Thursday, March 24, 2005

the leisurely pace of the fortune magazine book club

From a recent article in Fortune magazine:
"You can't always have the perfect book at the ready. But you can have the perfect reading list on hand. Which is why FORTUNE called upon its staffers to select 75 books that will stir your brain--and maybe even stir you to action.


It would, of course, take about 75 years to read everything here. But here's our own piece of advice: Don't resist starting a book just because you don't have time to finish it. Open the cover. Read the intro. Skip to Chapter 9. Or simply save this list and put it in a drawer. Because there's gold in them thar books. And they're just waiting for you to mine it."


Tom Bozzo said...

The lightish weight of some of the readings makes the quote all the more entertaining. Though Keynes's General Theory (the other chapters) did make me really grateful for the existence of the "What Keynes Meant" industry.

Anonymous said...

For one thing, the editor should have caught on to that insane time frame. Unless, of course, these are the books that people read one page at a time, right before falling asleep, like in the Brady Bunch (dad has his book, mom has her needlepoint because books hurt blondes' brains... :).

The only books I have that aren't read from cover to cover within a few days (sometimes a few hours) of getting them are reference books or reference books that I buy and then realize a few pages in that this book doesn't tell me anything new, but rehashes stuff I read on the web while waiting for this book to come out (leaving it to gather dust on my bookshelf with me cursing the $40 wasted).

75 books in 75 years....

Anonymous said...

Mine are read within a week but I've got Collapse by Jared Diamond that I've been slogging away at for about a month now. Esther

Tom Bozzo said...

jnsys: OMG, I've turned into Mike Brady.

Ken Houghton said...

In college, we were told tbat we had a week to read works such as The Prince.

Little did we know then that we were 52x as productive as we would be if we were Fortune readers.

As a thought-experiment, though, go through that list and figure out how many of the books would be required reading if the Wall Street Journal editorial page had made the list.

Many of those books, after all, deal with corporate mismanagement.