Do You Ever Buy Books Before You Need Them?

Johanna Rothman's picture

I released a new book this past month, Manage Your Job Search. It's about how you use personal kanban and timeboxes to create a visual system of your work in a job search, and then how to apply practical approaches to networking, reflecting and persevering through a job hunt. It's a great book. You should buy it if you're looking for a job.

But what if you're not looking for a job right now?

That's what this post is all about.

I often buy books before I need them. Okay, I write books, so you would suspect---and you would be right---that I read plenty of books. I once tried to run away from home, but couldn't. Why? I couldn't fit all my favorite books in my suitcase. True story! I might be what you call a book addict. It's a safe addiction, as long as I have enough money.

I have discovered that I somehow "know" what books I will need in the future. Does that ever happen to you?

I buy a book, meaning to read it someday, and someday, I realize that I need it. I go to the shelf, and there is that book, waiting for me to discover it and open it.

I love that feeling.

Back when I was a senior developer, and frustrated with the way my managers were estimating projects, I bought a book about estimation. I never opened it. At least 20 years later, when I wrote my project management book, I wanted to check something about more scientfic ways to estimate. I had a book about that, I remembered! I checked. Yes, that book had an answer. It was almost incomprehensible, but it was an answer.

That book taught me about writing, too. I could make a difficult subject clear and easier to understand. Or, I could go along with everyone else, and obfuscate the material.

You folks know me. I try hard to make things clear. I might not succeed all the time, but I sure try.

If you ever need a clear book about job hunting, do look at Manage Your Job Search. It's terrific. And, if you don't need it right now? Try a sample and buy it anyway. What do you have to lose? You might need it someday.


User Comments

1 comment
Terry Wiegmann's picture

Yes, Johanna, yes I do! I've bought books that got raves from people whose opinions I valued and so hoped I would "grow into", books whose indexes contained terms I knew I needed to know more about, books that I wanted to have handy when I was ready for them, books that reminded me to stretch! To this day, the scent of diesel exhaust reminds me of the school Bookmobile! Two of my favorite quotes are:


“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

Desiderius Erasmus

 “I cannot live without books; but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object."
- Thomas Jefferson to John Adams



May 17, 2014 - 12:21am