Thursday, February 20, 2014

On Books, Tidying and Mindmapping

I've just signed another two year lease on my apartment and one of the things that cropped up in my mind as this was going on was the idea of a bit of a mass tidy up.

That's not to say my apartment is some sort of man's disaster area in terms of mess and dirt. Not at all, in fact I think I'm quite the new man. Just about everything has its place, there's not a vast amount of clutter and the general look is one that is fairly minimal.

But it has also become clear to me that I do have too much clutter and, in my five years in this place, have built up a bit of junk that needs sorting.

As with most of the good things in my life I started with a mindmap. I love a mindmap I do. In fact, excuse me if I've told you this before, I do a daily journal, have done for years, and for the last four or five years I've done it in the form of a daily mindmap. In the last three years I've used an app on the Ipad called iThoughts. Trust me, if you like mindmapping it's the best thing since, well, mindmapping itself.

I started a branch, or box for each room in the flat, there aren't that many, I'm not showing off here! And then I took a branch off for every tidyness issue I need to address in each room.

So, for example, off the "kitchen" box I had three more. They said "defrost freezer", "fix wood behind sink" and "go through cupboards, throw away rubbish". Cleverly this iThoughts allows me to set each of these as a task, that I can tick as I can complete which then gets greyed out.

The thing is, I don't want to sound like some kind of geek, raving to you about software, apps, tasklists and the like, that wasn't the purpose of this post. But when I did my "sitting room" box it became evident that one of the things I could do is to tidy my books.

Why, I hear you ask. For books maketh the man, women should never sleep with a fellow who has no books and all that other corny stuff.

Simply because I've built up a bit of a library, of books that fall into one of three categories:

  1. Reference ones, with nice photographs (often Sri Lankan)
  2. Fiction I've read 
  3. Fiction I haven't read yet, probably won't (for reasons I'll explain)

It's the fiction that bothers me. Truth be told I'm now a firm and dedicated ebook reader, the Kindle app on the iPad specifically. I know it doesn't smell like a book, I know one can't "feel" the pages and they don't have the whole tactile connection people talk about. I know that I run the risk of getting beaten by most authors for saying it, beaten with pencils that is, not stylii.

But goddammit it's just so easy and convenient. I carry around my whole library of books wherever I want. I can read just about anywhere, I highlight things in my work related self development and managerial books and go back to them and they're generally cheaper to buy. And, probably best of all for me, I can go on a plane without the need to carry three books and a couple of magazines. 

So I've decided to get rid of my fiction at home, with the exception of a small handful of titles. There's David Blacker's book that he gave me himself with a little message he wrote and a few that are by other Sri Lankan authors that, as far as I know, aren't out as ebooks (yet).

I'll keep the "reference" type ones, the marvellous Sansoni and SL architectural ones and a few others. The rest are going though. Of course not thrown away, I'll give them to a charity bookshop, but they're going nonetheless. 

I feel a bit bad, for emotive not rational reasons, but I'm going to live with that. You live once only as I always like to say. Or YLOO as the kids are fond of.

And once it's done it means I can tick the "Clear away books" task on that mindmap too. 

Here, can anyone tell me how to defrost a freezer?


Shiroshan Randika said...

Check this video about defrosting

Maleficent said...

hey thanks for the app infor. i am going to try it right now :) i love lists and maps, so a mind map seems quite attractive