Thursday Things

1. I do not like this time of year at work. Is it a ~thing~ that work is always bonkers in January in the corporate world? I thought this was just something that happened at my previous job, because I always had a major project due in mid-February, but it happened last year at my current job and it’s happening again this year. Everything’s breaking, everyone needs something, four million things still outstanding from 2018 need wrapping up. Good thing I planned to blog about my half marathon training so I only have to come up with something else to write once a week 😛

2. In my ongoing quest to do ALL OF THE CHICAGO THINGS before moving to the suburbs later this year, I went to ZooLights last weekend.

zoolights2018

I’ve gone to ZooLights some time during December almost every winter I’ve lived here, and what a mistake that was! Going in January was so much more pleasant! Sure, it felt a little weird to do something clearly Christmas-y after December 25, but it was way less crowded.

penguinszoolights2018

This was also the first time I’ve gone to ZooLights and see all the ice sculptures fully sculpted, rather than in the process of being sculpted. The penguin, obviously, was my favorite ❤

penguinicesculpturezoolights

3. I’ve sung the praises of the Libby app plenty of times since I downloaded it last summer. It’s made reading so much easier and convenient for me, and thanks to it, I read more in 2018 than I had read in who knows how long.

Right now, I’m reading Native Son by Richard Wright, which somehow I was never required to read at any point in my education. I’m not all that far into it yet, but it’s been impactful, to put it mildly. Anyway, I’m not here to offer up my thoughts on Native Son right now. Instead, I would like to offer up my thoughts on Libby’s time-to-finish estimator.

When I first discovered this tool in Libby (where it tracks how long you’ve been reading and estimates how long it’ll take you to finish based on how long it’s been since you initially downloaded the book), I thought it was awesome! I’ve never kept track of how much time I spend reading, so that seemed cool, and having an estimate for how long it would take me to finish was both helpful and challenging. It’s helpful, because I can gauge whether or not I’ll finish the book before it’s due when I have an estimate for how long it’ll take me to finish reading it, and it’s challenging, because it makes me want to read faster than Libby thinks I can.

For Native Son, however, it hasn’t been particularly useful.

libbytimetofinishestimator

Cool.

The major flaw in Libby’s time-to-finish estimator is that it bases its estimate off how long it’s been since you first downloaded the book. The problem with that is that if you have a book on hold, it’ll automatically download (if you’re on WiFi) to your device as soon as it becomes available, whether you’re ready for it or not. I placed a hold on Native Son when I first downloaded the app on August 8, and it became available on Sept. 28. I was reading another book at the time and didn’t finish it in time to start (and finish) Native Son before it was due, and on Oct. 19, the book automatically returned. I put another hold on it on Nov. 11, and on Dec. 25, I got it back (though I was reading Look Alive Out There at the time, so once I again, I didn’t start it right away). I didn’t actually start reading it until last week. But because I first downloaded the book 13 weeks ago and have only been reading for a few hours, Libby thinks it’s going to take me nearly a year to finish. I sure hope not! The book’s due in five days, so I really need to buckle down and find 11 spare hours to read (less than that now, fortunately, since this screenshot is from Tuesday afternoon), unless I want to lose the book and wait another six to seven weeks to get it back! (I don’t.)

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Ha, you would think the app would reset to when you actually started reading it. I wonder if they’ll fix that?

    I think January is nuts for everyone in the corporate world when people come back from holiday and realize it’s back to the real world!

    • You would think! It’d be a lot more useful if it worked that way.

      I’m glad I haven’t just happened to have bad luck with crazy January jobs, haha. The holidays definitely contribute to the insanity, especially since our “year end” wrap up stuff all happens in January, not December, so when you come back all of a sudden things get very real!

  2. My Kindle has something similar. While you’re reading a book it shows you at the bottom an estimate of how much reading time remains. It is constantly recalculating it as you go along, which is nice – kind of like when your Garmin is set to “lap pace”, haha. I agree it’s weird that the app would base it on the time you first downloaded the book…I wonder if there’s something about the way it’s set up that the technology just can’t distinguish between when a book appeared in the app and when it was actually “opened”.

    January is actually one of my favorite times of year at work because it’s actually quiet for me. I’m in non-profit, and the beginning of the year is a fundraising “clean slate”. We’re not knee-deep in a fundraising campaign or planning a big donor event yet, so really the only things on my plate this time of year are tying up loose ends from the previous year and getting ready for the annual audit, both of which are light workloads. This is the case for my role, anyway, a few of my team members may disagree with this assessment!

    • Hahaha, I love the “lap pace” analogy! Such a good way of phrasing it!

      Maybe I should go into non-profit for my next career move 😛 That makes a lot of sense, especially since there’s such a push towards the end of the year to get in donations before New Year’s Day!

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