When I used to travel alot, I frequently bought business books at airports, which I read on flights in a bid to become more business savvy, or to avoid spending eight hours playing a silly game in the games console in my plane seat. Some books I definitely enjoyed at the time and ripped through at speed. They were more often than not the ones other people recommended. Others I struggled with, having been suckered in by the blurb on the cover. I also accumulated a lot at bookswaps, which were another facet of life in the noughties.
Now in the twenties, having accumulated experience of my own, and reduced my consumption of business books, especially as some have not aged well, I have decided to re-read the books whose spines are fading, and to try to extract some salient points from them, before I set the books free again. Fortunately, the sharing economy will be happy to enjoy the books I spent my hard-earned money on at airports around the globe, but which otherwise would be destined to gather dust on a shelf at home.
Some books are the kind that I now would maybe buy for a Kindle, but would not want to physically own a copy. I enjoy highlighting passages on the screen of my Kindle, but am not a great maker of notes in books. I remember buying a lot of books secondhand at University and frequently despairing at the notes I discovered left by the previous owner. Those books that I in turn passed on, I usually left the occasional note that was irrelevant to the book, but was a piece of (to my thinking) comedic genius. One friend, who inherited a coursebook on translation methodology in French, erupted in laughter in his tutorial at one finer quip left in that particular book. After all a two-three hour tutorial was usually standing between me and the weekend.
One book that will be going was the book popularly known as “Covey”, which I picked up at a bookswap in the noughties from a previous owner who bought it in 1997. I suspect that he gave it away at a similar age to the age that I am giving it away at. Joining Covey in the first batch will be “Ferriss”, which I bought at Tambo in Joburg, returning from my 30th birthday trip to South Africa. It clearly had no effect as I carried on doing 60 hour weeks for another six years.
So where, oh where, do I set these heavyweights of hyperbole and self-congratulatory tomes free? I went to Schottentor this evening for a bit of a walk after work and the “Offener Bücherschrank” was being raided for weekend reading by passers-by. And people pored over books in there and removed them. So Covey et al., I will set you free there.