Category Archives: reading

Reading list

Peter Dawson just sent me his knowledge management reading list for
the second quarter. What an excellent idea! I should read lots of
books and write about them, as I enjoy reading books…

On Technorati:

E-Mail from Peter Dawson

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Grazing in the bookstore

I’m starting to feel a little strange in Powerbooks. Maybe it’s visual
overload from of “SALE” signs everyone. Maybe it’s mental fatigue from
browsing through all these books that are starting to sound alike. I
read.. mm… maybe five, six books today? Browsed through them,
really, looking for just a few ideas to keep. I gained two important
insights today, though.

From “Creating Rainmakers”: Great rainmakers start growing their
network early. Because the number of possible connections increases
rapidly with every new connection, people with large networks benefit
*much* more than people with small networks. I knew this from personal
experience and observation, but it was great reading about it.
Something I read in another book or I picked up on my own: the more
people you know and the more you know about them, the more you can
leverage the things that you learn and the experiences you have.
(Duh.) But it’s true; whenever I pick up a sales insight, I use it as
a great excuse to ping a few people.

From “Finance on a Beermat”: Small businesses *really* need
accounting. Why? Because even if you’re funding it yourself, you’re
not pouring money down a sink. You should keep track of how much the
business owes you, so that you can tell the difference between revenue
and profit. At the end of the day, your books need to balance. I
hadn’t really thought about that before and I suspect that most
entrepreneurs just pour cash into their businesses without keeping
track of things, but maybe that’s something that separates successful
serial entrepreneurs from frustrated ones…


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Books, books, books

I checked out an armload of books from the Toronto Public Library
today, indulging in a little fiction (ah, Regency romances with their
ever-so-proper heroines!), growing my mind with business books,
enriching my soul with reflections on life.

Hmm. I’m starting to strongly feel the need for a bookshelf. Actually,
le’s start with a shelf that can double as a work surface or food
serving surface, at most 162 cm long, 59 cm wide, and 90 cm tall.
Preferably a bit lower, because I find that lower counters are easier
for me to cut on. Also, I would like an adjustable shelf so that I can
use it to store books, games, and serving stuff.

Books would be nice to keep around. Then I can add a new note to my
tea parties. People who feel the need to drop out of the conversation
temporarily in order to recharge can read books without any social
stigma… ;) Because my place is so small, they can’t actually get
isolated from the conversation. They’ll still hear everything that’s
going on, and they can jump in any time they want to rejoin the

But yes, books and a book case for this book-nutcase… =)

Falling in love with words

How did I come to love words so much? I remember reading everything I
could get my hands on, and clambering up bookshelves to get to the
books that were placed just out of reach. I read omniverously. After I
read and reread my storybooks and that well-loved set of Childcraft
volumes, I attacked my mother’s business books and parenting books. I
read and read and read, and when I wanted to give myself an extra
challenge, I read upside down.

I don’t know why I loved reading so much. Maybe it has to do with the
way my mom obviously loved reading and how much she learned from
those books. She told me how she used to read to me until her voice
cracked from fatigue and how I’d beg to be read to again and again.
(“But you’ve practically memorized ‘Three Little Pigs!'”)

I don’t know what my mom did to make me fall in love with reading, but
I loved reading even when she told me not to – at the dinner table, in
the car, while walking. I read everything everywhere. Books were
constantly moving through the house. Some errands to run? Not a
problem – leave me in a bookstore and I wouldn’t notice the hours fly
by. One of my favorite ways to soak up time is still heading to a
bookstore, pull interesting books off the shelves, and practically
inhale them.

I wish I could figure out how to help J fall in love with books too.
If she does, then new worlds will be open to her, and no classroom or
teacher can limit her. What was that magical piece? The availability
of tons and tons of books, some of which could be easily read and
understood and others which forced me to stretch? The way my mom
referred to her books, the way she obviously loved learning? Maybe
that’s one of the things I can do whenever I visit – let my love for
learning shine through, so that J can deepen her enjoyment of reading
and experimenting…

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Entertainingly educational books

I raided a few second-hand stores for books and clothes. I found such
gems! I’m half-tempted to just keep them at *my* place instead of
giving them to J. After all, J will only get to read them every other
week, and I wouldn’t mind having them handy all the time. I bought
only books that *I* loved then and will love even now. W is new to all
of the books, although he had heard of Shel Silverstein before. We’ll
have such fun reading, and may end up going through all the books
ourselves before J gets a chance to!

I am on the lookout for more volumes of The Book of Knowledge, a
children’s encyclopedia introduced to me by Simon’s dad. I think it’s
amazing. Between that and Childcraft, I’ll probably eventually put
together a library of entertainingly educational books for kids (and
the grown-ups who drag kids along so that the grown-ups have an excuse
to read the books too).

That and a science museum, and a puzzle collection… =)

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Falling in love with poetry: Viva Shel Silverstein!

J was reading a book on smoking because she had vowed never to smoke
and she wanted to learn more about it. The big words tired her,
though, so she put the book aside. It seemed like a good time to bring
out the books I bought last week, just in case she’d find one of them
entertaining. Mr. Popper’s Penguins drew a smile, Lemony Snicket was a
clear no-go (she didn’t like the books), and Shel Silverstein…

Well, I was *planning* to show her the book, but as is usually the
case with Shel Silverstein and similar poets, I got sucked into it
myself. I flipped open to a random page and started reading a poem out
loud. And naturally I *had* to read the next one, and the next one,
and then I looked up and J was peering over my shoulder, and then she
was saying the words along with me, and then I had to sit half off my
chair in order to let her sit with me and read, and then she insisted
on reading all the short poems, and then W got into the act as well,
and then J’s foot fell asleep and she hopped to the couch in the
living room, and then we all curled up on the couch and read these
hilariously silly poems (polar bear in the Frigidaire!) until W
declared that it was time for J to go to bed. J nodded, but kept
silently reading the book (which by now had ended up on her lap). I
couldn’t help but grin.

I love it when enthusiasm is infectious.

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