Thinking about Kinds of Books… Big Issue, Small Issue – (Or,… Theoretical, Practical)

I’m thinking about my reading diet…

I have noticed that I seem to gravitate to books to certain types of books. Maybe the more “theoretical” books.

Early in my Kindle App life, I bought an e-book called 30 Days to a More Organized Life. (Apparently, no longer available on Amazon). My clutter was out of control (again). I ran across this book, bought it, read it, and actually did part of what it said. And, as a result, I really do have less clutter.

Let’s call this a “practical book.” You might even call this a “small issue” book. Now, if you have too much clutter, and it is effecting your work in a negative way, that may move your clutter problem from a “small issue” to a “big issue.” But, uncluttering, getting better organized – these are practical concerns. And, it is possible to write a simple, straightforward book on such a subject that will help you “fix” your problem/solve your issue.

(By the way, here are some of the chapter titles from this practical book: Day 1: Get a notebook and pen; Day 4: Get Office Supplies; Day 23: Attack your wires; Day 29: Have a nighttime shutdown routine. As I said, a practical little book…). I’m glad I read this book. It helped me make some needed “the way I work” adjustments.

But, many of the books I read, and present at the First Friday Book Synopsis, are not as practical. They are “bigger picture,” more “theoretical” books. The Second Machine Age, a recent selection, is such a book. It was brilliant – but not all that practical. It was a “let’s think about the big, big picture” book. It was valuable – it got me to thinking. But, I’m not at all sure I know what to do after reading this book.

I think we need both kinds. We need to think about the big questions, the “theoretical” issues. But, also, I think people are starved for “what do I do about this?” counsel. And, so, we need some very practical “this is what to do now, and this is what to do next” books.

In other words, we need both kinds of books. And I am grateful for both.

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