Winemaker’s Bookshelf

By Gary Strachan

When your walls are covered with books...

Try using e-books to save sapce, but be aware that the tricky part ofmaintaining an e-library is being able to do an efficient search.


here comes a decision time in every bookaholic’s life. Mine arrived when we renovated and I had to empty 200 running feet of books from my office walls.

The boxes filled two pallets in the back of my barn. It’s now been four years and I’ve returned about one pallet to my new office, but I still miss the others. The space solution is e- books.

I recently shared 100 wine and grape books with a friend. I didn’t have to pack them into boxes or use a fork lift to load

them. It took me only a

couple of minutes to load them onto a

thumb drive and he took them home in

his pocket.

The tricky part of maintaining an e-library is being able to do an efficient search. You can’t look up at the shelf and pick up the large, red, hard covered book by Maynard Amerine. You have to file it so you can find it.

Most e-books come as a PDF. This stands for portable document format and it’s the three-letter extension that comes after the dot in a file name. PDF files are graphic files, which means that each page is a picture, not like the text files we create with a text editor like Word.

The consequence is that if you want to

search your books for a topic like Uncinula necator you probably won’t find it unless you included it in the book title when you filed it. The way around this is to use an

OCR (optical character recognition) utility. This makes

your book file a little

bigger but it puts a text

overlay on every page of the book. Some books come that way from the publisher. With a text overlay, your search word will flag every occurrence in the book or even in your whole library, dependent on how you organize your search

Don’t make your folders too big. They are hard to search, and sometimes manipulating a huge folder will lock up your computer. Bummer!

I like to have a folder for each major topic, and try to limit the contents to about 50 files. Almost any program has an icon somewhere on the top line that says “New Folder”.

After you get your new folder, give it a name and then open it to store your newly acquired books. A folder can be divided into subfolders, perhaps according to current year or more specialized topics within a main heading. When my book list becomes too large, I split it into folders such as “Books A to N”.

Windows can handle many levels of subfolder, but after about three or four levels of subfolder I find it hard to remember how or why I organized the main folder that way.

It’s time to split the folder into separate topics.

Screenshot showing a portion of an e-book folder containing .pdf downloads. 32

The PDF format was invented by Adobe Software and it provides a free utility to read and manipulate PDF files . . . hoping that you might buy their software to edit and create PDF files. I use an alternate program called PaperPort that operates my scanner,

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2017

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