Monthly Archives: June 2013

eBook Sync

Ooooo that was more complicated than expected!!

Mrs P is pregnant and lacking in iron and gets rather tired rather early of an evening. Rather than leave her lonely and isolated upstairs, I like to retire up to bed with her. But the external light on my Sony ereader is rather bright and illuminates the room like a miniature solar flare! So I wondered whether reading on my iPhone would be less obtrusive for her.

Do you see what a good husband I am here? Supportive and considerate.

So I set about today trying to work out how to transfer the 5000+ books I have on Calibre (brilliant library app!) to iTunes (clunky, ubiquitous and hegemaniacal – my own word and I like it! It means “maniacally seeking hegemony”). Having owned an iPhone now for nearly two years I don’t think I have ever opened my iTunes before today!

The Connect/Share button on Calibre includes an option to Connect to iTunes.

So, blithely, I clicked it and – with my iTunes open – it connected to it. It seems to recognise the iTunes now exactly as it recognises my Sony ereader.

In the same way that you click the Send To Device button when an ereader is connected, the same button now sends selected books to iTunes.


There now seems to be two levels of selection to transfer them actually onto the phone!

I may have got this wrong but it seems to work if I select the books I want on the iTunes list as seen in the last picture.

Then, connecting the iPhone itself and clicking on the iPhone Books tab you can select which books to sync in a second box ticking exercise.

That, I don’t understand but if you select the books you want on the first list in iTunes and keep this second list selecting All Books, it seems to reduce the effort.

And there we have it: 1737 of my 5047 books transferred to iTunes (my library is desperately in need of pruning!); and a paltry 388 transferred to my phone, taking up 295 MB and available on the iBooks app.


And the experience of reading on a phone? I’ve held out against it for a long long time grumbling primarily about its stupid tiny screen and its backlight is so bad for your eyes and it’s not like real reading

But actually it was fine.

Mrs P slept undisturbed, step-son continued to ignore all requests and suggestions to sleep, my eyes neither bled nor blurred, the book continued to make sense. Life continued as normal.

Yes, the screen is tiny and you do need to page-turn very frequently. But it was actually smaller lighter and more one-hand friendly than the Sony.

Letter A Week Challenge

I received a gorgeous fountain pen from Mrs P for my last birthday present.

with a beautiful lovely message engraved into the side of it. Now it’s aged a little, the lettering stands out even more!


Now, I want to be able to use it for something more interesting than marking students’ essays and making notes!

I can’t remember the last time I received a letter. One written by hand. And delivered by a postman. There’s the occasional notecard or more let from aunts and grandparents but no letters. In fact, the only correspondence I’ve had recently consist of bills, bank statements and a speeding fine!

These aren’t worth responding to with my lovely pen!

So much communication today is so impersonal, homogenous and uniform! It consists of texts and emails all delivered in the same Times New Roman font; even physical letters are uniformly word processed with perhaps no more than a scrawled signature. Even signatures these days seem to be reduced to mere initials! Or replaced with a PIN code.

Where is the sensuous pleasure of the scratching of the pen nib on paper? The pressure of your fingers holding, guiding and caressing the pen? The flow of thought in your brain to movement in your fingers to marks on the page?

So, I have set myself a target to write a letter every week to someone.

A love letter to my gorgeous wife.

A letter to my children when they’re with their mother.

A letter to my unborn Daisy Piper to be read to her later.

A letter to the aunts and uncles, family and friends that I should have been do much better at keeping in touch with!

If anyone fancies receiving a letter, let me know!!