One benefit of a more attentive approach to time and media management is the sudden release of seemingly days of spare time. Using an app to block other apps has been helping to create a habit of putting down the phone and starting something else instead. Pens, paper, making music, and a return to reading.

Earlier this year I started making space on shelves, thinning a book collection. Most of the volumes were already in a stack of boxes in an attic space, with the remainder in piles two deep on the upper shelves. The lower reaches have been annexed, now a junkyard jumble of jigsaws, card games, noisemaking toys, pebble collections.

The aesthetic improvement of the remaining rows of double-stacked books took the form of boxing to donate – mostly to St Michael’s Hospice shop – and boxing to keep, until some ill-defined event horizon beyond which the Book Collection might be returned to the shelves in all its glory.

The process culminated in a kind of at least half-engineered Damascene instance, where I was sat looking round the room at the books now on shelves, knowing that it was all the ones I hadn’t read… Some of which have been with me round the block at least twice.

It prompted a reforming bibliophile’s reevaluation of the amount of rubbish one carries around (metaphorical interpretation also available, in fact I think I have the hardback version of that as well…)

I also commenced a reading programme. So far this year I’ve gone through:

I Will Never Write My Memoirs – Grace Jones

Nina Simone:The Biography – David Brun-Lambert

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (on ereader)

Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd

The Atrocity Archive – Charles Stross

Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny

The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin

Neuromancer – William Gibson

All Tomorrow’s Parties -William Gibson

The Rum Diary – Hunter S. Thompson

Make Room! Make Room! – Harry Harrison

Some of these have been well worth the wait. No doubt some will not. Still, y’know… the books all represent something that resonated, at least once, on some frequency or other. There’s a connection, I mean, although with what is perhaps another matter. It feels like a relationship I understand a bit better, anyway.

Now, better post this before the app block comes on…

Tomorrow: Current Affairs.

Had to skip a day’s online commentary, as my Android handset developed a sudden battery hemorrhage. Switching off, then dropping about 30% battery in a couple of minutes. Most disconcerting. Insert image of doornail.

Thusly, I spent my time on the laptop searching out possible causes for that. For your info, it is likeliest Google Play Services getting stuck in some sort of loop. Tries to do something repeatedly for some unknown and unpredictable reason, or something…

One of those ‘one of those things’ things. Yeah. Apparently a reboot usually fixes the problem, which will surprise no one familiar with the tech support classic “Have you tried switching it off then on again?” How far we’ve come.

 The device seems to have been ok today, so there you go. [FX: Sound of melting diodes]

Attentive readers will have noticed a few Instagram images popping up here, and if you’ve come to the blog via Twitter there are links also back and again there betwixt these and they.

These and other cross-platform connections, repetitions and hesitations are likely to continue to appear for the next week or so while I work out which way round to order IFTTT recipes correctly to enable me to issue forth on multiple channels without having to double click.

I love IFTTT, especially as it’s encouraging me to check my settings more fastidiously. It has revealed that multiple apps/platforms already do linking, sharing, connecting, just not all the linking, sharing or connecting, and not on a mobile device, necessarily. So Instagram has a share via Twitter option, for example, but not WordPress, and WordPress doesn’t seem to want to link with Instagram (though it is quite comprehensive in its sharing options otherwise), and I can’t control its links to Twitter on the Android app…

IFTTT makes it all happen – ’tis witchcraft! – and I’m enjoying the metaphorical engine tinkering. Although I feel I should acknowledge that this is very low-level tinkering, really. A bit like being pleased I can change my own windscreen wipers, I suppose.

It’s times like this I wish I’d paid more attention in Computing at school, rather than pretty much giving up at ‘GOTO 20’, where 20 was ’20 PRINT “BUMS”‘, or whatever it was.