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Booking Through Thurseday - Manual Labor Redux

Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?

Do you ever read manuals?
How-to books?
Self-help guides?

Anything at all?

If I have just bought something I don't usually read the stuff that comes with it but I may refer to it as needed. I usually keep manuals around and am happy that I have when I need to know something. Even when the info isn't actually in the manual I feel better knowing that and know that it is probably time to call customer service.

How-to books and self-help guides? Sure. As I mentioned last week I feel a lot of these can help you be a better writer if you take the tools and apply them to your writing as well as to your life. Here is just a sampling of some of the books I have collected over the years.

Living Juicy: Daily Morsels for Your Creative Soul by Sark (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)

This book is pretty fun and amazing. Ity is full of bright colors and doodles and is all about embracing anything that you feel like outputting!

Sark has a whole series of b
ooks but I got this one years and years ago. As you can tell from her author picture, Sark isn't the type to take anything too seriously. Her books are a lovely combination of drawings and hand written pasages. Her website gives you a great look into her world and Google Book Search has a great preview of this book, but you sort of have to turn your head sideways. Maybe there is a setting that fixes that or something.

Up next is Beat Spirit by Mel Ash. This book is all about being who you are. Being the person you are on the inside and just pushing that part of you out. It is about not having fear. It doesn't just ask you to think outside of the box it asks you to BE outside of the box. This book was really helpful for me. I realized I just needed to stop being afraid of the person who I was inside. The one I thought I couldn't let out or no one would like me.

I really like self help books. Not the gimicky kind. But ones that are really about growing, even if you don't take everything thing they say to heart there are so many things you can still learn. I know that a lot of times I find myself thinking "That's crazy!" But then later I notice myself thinking differently, thinking one step closer to that craziness I was just denouncing.

Do you have a book like one of these tucked into your life? Following you through it? Maybe you don't even read it yet you can't bring yourself to get rid of it.


  1. I think I need to read Beat Spirit. Ha. I don't usually read self-help books, but that one sounds...well, helpful.

  2. Chelsea-
    I really like the workbook style self help book, which both of these are, because they call for action from the reader. The action is so much easier to internalize.

  3. As I said with my answer, the self-help books aren't really for me, but if someone gets something beneficial from them, of course I'm not opposed to that! I liked that you gave mini-reviews with your answer.

  4. I think my general issue with self-help books is that so many of them ARE the gimicky kind. Perhaps I would like better the kind that you are describing, that are actually about growth. Part of the problem is that so many are just blindly prescriptive, without any interaction on the part of the reader, which isn't a very formational method for change.
    Plus, I'm just the kind of person who needs genuine formational experiences, just reading and thinking doesn't help me much in the 'self-help' genre. It is great that you are able to get stuff out of them, it is all about the learning styles.

  5. dev-
    Thanks for explaining your reasons for not liking how self help books are written, I really appreciate the effort. It was great to read your insight!

  6. Oooh these are great recommendations! Thank you (and thanks for your comment over on my blog).

    Not self-help per se, but I really loved Sera Beak's The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark.

  7. Thanks for the great recommendations! :) Will have to check them out.

  8. Great answer!
    I like the Buddhist philosophy type self-help even though I'm not a Buddhist myself. They encourage mindfulness and compassion. Alot of other ones are too simplistic and preachy, at least some of the ones I've picked up.

  9. I haven't read too many BTT responses yet, but I'm beginning to think I'm the only one who actually reads the manuals. Haha

    Your comment about liking self-help books, but not the gimmicky kind struck a chord with me. I admit that I don't read self-help books very often at all, but I do think that some self-help books can be valuable while others seem to be too generalized and commercial. Gimmicky is a good word to describe those kinds of books.

  10. Hi Megan :)

    I noticed as soon as I throw out instructions etc...I need them, it happens every time. Enetually i figure it out on my own.

    Have a nice week-end :)


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