Like most folks, the thought of losing my print library of books--quite an extensive collection--gives me chills. In a fire, though, I would probably run out of the house with kids and teacup poodle tucked under my arms--hoping my wife would follow along or be out of the house already. Let's review why I'd run out with only lives to safeguard, which is essentially a list of things that most folks try to save in a fire:
1) Photographs - As wonderful as photos are, all of mine are in digital format. If the print ones are lost, it is a sad loss but not irretrievable (you know, skip scanning the ones of your least favorite relative. "Sorry, the fire ate those pictures of you when you were in pigtails." My images are stored at Flickr and PicasaWeb.
2) Important documents - These are encrypted and stored in a secure, off-site location. You know, this includes this critical house, medical, whatever documents you have to keep but wish you didn't have to store in paper form. Since I can't afford the more expensive services, I use GoogleDocs ($20 a year) to store my critical docs.
3) Creative materials - While I could easily create many of my keynote presentations again from scratch, the raw resources to do so--including videos, images, PDF reports I've downloaded but neglected to bookmark or cite--would be more difficult. At this point, I don't have anywhere to store them (6 gigs) and as such use external, redundant USB drives to get the job done.
But what would be a real loss is that of the print books I have in my house. Many of them, I've had since I was 11 years old or my Dad started collecting when I was that old. For example, my Louis L'Amour collection is quite extensive...should I pitch those print copies and just keep my electronic/ebook collection? What about other books?
Now, though, I feel I can put those books in a storage box and keep them safe...or donate them to a library. Many of the books I have, that I want to keep forever (The Guardians of the Flame series, The Belgariad, Dies the Fire are just a few of my favorite series), I can now purchase--or find for free as the authors and publisher releases them--online for very little. While I'm not going to rush out and buy my entire collection, over time, I've been adding my favorites to my collection.
That said, I could run out of my house without worrying about losing my Robert Ludlum books...and I don't think Dad would mind if left our dog-eared copy of The Matarese Circle behind.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure
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