The man who stored everything

There is a story concerning Commissario Salvo Montalbano (the fictional Sicilian detective created by Andrea Camilleri) in which he comes across a man who never throws anything away.  Everything that he has, he keeps.  Newspapers, notebooks, beer bottles, plastic cups… everything is filed and stored. 

In the episode “Ritorno alle origini” (Back to Basics) thieves break into the old gentleman’s storage facility and steal the beer bottle tops that the old gent purchased in a particular month some years previously, leaving the poor man distraught.  Montalbano solves the case, returns the beer bottle tops and the elderly Sicilian (who you won’t be surprised to know, lives on his own) is overwhelmed with gratitude.

Because the action takes place in Sicilly the houses are generally fairly large, and building a huge warehouse with enough space to store everything that you have ever used in life is no real problem.  But in England of course, space is at more of a premium.

Now I can’t imagine that the character invented in Back to Basics could exist in real life.  All of us, even those with the luxury of living in an area where there is a vast amount of spare land, select what we want to keep and throw the rest away.

But supposing, just for a moment, that we wanted to hold on to a record of (say) a really wonderful holiday.  In the old days we might have held onto our airline ticket – a flimsy document which measured maybe three inches deep by six inches across from which sections are torn as we travel.

Today however bookings are made on line, and as a result in this paperless age one can end up with five or six pages of A4 – more if you bother to print out all the terms and conditions of travel, not to mention the three page car park ticket.

So, in this paperless world, keeping a record of something like a holiday suddenly becomes a massive task.  Keep track of all your holidays and you are going to need a lot of storage.

In fact, most of us throw away most of what passes through our lives, but for some of us there are some collections that are kept.  A character in an episode of Jonathan Creek filled his country mansion with complete copies of slightly risqué 1950s magazines (slightly risqué for the time that is, rather ordinary by today’s standards).  Which again is fine if you have a mansion, but less easy to handle without.

Which brings me back to the Admiral Document Storage Facility.  If you have items from your past that you want to store – whatever they are – we are here, able to take them.  You can inspect at any time in a private room which will be made available for the purpose.

As it turns out, you don’t need a mansion at all.

To find out more take a look at our website or call us on 0800 810 1125.

How many books are published each year – and is digital having an impact?

Week after week there are surveys which show that (seemingly) the printed word is on the way out, as everyone turns to digital.

A survey by the publisher Pearson in the US found that only one percent of the 8 to 18 year olds used no digital technologies whatsoever in relation to their school or college work.

Most suggested that they used laptops or regular PCs while half use smart phones as part of their education. Although the number using tablets is less than 50% it is rising very quickly.

Here are a few of the other findings from high school students… 

  • 75 percent of high school students use laptops for educational purposes;
  • 65 percent use desktops;
  • 60 percent use smart phones;
  • 19 percent use full-size tablets;
  • 17 percent use small tablets;
  • 16 percent use basic e-book readers; and
  • 10 percent use netbooks.

 So the dominance of the digital mechanism continues. Except… 

The level of production of paper based information shows no sign of easing off. Just consider this list of books published 

  1. USA: 328,000
  2. China: 207,000
  3. UK: 149,000
  4. Russia: 116,000
  5. Germany: 82,000 

The figures are not strictly comparable because some countries count new editions as new books and others don’t, and some figures are for last year while others are the year before – but even so it is a lot of books. 

And just in case you find such figures interesting, here are the countries that don’t manage to publish much at all 

  • Oman: 7 books
  • Burkina Faso: 12 books
  • Gambia: 14 books
  • Mali: 14 books
  • Angola 22 books
  • Libya: 26 books
  • Ghana: 28 books
  • Bahrain: 40 books
  • Monaco: 41 books. 

So, even if the numbers in a few countries are small, book production continues and seems set to co-exist with digital materials. Which is, I guess, why there is such a need to more and more storage space. 

Admiral Document Storage Ltd
Bloxwich Lane
Tel: 0800 810 1125