers, which just shits me to death. So they would drive me just as nuts as ebooks do when they’re ‘wrong’.
3. Yes, I’m nuts. But I think that’s already been well-established. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

And now, at last, I’m off to read a book in peace. And hopefully, get another night of sleep tonight.

 

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