Holiday Reading

Are guide books really superfluous? The very good books, after all, only present common sense. What should I learn? Nevertheless, they are in vogue, even with my colleagues in the Silcon Valley.

On my last visit to Palo Alto, CA, I was in the Stanford University Book Store to buy some books. This bookstore was huge, with a cafe and many young people. I felt like I was in a library. In times of eReads, it seemed like a museum where old traditions become visible. I liked this place.

holiday reading
holiday reading
Now I'm on vacation in the Black Forest and have read two of the books: On Writing Well by William Zinsser and Start With Why by Simon Sinek. The third book How To Fix The Future by Andrew Keen follows. My wife asks what these books are about. I tell her that in the book On Writing Well I learn how to write better lyrics. Use active verbs, short sentences - and especially important is the idea that I write for myself and not for others. (I need to adjust the introduction to my blog.) My wife answers that this is all self-evident, it's common sense. Why am I wasting my time with it? I should much rather read something, whereby I can let my soul dangle. A good novel or a travelogue.

My first reaction is contradiction. Then I think about whether my wife has found a good point. When I read Start With Why, I wonder how trivial the message is. If you want to move other people, then logical arguments help little. Instead, be very clear WHY you do something. Logical. Actually, that's just common sense. But why do so many companies act quite differently? Why is it often tried to win with technical arguments? Because common sense is not common, it is not common. And that's exactly why these books of adviser are popular.

Also, I may from time to be reminded of my common sense. Even if it seems to contradict general action. I will write more about it another time. Until then, I wish you much enjoyment of your reading, whatever it may be.