Mottos To Live By

geekyA Geek Girl’s Guide to... is an ongoing series about becoming more technically savvy, so you can maximize your ereading pleasure.  Links to back-posts are at the end of this post. – t.


Ebook Management –
Mottos to Live By

This post isn’t filled with technical wizardry.

Instead, it’s a step above the mechanical spells and incantations.  You can call them strategies, or philosophies, or even “personal rules” or values, or standards, or even tenets.  But I like “motto” because that takes the pressure off.  If you break a rule, you feel guilty.  On the other hand, if you don’t act in accordance with a motto, it’s not the end of the world.

These mottos are ways of thinking about ebook reading and ebook management, that will help you figure out the more complicated stuff in future posts.

For example, a motto you might adopt for yourself could be “I will use whatever format an ebook is available in” (see below for more on this).  This motto will help you decide that learning how to convert books will be useful, and a new conversion program is worth spending the time checking out, instead of ignoring it.

It will help you focus your attention.  You’ll start to notice discussions and posts and news about ebook conversion, and your knowledge will increase.

So here are some basic mottos that will guide you when learning technical mumbo jumbo and wizardry.

There is nothing difficult about managing ebooks

There really isn’t.

When your mind blanks out and you shake your head, convinced that computers and electronics are beyond you, what has really happened is that you’ve stumbled over jargon you don’t know, or a concept that is new to you.

But if you unravel what the “new” stuff is and check it out, you’ll find that this really is simple.

New jargon is being invented every day, along with new programs, new hardware and more.  You can’t possibly learn it all (no one can), and you don’t have to.  Which brings me to:

Everything is learnable.

The Internet is the single greatest source of information on anything in the world.  If there’s something you don’t know how to do with your reader and ebooks, ask “the Google” and find out.

If the answers you get contain jargon and concepts you don’t know, ask what the words and ideas mean, and keep drilling down until you reach a point where you do understand what has been said, and build back up to your original question.

By that time, you may not even need to answer the original question.  You’ll already know.

And you’ll have a new skill to use to manage your books.

Bootleg books ain’t worth it.

This isn’t an anti-piracy rant.  Piracy isn’t going away any time soon, and for some people, pirating a book is a protest against the stupid prices the traditional New York publishers charge for ebooks…and that’s a whole different discussion.

Rather, this is a rant against shitty quality books.

If you’ve ever opened up a pirated book (and I’m not pointing fingers), you’ll have noticed the quality issues immediately:

  • Often, there’s no cover.
  • If the book has been scanned, then there’s screwed up punctuation and typos galore.
  • The front matter of the book, including forewords by the author, dedication and copyright pages, and even the content page, are missing.
  • The font sucks.
  • The page doesn’t flow nicely on your ereader.
  • Sometimes there are whole pages and chapters missing.

And that’s just the superficial stuff.  Many bootleg books having phishing malware and more embedded in them.

And then there’s the issue of finding the book in the first place, and navigating past all the pay-for and only-registered-users sites.

Who needs the hassle?  Who wants the sucky books?

Most ebooks are so cheap these days, and readily available on legitimate book sites, it’s worth the couple of bucks to just buy the damn thing.  Then it syncs across all your devices, and you get a pretty book, too.

Ebook Promiscuity Is a Good Thing

By “promiscuity”, I mean shopping at any retailer, anywhere.  Be an easy girl, and go where the books are.  Don’t limit your reading to one book store.  You’ll be missing out if you do.

When print books were the only game in time, I bet you shopped anywhere.  Second hand bookstores, the little indie bookstore in the trendy part of town, the big box bookstore in your local shopping mall, any store selling books that you came across while on vacation or traveling, the books at the cash register aisle in your local grocery store, garage sales, thrift stores…  If there were books for sale, you checked them out, and maybe picked up one or two that looked interesting…thus discovering new authors and stories (and sometimes, a lot of duds, too).

This “anywhere, any time” attitude works really well for ebooks, too.   Shop anywhere and everywhere, and harvest from the bounty of ebooks out there:  On-line book retail stores (all of them), direct from authors, book bundle specialists, direct from publishers, anywhere books are available, in any format.

A few geek skills will let you buy/acquire from anywhere and everywhere, convert them to your preferred format, and read them on your preferred reading device.  That’s what this series is all about.

Any Format, Any Time

This is an extension of being a book ho.  Don’t limit yourself to books only in your preferred format.  Learn to convert, learn how to open and read any book, regardless of its format.

Don’t miss out.


This series will explain the tech stuff and geek skills you can develop so that you don’t miss out, and so that you can keep up with tech changes enough to keep reading what you want, where you want it.

If you’d like to check out previous posts in this series, click here.

Email me if there’s a geek spell you want to learn.

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