Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Salon - spinning my techno wheels

If it seems like I've not been reviewing too much lately, your perception is correct.  I've been up to the tips of my pierced ears in E- readers, e-books, and technology in general.  First of all, the Tutu Family owns two Nooks-- Simple Touch and a Nook Tablet.  We maintain one family account so we can share books since we tend to have very similar reading tastes.  We've been adding to the e-library since Christmas since all our relatives were kind enough to give us Nook gift cards to help flesh out our libraries, and since we've been hitting the "buy" button on a number of daily/weekly freebies and bargain books, it seemed it was time to get the libraries organized into "shelves."

Now remember, I've had a Nook for over a year.  I had the original Nook (now known as the 1st Generation or 1G and no longer available) but I traded it in for the Simple Touch.   Of course, the wizards in techno world couldn't leave well enough alone, so they completely changed the system for "shelving books" on the new one. Thus making me sit back and wonder if I regret my decision to upgrade.  The old system for organizing still works the same on the Tablet, but not on the Touch. For the past three days I've been going  crazy trying to make it behave like it used to, and even went so far as to spend 50 minutes in an online chat with the Nook friendly helper only to discover that what I wanted to do couldn't be done the way I wanted to do it.  And believe me, the "new" way is totally cumbersome, time-wasting, and STUPID.  So, now that I have learned the process, I've put the Nooks aside and will "shelve" during the Super Bowl (GO PATS!) tonite.

As if the Nook didn't produce enough angst, I'm also responsible for the library's Kindle which we are getting loaded up and ready to circulate.  I wanted to catalog the 40+ books we'd purchased/or gotten in Amazon's free giveaways so they would show up in our online catalog, and people would know a) what we had on the Kindle, and b) if we had a book that it was available on the Kindle.

Unfortunately, almost 65% of these freebies (many of them self-published) do not have MARC records out there in the universe, and our online "cataloging in the cloud" program does not recognize them, so I was forced to either a) grab a MARC record from the print version (if one existed) and do some serious editing or b) just go ahead and completely  compose a new MARC record for the work.  In most instances it turned out to be quicker to just enter all the data and self catalog.  I just realized that some of you may be unfamiliar with the term MARC.  It's the MAchine Readable Cataloging record.  Libraries use this format so that if and when they change cataloging software or systems, or import or export their records they can be easily read and implanted.

Enough techie stuff......for the next few days, I'm sticking strictly to Print (I have to read Farming of Bones for our Book Club next week) and Audio ( I'm listening to another Maisie Dobbs - they are good listens, they have some great info about World War I, and the technology doesn't tax my ancient brain).  I'll get back to my e-reader hopefully by Thursday because I've been participating in Unputdownables "Moveable Feast" Read-along and I need to read the next chapters, as soon as Barnes and Noble can figure out why the download I bought is not reading correctly.  But that's another whole techno story that doesn't bear telling right now.

Anyhow, I do still love the Nook, particularly for helping me organize and keep track of review copies from Net Galley, for enabling me to sample books before buying, and for being able to read library books without having to go out into the windy, icy Maine weather to get them.

In spite of my frustrations, I'm still smiling, because I can smell that beef pot pie in the oven, and the PATS are going to win, and I'll just have to catch this week's episode of Downton Abbey on the re-run later.


  1. I haven't tried borrowing library books on my Kindle as yet but am really happy that this is now available at my local library. They had a job doing this, I'm sure.

  2. I noticed you hadn't been around much. Figured you were just glued to the playoffs. Sorry about your Pats, but it was a great game. I love it when teams are so evenly matched. Hope your technical problems are worked out now - I get a headache just thinking about them. BTW, I've discovered reading on Kindle is worse for my arthritic hands than reading a book because it's so skinny for me to hold. Can't win. Thankfully my lap desk comes in handy to read print books.

  3. glad you explained that MARC thing..i would not e able to sleep!

  4. You totally had me lost with the MARC thing.Our library is just now getting on the bandwagon with e books. I think next week is the first time we can borrow books with Overdrive. Did you have to download that along with ADE? This technology stuff is so frustrating!


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