Thursday, May 29, 2008

All My Best Ideas

The Mistake-Maker - Me

I distinctly remember reading a book review in the Sunday Times on 18 May and thinking: someone has stolen all my best ideas again!

I remember thinking: I must remember to put this to one side so I can blog about it later.

I remember forgetting to do so and looking for the magazine this morning. I couldn't find it; for in a show of mesmeric competence she had thrown it away. Sometimes I can find the last three for four issues of the Sunday Times sitting patiently in my living room – just waiting for me to explore them. This time she has thrown all away except for last week's. And, the dustmen took the recycle bin on Tuesday.

Never mind. I bet I can find the relevant review on-line. Google here I come.

I don't remember the name of the book or the name of the author, so it's no good searching for them. That would be too easy. If I did know the name of either, I bet I could find a review in a flash. I don't.

Next choice: try to search the Sunday Times web site for the review. I know the date – it was a week ago Sunday – i.e. 18 May 08. here's where technology should be a real boon and a real buddy.

Fat chance.

The Sunday Times has extensive search facilities on their web site. What they don't have is back issues. It's easy to find the book reviews from 25 May (of which I have the relevant magazine in my hand!) but for the previous week it appears to be impossible.

Now, when Google have the disk and processor capacity to trawl the net and index the entire thing and then store it to make it accessible with just a few key words; why should the Sunday Times not do the same?

Why can't you simply type into Google: “Sunday Times book review 18 May 08” and get a list of the books reviewed that day. Try it. All you get are links to the Dalai Lama and a Verdi opera.

By now, dear reader, you are probably wondering where this is going?


Despite my previous week's exasperation at the pinching of my best ideas I can not remember enough of the important points of the mystery book to sensibly comment on it.

I permit you a reasonable snigger at my expense.

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