Books and workplace squeeze

My bookshelves are squeezed tight with all sorts of books. Of the non-fiction variety, apart from text books, the majority relate to personal and organisational improvement. Books bristling with brilliant ideas, sometimes opposed to one another. For example one advocates extensive to-do lists another says forget them. The trick is to try out the ideas for oneself and apply them to one's current situation.

I love books that make me think; for me the best "improvement" books are those which stimulate that thinking and leave me to get on with it.

Mark Twain once observed that the person who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the person who cannot read them. I know people have preferred ways of taking in information but it often surprises me that for many people their experience of the Classics is based on film or television.

In the world of effectiveness literature, a variation on Twain's point might be that the person who doesn't apply the learning from books has no advantage over the person who simply reads them.

I heard an "expert" in a radio interview decrying the self-help genre. He argued that all the guidance anyone would ever need was contained in the world's great literature. Of course, he didn't suggest where to start.....but there might be a self-help book for that!

He did have a point. Our busy, squeezed workplaces can sometimes leave us drained and a great way to recharge emotional and physical batteries is to make time and space for books. All types. Fiction introduces us to characters and situations removed from our workaday lives but with whom we can connect aspects of our own experience. Personal effectiveness literature, thoughtfully engaged with, can help us shape up to workplace squeeze.

Bookshelves: they speak volumes.

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