I recently finished reading a book called The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer. My dad bought it and gave to me, instructing me to read it and glean whatever sales knowledge I could from its pages.
I took one look at the book, and I thought, “Are you kidding me? This thing’s a McBook!” McBooks. The real-life, physical equivalent of clickbait.
This book had the all the indications of such a book. Chapters containing lists. Multi-colored contents. Lots of exclamation points. A writer with a smarmy sense of humor, no doubt a pretentious blowhard who thought he was just so clever.
But having resolved to read every book on sales and marketing that I could get my hands on, I picked up the book and began to read.
A few weeks later, I closed the book, satisfied that I was mostly wrong in my prejudgment of The Sales Bible. The introduction did have a lot of fluffy, self-help, positive-thinking mumbo-jumbo that I could have done without, but in the meaty center of the book was a load of good sales advice.
For more on my thoughts on this book, please see my review on Goodreads. In the meantime, please remember that the old cliché is in fact worth heeding: “Never judge a book by its cover.”
The folly of judging a book by its cover nearly led me to ignore a pretty good amount of good sales advice. Likewise, the impulse to judge a book by its cover has led me to waste time on mediocre or bad books.
There is one such book of this sort that I have read several times, and no matter how many times I read it, I just did not find it memorable enough to enjoy those repeated readings. My only reason for rereading this particular book was that I thought I could somehow find it more enjoyable the second time around.
(If you want to know what that book was, please send me a message and I’ll consider discussing it in a future post.)
The point of this post is to read indiscriminately. If you are told to read a book for a class, read it. If there are books assigned for extra credit, read those too.
If you see a book on a shelf, and it catches your eye, read it. If you hear about a book that sounds interesting, read it. If you receive a book as a gift, read it.
If somebody else recommends a book to you, for goodness sake, read that one too. There are plenty of books that have been recommended to me that I didn’t read or read later, convinced that I knew it all and would find it dull or uninteresting, only to have my mind utterly blown over how this masterpiece almost escaped me due to literary chauvinism.
That’s how I discovered Redwall by Brian Jacques. Thank you, Emily.