Thursday, November 29, 2012

Books, Books, Books

I've been over at Penny Thots, suggesting that we can learn from our mistakes a much easier way -- by letting someone else commit them first. 

And how do you do this? Through books. 

Biography's the first and best way to do this, from avoiding Jefferson's lavish spending (and ultimate bankruptcy, leading to the sale of his home and possessions after his death) to dealing with depression, Sylvia Plath-style. (Lesson one: you will not get better by taking pills and stuffing yourself in a basement crawl space. Lesson two: actually succeeding in suicide doesn't solve anything, either -- now your family gets to cope with your problems, and feel more miserable while doing it.)

A lot of financial illumination came through the mistakes Suze Orman made...but also people like Sarah ban Breathnach, who made a fortune with her book Simple Abundance, then allowed it to slip through her fingers, and into Husband #3's greedy hands. Sarah ended up broke. Check out  Peace and Plenty for specifics. An amazing, painful, honest book.

     It isn't just lessons learned -- a good book can let you escape to other countries, other centuries for a little while, before you must return to the land of overdue DVDs and supper on the table. Take Percy Fawcett, an explorer who disappeared in South America in the early 20th century. He was searching for treasure said to be hidden in a fabulous lost city...and never came back. Now people are looking for him and the treasure in Exploration Fawcett: Journey to the Lost City of Z. (Nothing like deep jungle and a snake or two to take your mind off laundry and the dog's appointment at the vet.)

Give yourself the opportunity to travel, learn something new (or a variation on something you already know). Meet new people and come up with new opinions. Research everything under the sun -- and a whole lot above it, as well. Do it easily...
    Read a book.

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