Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How about a book for Christmas?

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Choosing a suitable Christmas gift can be a challenge. At one time a DVD  was a useful standby gift idea, one that didn't usually require too much knowledge of the recipient's interests, could be wrapped up easily and would be appreciated. But now everyone seems to download movies, box sets and the like and movies have gone the same way as music and to some extent books with their contents held in the ether, or cloud. 

I am not sure we are all yet ready for a fully digital Christmas where in place of opening up intriguingly wrapped presents from under the Christmas tree we sit around with our iBooks, iPads and iPhones and open our downloads! Recently I  received a Kindle as a birthday gift and this has great merit when travelling thanks to it being physically small, lightweight and yet easy to read. In these days of carry on hand luggage, books consume both space and add to weight that could otherwise be used by some essential items of clothing. 

On the other hand, books to read when flying or on holiday will probably be fiction. I was once influenced by a list of titles in a national newspaper recommended as suitable holiday reading for people in business as sources of new ideas, or essential background briefings for anyone with ambitions to succeed. That turned out to be a big mistake. They were just boring. However the concept of reading other people's ideas is quite compelling. Over the years I  have assembled a very small library - well short bookshelf really - of books that once read proved useful to refer to from time to time as a source of information when writing an article, drawing up proposals or prompting thoughts.   These books are all characterised by 'Post-it' notes sticking out of the tops of pages to bookmark some helpful references. Somehow they are more accessible than the links I bookmark to useful online references.

Running a small business which involves marketing strategy and content development, the small office library comes down to just a few subjects:-

Marketing - Marketing in a Competitive Economy by Leslie W Rodger, The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott and the recently published Technical Marketing - Ideas for Engineers by David Brooks.

Management - The Practice of Management by Peter F Drucker and An Insight into Management Accounting by John Sizer.

Reference - The Oxford Dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus, two books on web design and HTML, A to Z London and AA Road Atlas Britain, plus a few operating manuals for various bits of kit.

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