iJumpTV 71: How to talk about books you haven’t read

February 2nd, 2010
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How do you handle information overload? One Austrian librarian had an interesting method – and an interesting explanation for it – in the book I review today, How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

While talking about the book (which I partly read, admittedly) I was reminded of Howard Gardner’s 5 Minds for the Future. Gardner talks about the need for a depth of discipline, even as we need to get more cross-disciplinary.

Such talk of deep discipline then reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, which says you can master anything if you put in 10,000 hours. Although I haven’t read the book, that’s okay, because I followed the advice in How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read … nicely completing this circular, three-for-the-price-of-one book review.

How does this affect us in our daily life and work?

  1. Information overload is a fact of life. Do you remember the last time you wished there was more information in your life? Yet relevance is still a struggle. The first book has some surprising strategies.
  2. Our fast-moving times require innovative, cross-disciplinary thinking, yet we still need a depth of discipline or we truly will be jacks of all trades, masters of none.
  3. This means that to our initial discipline we must add the skill of collaboration. We must realise that we don’t hold all the answers, nor could we ever.

It’s summed up by a great quote I read today:

“If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you recognize that your liberation and mine are bound up together, then let us walk together.” -Lila Watson

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